The most important instrument in Shalian music is the human voice. Instruments such as guitars, Talman fiddles, violins, pianos, kanteles and various percussion instruments are also used.
The Shalian kantele (wáirdıan) is traditionally tuned to a 8 note-per-fifth scale but the 8 notes can be changed on the fly. Most modern wáirdıans have levers fixed to 22edo while some (used for "avant-garde" music) can make finer adjustments.
Vocal polyphony (sar-nóoslownth 'group singing') is an important part of Shalian music, especially in ceremonies such as coming of age parties, weddings, festivities, and funerals. Troupes of singers are trained from a young age to harmonize, vocalize rhythms, clap, snap their fingers and make various gestures. Sung music reflects the glottal stops, stress accent and long-short rhythms of the Shalian language.
There is also a tradition of orally transmitted folk songs (amár-nóoslownth 'mother's song'). Composed solo vocal music (jái'ner-nóoslownth 'exquisite singing'), to the contrary, was traditionally upper class music as opposed to folk music.
Like Naquian music, Shalian music considers the perfect fifth to be the most stable interval and uses a scale consisting of 8 notes per perfect fifth.