Appendix:Glossary of musical instrument classification

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This is a glossary of musical instrument classification (organology).

See also:

Categories[edit]

aerophone     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by causing a body of air to vibrate, without the use of strings or membranes, and without the vibration of the instrument itself adding considerably to the sound.


angle harp     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A type of harp where the neck runs at an angle over the resonator.


arched harp     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A type of harp where the string carrier and resonator are physically united, with strings at right angles to the sound table, no pillar and a neck that curves away from the resonator.


barrel drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum (membranophone) with a shape that bulges in the middle, forming a barrel-like appearance, usually very large and made of wood with a one-headed and open-bottomed body.


bowed instrument     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any stringed instrument (chordophone) played with a bow.


bowl lute     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A lute with a body shaped like a bowl.


box zither     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A zither with a trapezoidal or rectangular shaped sound box.


brass instrument     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A musical instrument, most often made of brass, whose tone is produced by vibration of the lips as the player blows into a mouth piece (or tubular resonator).


chordophone     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any musical instrument that produces sound from one or more vibrating strings.


conical drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A usually one-headed drum (membranophone) with a body that slopes on its sides, forming a conical shape.


double-conical drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A type of barrel drum with two heads instead of one.


double-reed     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
An aerophone that produces sound through the air-caused vibration of two reeds.


drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A percussive musical instrument spanned with a thin covering on at least one end for striking, forming an acoustic chamber, affecting what materials are used to make it; a membranophone.


drum kit     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A collection of drums and other percussion instruments designed to be played together.


duct flute     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A type of flute characterized by the presence of a mouthpiece that is constricted in order to compress the player's breath.


electrophone     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any instrument designed to create sounds using electrical currents.


end-blown flute     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A type of flute characterized by the player's breath being directed onto the sharp edge of the upper end of a tube.


footed drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum (membranophone) whose resonance is improved by an open bottom that is held by the player's feet.


frame drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum (membranophone) whose drumhead is wider than the instrument is deep.


frame harp     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A type of harp with a front pillar, forming a triangular frame.


free reed     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
An aerophone in which a vibrating reed in a frame produces sound.


friction drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum (membranophone) that produces sound through friction.


goblet drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum (membranophone) with a goblet-shaped body, usually one-headed.


hand drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum (membranophone) played with the hand, as opposed to being struck with a drumstick, mallet or other object.


hand percussion     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any percussion instrument that can be held in the hand.


hourglass drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum whose body has a hourglass-like shape.


idiochord     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any chordophone whose string-like material is made from the same substance (e.g. bamboo) as the resonating body.


idiophone     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any musical instrument that produces its sound by its own vibration (without any strings or membranes).


kettle drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum (membranophone) with a pot- or vessel-shaped body.
  • Note: This category is distinct from the specific instrument called the kettledrum, which is one example of a "kettle drum".
  • Synonyms: vessel drum


keyboard instrument     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
_
  1. Any musical instrument which features a keyboard, including a piano, electronic keyboard and celesta.
  2. Any musical instrument that produces sound directly from the manipulation of a keyboard by the performer, including a piano and a celesta.
  3. Any musical instrument (a chordophone) that uses a keyboard to manipulate strings which produce sound, including a piano.


lamellophone     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any musical instrument in which sound is produced by plucking a series of thin lamellae attached to a sounding board.


lithophone     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any musical instrument in which sound is produced by percussion of a stone.


long drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum (membranophone) of extreme length, often made out of entire tree trunks.


membranophone     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any musical instrument that produces sound via the vibration of a stretched membrane.


metallophone     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any musical instrument consisting of tuned metal bars that are struck to produce sound.


mouth organ     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A free reed aerophone with at least one air chamber fitted with a free reed.


pellet drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A drum (membranophone) that has two heads and produces sound through two pellets, tied to the body of the drum and manipulated so as to strike the heads.


percussion     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
An instrument in which the sound is produced by striking, scraping or shaking an object.


reed instrument     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
An aerophone in which a thin sliver of material (a reed) is vibrated by air blown by a performer.


single-reed     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
An aerophone that produces sound through the air-caused vibration of a reed.


slit drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A type of idiophone, consisting of a material (usually bamboo or wood) hollowed out and possessing one or more slits on the top.


spike fiddle     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any of a number of stringed instruments in which the handle passes diametrically through the resonator and which are played with a bow.


stone xylophone     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A musical instrument (a lithophone) consisting of pieces of stone as sounding bars that produce tuned sounds when struck, like a xylophone.


thumb piano     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any type of lamellophone having a small sound box fitted with a row of tuned tabs that are plucked with the thumbs.


transverse flute     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any type of flute that is held sideways when played.


tubular drum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A category of drum (membranophone) with a tubular shape, encompassing hourglass drums, long drums, footed drums, cylindrical drums, conical drums and barrel drums.


vertical flute     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any type of flute that is held vertically when played.


viol     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A family of fretted stringed instruments, which are played with a bow, characterized by a flat back, sloping shoulders, c hole sound holes and the use of five to seven strings.


wind instrument     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A musical instrument that produces sound when air flows through it; reed instruments and brass instruments.


woodwind instrument     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A musical instrument in which sound is produced by blowing against an edge or by vibrating a thin piece of wood or metal known as the reed, and in which the pitch is governed by the resonant frequencies of an enclosed air column.


yoke lute     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any chordophone with two arms extending from a body to a crossbar (a yoke), and strings, parallel to the soundboard, connecting the body to the yoke.


Instruments referred to as types[edit]

These terms refer most specifically to a single type of instrument, or perhaps a family of related instruments, but are also used in reference to entirely unrelated instruments of the same musicological category. For example, any stringed instrument without a neck, and with strings that pass over the body, are liable to be called zithers, zither-like or part of the zither family, though the word zither more specifically refers to a precise instrument of Central European origin.

bagpipes   [1]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any aerophone that produces sound using air from a reservoir to vibrate enclosed reeds.


banjo     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any chordophone that uses a membrane-like soundboard.


castanets   [2]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any handheld percussion idiophone that can be played with the fingers.


flute   [3]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A reedless aerophone that produces sound by blowing air across one or more openings, producing a vibration in the air at the opening(s).


guitar   [4]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A chordophone with a flat back and a neck whose upper surface is in the same plane as the soundboard, with strings along the neck and parallel to the soundboard.
  • Note: A guitar is a member of the lute family, distinguished from other lutes by having a flat back.


harp   [5]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any chordophone consisting of a body and a curved neck, strung with strings of varying length, that are vertical to the soundboard when viewed from the end of the body.
  • Note If a harp's strings were moved from perpendicular to parallel relative to the soundboard and to attach to a common point off the soundbar, it would be a lyre-type instrument.
  • Note: Unmodified, the word harpas a category most often refers to any frame harp -- meaning a harp with a front pillar -- because that is the common harp of Western origin. Outside of the West, angle harps and arch harps are more common.


lute   [6]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any of a wide variety of chordophones with a pear-shaped body and a neck whose upper surface is in the same plane as the soundboard, with strings along the neck and parallel to the soundboard.
  • Note: If an instrument of the lute class were to gain a yoke, it would become a lyre.
  • Note: If an instrument of the lute class were to become flat-backed rather than round and pear-shaped, it would be an instrument of the guitar class.


lyre   [7] [8]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any chordophone with two arms extending from a body to a crossbar (a yoke), and strings, parallel to the soundboard, connecting the body to the yoke.
  • Synonyms: yoke lute
  • Note: If a lyre's strings -- which are parallel to the soundboard and emanate directly up from it -- were turned to perpendicular, such that they appeared vertical when looking from the end of the instrument, and attached to a common point off the soundboard, it would be an example of a harp-type instrument.
  • Note: The lyre is often said to be a type of zither. The distinguishing characteristic of lyre-type instruments is that the strings originate in a particular point on the soundboard, rather than from points spread out over much of the soundboard (as in a standard zither).
  • Note Instruments like the guitar and the violin are considered lutes, rather than lyres, due to the lack of a yoke.


mbira   [9]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any type of lamellophone having a small sound box fitted with a row of tuned tabs that are plucked with the thumbs.


pan flute     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any aerophone consisting of multiple pipes of increasing size, tuned to produce sound when blown across the opening.


tambourine     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any frame drum.


trumpet   [10]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any lip-vibrated aerophone.


violin   [11]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term. - Read more on Wikipedia.
A stringed instrument, a type of fretless lute, characterized by the use of four or five strings, a scroll (an adornment on the body of the instrument), a sound post and a bass bar.


xylophone   [12]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A percussion idiophone consisting of tuned wooden bars struck with a mallet.
  • Note: A generally similar category of instrument is the lithophone stone xylophone, which is essentially a xylophone with stone bars instead of wooden ones.
  • Note: A generally similar category of instrument is the metallophone metal xylophone, which is essentially a xylophone with metal bars instead of wooden ones.


zither   [13]  Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A chordophone without a neck, and with strings that pass over the body.
  • Note: The lyre is often said to be a type of zither. The distinguishing characteristic of lyre-type instruments is that the strings originate in a particular point on the soundboard, rather than from points spread out over much of the soundboard (as in a standard zither).
  • Note: The word psaltery is sometimes synonymous with zither in reference to instruments of this family.


Other categories[edit]

bell     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
A vessel (a type of percussion idiophone) that is struck to cause vibrations which are weakest nearer the vertex, creating its distinctive sound.


fue     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any of several kinds of Japanese flute.


huqin     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any of a family of vertical bowed lutes used in Chinese music.


viol     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any of a family of guitar-like chordophones originating in Spain.


violin     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.
Any of a family of guitar-like chordophones originating in Italy.


Accessories, components, techniques and terminology[edit]

body     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


bow     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


course     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


drumhead     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


drumstick     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


fret     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


lamella     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


mallet     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


neck     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


pluck     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


reed     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


resonator     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


soundboard     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


string     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


strum     Cite this term. - Discuss this term.


References[edit]

  1. ^ 1999. The Companion to Irish Traditional Music. Fintan Vallely. Pg. 14.
  2. ^ 2013. You Asked Aunt Rocky: Answers & Advice About Raqs Sharqi and Raqs Shaabi. C. Varga Dinicu. Pg. 242.
  3. ^ 1999. How to Love Your Flute: A Guide to Flutes and Flute Playing. Mark Shepard. Pg. 6.
  4. ^ 2000. The Acoustic Guitar Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Maintain an Acoustic Guitar. Larry Sandberg. Pg. 4.
  5. ^ 2013. The Physics of Musical Instruments. Neville H. Fletcher, Thomas Rossing. Pg. 331.
  6. ^ 2004. Musical Instruments: History, Technology, and Performance of Instruments. Murray Campbell, Clive A. Greated, Arnold Myers. Pg. 285.
  7. ^ 2012. Kisir and Tanbura. Dahab Khalil and Artur Simon. Pg. 96.
  8. ^ 2007. Origins and Development of Musical Instruments. Jeremy Montagu. Pg. 128.
  9. ^ 2003. "Mbira (Thumb Piano)". Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Edited by John Shepherd. Pg. 388.
  10. ^ [2009. Tipbook Trumpet and Trombone, Flugelhorn and Cornet: The Complete Guide. Hugo Pinksterboer. Pg. 141.
  11. ^ 1999. The Cambridge Companion to the Cello. Robin Stowell. Pg. 1
  12. ^ Vienna Symphony Orchestra. "Xylophone".
  13. ^ 2010. Appalachian Dulcimer. Ralph Lee Smith. Pg. 6.