What are the Major Classes of Musical Instruments?

The major classes of the western musical instrument include:
1. Brass
2. Guitar
3. Keyboards
4. Percussion
5. String
6. Woodwind

Before proceeding to learn a variety of musical instruments, then it is very important that you get familiar with its major classes. This will help you to know which among the classes is suitable enough for the kind of skill for a specific purpose that you want to attain in music. The different musical instruments that are available in different parts of the world currently are categorized thus:

1. Wind Instruments: In this class, as the name implies, requires that you to blow air into it by following an order as designed by the instrument manufacturers to ensure that the sound that you desire is produced. The instruments work depending on the principles of frequencies, sound waves, acoustics, resonance, and harmonics. The pitch of the produced sound of the wind instrument is actually dependent on the length of the air column through which the waves of the sounds vibrate. Some of the world popular wind instruments are piccolo, flute, clarinet, shakuhachi, bassoon, oboe, accordion, English horn, harmonica, saxophone, pianica, bagpipe, and shehnai.

Click on the images below to see the musical performance of each of the following woodwind instruments:

English Horn

2. Brass Instruments: These instruments can be made to produce a musical sound similarly to wind instruments with a few modifications. The length of the air column of brass instruments can actually be adjusted to produce a variety of musical sounds with the help of slide mechanism or press valves at the body of the instrument. For example, the trumpet can be played horizontally using a series of valves that can be found at the top of the instrument. Here the valves are then opened and closed using a variety of combinations so that you can begin to produce different kinds of pitches. Another example is the French horn. This instrument is made up of a basic tube which is rounded into a compact shape and is being culminated in a bell or a conical bore. The series of valves here are found centrally on it. Other brass instruments included; Trumpet, Cornet, French horn, Euphonium, trombone, tuba, bugle, and conch.

Click on the images below to see the musical performance of each of the following woodwind instruments

French horn

3. Percussion Instruments: The instruments in this class require you to strike the surface of the instrument to generate vibrations to produce your desired musical sound. Percussion instruments can basically be divided into two kinds. The first kind includes tuned instruments that are known to produce a definite pitch or a series of different pitches. The examples of the tuned percussion instruments include; xylophone, vibraphone, marimba, tubular bells, and timpani or kettle drum. The second types of percussion instruments are the instruments under indefinite pitch. Its examples embody triangle, castanets, rattle, cymbals, tambourine, anvil, and gong.

Click on the images below to see the musical performance of each of the following woodwind instruments


4. String Instruments: These involve all instruments that work based on sound wave vibrations produced by strings. The pitch that can be produced by these instruments is dependent on the length of the air column in the sound box and the type and thickness of strings used. For example, a violin, a violin has four strings which produce different pitches of sound. The most popular string instruments include guitar, viola, violin, cello, mandolin, harp, double bass, and banjo.

5. Electronic Instruments: These involve instruments that are manufactured using the latest technology. These instruments are designed in a way that makes it simpler and easier for anyone to produce sounds. They are known to be user-friendly so you will never have a hard time learning the basics of producing sounds out of any of them. Examples of electronic instruments include piano keyboards, synthesizers, rhythm machines, octopads, and samplers.

Discussed above are five of the major classes of musical instruments. It is advisable for you to decide the kind of music that you wish to produce to ensure that you learn to play the right instrument that fits perfectly for you. This will allow you to become the kind of musician that you have always dreamed to be


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