On Tuesday we took a closer look at a specific topic, Disney's classic animated motion picture Fantasia. In this post we will get to know the arts on a broader spectrum. Let us know what topics you'd like to know more about and we will do the research for you. Happy reading!
by Melanie Budge
Have you ever wondered why an instrument is considered a woodwind or if all brass instruments are made of brass? If so, I have another question for you. Have you ever heard of organology? Neither had I until I started looking into today’s subject. Organology is the science of musical instruments and their classifications. There are several popular methods to do this, but for our purposes we will use the most common instrument classification that divides them into four groups – string, brass, woodwind and percussion. The instruments listed are primarily those used in a traditional orchestra.
String Instruments are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings. The strings may be plucked, strummed or played with a bow.
Examples of string instruments:
Violin Viola Cello Double Bass Piano
Harp Fiddle Sitar Ukulele Mandolin
Brass Instruments are musical instruments that produce sound by the vibration of the player’s lips. There are two types of brass instruments - valved and slide.
Examples of valved brass instruments:
Horn (French Horn) Trumpet Tuba Cornet
Examples of slide brass instruments:
Woodwind Instruments are musical instruments that make sound by splitting an exhaled air stream on a sharp edge. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments. Reed instruments can have a single or double reed.
Examples of flute woodwind instruments:
Flute Recorder Organ Piccolo
Examples of single reed woodwind instruments:
Examples of double reed woodwind instruments:
Oboe Bassoon English Horn Bagpipes
The harmonica and accordion are considered free reed aerophone instruments because they have small metal tongues arranged in rows within a frame. The airflow is generated either by the player's breath or by bellows.
Percussion Instruments are musical instruments that produce sound by being struck, scraped, rubbed, shaken, etc. They are believed to be the oldest musical instruments.
Examples of percussion instruments:
Timpani Bass drum Triangle Snare drum
Cymbals Tambourine Glockenspiel
This is a very basic list of instruments. If you want to see the shear magnitude of how many instruments exist in the world, visit All the Musical Instruments of the World website. It is amazing how many ways have been created to produce music.
Wikipedia - Musical Instrument Classification, String Instrument, Woodwind Instrument, Brass Instrument, Percussion Instrument, Organology
Encyclopaedia Britannica - Musical Instrument - Classification of Instruments
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