What are the Major Classes of Musical Instruments?


If you intend to learn a variety of musical instruments, then it is advised that you get familiar with its major classes. This will allow you to determine which among the classes is suitable enough for the kind of learning that you want to attain in music. The different musical instruments that are available in different parts of the world at present are categorized as follows:

1. Wind Instruments. This class of musical instruments requires you to blow into a specific wind instrument by following an order to ensure that the sound that you desire is produced. The instruments can be expected to work depending on the principles of frequencies, sound waves, acoustics, resonance and harmonics. The pitch of the produced sound when you start blowing the instrument is actually dependent on the length of the air column through which the waves of the sounds vibrate. Some of the most popular wind instruments are piccolo, flute, clarinet, shakuhachi, bassoon, oboe, accordion, English horn, harmonica, saxophone, pianica, bagpie and shehnai.

2. Brass Instruments. These instruments can be expected to work similarly to wind instruments with a few modifications. The length of air column of brass instruments can actually be changed with the help of slide mechanism or press valves. One of the many examples of brass instruments is trumpet. It can be played horizontally using a series of valves that can be found at the top of the instrument. The valves are then opened and closed using a variety of combinations so that you can start producing different kinds of pitches. Another example of brass instruments is the French horn. This instrument is composed of a basic tube which is rounded into a compact shape and is being culminated in a bell or a conical bore. You can then find a series of valves that are set centrally on it. Other brass instruments that you can use are trombone, tuba, bugle and conch.

3. Percussion Instruments. These instruments require you to strike the surface of the instrument to generate vibrations to produce your desired note. Percussion instruments can actually be divided into two types. The first type includes tuned instruments that are known to produce a definite pitch or a series of different pitches. Some examples of the tuned percussion instruments include xylophone, vibraphone, marimba, tubular bells and timpani or kettle drum. The second type of percussion instruments is the indefinite pitch. Its examples include triangle, castanets, rattle, cymbals, tambourine, anvil and gong.

4. String Instruments. These are composed of those 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 air column and the type and thickness of strings used. Among the most popular string instruments are guitar, viola, violin, cello, mandolin, harp, double bass and banjo.

5. Electronic Instruments. These are those instruments that are produced using the latest technology. These instruments are created in a way that makes it simpler and easier for anyone to produce sounds. These 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. Among the most popular examples of electronic instruments are piano keyboards, synthesizers, rhythm machines, octopads and samplers.

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