According to experts in musical instruments, there are five main categories: string, brass, woodwind, percussion, and keyboard. The first four kinds of these instruments formed the foundation of the modern symphony orchestra. Before you start playing a musical instrument, it’s crucial that you thoroughly understand the various kinds of musical instruments. This will allow you to choose which one to learn and master.
Also referred to as chordophones or string instruments, these musical instruments produce sound by vibrating their strings. Usually, performers pluck or play the strings of these instruments using a plectrum or a finger. The body of most string instruments is enclosed or hollow, and it vibrates with the air inside. As the instrument’s body moves, its vibrations create more audible notes for the audience and the performer. However, electric guitar players do not rely on vibrations to produce sound.
The brass instruments are similar to wind instruments, made for some modifications. They feature air columns that can be adjusted using the slide mechanism. Trumpets, for instance, have press valves, and before, find it hard to make other notes.
Some of these incorporated scholars believe that the type of brass instrument that’s made should be distinguished from those that aren’t made of brass. For instance, some brass instruments are made of wood, such as the alphorn, the cornett, and the didgeridoo.
The woodwind family comprises various musical instruments, such as the bassoon, flute, clarinet, and saxophone. These are also made from reeds. Due to how these instruments produce sound, they are classified into woodwind and brass. Although all woodwind instruments have a sharp edge, they also feature air pockets that allow players to split the airflow.
Currently, the modern orchestra features woodwind instruments such as the bassoon, flute, clarinet, and oboe. It also includes the bass clarinet, cor anglais, e-flat clarinet, and contrabassoon.
The percussion family includes musical equipment such as snare drums, bass drums, timpani, and tambourines. These instruments are commonly sounded by scraping or striking them with one’s hand. Although the percussion family includes various non-percussive musical instruments like whistles and sirens, the celesta is not a part of this group. Instead, it’s a keyboard instrument commonly used in the keyboard percussion section.
Keyboards are commonly used musical equipment, though their functions vary depending on their usage. Popular models include the piano, electronic keyboard, and organ. Carillons and celestas are also examples. Although the modern keyboard sounds similar to a piano, it doesn’t have the size or weight of the instrument. Instead, it features spring-loaded plastic keys. These keys can be adjusted using springs. In addition, some keyboards feature weighted keys that simulate the critical resistance of an acoustic piano.