Muzik Info Inc.

Instrumental Music

There are a very large number of musical instruments, each with its own


unique sound and quality. These musical instruments can be divided into 3


basic categories:


1. String Instruments :



All string instruments have one thing in common, their sound is made by a


vibrating string. Strings can be made of metal, synthetic or natural materials.


The strings can have different gauge or thickness, weight, length and



The thicker and heavier the string, the slower it vibrates, and the deeper or lower its pitch. The faster a string vibrates the higher its pitch. Shorter strings vibrate faster than longer strings. In some instruments, such as the piano, the strings are made in different lengths. Other instruments like the guitar and violin, the musician presses on the string with his finger to shorten it.

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2. Wind Instruments :


The sound from wind instrument is made by air vibrating in a pipe or tube. A


pipe organ is a good example of a wind instrument. Other wind instruments


are the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone.

The musician blows in one end, and the music comes out the other end. The pitch of the note depends on the frequency of the air vibration as it goes through the instrument. The frequency of the air vibration depends on the size of the air chamber, or the size and length of the tube. The larger the instrument, the deeper the sound.

Many wind instruments have a reed on the mouthpiece of the instrument. When the musician blows air over the reed, it starts vibrating. This is similar to making a sound by blowing on a piece of grass between your hands. The vibrating reed starts the air vibrating through the instrument.

To change the pitch of the sound, some instruments such as the flute have holes in the tube. The musician covers the holes with her fingers. Covering and overcovering the holes changes the path of the air, changing the air chamber size, and therefore the pitch of the note.

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3. Percussion Instruments :



Percussion instruments are played by being hit or shaken. Although most


people probably think of the drum, there are lots of different percussion





A percussion instrument's sound is made by it vibrating, once hit or shaken.


Different types of materials, such as metal, wood or vibrating membrane


like on the drum, make different types of sounds. A different thickness or


size of material can also make different sounds.



Materials like membranes on drums, or wood, vibrate slowly and so make a


lower pitched sound.



Metal cymbals, triangles and bells can vibrate much faster. They make


higher pitched sounds.



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