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List of musical instruments by Hornbostel-Sachs number

The following is a list of musical instruments, categorized according to the Hornbostel-Sachs system, by how they make sound.

Table of contents
1 1. Idiophones
2 2. Membranophones
3 3. Chordophones
4 4. Aerophones
5 5. Electrophones
6 6. Hydrophones
7 External Links

1. Idiophones

Instruments which make sound primarily by way of the instrument itself vibrating, without the use of membranes or strings.

11. Struck idiophones

Idiophones set in motion by a percussion action (includes instruments shaken or scraped as well as directly struck instruments).

12. Plucked idiophones

Instruments set into vibration by plucking.

13. Friction idiophones

Instruments set into vibration by rubbing.

14. Blown idiophones

Instruments set into vibration by blowing or moving air.

2. Membranophones

Instruments which make sound primarily by way of a vibrating membrane. Includes all

21. Struck drums

22. Plucked drums

Some commentators believe that instruments in this class ought instead to be regarded as chordophones (see below).

23. Friction drums

24. Singing membranes

Instruments in which a membrane modifies some other sound (typically the human voice) in some way (mirlitons).

3. Chordophones

31. Simple chordophones

Instruments consisting of a simple string bearer and strings - there may be an additional resonator, but removing it should not destroy the instrument (so the resonator should not be supporting the strings).

32. Composite chordophones

Instruments in which the resonator cannot be removed without destruction of the instrument.

4. Aerophones

Instruments in which the vibrating air itself is the primary cause of sound. This can include a column of air being set in vibration (as in wind instruments) or an air-flow being interrupted by an edge (as in free-reeds).

41. Free aerophones

The vibrating air is not contained within the instrument.

412.13. Free-reed instruments

The reed vibrates within a closely fitting slot (there may be an attached pipe, but it should only vibrate in sympathy with the reed, and not have an effect on the pitch - instruments of this class can be distinguished from 422.3 by the lack of finger-holes).

413. Plosive aerophones

The sound is caused by a single compression and release of air.

42. Non-free aerophones (wind instruments proper)

The vibrating air is contained within the instrument.

421. Edge-blown instruments or flutes

The player makes a ribbon-shaped flow of air with his lips, or his breath is directed against an edge.

422. Reed instruments

The player's breath is directed against a lamella or pair of lamellae which periodically interrupt the airflow and cause the air to be set in motion.

422.1 Double reed instruments
There are two lamellae which beat against one another.

422.2 Single reed instruments
There is one lamella which beats against a solid surface.

Similar to the free-reeds with a pipe attached - distinguished from them by the prescence of finger-holes in the pipe.

423. Trumpets

The player's vibrating lips set the air in motion.

423.1 Natural trumpets
There are no means of changing the pitch apart from the player's lips.

423.2 Chromatic trumpets
The pitch can be changed by means of keys (423.21) a slide (423.22) or valves (423.23).

5. Electrophones

Instruments in which sound is generated by electrical means.

6. Hydrophones

A class of instruments in which sound is generated by water is also under consideration.

External Links