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Instruments & Families

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by

Lewis Worthington

on 24 September 2013

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Transcript of Instruments & Families

Instruments
& Families

Strings
Woodwinds
Singers
Pitched Percussion
Non-Pitched Percussion

Soprano | Mezzo soprano | Alto | Counter tenor | Tenor | Baritone | Bass
Mezzo soprano
A high woman's voice, but with warmer, richer qualities.
Alto
The lowest woman's voice part; the highest man's voice
Counter-tenor
lit: against the tenor; Today sung by a man with an extremely high singing voice.
Soprano
Tenor
A higher man's voice. Women do not sing tenor.
Baritone
A mid-range man's voice. Warmer than a tenor, more mid- to upper-range power than a bass.
Bass
The lowest man's voice.
The highest voice part; women, pre-puberty boys, castrati
Violin | Viola | Cello | Bass |
Harp | Guitar | Lute | Sitar

Harp
Multi-stringed instrument, played with fingers
Cello
Bowed, 4-string instrument, 3rd largest of string instruments
Smallest, highest pitched, 4 strings, bowed
Guitar
Wooden, acoustic, 6 (catgut or polymer) strings, played with fingernails
Violin
Lute
Viola
bowed, 4-string instrument, slightly larger than a violin
Bass | Doublebass
largest, lowest pitched; 4 strings, also used in jazz & pop music
A multi-stringed instrument with frets and deep, pear-shaped back
Sitar
Multi-stringed, closely related to the lute, dev on Indian subcontinent, dist sound from hollow neck

Flute | Oboe | Clarinet | English Horn | Saxophone | Bassoon
Flute
Only woodwind that doesn't have a piece of wood vibrating. Higher version is piccolo
Clarinet
The highest of the single-reed woodwinds
English horn
An "alto" voice of double-reed instruments. Check out the bottom of the instrument compared to the bottom of the oboe.
Saxophone
A single-reed instrument used in jazz, popular, and "classical" music since the late 19th century.
Bassoon
The bass voice of the woodwind family. A double-reed instrument.
Oboe
The highest voice of double-reed instruments
Brass
Trumpet | French horn | Trombone | Euphonium | Tuba
Trumpet
The "soprano" voice of the brass section.
Euphonium/Baritone
A baritone voice. The euphonium is a kind-of French horn on HGH.
Tuba
The bass voice and largest brass instrument.
French horn
The alto or tenor voice. Blends well with strings & woodwinds. Most versatile of orchestral instruments.
Trombone
The tenor voice. Also a bass trombone.
Keyboards
Piano | Organ | Harpsichord | Clavier | Virginal | Celeste
Pipe Organ
The oldest and largest. Size is determined by # of ranks of pipes (most ranks are 61 pipes). Keyboards for hands are called "manuals"; for feet "pedals."
Harpsichord
Keyboard instrument that flourished during the 17th & 18th Centuries. Strings are plucked by metal or leather spikes, or quills.
Virginal
Predecessor to the Harpsichord. Popular during the 15th & 16th Centuries.
Piano
Most important keyboard instrument since early 19th Century; 88 notes spanning 7+ octaves
Instruments whose interest lies in its particular timbre. No concern for pitch
Snare drum
Tambourine
Triangle
Shakers
Maracas
Cabasa
Kalimba
Gong
Bass drum
Djembe

Timpani
Bells
Xylophone
Marimba
Vibraphone
Chimes

Instruments intended to contribute melodic and harmonic elements
Full transcript