Learn English Vocabulary through Pictures: Musical Instruments

A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical sounds ...

In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments may have been used for ritual, such as a trumpet to signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures eventually developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. Musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications.

Musical Instruments Vocabulary in English – Video

There are many types of musical instruments:

  1. Stringed instruments
  2. Wind instruments
  3. Keyboard instruments
  4. Percussion instruments

1. Stringed instruments

A string instrument is a musical instrument that makes sound by vibrating the strings on it. String instruments have several lovely strings. The strings are plucked to produce sounds. Each string has has a different frequency. The desired frequency can be obtained by adjusting the tension in a string. A string instrument plays soft notes. The strings on the instrument usually come in many shape and form. There are many types of stringed instruments. The most common of these appear in the violin family.

Here is a very basic list of the stringed instruments:

  • Violin
  • Lyre
  • Cello
  • Viola
  • Double bass
  • Bass guitar
  • Guitar
  • Mandolin
  • Banjo
  • Harp
  • Lute
  • Zither
  • Banduria
  • Ukulele

2. Wind instruments

A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator, in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into a mouthpiece set at or near the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of the effective length of the vibrating column of air. In the case of some wind instruments, sound is produced by blowing through a reed; others require buzzing into a metal mouthpiece.

Wind instruments are typically grouped into two families: Brass instrument, Woodwind instrument.

Brass instrument

A brass instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips.

  • Trombone
  • Tenor horn
  • Bass Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Cornet
  • Tuba
  • Flugel horn
  • Baritone horn
  • Euphonium
  • French horn

Woodwind instrument

Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments within the more general category of wind instruments.

  • Clarinet
  • Flute
  • Saxophone
  • Bassoon
  • Oboe


3. Keyboard instruments

A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument played using a keyboard, a row of levers which are pressed by the fingers.

  • Accordion
  • Harpsichord
  • Electric Organ
  • Synthesizer
  • Piano
  • Organ

4. Percussion instruments

A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater; struck, scraped or rubbed by hand; or struck against another similar instrument.

  • Xylophone
  • Triangle
  • Tambourine
  • Maracas
  • Snare drum
  • Marimba
  • Chimes

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