A to Z of Musical Instruments

Discover our musical instruments glossary with our complete a to z of instruments from across the world.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Mandola

Mandola

From Lute to Modern Folk. Discover its evolution from the lute, its role as a precursor to the mandolin, and its enduring presence in both historical and contemporary music, enriching the world of folk ensembles.

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Classical Guitar

Classical Guitar

The classical guitar’s history traces back to ancient times. Its evolution brought about instruments like the vihuela and baroque guitar. Antonio de Torres’ innovations shaped the modern guitar. Composers like Mozart and techniques by guitarists advanced its popularity.

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Melodica

Melodica

From Ancient Origins to Musical Diversity. Tracing back to the sheng and reed instruments, explore its evolution from reed organs to the handheld piano-like instrument, finding its niche in reggae, jazz, and global music.

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Contrabassoon

Contrabassoon

From Lotz’s Innovation to Modern Versatility. Birthed by Theodor Lotz in 1780s, it graced Mozart and Beethoven performances. After its heyday, it found a niche in contemporary and chamber music.

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Marimba

Marimba

From African legends to Latin rhythms, the marimba’s journey resonates. Enslaved Africans introduced it to Central and South America, shaping musical landscapes across continents.

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Soprano Saxophone

Soprano Saxophone

Unique Sax Family Legacy. Crafted by Adolphe Sax, this woodwind hybrid shaped jazz with its distinct sound. From serpent to modern sax, it bridges brass and woodwind worlds.

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Sax-a-boom (Tenacious D)

Sax-a-boom (Tenacious D)

Explore the brief but amusing history of the sax-a-boom, a novelty instrument rising to fame through Tenacious D’s performances and fan enthusiasm.

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Drum Kit

Drum Kit

Born from a combination of percussion instruments in the 1860s, it evolved with bass pedals, hi-hats, and jazz’s rise. Its impact on music spans jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, and beyond.

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Timpani

Timpani

Ancient Roots to Orchestral Pillar. Explore the evolution from ancient drum artifacts to modern kettle drums, shaped by composers like Beethoven and Berlioz, and their enduring significance in orchestras worldwide.

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