5 Types Of Musical Instruments (With Pictures)

Musical instruments are categorized into five main types. The most common classification method, the Hornbostel-Sachs system, splits these instruments into five modes of explanation: percussion, brass, keyboard, string, and woodwind instruments.

List Of 5 Types Of Musical Instruments

1. Percussion Instruments

Percussion Instruments

Many of us only think of drums as percussion instruments, but various other instruments fall under the wide range of instruments. Percussion instruments create the sound by beating their surface or striking the instrument, and it produces a vibration that sounds like a note. You can play pitched or unpitched percussion. 

Unpitched percussion instruments don’t create recognizable note sounds. In this categorization of musical instruments, other instruments comprise the table, the bells, the cymbals, the marimba, the nagara, tabla, and the xylophone. 

Suppose a drummer randomly bangs different parts of a drum kit, the area of the drum surface you strike makes the sound, and the drummer must hit the exact point of the drum surface to create the correct note. 

Different states have developed their drums, and a typical drum kit comprises not less than five drums, sometimes seven drums and each drum creates a diverse range of notes.

Numerous instruments comprise the MIDI form – electric instruments with a memory of note samples; for example, these are modified drums and can be played with foot pedals or by hitting a drumstick. These drum kits are composed of the MIDI system that can be organized to give off a flow of notes if one strikes the proper place. The surface and the exact point struck will depend on how the sound is produced. 

2. Brass Instruments 

Brass Instruments 

Brass instruments work more like wind instruments, even so with few moderations. One more fun thing about these instruments is that they can be played much louder than most other instruments and can be heard from a great distance

Brass instruments are built like a giant bell-shaped broad at the end with long pipes. These instruments’ tube is usually bent and set up as a curve to make it simpler to play for the musicians. 

Not similar to wind instruments as a musician has to blow inside the reed, but with brass instruments, the musician needs to shiver their lips onto the metal mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is shaped like a cup only to louden their lip buzzing so it can eventually generate the sound. Different notes can be switched by the force of the lip buzzing and by pressing the valves interpreted on the instruments. 

Trumpet – The trumpet is more like a compacted instrument of this family, the smallest one, and can play the highest notes or pitches with intense and beaming sound. The modern trumpets are slim brass pipes with three valves welded onto them. Trumpets can play both harmony and melody and simultaneously hold up and support the rhythms. 

French Horn – In the first place, the french horn comes from France and doubtless is a horn. It has around eighteen feet long tubes winding up into a circular shape and has a massive bell at its end. French horns have the potential to generate various sounds, in order like soft to harsh, from soothing to blasting or very loud. To play this instrument, you must be buzzing into its mouthpiece, while the left hand should be focused on the three valves where the sound can be controlled and the right hand at the end at its bell. 

Trombone – The Trombone is conceivably the only instrument in the brass family that doesn’t have valves; preferably, a trombone is constructed with long brass pipes and has slides to change the pitch. To play the trombone, you should hold it parallelly horizontally by buzzing into its mouthpiece by using your right hand to change the angle by pushing or pulling the slide in different positions. 

Tuba – Frankly, the most elderly instrument in the brass instrument family, yet the biggest and the softest bass instrument. Its delight and mesmerizing sound catch everyone’s attention because no other instrument can produce that kind of sound. It is structured in a long oval-cylindrical shape bent upwards with a large bell at the end. It’s more like the more extensive the tube, the lower the sound. To play the tube, one has to sit down while the bell faces upwards and your hands control the valves, and by blowing into its large mouthpiece, one can change its pitch easily.

3. Keyboard Instrument 

Keyboard Instrument 

Efficiently put down together as any other instrument, it works in a standard way and has rows of levers that one presses with their finger. The most admired keyboard instrument involves the piano, organ, and electronic keyboards, and intellectual and modern digital keyboards fall under different categorizations that break down into four main types.

Aerated – Aerated instruments have notes activated by a column automatically set in motioned air inside a series of tuned pipes. (e.g., organ). 

Plucked – Nearly all instruments were invented in the 17th/18th centuries, where they were all stretched and tuned strings and are plucked by either a quill or a plectrum. (e.g., harpsichord, spinet, virginal). 

Struck – For example, in the 17th/18th century, the clavichord where the string was hit by hammers or either a tangent. (e.g., piano, celesta). 

Electronic – There are several results to be close to those obtained from some of the above instruments; also, in addition to entirely original sounds, these can be accomplished (e.g., synthesizer, electronic organ) 

4. String Instruments

String Instruments

String instruments, also known as strung or chordophones, are played by plucking the strings that vibrate and generate sound. They use a plectrum on their fingers to create that fantastic sound. 

Few other instruments produce sound by striking the strings with a wooden hammer or patting the strings with their bows, and some of them just press a key that allows the string’s plucking. 

The violin, cello, viola, and double bass are some of the bowed instruments that are also a part of the string instruments family; these are the classical old orchestral string instruments; all these bowed instruments are played by plucking the strings with the fingers, the plucking of the strings is a technique called pizzicato

Nevertheless, electric guitars have numerous ways to sound notes, such as plucking with a plectrum or fingernails, strumming, or tapping. And the harp, for the most part, is plucked. 

By adjusting the strings of the stringed instruments, you can change their pitch by tuning them. It’s more like the longer the string, the lower its pitch by regulating the tension between the strings, strings that have low tension results in more down the pitch. Many string instruments transfer the vibrations into the instrument’s body. The instrument’s body comes with a hollowed-out vacant space at its bottom. The body also vibrates with the air inside it, and the strings are automatically more hearable to the performer and the viewers. However, other string instruments like electric guitars don’t depend on the vibrations of the instruments but on the electronic amplification. 

5. Woodwind Instruments

Woodwind Instruments

There are woodwind instruments such as the flute, oboe, saxophone, clarinet, and bassoon. They usually come in two types: reed instruments and flutes. The difference between the types is how they produce sound. Despite that, all woodwind instruments have the main feature of a sharp border to blow air to break the airflow.  

Even though these instruments are woodwind instruments, Few instruments are made up of cane, brass, silver, platinum, and gold. Not every instrument is made of wood. For example, the saxophone is a woodwind instrument, but it is made of brass and still belongs to the woodwind family because it has a reed for creating the sound.  

In the modern orchestra, obes, flutes, clarinets, bassoon, saxophones, piccolo, brass clarinet, E-clarinet, and contrabassoon are in the woodwind section.  


How Many Types Of Musical Instruments Are There?

There are five main types of musical instruments as follows: Percussion Instruments, Brass Instruments, Keyboard Instruments, String Instruments, Woodwind Instruments.


There are 5 types of musical instruments; you should be a little familiar with all of these five.

Above, I’ve explained these five musical instruments in the easiest way possible.

Knowing the main instruments will help you know which among these will suit you and which among them will support your skill and talent.

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