5 types of musical instruments

There are different types of Musical Instruments out there, but the music world categorically arranged them into 5 Different Types Of Musical Instruments.

These instruments are divided into various classifications which are

  • Woodwind instruments
  • String instruments
  • Percussion instruments
  • Keyboard instruments
  • Brass instruments.

Before I dive into these musical instruments, I need you to understand that the classifications of these musical instruments are based on factors like;

  • The materials used in making them
  • The method at which they played.

Different musical instruments look different and they are played in different ways which makes them all unique in their own ways.

Wood String Instruments 

This particular musical instrument got its name from the type of material that was used in the manufacturing of these musical instruments. Such kinds of musical instruments are played by blowing air into them by the player to create the desired sound.

The design of such musical instruments is designed with tubes. When the player covers the tubes with his fingers it shortens the tube. When the tube is shortened or lengthened, it creates different kinds of sounds.

While playing the wood string instruments, a shorter air column creates a higher pitch sound while a longer air column creates a lower pitch.

Below are Different Instruments that can be categorized in the wood Tring Instruments 

  • English horn
  • Flute 
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet 
  • Saxophone 
  • Pianica


5 types of musical instruments

String Instruments

String Instruments are mostly regarded as instruments that are played by hitting the strings to create various sounds. Most people recognize these types of instruments as the guitar and the electric guitar.

This type of instrument's sounds varies due to factors like the length of the instrument and the thickness of the strings. Some of these instruments in the case of the violin and cellos use a special bow to play in others to create nice and unique sounds.

When you play other instruments such as the banjos guitar and the electric or bass guitar, you use your fingers to hit the strings or you can use a pick to strike the strings while playing.

Below are different instruments that can be placed in such categories as string instruments

  • Double bass
  • Harp
  • Mandolin
  • Sarod
  • Santor
  • Sitar. 

There are other classes of string instruments that exist aside from what we have above.
These classes are;

  • Harps
  • Lutes
  • Zithers.

Most of the string instruments like guitar, bass, their electric versions, modified violin are popularly used in the western cultures where you see a lot of blues, country, industrial, jazz, metal, punk, and rock music genres.

Percussion instruments

Percussion instruments are those instruments you hit to create a desired sound or sound effect by beating or hitting its surface while playing them. Most people regard the drum as the only percussion instrument. But the truth is, we have a lot of Percussion instruments out there besides the drum.

The Percussion instruments create a series of vibrations when the player plays them. This allows it to create an unpitched and pitched percussion.

The percussion Instrument varies in design and sounds because each and every country has its own percussion instruments and the sounds they produced. In places like Africa and Nigeria in particular, the kind of percussion instruments found there varies base on culture and geographical location.

Most times, Notes created by an unpitched percussion instrument do not create identifiable note sounds.

Below are different times of percussion instruments found around the world

  • Bells
  • Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Nagara
  • Table
  • Xylophone

These are just a few percussion instruments. There are a lot of them out there but we can mention them all because this article will become too long.

In the case of the drum as a percussion instrument, when you hit the drum, it creates a different range of notes, and the typical drum kit consists of at least five, sometimes seven drums. The sound produced by this drum depends on the surface of the drum that was struck and the exact point that was hit. As technology evolves so as some of the percussion instruments.

Also Read: Top 5 music apps

Keyboard instruments

Keyboard instruments are instruments that consist of different rows of levers. When the player pressed those keys, they create different sounds.

The keyboards are mostly used in churches or concerts. Most of the keyboards we have today come either in acoustic or electric variety.
Electric keyboards come with different MIDI instruments which are built into their memories. These instruments consist of strings, brass, woodwind, percussion, and other keyed instruments.

In today's world, the word keyboard is often referred to as keyboard-style synthesizers. Under the fingers of a sensitive performer, the keyboard may also be used to control dynamics, phrasing, shading, articulation, and other elements of expression depending on the design and inherent capabilities of the instrument

Below are different types of Keyboards

  • Enharmonic keyboard
  • Musical instrument
  • Musical keyboard
  • Orchestrina di camera
  • Piano
  • Symphony
  • Organ

Bass Instruments

Bass Instruments were commonly found in the orchestra. A good example I the french horn. This instrument is played by blowing air into the mouthpiece. The instrument is grafted with brass, unlike other instruments where some are made with wood.

When a player plays the brass instrument, it uses the vibration from the lips of the player to change the note sound. Another interesting thing about the brass instrument is the ability to use column shortening to create different notes.

To change the length of the column, the brass instruments use a slide or valves. In addition to their use in the orchestra, you will also hear these instruments used in jazz music.

Below is the list of bass instruments you can find around;

  • Bugle
  • Trumpet
  • Cornet
  • Piccolo Trumpet
  • Flugelhorn
  • Mellophone
  • Euphonium
  • Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Sousaphone Tuba
  • Cimbasso


All the instruments we mentioned are the major 5 types of musical instruments you can see around. We hope you find this article helpful and informative.

If you have any questions or comments, you can drop them in the comment section. We'll try as much as possible to respond to them.

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