Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Families and Classifications of Instruments

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Families and Classifications of Instruments"— Presentation transcript:

1 Families and Classifications of Instruments
Humanities – Music Mr. Rawlings

2 What are the families of instruments?
One way to classify musical instruments is to group them as they are in a Western Orchestra. This is the way you have likely learned in elementary and middle school. Brass Woodwind String Percussion This classification system is well-known, but is difficult or confusing to apply to the numerous non- orchestral instruments.

3 Brass Instruments Trumpet, French Horn,Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, etc.
Played by blowing air and vibrating your lips into the mouthpiece (buzzing) Although you may see saxophones that look to be made of brass, they are considered woodwind instruments.

4 Woodwind Instruments Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Saxophone, etc.
Played by blowing air to vibrate a reed. In the case of a flute, you blow air over a “soundhole” to create the sound (like blowing a jug, or bottle).

5 String Instruments Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass, Guitar, Banjo, Harp, etc. Played by plucking, bowing, picking, or otherwise manipulating a string or strings to create sound.

6 Percussion Instruments
Drums, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Marimba, Glockenspiel, Timpani, Drum Set, Tambourine, Triangle, Piano, Gong, etc., etc., etc.. Played by hitting, striking, scraping, etc.

7 But... What about instruments that may not fall into these families? Consider these instruments: Synthesizer, accordion, electric organ, etc. How easy is it to classify these in the aforementioned families?

8 Classifications of Instruments
Another way to classify musical instruments is according to how their sounds are produced (known as the Hornbostel and Sach’s System). The Major Categories Are: Chordophones Aerophones Membranophones Idiophones Electrophones

9 Why this classification system?
More Specific – categories are subdivided into smaller and smaller categories, making a sort of family tree of related instruments (related by function, not by history). More Inclusive – any instrument can be categorized More Accurate – instruments are grouped according to how sounds are produced, not according to which instruments the composer is likely to group them with in the music or which orchestra member is likely to play them.

10 Chordophones Sound is made by vibrating strings. Think about examples.

11 Aerophones Sound is produced by vibrating air (usually inside the instrument). What instruments do you think might be aerophones?

12 Membranophones Sound begins with the vibration of a stretched membrane, or skin (often an actual animal skin). Are all drums membranophones?

13 Idiophones Sound is created by the vibration of the instrument itself.
“I gotta have more cowbell!”

14 Electrophones Be careful on this one!!!
This class of instruments creates sound electronically. This class DOES NOT include instruments that are acoustic and are amplified through speakers (ex. Electric-acoustic guitar, vibraphone). A true electrophone has the sound both produced and amplified by electric circuits (electric organ, synthesizer, etc.).

15 ~Activity~ Classify the instruments of the band, or the instruments in a group you are familiar with, according to the Hornbostel and Sach’s system. Classify at least ten (10) different instruments in this way.

16 Some Solutions Chordophones: Guitar, string bass, violin, cello, viola, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harp. Others? Aerophones: Flute, piccolo, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, french horn, euphonium, tuba Others? Membranophones: Drums (like timpani, snare drum, bass drum, tom-tom, bongos, congas). Others? Idiophones: Xylophone, vibraphone, glockenspiel, chimes, marimba, tambourine, cymbals, gong, triangle, maracas, bells. Others? Electrophones: Synthesizer, electric organ. Others?

17 Closing Thoughts Why might we classify musical instruments by the Hornbostel and Sach’s system instead of the traditional “Family” model? Do you think there is a possibility of creating a new classification of instruments in the future? What might that classification be?

Download ppt "Families and Classifications of Instruments"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google