The Sachs – Hornbostel system of instrument classification was developed by two German musicologists in the early twentieth century. The instruments are classified based on what part of the instrument vibrates to make the sound.
Aerophones are instruments that produce an initial sound due to a vibrating mass of air (e.g., woodwinds or brass instruments).
Idiophones are instruments that make sound when the body of the instrument is plucked, struck, scraped, rubbed, or blown. A few examples are the xylophone, cymbals or a gong.
Membranophones are defined as instruments that have a skin, or synthetic, that is stretched over a frame. The sound is made by striking or rubbing the membrane (e.g., drum).
This brings me to CHORDOPHONES which I will go into a little more depth with. The chordophone is any instrument that creates a sound through the vibration of a string or strings that are stretched out over a fixed point. The instruments may or may not have a resonating chamber. Presented below are a few examples of chordophones.
This chordophone is from Lithuania. As you can see it has a trapezoidal frame that is made from a hardwood. There is a softwood, usually spruce, that serves as a sounding board as it covers the resonating chamber. The kankles is played on the lap of the musician and the strings are played using the fingers or a pluck made from bone.
Here is a video with audio for you to enjoy. It is very calming and relaxing.
The modern Bass Guitar was developed by Paul Tutmarc from Seattle, Washington in the 1930’s – 1940’s. The Bass can either be fretted or fretless. The most common is the 4, 5, and 6 string Bass Guitars. The Bass has been used for the rhythm section to progress the chord sequence. It has been used in Blues, Jazz, and Rock music.
Here is a Bass Guitar solo by Venezuelan bassist Gustavo Dal Farra. Enjoy!
I have come to know the Sitar as an amazing instrument deriving from the Persian word seh + tar, meaning 30 strings. The Sitar actually only uses 18, 19 or 20 strings. 6 or 7 of the strings are played over frets. Frets are used to make playing chords more accurately. The Sitar is played while sitting. The musician holds the instrument cross-bodied and does not have to hold the full weight of the instrument. The Sitar has been used in Hindustani and Classical Indian Music from India.
The Violin had been used in orchestras, jazz, folk music, Carnatic Music, and even Arabic Music. Most notable is the hour glass shape of this instrument. It has four strings that are tuned one fifth apart from each other. Originally, the strings of the Violin were made from animal gut. The strings are vibrated by a bow made from horse hair. How the bow is played has different effects on the timbre of the instrument. A Violin player can get louder sounds by playing the bow faster or placing more pressure on the bow.
Check out Lindsay Stirling!
“Bass Guitar.” Wikipedia. Ed. Dino Bass. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
“Kankles.” Wikipedia. Ed. AnomieBOT. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
Miller, Terry E., and Andrew C. . Shahriari. “Aural Analysis: Listening To The World’s Music.” World Music: A Global Journey. New York: Routledge, 2012. N. pag. Print.
“Sitar.” Wikipedia. Ed. 188.8.131.52. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Feb. 2014. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
“Violin.” Wikipedia. Ed. Antandrus. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.