Music, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow asserted, is the universal language of mankind. Music is found in different forms all over the world, with each culture having its own unique music style and musical instruments to accompany it. Alongside vocalization, musical instruments lie at the core of music-making across various climes and cultures. There are many musical instruments available today, each with its unique attributes and use. This article examines the 10 most popular musical instruments to play.
The piano is a large musical instrument made up of black and white keys. The sound production mechanism involves striking any of the black and white keys; the struck key then moves a small hammer that strikes a metal string inside the piano.
The piano is the most prominent member of the keyboard family of musical instruments. It is the preferred musical instrument of famous English singer, Sir Elton John.
The oboe belongs to the family of woodwind instruments. Usually made of wood, some oboes are now made of resin and plastic materials. The oboe is made up of double reeds, staple, upper joint, lower joint, and bell. Sound production starts when a player blows air into the reeds. The staple connects the reed to the upper and lower joint, where the keys and holes are located. Finally, the bell produces the sound. The oboe is commonly played as part of orchestras.
A saxophone is a woodwind instrument that uses a single reed. Like other woodwind instruments, the mechanism of sound production in a saxophone starts with the air blown into the reed. It is a popular musical instrument among jazz artists. Kenny G is a famous jazz musician that plays the saxophone.
The guitar is the most popular string instrument. Its sound production mechanism involves the simultaneous strumming of strings with fingers of the dominant hand and pressing the strings to the fret with fingers of the other hand. Electric guitars, bass guitars, and acoustic guitars are some of the most popular types of guitars.
A clarinet is similar to an oboe in appearance. However, there are subtle differences in their structure. A clarinet has only one reed and a flared bell. Clarinets are played as part of an orchestra and can also be played solo.
Popularly used in folk music, violins are made up of four strings. The violin is usually played with a bow though fingers can be used as well. Due to its small size, it is usually placed between the chin and shoulder during play.
A harp is a stringed instrument that comes in various sizes. There are two main types of harps – the lever harp and the pedal harp. The harp is commonly used in classical music and Celtic music.
Depending on its size, a harp can be played in a standing or sitting position. Also, it can be played alongside other instruments in a concert or orchestra.
Flutes are reedless woodwind instruments. They are one of the most popular instruments and are quite easy to learn. There are three types of flutes – standard, piccolo, and harmony flutes. The popularity of flute among musical instruments is aided by its simple structure and (relative) low price.
Drums belong to the percussion family of musical instruments. Creating sounds with drums involves striking the drum skin with a percussion mallet or with the hands. Depending on the type of drum being played, there are different types of drum setups. Some drum setup involves a single drum, while others involve multiple drums and other accompanying instruments. This type of setup is typical of drum sets. Drum sets consist of drums and other percussion instruments.
The cello is similar to the violin in appearance, only much larger. It is also made up of four strings, like the violin. Due to its size, it is played in a seated position with the cello held between the legs. It is typically played as a solo instrument in chamber music or part of the string section in an orchestra.