||Small portable free reed instrument with
keyboard or buttons and bellows. Various types include piano and button keyboards with chromatic or
||Cylindrical double, headed bass drum of the
Basque region; wider than tall.
||General term for a conical single, headed drum
of Brazil; usually played in threes, each of different size.
||Egyptian lute (see Oud and Ud).
||Zither with a keyboard chord making mechanism
which mutes unwanted strings. Strummed or picked. Used primarily for folk music and elementary
||Long-necked Turkish lute, about 1m, member of
the Saz family. Also used in Greece.
||Reed instrument with an air reservoir in an
animal skin bag. Common across Europe and Arabic countries.
See Uilleann, Northumbrian, Scottish Smallpipes.
|| Mexican 12-string bass guitar. Tuned
1 octave lower than a standard 12-string
||West African xylophone: set of three: bass, mid
range and high one for soloing.
||Triangular shape national instrument
of Russia. 3-course, fretted.
(Papua New Guinea)
|Pair of large bamboo xylophones erected on
ladders, beaten with rubber flip-flops (sandals) or thongs.
||Modern lute of Colombia; teardrop shape, flat or
concave back. Double courses, fretted.
||Square, built button accordion; used in
||Type of psaltery found in the Ukraine; short
neck, oval, flat body; held vertically.
||Small 12 string mandolin type instrument with a
very short wide neck, popular in Spain.
||American development of African origins.
Found with 4, 5, and 6 strings. The 5 string is currently most
popular, Tenor (4
string, 17 or 19 frets), Plectrum (4 string, 22-frets), Banjolele or
Banjuke (UkuleleBanjo), Banjolin (Mandolin Banjo).
||Stringed musical instrument of the viol
family. Used to play the lowest part.
||Set of three double-headed religious drums used
in Cuba. The Iya, Itotele and Okonkolo.
||Set of three drums: the 'iyailu' or "mother
drum", a talking drum; the 'emele abo' is the second drum, smaller
and higher pitched; the 'omele' is the base of the set and consists of 3
or 4 small drums tied together.
||Chromatic accordion of Russia and Belorussia,
with button keyboard.
||Chinese wind instrument; bamboo tube with
rectangular hole carved in side near closed end, with reed fastened
across; finger and thumb holes.
||A bow and arrow type instrument with an
attached 1/2 gourd. Played by striking the string with a stick while
fretting the string with a rock or coin and holding a shaker. Brazilian.
||Breton bagpipe with single drone, pitched an
octave higher than usual.
||Single-headed frame drum of Ireland; membrane of
animal skin, usually nailed to frame; hand-held using criss-cross system
of cord, wire or sticks over open end. Played with double-ended stick
||Breton shawm, usually pitched in Bb, sometimes
C. Traditionally played as a duet with the Biniou.
||Large sheepskin drum from Bolivia, Peru.
||A pair of cows ribs rattled together in the
hand. Also often made of wood or other bone material.
Traditional in Britain and Ireland.
||Greek long necked lute; 3 or 4 double courses of
metal strings. Adopted by Irish musicians more recently.
||South American rattle. Made from a cylindrical
shape with beads woven around it which are rubbed against it. (Related
to African gourd rattles with beads)
||Samba drums from Brazil, usually with metal body
approx 12" head. Caixa Tarol is shallowest, Caixa Malacacheta
next and the Repinique is the biggest.
||Frame drum, sometimes with snare, of Spain and
the New World.
||Cuban box drum, made from a wooden vox.
||Dried hollow shell of a gourd, used as a
||Pairs of cupped wood blocks used primarily by
||Bulgarian wind instrument of some antiquity,
varies from 50 to 80cm long. Used especially in Thrace and Dobrudja.
||Stringed musical instrument of the violin family. It has
four strings, tuned in fifths, tuned CGDA. 3rd in line within the
"string" instrument family.
||Small ten string, guitar type instrument made from the shell of an armadillo or carved
wood. From Bolivia or
||1) Half tube plucked zither of the Han chinese;
2) Chinese gong.
||Predecessor of the kena, but bigger.
||Class of instruments comprising strings
stretched between fixed points, including: zithers, lute types (lute,
violin, guitar, etc), harp types.
||Small flat backed wire-strung plucked
instrument; played with a plectrum; popular from renaissance to baroque
times. Modern citterns are much bigger, and more like mandolins in
shape. Usually with 10 strings in 5 courses. Related to
||Romanian Bagpipe, usually with a single
||Scottish folk harp, 25 to 34 strings
||Short, hardwood sticks tapped together.
|| Similar to a piano, except the string is struck or touched by a tangent of brass.
||Short-necked lute of Romania; pear-shaped with 8
to 12 strings, 5-7 sectioned resonator.
||Small free reed accordion from England, usually
hexagonal in shape. There are three common keyboard layouts, each
completely different to play on. Anglo, English and Duet (McCann,
Crane, Jeffries and Hayden are all types of duet).
||French mouth blown bagpipe with chanter and
small drone in one stock, and a separate large drone.
||Of the guitar family; found in South America and
the West Indies. The Venezuelan Cuatro has 4 strings, looks like a
ukulele. The Puerto Rican Cuatro has 5-double courses and looks
more like a Cuban Tres.
||Brazilian friction drum with a remarkable pitch
||Smallest of the saz family, about 75cm.
||Large box zither of Hungary, related to earlier
hammered folk zithers, see Hammered Dulcimer.
||Bulgarian fipple flute.
||Round, single-headed drum of south-eastern
Europe, Asia etc.
||One-sided hourglass shaped drum; Northern
Africa, Middle East
||A Mazhar but without the cymbals. Also
known as Dafe in Egypt. Also Duf.
|Dholak (or Dhol)
||Double ended drum traditionally used in weddings
across the Indian subcontinent.
|Di (or Dey)
||Transverse flute of the Chinese.
||Traditionally used by aborigines of
Australia; an end-blown, straight, natural trumpet, without separate
mouthpiece, made from termite hollowed eucalyptus branch, stripped of its
outer bark, with beeswax at mouth end.
||Largest member of the saz family, about
||One-sided mushroom-shaped drum from west coast
||Guitar with one or more metal cones for sound
production. Dobro is a brand-name which is commonly used to describe
all Resonator Guitars.
||The brass Tabla.
| Hour glass, shaped drum similar to darabuka.
||Flute of Bulgaria; 20,100cm long; 6 finger
||Name applied to certain musical instruments of
the box zither type. Includes Hammered Dulcimer and Appalachian or
||Lute of the Tartar people.
||African; set of 4 drums, the 'iyailu' member is
shaped like an hour glass and has a skin on each side, linked by tension
strings (by pressing these, up to 2 octaves can be played); but only
||Bulgarian double fipple flute.
||A cittern popular in the 18th century, 5-double
courses, fan tuners, curved fingerboard. Almost identical to the
|French instrument of the dulcimer family, oblong
often with 7 strings, 3 of which are fretted.
||Chinese fiddle with the bow passing between two
||Common folk name for a violin.
||Tahitian drum, covered in a tight, single
membrane; distinct, high sound like a drum roll.
||A word meaning the sharp edge of the lip (of a
flute or recorder).
||Whistle, usually with 6 holes related to the
recorder. Often made from a metal tube, either cylindrical or conical.
hence Tin Whistle, also known as penny whistle.
||Bulgarian type of fiddle played upright; usually
rests on knee. Has three or four strings, very similar to a Rebec.
||Bulgarian version of mountain/shepherd
pipes. Has single drone, and 8 hole chanter, one hole for the thumb,
7 for the fingers. Also Gajdy in Slovakia.
||Spanish traditional bagpipe, usually with single
drone, and plain leather bag. Traditionally played at feasts and
weddings. Gaita gallega in Galicia, and gaita asturiana in Asturias
are similar, also known in northern Portugal.
||A type of percussion orchestra common in the East Indies.
||Nigerian drum, smaller than Dundun; played under
||Bulgarian bagpipe; single reed; mouth
||A cow horn with finger holes and a fipple inserted at the wide end
||South Indian clay pot; classical
||Percussion instrument consisting of a set of tuned metal plates played with a pair of small hammers
||(Solomon Islands, Pacific) Music is created by
striking certain stones with bamboo sticks of varying lengths, producing
mellifluous xylophonic sounds, like running water.
||Traditional Russian zither/harp with 16 metal
||Scraper of the Caribbean; long, ribbed gourd
rubbed with stick.
||6- stringed musical instrument played with the fingers or
||Portuguese guitar, usually 12 strings in 6
courses. Curved fingerboard and fan type tuners. Closely
associated with traditional Fado music. Directly related to medieval
citterns and the English guitar.
||Large bass guitar of Chile and Mexico. The
Mexican version is a 6 string Mariachi bass guitar, while the Chilean is a
26 string troubadour's instrument related to the Cuatro.
||7 stringed Chinese zither.
||One stringed bass made from a metal washtub.
||Short necked lute.
||German /Austrian/Swiss instrument similar to
hammered dulcimer & santoor. Tuned chromatically, played only on
one side of the bridges.
|Large trapezoidal zither with many strings in
pairs, 3s or 4s stretched over long (sometimes individually moveable)
bridges. Played with small wooden or cane hammers. Played in
British Isles and North America. Closely related to the Hungarian
cymbalom, German/Swiss hackbrett, Iraqi and Iranian santir (probably the
origin of all of these), Indian santoor, Korean yangum and Chinese yang
|Folk violin of western Norway; 8/9 strings,
usually 4 sympathetic strings running under the fingerboard; narrower,
shorter-necked and more arched than the ordinary violin. For more
info: Hardanger Fiddle Association of America
||The first of the modern European free reed
instruments. A block of 10 or more double sided reeds, mouth blown,
||1) small, portable, bellow-blown reed organ used
in India; player usually sits on ground, one hand fingering keyboard,
other pumping bellows. 2) European and American Harmoniums have a
pedestal, and foot pedals to pump the bellows. The player sits in a
chair and uses both hands.
||Similar to a piano except the string is plucked by a small plectrum, originally of quill but nowadays usually Delrin.
|| Dutch/Flemish instrument of the dulcimer
||A mechanical development of the violin with the
strings vibrated by a rosined wheel, and keys stopping the melody
strings. Found throughout Europe. See also Vielle and
||See Bata drums.
||From Tver, Russia; wind instrument made from
reed-tipped cow horn.
||Five course guitar of Mexico, smaller than the
||Hand-sized instrument placed in front of the
mouth; sound produced by breathing/blowing across, and simultaneously
twanging, the metal reed set into a frame; many types. Also known more
recently as Jaws Harp.
||Bowed lyre of Finland.
||Played with the thumbs; "thumb piano";
its sound is produced by the vibration of tongues of metal or wood; small
in size. Also known as Mbira in Zimbabwe, Budongo in Uganda and
Sansa in South Africa.
||Zither/psaltery of the Middle East. (Also 'quanun')
|| Known by other names including 'gousli';
Finnish folk instrument of the psaltery type. Also popular in the Baltic
||72 stringed harp of the Near East.
||Special type of Egyptian bamboo flute (different
from the nay); played in religious festivals.
||Shepherd's pipe; shepherd's flute (pre,Colombian
times) without mouthpiece, carved in a bamboo cane; originally carved from
animal bone. Notch flute, usually in key of G. Also Quena
||Larger Kena, usually in key of C
||Plucked lute or guitar from the Ukraine, also a
Hungarian bowed instrument.
||Historical Chinese string instrument;
||West African harp lute, popular in Gambia and
Senegal. It has a skin stretched across a large gourd, a wooden neck
and gut or nylon fish wire strings stretched across a tall bridge.
Played somewhat like a harp.
||Longest of the long zithers of East Asia; about
6 feet long; 13 silk strings; this narrow harp is laid horizontally, each
string with its own movable bridge.
||(Beqa, the Pacific) two large slit log
||A flat back lute from Spain, with 12 metal
strings in 6 courses and pear shaped body.
||A wooden dancing man or other creature, used for rhythm.
Played with a stick and paddle.
||Wooden spoons, popular Russian percussion.
||Class of instruments related to the violin and
guitar; plucked or bowed; many types, usually with a bowl back.
Originated from the Arabic Ud (Al Ud = A Lute).
||Small harp dating back to biblical times.
||Italian lute, now popular with celtic
musicians. Originally bowl backed, now often has a flat back like a
cittern and 8 strings. Second voice (tuned as a viola) of a quartet.
||Small Italian lute usually with 8 strings,
sometimes 12. Now popular throughout the western world, often made
with a flat back like a cittern. Tuned as a violin.
||Resonated xylophone with wooden tone bars.
||A very large tambourine.
||Button keyed Accordion. In England this
term includes all button keyed accordions, in Ireland and Scotland it is
more specific to the one row 10 keyed variety.
||Percussion instrument consisting of a row of
tuned metal bars.
||Arabic wind instrument with single or double
||Family of three wooden flutes of variable size
(large, medium and small) that are always played simultaneously.
||1) French bellows blown bagpipe with two small
cylindrical keyed chanters, and a shuttle drone. 2) a French shawm
related to a bagpipe chanter, rather like an oboe.
||Panpipes of Romania; concave row of 20 pipes, of
different lengths and diameters, glued together in order of size with
lower ends resting on a slightly curved stick; lower ends stopped with
cork, then filled with beeswax to determine tuning.
|Ney (or Nay)
||Egyptian bamboo flute.
||An English bellows blown bagpipe with small
cylindrical closed-end chanter, and 3 or 4 drones. Other variations
include Northumbrian half long bagpipes. Probably developed from the
|A Norwegian flute.
||Keyed fiddle used throughout Scandinavia and N.
||Extremely popular vessel flute usually made of
terracotta; all-in-one large, elongated egg-shape with flattened tube in
its side and finger holes. Also circular shaped. Often seen in
||Longer in scale than a standard mandolin, and
tuned one octave lower.
||Short necked, bowl back plucked lute of the Arab
world, the direct ancestor of the European lute; principal instrument of
the Arab world. Double courses and fretless. Also Egyptian
lute. Also see Ud.
||Bulgarian shepherd's pipe, smaller version of
||Tahitian bass drum; double-headed membranophone;
Western origin; can be of hollowed out coconut trunks, covered by either
sharkskin or calfskin.
|Pahu Tupa'l Rima
||Tahitian single membrane drum, not unlike a tall
||Either frame drum or tambourine of Portugal,
Brazil and Galicia (Spain).
||See Zampoņa. Also Panflute
||36 strings; built by the Guarani tribe of
Indians from carefully selected local wood that must then be stored for at
least 2 generations.
||(Cook Islands, the Pacific) slit log
||Very small wooden flute with mouthpiece.
||4,stringed guitar-like plucked instrument;
||Great Highland Bagpipe of Scotland. Mouth
blown, with a conical chanter and 3 drones.
||Box zither; raised wooden board or box with
sound holes, with strings stretched parallel to the soundboard and
attached at either side by wooden pegs or metal pins; usually
||Venezualan homemade instrument made from bamboo;
when hit against each other and against the floor produce the unique
||Depends whether 'rabab',lute or 'rababa',lyre (rebab;
term for lutes, both bowed and plucked, and lyres) (rababa:bowl lyre with
5 or 6 strings, similar to the tanbura).
||End blown flute. Voices: Sopranino,
Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass
||Brazilian samba drum.
|Repique de Mao
||Small guitar used in Spain, Colombia, Equador
||(Riqq) See Rik.
||Small drum with jingles as in tambourine.
||'Vladimirskii Rojok': russian trumpet carved
from a single piece of wood, usually apple wood.
||Harmonic panpipe native to Equador
||Big-brother of the charango.
||Greek term for the zither; also applied to the
||Simple, stringed instrument, belonging to the
category of zithers; struck with two hammers; see Hammered Dulcimer
||Same as santoor, santur, sanduri.
||Foremost bowed instrument in North Indian
classical music; of one piece of wood with a goat skin sound table; no
||Family of long-necked lutes played throughout
Turkey; eg., baglama, cura, divan.
||A bellows blown bagpipe from the Scottish
lowlands, related to the musette and the Northumbrian smallpipes.
Now usually has a keyless conical chanter, and 3 drones.
||Japanese bamboo flute with 4 finger holes and a
thumb hole; great flexibility of tone and pitch through half holing and
||Japanese 3,string lute, like a long-necked,
fretless banjo with parchment stretched across the front; plucked with a
heavy ivory plectrum.
||Double reed wood instrument; the oboe is a
||African calabash embroidered with beads to give
shaker sound. Also found in Cuba.
||Wind instrument made from an animals horn, end
blown without a mouthpiece. Traditional ceremonial instrument of Judaism.
||Indian Classical stringed instrument (also has
Persian links?), modern type has 7 plucked strings and other sympathetic
strings (not plucked); fretted with a gourd base; plectrum (misrab) can be
||Cousin of the sitar but longer.
||Brazilian bass drum for Samba.
||Simple early version of Hurdy-Gurdy with
rectangular box body, 3 strings and usually 10 keys.
||NB Egyptian: single headed, hour
||(or tabla,bayan) NB Indian: an
asymmetrical pair of small, tuned hand played drums (of the kettle, drum
type) of north and central India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; the tabla drum
is of wood, the Bayan of metal.
||Double headed rope tension drum from England,
often played one handed with a 3 hole Tabor Pipe in the other hand.
||Double-headed drum of the Dominican
Republic. Used to play merengue rhythm
||Handheld drum of Brazil, between 15 and 30 cm
diameter; played with a switch.
||Long-necked fretted lute from Bulgaria,
especially seen in Pirin. Has 2, 3, 6, 8 or 12 metal strings, 6
strings in 3 pairs is a common variety. Similar to the Greek Baglama.
||Plucked lute of Yugoslavia; wire strings;
several sound holes.
||Main instrument of Slavonic music; an instrument
of the Tanbur lute family, which originally came from Asia.
||Name applied to various long-necked lutes of the
Middle East and Cantrla Asia.
||Long-necked ancient lute of India; four strings;
provides the reference point for melodic improvisations by performers of
the other instruments.
||Double-headed drum 50 to 60cm diameter, rope
strung. Found in Bulgaria.
||Bulgarian clay drum, similar to the Turkish and
||Wooden flute with mouthpiece.
||Woodwind instrument with a reed,
similar to an oboe; dark, penetrating tone.
||Two-headed drum originating from Southern India;
||A Romanian flute without finger holes.
||Tall tapered Brazilian drum.
||Pair of metal-shelled, single-headed,
||In Spain, Colombia, Puerto Rico, etc., a small
type of guitar; 12 metal strings.
||Tahitian slit log drum; hollowed out trunk of
tou wood, struck with a wooden beater; the larger the instrument, the
deeper the sound.
||Skin drum used in Iranian classical music;
carved from wood, open at the lower end, covered with goat or calf at the
wider, upper end; played with the fingers of both hands.
||Type of guitar with 3 single or double courses
of strings. Found in Cuba.
|| Large horn, similar to the
||Bagpipe of Turkey and Azerbaijan.
||A simple stick zither from Uganda
||Greek 6 string long necked lute, similar to,
but smaller than a bouzouki, the middle one out of the Baglama, Tzoura,
||(also spelt aud or oud)
||Clay pot with 2 holes, cupped alternatively;
sound produced by compression and release of the air inside it.
||See union pipe; ('Uilleann' is Gaelic for
||(or Ukelele) Small guitar shaped instrument of
Hawaiian origin, 4 nylon strings.
||Type of bellows blown bagpipe known in Ireland
from 18th century. See Uilleann Pipes. Has a conical chanter
which has a two octave range, 3 drones, and 3 keyed chanters known as
||Of the bar percussion family; metal; similar in
appearance to the xylophone.
||French name for the Hurdy Gurdy, a mechanical
development of the violin (also once known as a Vielle) with the strings
vibrated by a wheel, and keys stopping the strings. See also Hurdy-Gurdy
||Plucked chordophone of the guitar family.
Now popular in Central America, it is very similar to the Spanish
||2nd in line within the "string"
instrument family. Has four strings tuned in 5ths to CGDA
|| Highest pitched instrument within the
"string" instrument family. Has four strings tuned in 5ths
|| Small-brother of the charango
||An end blown flute with a fipple, all kinds
exist around the world. See flageolet.
||Chinese bamboo pipe.
||Chinese hammered dulcimer; came into China from
Persia in the 17th century and now regarded as a Chinese national
instrument. (See Hammered Dulcimer)
|| A series of (usually) bamboo tubes, each of a slightly greater length from the others, arranged in a scale and played by
blowing air over one edge of one tube. Also Panpipe.
||Italian bagpipe with 2 drones and 2 conical
chanters, all in one stock.
||The family name of all instruments which have
strings stretched across a box. Popular in central Europe. In
addition to the melody strings, the Concert Zither has a guitar type
fretboard, some models have
strings grouped together in chords.
||Another name for shawm; folk oboe of the Arab