57 Views

Top 10 Most Popular Musical Instruments

Instruments

Most Popular Musical Instruments
15 May, 2024

Share

Any object, from a small spoon to a piano, can be considered a musical instrument if it produces musical sound. Musical instruments are a beautiful way to express emotions, feelings, and ideas. The most popular musical instruments have their own unique features and sounds, suiting different genres. Curious about musical instruments? Let’s explore some of the most popular musical instruments.

Top 10 Most Popular Musical Instruments

Piano

Piano

The piano is a keyboard instrument that generates sound by striking strings with hammers when pressing keys. It is also commonly known as the “pianoforte.” Bartolomeo Cristofori invented the piano in the 17th century. The main of a piano include:

  • There are two main types of pianos: grand pianos and upright pianos.
  • It comprises 88 keys, 52 white keys for diatonic tones, and 36 black keys representing sharps and flats.
  • The strings of the grand piano are larger and have a horizontal layout.
  • The longer the piano, the richer the sound
  • Upright pianos have vertically aligned strings and are popular for domestic use.

Amazing fact: The oldest piano in the world is 302 years old.

Guitar

Guitar

The guitar, one of the most popular musical instruments, is a stringed instrument with a long neck. It typically has six to twelve strings fixed to a flat wooden soundboard. In the mid-19th century, Antonio de Torres Jurado invented the modern guitar in Spain. The guitar involves placing a finger on the second strip of the thinnest string and plucking the strings. The main features of a guitar include:

  • There are two primary types of guitars: acoustic and electric guitars.
  • Guitars usually have six strings.
  • An acoustic guitar produces sound through vibrating strings above a hollow chamber, while electric guitars rely on external electrical amplification to produce sound.

Amazing fact: The world’s most expensive guitar, “The Black Strat,” was sold for $3,975,000.

Violin

Violin

The violin, also known as fiddle, is a high-pitched, strung, bowed musical instrument, and it is widely known as the most popular instrument for playing different genres, like classical and jazz, usually pitched in perfect fifths with notes. The violin culture originated in northern Italy in the 16th century with two violin makers, Andre Amati and Gasparo di Bertolotti. The main features of a violin are:

  • The main parts of the violin include the body, neck, soundboard, strings, fingerboard, and bridge.
  • Its strings are made of metal or synthetic and played with a Tourte bow.
  • The body of the violin is often made of spruce or maple.
  • Electric violins rely on an external amplifier.
  • The pegbox beneath the scroll helps adjust the strings’ tension and pitch.

Amazing fact: The violin comprises 81 pieces.

Drums

Drums

The drums are one of the most popular musical instruments, consisting of one membrane called drum skin, which is beaten directly with hands or sticks to produce sound. Drums have been used since the ancient period, around 5500-2350 BC and are also considered one of the forms of communication since ancient times. Some of the main features of drums are as follows:

  • It is made of wood, metal or synthetic materials in a bowl or tube shape.
  • Tension rods pass through the hoops to tighten the drumheads.
  • Drumsticks are used to strike the drumheads to produce sound.

Amazing fact: CheonGo is the largest drum, with a record of 5.5 meters in diameter and 6 meters tall.

Saxophone

Saxophone

The saxophone is a single-reed musical instrument with a conical shape and a woodwind. This instrument was developed by Adolphe Sax in 1840 and its popularity bolstered in the 20th century in the classical music world. It is considered the newest and the world’s most popular musical instrument. The main features of a saxophone are:

  • It consists of four parts: the neck, the body, the U-shaped bow and the bell.
  • It has two-octave keys pressed by the left thumb, but it first has right-side bell keys in modern designs.
  • Typically, it has 20 to 23 keys, including octave keys.
  • It has a curved or straight body made of brass and other materials.

Amazing fact: The soprillo is the smallest saxophone in the world.

Flute

Flute

The flute is a musical instrument belonging to the woodwind family. With a cylindrical tube with a series of finger holes and keys, the flute holds a magical tune that has its uniqueness. When playing the flute, the musician blows air across the edge of the mouthpiece, called the embouchure hole, to produce sound. Since ancient times, flutes have been associated with significant religions and regions. Playing the flute can improve health-related issues and relax your mind. Some of the key features of the flute are:

  • It has three octaves from note C4 to note C7, and can be played vertically or horizontally.
  • It is made of wood, metal, ceramic or bone.
  • It has open and closed hole keys.
  • Pressing the foot joint, which is the bottom part of the flute, changes the instrument’s pitch.

Amazing fact: The oldest flute was made of vulture bone with five finger holes.

Cello

Cello

The word cello, which means small violin, is derived from the Italian word ‘violoncello.’ Cellos were developed with five strings in the 16th century. It belongs to the violin family and is great and rich in sound. Cellos became the most popular musical instrument in northern Europe around 1700, and many violins were modified and reduced in size just to make them into cellos. Some of the most prominent features of cellos are:

  • Cellos are made of carved wood, carbon fiber, aluminium, and other materials.
  • Its strings are tuned from low to high pitch (C-G-D-A), A being the highest pitch.
  • Cellos have a curvy hourglass shape.
  • The fingers press down the strings against the fingerboard to produce different notes.

Amazing fact: The sound of the cello is just like a human voice.

Trumpet

Trumpet

The trumpet is a brass instrument tubing bent twice into a round, oblong shape and used in classical and jazz music. In the classical era, the trumpet gained recognition and became one of the most popular musical instruments of all time. The word trumpet comes from the old French ‘Trompette’. During wartime, trumpets were used for marching in the ancient period and played by military music bands. The different features of the trumpet are:

  • It has a cylindrical bore and flared bell-type structure.
  • The piccolo trumpet has four valves instead of three.
  • A trumpet is about three thousand years old and made of brass.
  • The trumpet has a water key on the third valve slide, which releases moisture from the instrument. This key is also known as the spit valve.

Amazing fact: The smallest trumpet piccolo is about 2 feet, 5 inches long.

Harp

Harp

The harp is a stringed musical instrument, and each string is attached to the soundboard at different angles. Harps were found in ancient Egypt around 3000 B.C., making them one of the oldest and most popular musical instruments, evolving through the ages. The harp is widely used in classical compositions, jazz, and classical music. The important features are:

  • The harps are triangular in shape and made of wood, metal or carbon fiber.
  • The number of strings in a harp is dependent on its type, and its strings are made of nylon, wire, or gut.
  • Some harps have pedals to control the pitch of particular strings.

Amazing fact: The harp is the national symbol of Ireland.

Sitar

Sitar

The sitar, belonging to the lute family, has a large, gourd-shaped body and a long fretted neck, played by plucking the strings with wire. It is significant as one of the oldest and most popular musical instruments. It is the symbol of Indian traditions and culture. Some of the key features of the sitar are:

  • The sitar has a long, wide, hollow wooden neck with front and side tuning pegs.
  • The instrument features a bridge, strings, frets, neck, and resonance chamber.
  • The sitar typically has between 18 to 21 strings, with only six strings used for tuning.
  • Its strings are played with a pick known as mizrab.

Amazing fact: The Veena is known as the ancestor of the Sitar.

FAQs

Which is the world's most popular instrument?

The piano is the most popular musical instrument, attracting people from all over the world.

What is the most played instrument in the United States?

The guitar is the most played instrument in the United States. Approximately 52 million people play guitar in America.

Which instrument is most in demand?

The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments, and its demand is always high worldwide.

What's the hardest instrument to play?

The French horn is the hardest instrument to play due to its close notes, which require good training.

What's the coolest instrument?

The eclectic guitar is one of the coolest and most versatile instruments. It is fun to play and requires less learning time than other instruments.

Related Articles