A to Z of Musical Instrument

This is a list of musical instrument know around the world. We will over time be adding sound files plus a short history of each instrument



Instrument Sound FileHistory
AccordionClick to hear an accordion
Acoustic bass guitar  
Acoustic guitarClick to hear a Acoustic Guitar 
Acoustic bass guitarClick to hear a Acoustic Bass Guitar 
Aeolian Harp  
Agung a Tamlang) (Philippine slit drum)  
Agung (Philippine gong)  
Ahoko (Ivory Coast rattle)  
Alboka (Spanish double hornpipe)  
AlphornClick to hear a Alphorn 
Alpine bell  
Alto clarinet  
Alto flute  
Alto horn  
Alto sarrusophone  
Alto saxophone  
Angklung (tuned bamboo slide rattle)Click to hear an Angklung 
Appalachian dulcimerClick to hear an Appalachian dulcimer 
Archlute (Spanish archilaúd, Italian arciliuto, German Erzlaute, Russian Архилютня) is a European plucked string instrument developed around 1600)
Arghul (Arabic double pipe)Click to hear an Arghul 
Arpa nottolini (Italian hooked harp)  
Arpeggione (Italian six-string)  
Array Mbira (African thumb piano)  
Aru-ding or kubing  (Philippine Jew’s harp)  
Aulochrome (double soprano saxophone)  
Babendil (Philippine gong)  
Baglama/ saz (Turkish strings)  
Balafon (xylophone from Ghana)  
Balalaika (Central Asian 2 or 3 stringed guitar)Click to hear an Balalaika 
Bandola (plucked lute from Cuba, Chile and Peru)  
Bandoneón (Argentinian concertina)  
Bandurria (Spanish / Latin American plucked lute)  
Banhu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
BanjoClick to hear a Banjo  
Barbat (Iranian plucked lute)  
Baritone horn  
Baritone sarrusophone  
Baritone saxophone  
Baroque Wooden Flute  
Baryton (German Euphonium)  
Bass Clarinet  
Bass Drum  
Bass flute  
Bass guitarClick to hear a Bass Guitar 
Bass sarrusophone  
Bass saxophone  
Bass / baritone oboe  
Basse a Pistons (French Euphonium)  
Basse Cor  
Basset clarinet  
Basset horn  
BassoonClick to hear a Bassoon  
Bawu (Chinese wind instrument shaped like a flute )  
Bayan (Russian Accordion)  
Bazooka (telescopic brass tubing)  
Berimbau (Brazilian musical bow)  
Bianqing (Chinese stone chimes)  
Bianzhong (Chinese bronze bells )  
Bifora (Sicilian oboe)  
Biniou (French bagpipe)***  
Biwa (Japanese short-necked lute)  
Bock (German bagpipes)  
Bodega (French bagpipe)  
Bodhrán (Irish drum)  
Boha (French bagpipe)  
Bombardino (Spanish Euphonium)  
Bongo drum  
Border pipe/ lowland bagpipe  
Bordonua (Puerto Rican bass guitar)  
Bouzouki (Greek lute)  
Brian Boru bagpipes  
Button accordian  
Cabrette (French bagpipe)  
Calliope (steam organ)  
Carillon (Dutch harmonising bells)  
Carillon (Dutch harmonising bells)  
Cavaco (Spanish guitar)  
Cavaquinho (Portuguese guitar)  
Caxixi (Brazilian idiophone)  
Celesta (idiophone) invented 1886 in Paris by Auguste Mustel.Click to hear a Celesta 
CelloClick to hear a Cello  
Ceng (Turkish harp)  
Chabrette (French bagpipe)  
Chapman stick (fretboard)  
Charango (South American fretted lute)  
Chenda (Indian drum)  
Chi (Chinese Transverse Flute)  
Ching (Cambodian/ Thai finger cymbals)  
Chitarrone (lower-toned lute)  
Chitarra battente (Italian guitar)  
Chromatic accordian  
Cigar box guitar  
Cimbalom (Eastern European hammered dulcimer)  
Cimpoi (Romanian bagpipe)  
Cittern (Renaissance lute)  
Clapped hands  
ClarinetClick to hear a Bb Clarinet 
Clarinette d’amour  
Classical guitar  
Clavicembelo (Italian pianoforte)  
Clavichord (European stringed keyboard)  
Conch (seashell horn)  
Conga (Caribbean drum)  
Contra-alto clarinet  
Contra-alto flute  
Contrabass á anche  
Contrabass clarinet  
Contrabass flute  
Contrabass oboe  
Contrabass Sarrusophone  
Contrabass saxophone  
Cornet/ Cornett/ Cornetto/ Zink  
Cornish bagpipes  
Croatian bagpipes  
Crotales (Struck cymbals)  
Crwth (Welsh stringed instrument)  
Cuatro (Latin American lute)  
Cuíca (Brazilian drum)  
Cymbals – crash, hi-hat, ride, splash, tom-toms, zilClick to hear a Cymbals 
Cymbalum (Western European hammered dulcimer)  
Da’uli da’uli (Indonesian xylophone)  
Dabakan (Philippine drum)  
Dadihu (contrabass erhu)  
Dahu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Daiko (Japanese drum)  
Dankiyo (Turkish bagpipe)  
Daraboukka (Syrian drum)  
Darabukka (Arabic drum)  
Darbuka (Greek drum)  
Darvyra (Greek Duct Flute)  
Denis d’or (ancient Czech chordophone)  
Dhol (Iranian drum)  
Dholak (North Indian hand drum)  
Didgeridoo (Aboriginal Natural Trumpet)  
Dihu (Chinese large bowed stringed instrument)  
Diyingehu (contrabass gehu)  
Djembe (West African hand drum)  
Doedelzak (Dutch bagpipe)  
Dombak (Iranian drum)  
Domra (Russian mandolin)  
Dotara (bass ektara)  
Double BassClick to hear a Double Bass 
Double contrabass flute  
Doulophone/ cuprophone  
Drum machine  
Dubreq stylophone  
Duct Flute  
Dudelsack (German bagpipe)  
Dudy (Czech bagpipes)  
Duff (Islamic tambourine)  
Dulcian (pre-1700’s Western European Bassoon)  
Dulcimer (hammered zither)  
Dulzaina (Spanish oboe)  
Dumbelek (Turkish drum)  
Dun dun (West African large talking drum)  
Dutar (Central Asian lute)  
Duxianqin (Chinese one-stringed zither)  
Ektara (Indian one-string)  
Electric guitarClick to hear a Electric Guitar 
Electric organClick to hear a Electric Organ 
Electric piano  
English Horn/ Cor Anglais (French tenor Oboe)  
Erhu (Chinese violin)  
Erxian (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
EuphoniumClick to hear a Euphonium 
Fangxiang (Chinese metallophone)  
Finger Cymbals  
Fingerboard synthesizer  
Fiscarmonica (Italian Accordian)  
FluteClick to hear a Flute 
French Horn  
Gaida (Southern Balkan bagpipes)  
Gaita (Portuguese & Spanish bagpipe)  
Gajdy (Eastern European bagpipes)  
Gambang (Indonesian xylophone)  
Gan gan (West African small talking drum)  
Gandingan (Philippine set of 4 hanging gongs)  
Gandingan a kayo (Philippine xylophone)  
Ganza (Brazilian rattle)  
Gaohu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Gayageum (Korean zither)  
Gehu (Chinese cello-like)  
Gender (Indonesian brass xylophone)  
Geomungo/ komungo (Korean zither)  
Ghatam (Indian drum)  
Glass marimba  
Glasschord (crystallophone)  
GlockenspielClick to hear a Glockenspiel 
GongClick to hear a Gong 
Gottuvadhyam (Indian 21-stringed guitar)  
Great Highland bagpipe  
Great Irish warpipes  
Guan (Chinese pipe)  
Gugin (Chinese bridgeless zither)  
Guiro (South & Central American notched gourd that is scraped)  
Guitar 12 StringsClick to hear a Guitar 12 Strings 
Guitarrón (Mexican large bass guitar)  
Guqin (Chinese plucked zither)  
Gusle/ gusla (Balkan guitar)  
Gusli (Russian harp)  
Guzheng (Chinese zither)  
Hammered dulcimer  
Hang (steel hand drum)  
Hardanger fiddle  
Harmonica/ Mouth Organ  
Harmonium/ reed organ  
HarpClick to hear a Harp 
Harp guitar  
HarpsichordClick to hear a Harpsichord 
Hegelong (Philippine fretted boat-lute)  
Hichiriki (Japanese Oboe)  
Hocchiku (Japanese flute)  
Hooked harp  
Horagai (Japanese conch)  
Hosho (Zimbabwean rattle)  
Hsaio (Chinese Duct Flute)  
Huemmelchen (German smallpipes)  
Huluhu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Hun (Korean flute)  
Hunting HornClick to hear a Hunting Horn 
Huqin (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Hurdy GurdyClick to hear a Hurdy Gurdy 
Igil (Tuvan bowed instrument)  
Inci (Philippine flute)  
Ipu (Hawaiian rattle)  
Irish bouzouki  
Irish Uilleann (Indoor bagpipe)  
Istarski mih (Croatian bagpipe)  
Janggu (Korean drum)  
Japanese Bamboo Flute/ ShakuhachiClick to hear a Japanese Bamboo Flute 
Jew’s harpClick to hear a Jew’s harp 
Jew’s harp (plucked idiophone)  
Jiaohu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Jinghu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Kadlong (Philippine fretted boat-lute)  
Kagul (Philippine slit drum)  
Kangling (Tibetan serunai)  
Kaval (Slovakian Duct Flute)  
Kèn b?u (Vietnamese reed)  
Kettle drum/ Timpani  
Keyed Bugle  
Keyed Trumpet  
Khene (Northeast Thailand mouth organ)  
Khim (Cambodian/ Thai hammered dulcimer)  
Khloy (Cambodian flute)  
Khol (South Indian drum)  
Kissar (West African lyre)  
Knatele (Finnish zither)  
Kokyu (Japanese bowed instrument)  
Komungo (Korean zither)  
Kora (West African 21-string harp-lute)  
Koto (Japanese zither)  
Koudi (Chinese flute)  
Koziol (Polish bagpipe)  
Kubing (Philippine Jew’s harp)  
Kulintang a kayo (Philippine xylophone)  
Kulintang a putao/ kulintang a tiniok (Philippine metallophone)  
Kulintang/ kolintang (Philippine gong group)  
Kutiyapi (Philippine fretted boat-lute)  
Kwa-yen (Chinese hanging drum)  
Kwintangen kayo/ luntang (Philippine xylophone)  
Lambeg (Irish drum)  
Lancashire great-pipe  
Langeleik (Norwegian stringed instrument)  
Laruan (Chinese stringed instrument)  
Lasso d’amore  
Launeddas (Sardinian triple clarinet)  
Leier (German hurdy gurdy)  
Leiqin (Chinese bowed instrument)  
Lithophone (stone barred xylophone)  
Lusheng (Chinese bamboo pipes)  
LuteClick to hear a Lute 
Magyar duda (Hungarian bagpipes)  
Maguhu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Malimba (xylophone from the Congo)  
Mando-bass (bass mandolin)  
Mandocello (large mandolin)  
Mandola (US/ Canadian fretted stringed instrument)  
Mangtong (Chinese bamboo pipes)  
MarimbaClick to hear a Marimba 
Marimbao (Brazilian stringed instrument)  
Mbira/ Sanza/ Thumb Piano (African stringed instrument)  
Mellotron (polyphonic keyboard)  
Metallophones (metal barred xylophone)  
Mijwiz (Arabic double pipe)  
Mittlealtersackpfeife (German medieval bagpipe)  
Mizwad (Arabic bagpipe)  
Mohan veena (Indian guitar)  
Moodswinger (zither)  
Morin khuur/ morin huur (Mongolian fiddle)  
Mridangam (South Indian drum)  
Muchosac (Belgian bagpipe)  
Musette bressane (French bagpipe)  
Musette de cour (French bagpipe)  
Musette du centre (French bagpipe)  
Musical bow  
Musical Saw (wood cutting saw)  
Nadaswaram (Indian wind instrument)  
Naqara (Mongolian war drum)  
Natural Trumpet  
Nay (Syrian wooden flute)  
Ney (Lebanese Flute)  
Northumbrian smallpipes  
Nose flute  
Nyckelharpa (Swedish key harp)  
OboeClick to hear a Oboe 
Oboe d’amore  
Oboe da caccia  
OcarinaClick to hear a Ocarina 
Octaban (cylinder drum)  
Octapad (electronic drumpad)  
Octave mandolin  
Octocontra-alto clarinet  
Octocontrabass clarinet  
Oliphant/ Cor d’Oliphant  
Ondes martenot (electronic keyboard and slide)  
Organ - electric  
Organ pipeClick to hear a Pipe Organ Organ History
Overtone guitar  
Paixiao (Chinese flute)  
Palendang (Philippine flute)  
Pan pipes  
Pastoral pipes  
PianoClick to hear a pianoPiano History
Piccolo clarinet  
Piccolo heckelphone  
Piccolo oboe  
Pipa (Chinese lute)  
Pipe organ  
Piva (Northern Italian bagpipe)  
Psaltery (plucked zither)  
Pulalu (Philippine flute)  
Qanun (Turkish zither)  
Quena (Andean flute)  
Quinticlave (Ophicleide)  
Raita (Moroccan serunai)  
Rajao (Portuguese guitar)  
Ranat ek elk (Thai metallophone)  
Ranat thum lek (Thai metallophone)  
RatchetClick to hear a Ratchet 
Rebab (Arabic bowed stringed instrument)  
Rebec (15th/ 16th century rebab)  
Recorder (Descant)Click to hear a Recorder (Descant) 
Reed contrabass  
Reed Pipe  
Riq/ riqq/ rik (Arabic tambourine)  
Roman tuba  
Ruan (Chinese plucked stringed instrument)  
Rudra veena (Indian plucked stringed instrument)  
Ryuteki (Japanese flute)  
Sabar (Senegalese drum)  
Sac de gemecs (Catalonian bagpipe)  
Sackbutt (trombone family’s ancestor)  
Säckpipa (Swedish bagpipe)  
Saenghwang (Korean mouth organ)  
Sallaneh (Iranian plucked stringed instrument)  
Sampho (Cambodian barrel drum)  
Sang-auk (Burmese harp)  
Santur (North Indian hammered zither)  
Sanxian (Chinese lute)  
Saraswati veena (South Indian lute)  
Sarunay/ saronay/ sarunai/ saronai (Philippine metallophone)  
Saung (Burmese harp)  
Saw ou (Thai bowed stringed instrument)  
Saw sam sai (Thai bowed stringed instrument)  
Schweizer sackpfeife (Swiss bagpipe)  
Scottish smallpipes  
Se (Chinese zither)  
Serunai (Islamic reed instrument)  
Setar (Iranian lute)  
Shamisen (Japanese 3-stringed instrument)  
Shawm (Renaissance oboe)  
Shekere (African rattle)  
Sheng (Chinese mouth organ)  
Shinobue (Japanese flute)  
Shofar (Jewish horn)  
Sihu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Singing bowl/ rin gong (Himalayan standing bell)  
Sitar (South Asian lute)Click to hear a Sitar 
Sleigh BellsClick to hear a Sleigh Bells 
Slide guitar  
Slide whistle  
Slit drum  
Snare DrumClick to hear a snare drum 
Sopranino clarinet  
Sopranino saxophone  
Soprano clarinet  
Soprano mandolin  
Soprano saxophone  
Sorna (Afghan serunai)  
Sralai (Cambodian reed)  
Steel drum  
Steel guitar  
Subcontrabass flute  
Subcontrabass saxophone  
Suling (Indonsian/Philippine flute)  
Suona (Chinese serunai)  
Tabla (Indian/ Pakistani drum)  
Tagutok (Philippine slit drum)  
Taiko (Japanese drum)  
Talking drum  
Tambour (French drum)  
Tamburitza (Croatian/ Serbian mandolin)  
Tan-tan (Brazilian hand drum)  
Taphon (Thai drum)  
Tar (Persian lute)  
Tárogató (Hungarian shawm)  
Tea chest bass (skiffle bass)  
Tenor horn  
Tenor mandola (European/ UK fretted stringed instrument)  
Tenor sarrusophone  
Tenor saxophoneClick to hear a Tenor Sax 
Tenoroon (tenor bassoon)  
Teponaztli (Mexican wooden drum)  
Thavil (Indian drum)  
Theorbo (lower-toned lute)  
Theremin (oscillator)  
Timpani/ kettle drum  
Timple (Canary Islands/ Murcia ukulele)  
Tin whistle  
Tjelempung/ Celempung (Javanese zither)  
Tonette (plastic recorder)  
Torupill (Estonian bagpipe)  
Transverse Flute (Traditional Flute)  
Trekspill (Norwegian Accordian)  
Tres (Cuban chordophone)  
TriangleClick to hear a Triangle 
Tro u (Cambodian bowed stringed instrument)  
Tromba marina (European stringed instrument)  
TromboneClick to hear a Trombone 
Tromboon/ babone  
Trompeta china (Cuban suona)  
Trumpet BbClick to hear a Bb Trumpet 
Tsampouna (Greek bagpipe)  
Tsuri-daiko (Japanese hanging drum)  
TubaClick to hear a Tuba 
Tubular Bells  
Tuhu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Tulum (Turkish bagpipe)  
Tumpong (Philippine flute)  
Ud/ oud (Arabic and Islamic lute)  
Udu (African clay drum)  
Ukulele (Hawaiian guitar)  
Valiha (Indonesian and Madagascan zither)  
Vertical flute  
Vertical viola  
Veuze (French bagpipe)  
Vibraphone/ vibraharpClick to hear a Vibraphone/ vibraharp 
Vichitra veena (Indian stringed instrument)  
Vielle (French hurdy gurdy)  
Vihuela (Spanish 2-string guitar)  
ViolaClick to hear a Viola 
Viola d’amore  
Viola da gamba  
Viola organista  
ViolinClick to hear a Violin 
Vladimirsky Rozhok  
Volinka (Russian bagpipes)  
Wagner Tuba  
Washint (Ethiopian flute)  
Washtub bass  
Welsh pipes  
WhipClick to hear a Whip 
WhistleClick to hear a Whistle 
Willow flute  
Wind Chimes  
Xalam/ khalam (West African Banjo-like instrument)  
Xiao (Chinese flute)  
Xiaodihu (tenor erhu)  
Xun (Chinese flute)  
XylophoneClick to hear a Xylophones 
Xylorimba (extended range xylophone)  
Yang chi’in (Chinese zither)  
Yang Chin (Chinese hammered dulcimer)  
Yayli tanbur (Turkish lute)  
Yazheng (Chinese zither)  
Yehu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Yu (Chinese bamboo pipes)  
Yueh Ch’in (Chinese lute)  
Yun Lo (Chinese gong)  
Zampogna (Italian bagpipe)  
Zaqq (Maltese bagpipe)  
Zhongdihu (bass erhu)  
Zhuihu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
ZitherClick to hear a Zither 
Zonghu (Chinese bowed stringed instrument)  
Zufalo (Italian flute)  
Zurna (Turkish serunai)