musical instrument

Definitions of musical instrument
  1. noun
    any of various devices or contrivances that can be used to produce musical tones or sounds
    synonyms: instrument
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    barrel organ, grind organ, hand organ, hurdy gurdy, hurdy-gurdy, street organ
    a musical instrument that makes music by rotation of a cylinder studded with pegs
    bass
    the member with the lowest range of a family of musical instruments
    calliope, steam organ
    a musical instrument consisting of a series of steam whistles played from a keyboard
    electronic instrument, electronic musical instrument
    a musical instrument that generates sounds electronically
    jew's harp, jews' harp, mouth bow
    a small lyre-shaped musical instrument that is placed between the teeth and played by twanging a wire tongue while changing the shape of the mouth cavity
    keyboard instrument
    a musical instrument that is played by means of a keyboard
    music box, musical box
    produces music by means of pins on a revolving cylinder that strike the tuned teeth of a comb-like metal plate
    percussion instrument, percussive instrument
    a musical instrument in which the sound is produced by one object striking another
    stringed instrument
    a musical instrument in which taut strings provide the source of sound
    wind, wind instrument
    a musical instrument in which the sound is produced by an enclosed column of air that is moved by the breath
    accordion, piano accordion, squeeze box
    a portable box-shaped free-reed instrument; the reeds are made to vibrate by air from the bellows controlled by the player
    banjo
    a stringed instrument of the guitar family that has long neck and circular body
    bass fiddle, bass viol, bull fiddle, contrabass, double bass, string bass
    largest and lowest member of the violin family
    bass guitar
    the guitar with six strings that has the lowest pitch
    bass horn, sousaphone, tuba
    the lowest brass wind instrument
    bombard, bombardon
    a large shawm; the bass member of the shawm family
    bones, castanets, clappers, finger cymbals
    a percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance
    bowed stringed instrument, string
    stringed instruments that are played with a bow
    brass, brass instrument
    a wind instrument that consists of a brass tube (usually of variable length) that is blown by means of a cup-shaped or funnel-shaped mouthpiece
    celesta
    a musical instrument consisting of graduated steel plates that are struck by hammers activated by a keyboard
    bell, chime, gong
    a percussion instrument consisting of a set of tuned bells that are struck with a hammer; used as an orchestral instrument
    chordophone
    a stringed instrument of the group including harps, lutes, lyres, and zithers
    clavichord
    an early stringed instrument like a piano but with more delicate sound
    Klavier, clavier
    a stringed instrument that has a keyboard
    cymbal
    a percussion instrument consisting of a concave brass disk; makes a loud crashing sound when hit with a drumstick or when two are struck together
    drum, membranophone, tympan
    a musical percussion instrument; usually consists of a hollow cylinder with a membrane stretched across each end
    dulcimer
    a stringed instrument used in American folk music; an elliptical body and a fretted fingerboard and three strings
    Hammond organ, electric organ, electronic organ, organ
    (music) an electronic simulation of a pipe organ
    free-reed instrument
    a wind instrument with a free reed
    glockenspiel, orchestral bells
    a percussion instrument consisting of a set of graduated metal bars mounted on a frame and played with small hammers
    gong, tam-tam
    a percussion instrument consisting of a metal plate that is struck with a softheaded drumstick
    guitar
    a stringed instrument usually having six strings; played by strumming or plucking
    kazoo
    a toy wind instrument that has a membrane that makes a sound when you hum into the mouthpiece
    kettle, kettledrum, timpani, tympani, tympanum
    a large hemispherical brass or copper percussion instrument with a drumhead that can be tuned by adjusting the tension on it
    koto
    Japanese stringed instrument that resembles a zither; has a rectangular wooden sounding board and usually 13 silk strings that are plucked with the fingers
    lagerphone
    an Australian percussion instrument used for playing bush music; a long stick with bottle caps nailed loosely to it; played by hitting it with a stick or banging it on the ground
    maraca
    a percussion instrument consisting of a hollow gourd containing pebbles or beans; often played in pairs
    marimba, xylophone
    a percussion instrument with wooden bars tuned to produce a chromatic scale and with resonators; played with small mallets
    ocarina, sweet potato
    egg-shaped terra cotta wind instrument with a mouthpiece and finger holes
    organ, pipe organ
    wind instrument whose sound is produced by means of pipes arranged in sets supplied with air from a bellows and controlled from a large complex musical keyboard
    organ pipe, pipe, pipework
    the flues and stops on a pipe organ
    forte-piano, piano, pianoforte
    a keyboard instrument that is played by depressing keys that cause hammers to strike tuned strings and produce sounds
    pipe
    a tubular wind instrument
    post horn
    wind instrument used by postilions of the 18th and 19th centuries
    psaltery
    an ancient stringed instrument similar to the lyre or zither but having a trapezoidal sounding board under the strings
    rain stick
    a percussion instrument that is made from a dried cactus branch that is hollowed out and filled with small pebbles and capped at both ends; makes the sound of falling rain when tilted; origin was in Chile where tribesmen used it in ceremonies to bring rain
    samisen, shamisen
    a Japanese stringed instrument resembling a banjo with a long neck and three strings and a fretted fingerboard and a rectangular soundbox; played with a plectrum
    sitar
    a stringed instrument of India; has a long neck and movable frets; has 6 or 7 metal strings for playing and usually 13 resonating strings
    steel drum
    a concave percussion instrument made from the metal top of an oil drum; has an array of flattened areas that produce different tones when struck (of Caribbean origin)
    synthesiser, synthesizer
    (music) an electronic instrument (usually played with a keyboard) that generates and modifies sounds electronically and can imitate a variety of other musical instruments
    theremin
    an electronic musical instrument; melodies can be played by moving the right hand between two rods that serve as antennas to control pitch; the left hand controls phrasing
    triangle
    a percussion instrument consisting of a metal bar bent in the shape of an open triangle
    vibes, vibraharp, vibraphone
    a percussion instrument similar to a xylophone but having metal bars and rotating disks in the resonators that produce a vibrato sound
    whistle
    a small wind instrument that produces a whistling sound by blowing into it
    wood, woodwind, woodwind instrument
    any wind instrument other than the brass instruments
    cither, zither, zithern
    a musical stringed instrument with strings stretched over a flat sounding board; it is laid flat and played with a plectrum and with fingers
    type of:
    device
    an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
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