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Musical instruments are things used to make music. Anything that somehow produces sound can be considered a musical instrument, but the term generally means items that are specifically created for making music.
See the fact file below for more information on the musical instruments or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Musical Instruments worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Musical Instruments in the Ancient World
- Researchers have discovered archaeological evidence of musical instruments in many parts of the world.
- In ancient times, people played animal horns. In the Bronze Age in Scandinavia, they played metal horns called lurs.
- A bone carving named the Divje Babe Flute was discovered that was used to play four notes. Researchers estimate the flute’s age between 43,400 and 67,000 years old.
- The Ancient Egyptians played castanets, drums, and bells. They also played stringed instruments like the harp, the lyre, and the lute. Additionally, they played wind instruments such as flutes and trumpets.
- The Greeks also played stringed instruments like the harp and the lyre. They also played a large lyre called a Kithara.
- Sumerian and Babylonian artists depicted ceremonial instruments such as idiophones used in early Mesopotamia: concussion clubs, clappers, sistra, bells, cymbals, and rattles.
- The Jewish used shofar, a ram’s horn, which is still blown on Rosh Hashana (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
- In the Middle Ages, harps and transverse flutes were popular instruments.
- Archaeologists in the Jiahu site of Central Henan province of China have found flutes made of bones that date back 7,000 to 9,000 years.
- Each of the nine-inch long flutes shown here were crafted by shaping the hollow wing bone of a large bird; they were found in a pretty well-preserved state.
- Organs were used for church music. From the 12th century, people in Europe played the bagpipes, the hurdy-gurdy, and the triangle.
- Although the first trumpets were straight, in the 15th century, they became looped. The trombone was also invented in the 15th century.
- The xylophone comes from Southeast Asia, but it was played in Europe by the early 16th century. Its name comes from the Greek words xylon, meaning wood, and phone, meaning sound.
Musical Instruments in the Modern World
- The evolution of traditional musical instruments slowed beginning in the twentieth century.
- The proliferation of electricity in the twentieth century lead to the creation of an entirely new category of musical instruments: electrophones or electronic instruments.
- The latter half of the 20th century saw the evolution of synthesizers, instruments that artificially produce sound using analog or digital circuits and microchips.
- The modern proliferation of computers and microchips has spawned an entire industry around electronic musical instruments
Characteristics of Musical Instruments
- The use of instruments for religious ceremonies has continued down to the present day.
- Buddhist cultures are rich in instruments, particularly bells and drums. In the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, they used wind instruments as well.
- In India, according to legend, when the deity Krishna played the flute, the rivers stopped flowing and the birds came down to listen.
- Trumpets were associated with military operations and had ceremonial function in the establishment of European kings and nobles and were regarded as a sign of nobility.
Musical Instruments and Their Sounds
- For sound to occur, a vibrating source and a medium are needed, and to detect it, you need a receiver.
- To reach the receiver, the vibrations need a medium of transmission such as air or water.
- Musical sounds are organised into patterns that have pitch and rhythm.
- A particular musical note is determined by the number of times that the musical instrument vibrates per second resulting in a sound wave.
Musical Instruments and Great Musicians
- Seikilos wrote an epitaph for his wife in first century AD in Greek. He was known to be the first musician with a documented composition.
- History has given us some notable music composers including greats such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Ludwig Van Beethoven.
- Niccolo Paganini is one of the greatest Violin Virtuosos of all time.
- The singer, Prince, is a multi-instrumentalist. On For You, he arranged and played all of the 27 instruments featured on the album.
Musical Instruments Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Musical Instruments across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Musical Instruments worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the musical instruments which are things used to make music. Anything that somehow produces sound can be considered a musical instrument, but the term generally means items that are specifically created for making music.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Strings
- Playing Brass
- The Musicians
- The Orchestra
- A Band
- World Class
- I Will Play
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Link will appear as Musical Instruments Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 22, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.