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In today’s class, we will be talking about classification and types of musical instruments. Enjoy the class!

Classification and Types of Musical Instruments

Classification and Types of Musical Instruments

Musical instruments are devices that produce musical sounds. They are used for different purposes, ranging from entertaining a large audience, accompaniment of dances, rituals, worship e.t.c. Music performance and production of musical instruments is an integral part of most communities in Africa.

African musical instruments can be classified into four groups

  1. Idiophones
  2. Membranophones
  3. Chordophones
  4. Aerophones
  • Idiophones:

Idiophones are musical instruments that have the ability to create sound on their own primarily through some form of vibration without the use of skin. They produce sound through vibration when struck

  • Membranophones:

They are a group of musical instruments that are produced from animal skin or leather called membrane through the technique of outstretched dry skin membrane. The stretched skin is applied to cover one or both ends of hollow carved wood. These stretched membranes are hit in order to produce sound. Examples are; gbedu, gangan, gudugudu, igba ndi eze and so on.

  • Chordophones:

They are a group of musical instruments produced through the technique of stretched string. They produce full reverberating sounds when the strings are played, it vibrates and interacts with each other. Examples are; goja, una, molo, kukuma, garaya, gurmi, tabeln, and so on.

  • Aerophones:

They are referred to as wind instruments; they are the group of musical instruments that produce sound through vibration caused when air is blown into them. Examples of aerophones are flutes, bamboo, millet, animal horn, gourds, trumpets e.t.c.


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