Complete List of All Musical Instruments with Names & Types

Musical instruments are devices that produce melodious sounds with the help of different instruments. 

They have been an important part of our lives since ancient times, used primarily for entertainment, dance, and medicine. Today, with the development of technology, musical instruments have become more advanced and mostly rely on electronics to produce sound. 

There is different list of musical instruments, each with its own unique sound, and people listen to the music produced from them every day. 

Complete List of 30+ Musical Instruments Names

Here is a complete list of all musical instrument names by types: 


String Instruments 


Woodwind Instruments 


Brass Instruments 


Percussion Instruments 


Electronic Instruments 








Drum Set 












Electric Guitar 


Double Bass 




French Horn 




Electronic Drums 










Digital Piano 














Bass Clarinet 




Bongo Drums 


MIDI Controller 










Drum Machine 











What are the 5 Main Families of Musical Instruments? 

There are 5 different types of musical instruments characterised by the sounds they produce. These include:  

  • String   
  • Woodwind   
  • Brass   
  • Percussion   
  • Electronic   

Check out this blog post to learn about the list of different types of musical instruments families.

Now, let's dive into these different categories of musical instruments names and learn about the types of instruments under each family. 

The Complete List of 30+ Musical Instruments by Types

String Instruments   

String instruments are the list of music instruments that includes strings that can be played by vibrating them to produce sounds of different pitches. 

The length of the air column inside the instrument plays a crucial role in determining the pitch of the sound produced. 

Musicians playing a string instrument can create sound by striking, plucking, or rubbing the strings, causing them to vibrate and produce a variety of sounds with intricate patterns. 

Some examples of string instruments include:  

1. Violin   

The violin is a four-stringed instrument that produces a resonant sound when played with a bow. It has a wide range of tones and is an essential instrument in classical and folk music.  

2. Cello  

Cello is a larger violin family member with a deep, rich tone. It is played between the knees and serves as both a melodic and supporting instrument in various musical genres.   

3. Double Bass  

The double bass is the largest string instrument and produces a powerful resonance that anchors orchestras and jazz ensembles with its low frequencies.   

4. Viola  

The viola is slightly larger than the violin and has a mellow, mid-range sound. It bridges the gap between the violin and cello and plays an essential role in orchestras and chamber music.   

5. Guitar   

The guitar is versatile with six strings and is used across genres. Its expressive nature allows for intricate fingerstyle or strumming, defining folk, rock, blues, and more.  

6. Harp   

The harp is an elegant and ethereal instrument with varying lengths of strings. It is played with fingers or pedals and produces enchanting, cascading tones often associated with classical and melodic sounds.  

7. Mandolin   

The mandolin is a small eight-stringed instrument with a bright, twangy sound. It is common in folk and bluegrass, and its rapid picking and melodic capabilities contribute to lively performances.  

8. Banjo  

Banjo has a round body and four or five strings and is known for its distinctive twang. It is a staple in bluegrass and folk music, and its percussive, rhythmic style adds flair to music.  

Woodwind Instruments  

Woodwind instruments get their name from the mouthpiece located at one end, which contains a single or double strip of thin wood called a reed. When air is blown across the reed, it vibrates and produces sound at the other end of the instrument. 

All woodwind instruments require the use of the mouth to blow air into the instrument. The air is then split into holes, producing different sounds depending on the instrument. 

Some examples of woodwind instruments include:  

1. Flute  

Flute is a sleek and silver woodwind instrument that produces clear and vibrant tones. It is played by blowing across a mouthpiece and is known to complement various musical genres with its versatile sound.  

2. Clarinet   

The clarinet is a versatile woodwind instrument with a distinctive warm and mellow tone. It is played using a single reed, and its expressive range makes it a staple in orchestras and jazz ensembles.  

3. Oboe  

The oboe, known for its unique, reedy timbre, is a double-reed woodwind instrument. Its piercing yet expressive sound adds depth to classical and contemporary compositions.  

4. Bassoon  

The bassoon, a large double-reed instrument, boasts a rich, resonant tone. It is renowned for its versatility and adds depth to orchestras and various chamber music settings.   

5. Saxophone   

The saxophone offers a bold and expressive sound. With a prominent role in jazz and pop, its versatility spans genres from classical to contemporary.  

6. Bass Clarinet  

The bass clarinet, a lower-pitched cousin to the clarinet, delivers a deep and robust tone. Valued in orchestras and jazz bands, it enriches the lower register.   

7. Piccolo   

Piccolo, a diminutive yet powerful member of the flute family, produces bright and piercing tones. It is often used for its agility in marching bands and orchestras.  

8. Recorder  

The recorder is a simple, ancient woodwind instrument that produces a clear and sweet sound. It is used in educational settings and early music ensembles.  

Brass Instruments   

Brass instruments and wind instruments are similar, but there are a few key characteristics that distinguish them. The key distinction is that they are constructed of brass and are long and hollow, like a pipe. 

To play them, you blow into the mouthpiece, which typically has valves squeezed down to produce musical notes. The end has a bell-shaped hole through which sounds are created. 

Some examples of woodwind instruments include:  

1. Trumpet   

The trumpet is a brilliant, high-pitched brass instrument with three valves. Its piercing tones elevate both classical and jazz ensembles, making it a versatile and iconic musical force.  

2. Trombone   

The trombone is known for its sliding tube and bold, resonant sound. Its unique slide mechanism allows for smooth glissandos, making it prominent in various musical genres.  

3. French Horn   

The French horn, characterised by its coiled shape, produces warm, mellow tones. Its distinct timbre enriches orchestras and chamber ensembles and is often featured in expressive solos.  

4. Tuba   

With its large size and deep pitch, the tuba anchors brass sections with rich, foundational notes. Its commanding presence enhances the lower register and provides a robust foundation in orchestras.  

5. Euphonium   

The euphonium, a tenor-range brass instrument, blends the brilliance of a trumpet with the depth of a tuba. Its lyrical qualities make it a versatile choice in both brass bands and orchestras.  

6. Cornet   

The cornet, resembling a compact trumpet, produces bright, clear tones. Popular in brass bands and jazz, its agility and distinctive sound contribute to its enduring popularity.  

7. Baritone  

Baritone, a mid-range brass instrument, strikes a balance between the trombone and euphonium. Its smooth tones and versatility make it valuable in various musical settings.   

8. Sousaphone  

Sousaphone, a mobile and iconic member of the tuba family, wraps around the player. Its booming, resonant sound is a cornerstone of marching bands, adding both depth and spectacle.  

Percussion Instruments   

Percussion instruments make sound by beating or scraping them with a beater, hand, or other similar device. 

These instruments are roughly classified into two types: pitched percussion instruments and unpitched percussion instruments.  

Pitched percussion instruments are those that create sounds with a specific pitch. On the other hand, unpitched percussion instruments release sounds with no identifiable pitch. 

Some examples of Percussion Instruments include:  

1. Drum Set   

A versatile percussion ensemble comprising of a bass drum, snare drum, toms, cymbals, and more that allows a drummer to create rhythmic complexity and dynamic beats across various genres.  

2. Xylophone   

A melodic percussion instrument with wooden bars of varying lengths that produce distinct pitches when struck with mallets. It is commonly used in orchestras, marching bands, and contemporary music.  

3. Marimba   

A large wooden-keyed percussion instrument that resonates warm tones when struck with mallets. It is widely used in orchestras, contemporary ensembles, and as a solo instrument.  

4. Timpani   

Large, tuneable kettledrums with deep, resonant sounds. They are integral to orchestras and provide rhythmic foundation and dramatic accents, often tuned to specific pitches for musical expression.  

5. Congas   

Afro-Cuban drums, typically played in pairs, produce rich, resonant tones. They are essential in Latin and jazz music and offer rhythmic diversity and expressive possibilities.  

6. Bongo Drums   

A pair of small, open-bottomed drums with contrasting sizes that create distinct high and low pitches. They are commonly used in Latin music, jazz, and popular genres for rhythmic accents.  

7. Triangle   

A simple, triangular metal percussion instrument that produces a clear, high-pitched sound when struck with a metal beater. It is often used to add bright accents in orchestral and ensemble settings.  

8. Tambourine  

A handheld percussion instrument with jingling metal disks or pairs of cymbals set in a wooden or plastic frame. It adds rhythmic texture and bright accents in various musical genres.  

Electronic Instruments   

Electronic instruments are musical instruments that generate or change sounds using electric, and mainly electronic, techniques. 

The composer determines the electronic element in such music, and the sounds are created or modified electronically. 

Some examples of electronic instruments include:  

1. Synthesizer   

An electronic instrument capable of generating and manipulating sound by oscillators, filters, and modulators. It allows musicians to create a wide range of unique and evolving tones.  

2. Electric Guitar  

A stringed instrument equipped with electric pickups amplifies and shapes its sound. It is an iconic instrument that is pivotal in rock, pop, and various other genres, offering expressive possibilities through distortion and effects.  

3. Electronic Drums   

Percussion pads with sensors that trigger digital sounds. They provide drummers with a compact, versatile setup ideal for various genres and studio use. They offer programmable beats and sound customisation.  

4. Digital Piano   

It is an instrument that combines the traditional piano feel with digital technology, replicating the acoustic piano experience. It often includes diverse sounds, weighted keys, and MIDI connectivity, providing a wide musical range.  

5. Theremin   

A unique, touchless instrument played by manipulating electromagnetic fields. It produces eerie, ethereal sounds, and its pitch and volume are controlled by hand movements around the antennas.  

6. MIDI Controller   

A device that facilitates communication between musical instruments and computers. It doesn't produce sound but sends MIDI data to control software, synthesizers, and other MIDI-enabled devices.  

7. Drum Machine   

A standalone or integrated electronic device that produces drum sounds and patterns. It is widely used in electronic music and offers programmable beats, rhythmic precision, and a wide array of sound options.  

8. Sampler  

An instrument that captures and reproduces snippets of sound from various sources. Musicians can manipulate these samples to create new compositions, adding depth and texture to their music.  

Key Benefits of Playing Musical Instruments  

Here are some of the benefits of playing and learning musical instrument names: 

1. Improves Brain Functioning  

Playing a musical instrument offers numerous benefits, one of the most noteworthy being that it can improve intelligence. 

This is because playing an instrument improves executive functions (EF) in the brain, which are high-level cognitive abilities associated with various leadership and academic skills. 

By improving EF, playing an instrument can help a person to process and retain information more quickly, regulate reckless behaviour, and make better decisions. 

2. Increased Memory Functions  

Playing a musical instrument can also enhance memory functions. 

Improved brain function and connectivity from playing a musical instrument can help a musician create and store memories more effectively by giving each memory multiple tags, such as auditory, visual, and emotional tags. 

As a result, memory recall becomes faster and more efficient. 

3. Establish Perseverance  

Learning a musical instrument requires practice, which can also build patience. It can be frustrating to learn a new instrument at first, but with dedication and practice, you will gradually improve. 

Eventually, you will find your hands moving over the instrument smoothly and effortlessly, and you'll be playing like a pro in no time. 

4. Improves Concentration  

Playing a musical instrument can also improve concentration 

Musicians must remain actively engaged when playing an instrument, which trains their focus and concentration—practising proper concentration when learning and playing a musical instrument can then transfer into your everyday life, helping you concentrate better in school or at work. 

Rent Musical Instruments Online From InstruShare   

The world is full of musical instruments names list, each with its own unique characteristics. We have put together this list of musical instrument names to help you explore some of the most popular and widely used instruments. 

If you're a music enthusiast looking for a musical instrument, InstruShare is the perfect online platform for musical instrument rent and hire in Australia. With a wide selection of instruments and a user-friendly interface, our instrument rental services make finding the ideal instrument for your needs easy. 

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