A musical instrument refers to anything that produces art or musical sound. These instruments fall into different categories based on the method of sound production. The types include stringed, electronic, wind, and keyboard. The history of musical instruments dates back to the origin of human culture. Initial musical instruments in history were used for ritual purposes, for instance, the horn to signify success in a hunt.
The cultures started developing performance and composition of melodies for entertainment. But with the changing technological advancements and applications, musical instruments kept evolving to what you see today. A simple flute is one of the oldest musical instruments that most scholars and researchers refer to as they say that it dates back to sixty-seven thousand years ago.
History of musical instruments
Disputes revolve around the origin of the first device that was considered the first musical instrument. Most historians believe that it is impossible to determine the exact period when musical instruments were invented. The early man used to make their musical instruments from non-durable materials like wood, bone, and animal skin. These elements developed in the world’s populated regions independently. Due to interaction and contact of people from different cultural backgrounds, a civilization led to the rapid spread of the instruments far from their point of origin. For instance, in the middle Stone Age, the Mesopotamia instruments were found in the maritime area, located in the southeast of Asia.
The Europeans as well played instruments whose origin is in North Africa. In the American regions, musical instruments’ development went at a slower rate, but the Central, South, and Northern American cultures shared similar musical instruments. The musical instrument development slowed down by 1400, and the Occident dominated this period. Many new devices were developed during the Romantic and Classical periods, which approximately lasted from 1750 to 1900. This evolution of ancient musical instruments slowed down at the onset of the 20th century. The invention of electricity paved the way for the development of modern and new electric instruments like theremin, synthesizers, and guitars. In the prehistoric and primitive periods, the musical instruments included drums, stampers, rattle, and even slapping of their bodies though they might not have intended to.
Types of Musical Instrument
There exist many musical instruments that historically were used. The functioning and designing of modern music instruments are based on the old version. The development of these instruments each has taken its path to date. You can check some of the most common modern musical instruments today here
. The following are examples of the classification of these instruments and how they have developed.
1. Woodwind Instruments
These instruments tend to use the wind to produce sound inform of music. They are of two types, reed and flutes. The difference between these instruments can be defined by how they function; the reed has a flexible wood near the mouthpiece. When air is blown through the pipe, the reed produced causes the pipe’s flexible wood to vibrate and make a unique sound. When the flute is used, the air inside the pipe is forced to vibrate. The pipe used in reed and flute always has different holes that govern the desired sound production. The early flutes were made from the horns of animals.
● Percussion Instruments
These are the instruments that strike to make a pitch. They include tambourines, drums, woodblocks, and xylophones. The early percussion instruments used were through clapping of hands to produce a pitch.
● String Instruments
This is where a string is disturbed to produce a sound. The first successful instrument in this class was the lyre. Under the lyre principle, three have been a series of other instruments using the same concept, and more developed have today, for example, guitar. The string is made to produce different times through well-divided potions. This string can be played by using a bow, fingers, or plucking.
Importance of early musical instruments
● Boosted mind concentration
● Created a sort of entertainment for both singers and the audience
● Natured the talent among artists
● Increased weight of the message
The use of musical instruments has the pillar of today’s music historically. The instruments used today are a modification of what was used in the early days. For example, wooden drums covered with animal skins have advanced to metallic drums covered with synthetic shells. These musical instruments played important roles to both audience and the artists. For instance, they increased the mental strength to concentrate on any event, increased the message’s weight from the song or attention, and perhaps, they were a source of entertainment.