Musical Instruments and Their Forms

Music is the fine art of arranging sounds from different sources in time to create a melody or piece of music through the interplay of pitch, tone, melodic quality, and rhythm. It’s one of the oldest universal cultural influences of human cultures. Although the technology for creating music has changed greatly through the years, the essence of music is timeless and inspires creativity. There are many forms of music, from classical music, to jazz, hip hop, pop, rock, even Indian folk music. The variety and richness of music in the world are staggering.


The earliest known music came about during the Mesolithic age (caveman and mastodon), which predate the start of the Paleolithic era. One of the earliest types of musical instrument that could be clearly seen in archeological excavations are flutes. While flutes and other wind instruments have evolved significantly through the years, there has been a lot of change source to the development of today’s musical instrument.

The first musical instrument that most people think of when they think of Greeks is the piano. The earliest known models were made from bamboo, with a stick being used to strike the bamboo with precision. The sticks used in the past are much different than those used today, with most sticks being constructed from a single piece of wood held together by a series of nails. Because the sticks and hammers used in the past were much different than those used today, the type of music that could be created with them is largely forgotten today.

Another great example of ancient musical instruments is the lute. The lute is probably most famous for being the instrument of choice for famous composer Beethoven. While he may not have been very skilled with other types of instruments, he was an expert with the lute, playing his famous ‘Fur Elise’ several times in his early years. Despite the fact that other forms of music must have appeared later, the lute has been around since at least the 8th century, long before other more prominent instruments were around.

Electronic music, such as electronica, is often thought of as another form of musical instruments, but these days it is often considered part of the new wave of music that is available to any interested party. The earliest electronic music, such as the infamous ‘Trance’ music from the 80s, was actually just background noise. However, with modern technology, it is now possible to use musical synthesizers and other devices to put the audio in actual form. This way, electronic music can now be made by just playing a keyboard or a guitar rather than having to learn an instrument.

Finally, one instrument that cannot be classified as anything other than a musical instrument is the harmonica. While in past times it was rare to find a harpist, today you can find them being played in many places. Unlike other instruments, the harmonica is able to change the source. This means that instead of just playing from one side of the mouthpiece, the harmonica can change source to either side, allowing for a much wider range of pitches. In recent times, the harp has even been able to play polyphonic compositions, something which goes against most forms of music.