(Last Updated On: December 11, 2020)

5 Tuneful Origins of Celebrated Musical Instruments – Did you know there are over 1,500 musical instruments? These musical instruments are broken down into six major categories. The musical instrument categories include bowed strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, keyboard, and the guitar family. According to recent statistics, about one in two Americans plays at least one instrument. Many of these Americans most likely play one of the following popular musical instruments. Explore these 5 Tuneful Origins of these Celebrated Musical Instruments.

1. Piano

The piano is the most-played musical instrument in the United States. An Italian named Bartolomeo Cristofori invented the modern version of this keyboard instrument in 1700. He based his invention on the harpsichord, which was invited in Italy 200 years prior. Cristofori called his creation the clavicembalo col piano e forte, which meant a harpsichord that could play loud and soft noises. Musicians and other lovers of the instrument eventually shortened the name to piano.

Throughout the years, there have been various versions of the piano. It wasn’t until the 1880s, however, that the standard piano consisted of 88 keys. One of the most famous pianists of all time is Ludwig van Beethoven

2. Guitar

Gaetano Vinaccia from Naples, Italy, is credited for creating the six-stringed guitar. He came from a family of famous luthiers. A luthier is someone who manufactures guitars and other stringed instruments. Vinaccia and his brother invented the six-stringed guitar around 1776.

Today there are many different types of guitars, including acoustic, electric, twelve-string, and steel guitars. Music lovers would agree that rock ‘n roll legend Jimi Hendrix is the best guitarist of all time.

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3. Drums

People have played drums for thousands of years, which is why the drums are one of the world’s oldest instruments. The history of these percussion instruments dates back to 5500 BC in China. Drummers usually played with their hands instead of a stick, which didn’t come about until the 1300s.

During the 1700s and 1800s, drummers used two sticks, one in each hand. Drums were especially popular in the military, where drummers led marches. Americans receive credit for creating the drum set, which they developed in the 1930s. One of the most famous drummers of all time is rocker John Bonham from the group Led Zeppelin.

4. Flute

The next item on the 5 Tuneful Origins of Celebrated Musical Instruments is the flute. This ancient woodwind dates back to the Paleolithic era. The earliest flutes did not have keys. Instead, they only contained a mouthpiece and seven finger holes. During the 17th century, flute makers added a single key to the instrument.

German wind instrument manufacturer Theobald Boehm receives credited for creating the modern version of the flute. He first demonstrated his style of this instrument in 1847 at the Paris Exhibition. He made the tube from metal and added numerous keys. Sir James Galway from Belfast, Ireland, is the most famous flutist of all time.

5. Violin

The earliest bowed stringed instruments appeared in the Orient during the Middle Ages. A bowed stringed instrument called a fiddle emerged in Europe during the end of the Middle Ages. The first violins are very similar to the ones played today. It’s believed that Andre Amati and Gasparo di Bertolotti from northern Italy developed the violin around 1550.

Amazingly enough, a violin made by Andre Amati in 1565 is still in existence today. There have been many famous violinists throughout the years, but many agree that Niccolo Paganini is the best of all time.

These are only 5 Tuneful Origins of Celebrated Musical Instruments. Many of us play an instrument, either as a hobby or professionally. What are your favorite instruments to listen to or play?

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