Idiophones are musical instruments that generate sound through the vibration of the entire instrument. The instrument class is huge and varied – it includes concussion idiophones (instruments that are scraped or struck with a tool, such as a stick) as well as idiophones that are plucked, such as the Jew’s harp. Here are some further examples of idiophones:
- -Percussion instruments – most instruments in the percussion category that are not drums fall into the category of idiophones. Also called struck idiophones, the class includes triangles, cymbals, xylophones, rattles, glockenspiels, bells, rattles and many others;
- -Plucked idiophones – this is a category that includes a smaller number of instruments, such as the Jew’s harp, the music box or the mbira (also called the lamellophone or the thumb piano);
- -Blown idiophones – this is an even smaller category and includes instruments that are sounded by moving air, such as aeolsklavier, a wind instrument similar to a harmonium;
- -Friction idiophones – these instruments generate sound when its parts are rubbed against each other or against an object that does not produce sound itself. The musical saw is probably the most commonly known example, but the class also includes the singing bowl, an instrument widely used in Buddhist ceremonies and becoming increasingly popular in the West, being used for inducing a meditative state of mind.
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