How many instruments are there in an orchestra? Get to know the facts and history of some of most popular woodwind, brass, string and percussion instruments.
Banging on drums, blowing through bamboo stalks and hollowed out bones and singing: human beings have been creating beautiful music since the dawn of time. The earliest-known instruments are around 67,000 years old - but they've now evolved into the modern orchestral families we know today:
Blowing through a mouthpiece or reed creates a sound on these instruments, which include flutes, oboes and clarinets.
If you can hit it, it's probably a percussion instrument. Think drums, xylophones and triangles.
Violins, violas, cellos and double basses are members of the string family - which usually involves moving a bow back and forth over metal strings, which vibrate to create a sound.
Trumpets, trombones and tubas are part of this family, which create a sound when the player blows through a metal mouthpiece.
This is an octobass – it’s so low it will turn your insides to jelly
Your insides. They are liquid now.
Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ performed on Renaissance lute is giving us life today
It’s about time someone did this.
This violinist can play Habanera one-handed while bouncing a ping pong ball in time...
...on one leg.
Just look at how fast Lang Lang can play a C major scale
This is ridiculous. Stop showing off, Lang Lang.
This metal version of Saint-Saëns’ Danse Bacchanale is utterly righteous and will...
The metal cover you didn’t even know you needed.
This bonkers Ligeti etude could be the loudest piece we’ve ever heard (it has EIGHT...
It’s called ‘The Devil’s Staircase’ and it is unbelievable.
This is what happens when a soloist gets bored during concerto rehearsals
Every cadenza is an opportunity for mischief…
The 10 worst things about playing the piano
If you're a pianist, you'll know. You'll know.
Jeremy Corbyn tried to play the violin and we’ve analysed his technique
That bow hold, Jeremy. Come on.
Our expert thinks these are the five best violinists ever. Do you agree?
From Heifetz to Perlman with some lesser known violinists in between, David Mellor believes these are the five players from the gramophone era that no one can beat. What do you think?
Top pianist’s advice: ‘Let music be the reminder that we do this because it’s so...
'This is why we are here, if one is a musician. It should always be nurtured and kindled and kept.'
Musicians' Hierarchy of Needs graphs
Each instrument has its own set of requirements - see if you've got what it takes.
Now an *oboist* has inhaled helium and played a virtuosic Mozart concerto
Mozart's Oboe Concerto in C K314, performed on an instrument full of helium, because of course.
The world’s smallest grand piano actually sounds really sweet
Aww. Tiny piano, tiny sound.
This frankly terrifying solo violin piece is surely one of the hardest ever written
And we convinced someone to play it for us…
The 10 worst things about being a 2nd violin
You are always in the shadows. You will never play a melody. Sorry.
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