string instruments

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:

Woodwind instruments

Blowing through a mouthpiece or reed creates a sound on these instruments, which include flutes, oboes and clarinets.

Percussion instruments

If you can hit it, it's probably a percussion instrument. Think drums, xylophones and triangles.

String instruments

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.

Brass instruments

Trumpets, trombones and tubas are part of this family, which create a sound when the player blows through a metal mouthpiece.

String Instruments

Woodwind instruments

Instrument Features