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.
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 masterpiece for double reed in Oboe Concerto in C K314, with added helium.
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.
The 10 worst things about playing the flute
No-one can hear you, no-one can pronounce your name and your arms will always ache. Sorry, fluterers.
Need some inspiration to keep playing? Here’s a 96-year-old violinist playing...
This is what it sounds like when you’ve been playing an instrument for almost a century.
This is what a world-class pianist does when their train is late
Obviously you knock out a Prokofiev sonata while you wait.
This 40,000-year-old flute sounds truly haunting and otherworldly
What tune would *you* play on the world's oldest flute?
If your instrument could talk, this is what it would say
Your treasured instrument: what would it tell you?
Look away now: this violinist claims his ex-wife SMASHED all of his violins
This is tough to watch.
Mesmerising: watch the hypnotic process of how a tuba is made
A masterful, beautiful process in high-speed.
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