10 Chordophone Instruments, Definition, Meaning & Examples - Keiyus.com

Chordophone Musical Instruments - One of the classifications of musical instruments is the term "chordophone" or "chordophone instrument." This term is a designation for musical instruments that produce sound sourced from strings.

So, on this occasion, we will explore together what a chordophone musical instrument is, the various types of musical instruments, and provide examples of musical instruments that fall into the chordophone musical instrument category.

Instead of taking longer, let's look at the full explanation by scrolling down this article, and let's study the discussion to the end. 

Table of Contents

Definition Chordophone

Chordophones are a class of musical instruments in which a vibrating string creates sound. The five main categories are bows, harps, lutes, lyres, and zithers. 

The term chordophone is used to specify stringed instruments when a precise, acoustic description is needed. These instruments can be compared to aerophones, electrophones, idiophones, and membranophones.

Plucked Chordophone Instruments

Plucked chordophone instruments are a dominant classification of musical instruments and there are many examples. 

In this article, we will discuss a few examples. For more details, see below.

1. Guitar

10 Chordophone Instruments, Definition, Meaning & Examples

The guitar is a musical instrument that consists of a long, fretted neck and a hollow body. It is played by plucking or strumming the strings with the fingers or a pick. 

Guitars come in many different styles, including acoustic, electric, and classical. They are used in a wide variety of music genres, including rock, pop, blues, country, and folk.

2. Ukulele

10 Chordophone Instruments, Definition, Meaning & Examples : ukelele

Ukulele is a small four-stringed musical instrument that is similar to a guitar but with a smaller size and a higher pitch. 

It originated in Hawaii and is often associated with Hawaiian music, but it has also become popular in other genres such as folk, pop, and rock music.

The ukulele is usually played with a strumming technique and can be accompanied by singing or other instruments. It is a versatile instrument that can be played by people of all ages and skill levels.

3. Harp

10 Chordophone Instruments, Definition, Meaning & Examples

Harp is a musical instrument consisting of a triangular frame with strings stretched across it, played by plucking or strumming the strings with the fingers or a plectrum.

It is often associated with classical music, but can also be used in folk and popular music. 

The harp has a long history, dating back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Greece.

4. Shamisen

10 Chordophone Instruments, Definition, Meaning & Examples

Shamisen is a traditional Japanese musical instrument that is similar to a banjo or lute. It has a long neck, a large, round body, and three strings that are stretched over the body.

The shamisen is played with a plectrum called a bachi and is often used in traditional Japanese music such as folk songs and Kabuki theater performances. 

The shamisen is also sometimes used in modern Japanese pop music and has been gaining popularity in other parts of the world as well.

5. Harp Guitar

10 Chordophone Instruments, Definition, Meaning & Examples

Harp Guitar is a type of guitar that has additional strings extending beyond the traditional six strings of a standard guitar. 

These extra strings, known as "harp strings," are typically tuned to a different pitch and are played with the thumb or a pick. The harp guitar is often used in folk, classical, and jazz music, and is known for its unique sound and versatility. 

Some notable musicians who have used the harp guitar include Michael Hedges, Andy McKee, and Stephen Bennett.

6. Sasando

10 Chordophone Instruments, Definition, Meaning & Examples

Sasando is a traditional musical instrument from the island of Rote in Indonesia. It is a type of harp made from a hollowed-out coconut shell, with strings made from the fibers of the lontar palm. 

The instrument is played by plucking the strings with the fingers, and it is known for its unique and melodic sound.

Sasando is often played during traditional ceremonies and celebrations in Rote and other parts of Indonesia.

Stringed Chordophone Musical Instrument

Stringed chordophones, a type of musical instrument, can be played not only by plucking the strings, but also by strumming them. 

Examples of such instruments include:

1. Violin

Violin is a string instrument that is played by holding it under the chin and using a bow to play the strings. 

It is a common instrument in classical music and is also used in other genres such as folk, country, and rock music. 

The violin has four strings, tuned to the notes G, D, A, and E. It is played by pressing down on the strings with the fingers to create different notes and pitches.

2. Cello

A cello is a stringed instrument that is part of the viol family, which includes the violin, viola, and double bass. It has four strings that are played with a bow or plucked with the fingers. 

The cello is typically played while seated and is held between the legs, with the left hand pressing down on the strings to change the pitch and the right hand holding the bow or plucking the strings. 

It is known for its rich, deep, and mellow tone and is often used in orchestral and chamber music, as well as in solo performances.

3 Musical Instrument Bass / Contra Bass

The Bass and Contra Bass are both stringed musical instruments that play a fundamental role in many types of music, including jazz, rock, and classical.

The Bass is a four-stringed instrument that is typically played with a bow or plucked with the fingers. It is the lower-pitched counterpart to the cello and is often used to provide a rhythmic foundation to music. The Bass is commonly used in orchestral and chamber music, as well as in jazz and rock bands.

The Contra Bass, also known as the Double Bass, is a larger version of the Bass with four strings that are typically tuned to a lower pitch. It is often used in orchestral and symphonic music to provide a deep and rich sound. The Contra Bass is also commonly used in jazz and rock music to provide a strong rhythmic foundation.

Both the Bass and Contra Bass have a prominent role in shaping the overall sound and feel of a piece of music and can be heard in a wide range of music genres.

4. Rebab Musical Instrument

The rebab is a stringed musical instrument that originated in the Middle East and is commonly used in traditional Arabic and Persian music. 

It has a pear-shaped body and a long neck with several strings that are played with a bow. The rebab is often used as a lead instrument in ensembles and is known for its melodic and expressive qualities.

It is also sometimes played solo, and is considered a difficult instrument to master due to its intricate tuning and playing techniques.

5. Tarawangsa Musical Instruments

Tarawangsa is a traditional musical instrument from the Sundanese people of West Java, Indonesia. It is a two-stringed bowed instrument that is played with a bow made of horsehair. 

The body of the instrument is typically made of wood, and it is decorated with intricate carvings and inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

 The strings are tuned to a pentatonic scale, giving it a unique and distinct sound that is often used in traditional Sundanese music and dance performances. 

The instrument is considered to be very important in Sundanese culture and is often passed down through generations within families.

6. Arababu Musical Instruments

Arababu musical instruments refer to a variety of traditional instruments used in Arab music. Some of the most popular Arababu instruments include:

  • Oud: A stringed instrument similar to a lute, the oud is one of the oldest and most popular instruments in Arab music.
  • Qanun: A stringed instrument played with a plectrum, the qanun is similar to a zither and is often used in classical and folk music.
  • Nay: A flute-like instrument made from bamboo or reed, the nay is used in traditional Arabic music and is often played in ensembles.
  • Darbuka: A hand-held drum typically made of ceramic or metal, the darbuka is played with the fingers and is often used in Arabic pop and folk music.
  • Riq: A small tambourine-like instrument played with the fingers, the riq is used in traditional Arabic music and is often played in ensembles.
  • Buzuq: A long-necked lute with a pear-shaped body and a long fingerboard, the buzuq is used in traditional Arabic music and is often played in ensembles.
  • Tabla: A pair of drums played with the hands, the tabla is used in traditional Arabic music and is often played in ensembles.

Pressed Chordophone Musical Instrument

A chordophone musical instrument that is played by pressing instead of picking and swiping.

1. Piano Musical Instrument

The piano is a musical instrument that produces sound by striking strings with hammers. It is classified as a percussion instrument because the hammers hit the strings to create sound. 

The piano has a keyboard with 88 keys, each key corresponding to a different note. The piano is versatile and can be played in a variety of musical styles, from classical to jazz to pop.

It is often used as a solo instrument, but can also be used in ensemble settings such as orchestras and bands. The piano is also commonly used in accompaniment for singers and other instrumentalists.

2. Organ Musical Instruments

An organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by blowing air through a series of pipes. The pipes are arranged in ranks and controlled by a keyboard, pedals, and stop knobs.

Organs come in a variety of sizes and styles, and are commonly used in churches, concert halls, and other venues for classical and religious music. 

They can also be found in some homes and recording studios.

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