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Musical Instrument Families and Ensembles

Instrument families

It is important to note that several instrument families possess unique characteristics. In the case of country music, the most used one is the strings family, which includes dobro, banjo, or autoharp. Similarly, rock also belongs to the strings family, such as bass and guitars. However, jazz mostly utilizes brass instruments, which include trombones, clarinets, and trumpets. The blues style is mainly based on the brass family, and these are saxophones and trumpets. Latin music primarily focuses on percussion instruments, such as timbale, conga, and pandeiro.

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The most important instrument

The most important instrument is the guitar because it offers variety and allows a performer to be able to cover a wide range of notes. In addition, it can go in conjunction with singing by generating the correct music background for the song. It is a member of the strings family, which is used in several music styles, starting from country music and ending with rock. There are variations of guitars, which include traditional and acoustic ones, where the latter can be technologically enhanced to match the style.

The most widely used musical instrument

The most widely used musical instrument is the piano because it is a classical choice and generates beautiful sounds without any form of interference. It was utilized by the most historically prominent composers, such as Mozart, Chopin, and Beethoven. A piano is the centerpiece of the classical genre, which is highly regarded as the most sophisticated style. Operationally, the given instrument is the most appealing for its range that covers all 88 notes on the musical scale. In addition, the tool possesses a theatrical aspect, which makes it highly popular.

Theatricality, permeating the world of modern artistic culture, is one of the characteristic cultural phenomena, spreading its influence in various spheres. In the field of musical art, it is also possible to observe the process of penetration of this phenomenon into non-theatrical genres, such as choral art and instrumental performance. The history of piano performance is filled with examples of the manifestation of such expressive motions that distinguish the performance of outstanding pianists. Each master had his or her special stage portrait, reflecting all the richness of plastic movements, directly connected both with the drama of the works performed and associated with the formation of special acting styles. Such plastic manifestations not only bring additional expressive properties to piano performance but also largely contribute to the optimization of the process of artistic perception, enriching its communicative potential.

During the musical development in Europe, opera became the main musical genre, but it could only be heard in theaters. The piano was the only instrument for bringing it into the broad musical culture of people without an opera theater. It was also scrapped for distribution to music circles and broadcasting music to society. It can be considered that in this way, a huge class of musical transcriptions of operas, ballets, symphonies, and dances arose. Thus, an important function of the piano in musical culture is its role as a universal instrument of musical culture and the replacement of musical theater in its absence. This was manifested in numerous accompaniments to opera arias and solo piano works of the genre of transcriptions and paraphrases.

The least used instruments

The least used and underrated musical instruments are the percussion family members due to their large size. Although some may find it harder to play the drums, they provide fuller and richer sounds that cannot be replaced by any other family. In addition, this category is based on the most natural of all playing styles, such as beating, and the instruments allow a performer to set the beat. The overall rhythm and dynamics forming capabilities are unmatched in the world of music. It is underrated because the percussion family is mostly used in the background of the act by outlining key moments and changes in direction.

Percussion instruments have always been an important part of any musical culture. Therefore, the number of musical and instrumental groups in which percussion instruments are needed can hardly be accurately determined. One such musical group is a modern symphony orchestra, which cannot be imagined without a group of percussion instruments that convey such means of musical expression as rhythm, tempo, and dynamics. The group of percussion instruments in a symphony orchestra has changed over time, thanks to the development and changes in the music of different eras and directions. In a modern symphony orchestra, great attention is paid to the percussion group; it can be varied in the composition of instruments, depending on the nature of the works performed. The drums convey a certain message and idea of ​​a composer to a listener.

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The jazz drum solo

Although jazz is mostly reliant on the brass family and the instruments, such as trumpets, are key elements of the given style, drums can also be used in solo performances. For example, one can watch a drum-only jazz performance by Latin drummer Alex Acuña (“DRUMMERWORLD by Bernhard Castiglioni,” 2014). It is important to note that drums are best used in conjunction with other families. However, solo performance is possible regardless of the lack of range in providing more prolonged sounds.


DRUMMERWORLD by Bernhard Castiglioni. (2014). Alex Acuña: The jazz drum solo Web.

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