What is Musical Organology definition/concept

Musical instruments are grouped and classified in different ways. The discipline that studies everything related to the classification of instruments is Organology, a branch of music that is integrated into a larger one: acoustics. Musical Organology

Observing the contents of this course

  • – The principles and fundamentals related to musical sound are studied (wave types and their relationship with each instrument, tuning systems and acoustic  behavior in a room);
  • – The qualities of the different instruments are identified (the mechanisms of vibrations, the different frequencies or the identification of sounds);
  • – Instrumental formations are analyzed according to their melodic or timbral characteristics;
  • – Studying how to differentiate hearing from instruments;
  • – The instruments are analyzed in their historical and cultural context;
  • – The materials used and their relationship with the sound quality are explained ;
  • – The formation of orchestras is studied, both from a technical and historical point of view;
  • – The various classification systems are compared;
  • – Prehistoric artifacts are researched as antecedents of musical instruments;

Classification of instruments throughout history

The first rigorous classification took place in the 15th century, in Europe, for the purpose of organizing orchestral ensembles. In this sense, the instruments were divided into four groups : string, wind, percussion and all not included in the first three categories. Musical Organology

In the  19th century a new classification was introduced, from then onwards the instruments were ordered as follows: chordphones (there is a vibration of the strings); aerophones (instruments vibrate in the wind); membranophones (vibration affects a membrane) and autophones (in this case, what vibrates is the material of the instrument).

Types of Musical Instruments

There are three main categories: string, wind and percussion instruments. The former produce sounds by vibrating one or more strings, such as the guitar and violin. Among the wind instruments, we can highlight the saxophone, bassoon, clarinet, flute and oboe. Some of the most popular percussion instruments are castanets, congas, marimba, cymbals and drums. Musical Organology

It should be noted that some instruments produce sounds without any strings, apart from air columns or membranes. These instruments are known as idiophones and were very popular during the Middle Ages. Musical Organology

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