Musical Instruments and Their Importance – Since times of yore, man has been associated with music. It is the expression of the heart. History tells us that Neanderthal man used bone flute. Evidence also exists that percussive instruments might have been used.
Musical Instrument Definition
Defining a musical instrument: Anything that produces sound can be called a musical instrument. The term usually is reserved for instruments that have a particular function in an orchestra. The academic study of musical instruments is known as organology.
Instruments can be identified by the way they are played and the tone they generate. Wind instruments using power of the lungs, String instruments where strumming is required and electronic instruments that play automatic by touch of keys. Even the human voice can be termed an instrument as the singer generates the voice through the effort of his lungs and vocal cords acting together.
Wind instruments can be either built of wood or brass. A good example of the former could be the flute while trumpet is an excellent example of the latter. These instruments play when the musician blows into a tube. There are holes which one can open and close with the fingers to produce different kinds of sound.
String instruments are completely opposite. They are played by strumming on the cords. A good example would be the guitar. Some well known guitarist’s were the Beatles and Dire straits
Percussion instruments can be played when struck. The sound is determined by the material of which the striking surface is made and the cavity that is left to produce the sound. Drums are excellent examples of such instruments. They are used by rock bands across the world.
We now come to the electronic instruments. This category includes the keyboard and electronic guitar. These instruments often follow other types of instruments. The keyboard for example. It can play virtually any instrument ever discovered. Paddles and other accessories change the sound to match the instrument they are trying to imitate.
Of all the musical instruments we have talked about, the human voice is the most complicated. Through tightening of muscles, drawing breath in different ways, singers can generate wide ranging voices that affect us in strange ways. In medieval times, minstrels use to sing stories to the common people making them cry and laugh. They use to have immense power over the masses. Even today if you listen to a good singer, you are moved by his or her rich voice and emotions.
Music has always been and will be a part of us. It is straight from our hearts and the purest form of our emotions. The secret to every tradition is held in its music. Classical raaga in the case of India with its charming and emotional touch and haunting melodies from Ireland give us a taste of the mystery that lies in the fogs there.