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Inventing Musical Instruments

The History Behind Musical Instruments

Music is an artistic form of sound communication via musical instruments that produce sounds and tones. Music is as old as mankind. All cultures past and present have music. The "oldest known song" dates back 4,000 years ago and was written in ancient cuneiform. It is not certain how or when the first musical instrument was invented, however, most historians point to early flutes made from animal bones that are at least 37,000 years old. Below you will find the stories behind several popular musical instruments.

Accordion

an accordion

Charles Wheatstone invented the accordion in 1829. The accordion is played by pressing and expanding the air bellows, while the musician presses buttons and keys to force the air across reeds that produce sounds.

Baton

Classical Music Conductor Raising His Arms in an Auditorium

In the 1820s, Louis Spohr introduced the conductor's baton.


Bell

bell

Bells may be categorized as idiophones, instruments sounding by the vibration of resonant solid material, and more broadly as percussion instruments. The picture to the left shows the bells at the Agia Triada Monastery in Athens, Greece. Monks and hermits have found refuge for over 1,000 years at the gigantic rock formations in central Greece, which still puzzle scientists as to how they came to be formed and are visited today by thousands of tourists.

Clarinet

Clarinet

The clarinet's predecessor was the chalumeau, the first true single reed instrument. Because of his improvements of the chalumeau, Johann Christoph Denner is accredited as the inventor of the clarinet.

Guitar
Guitar

The history behind the universally popular string instrument played by plucking or strumming.

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