Musical Instruments By Letter

Want to learn more about an instrument – or discover new ones?

Find instruments alphabetically:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Sandblocks

Wooden blocks covered with sandpaper that are rubbed together to make a brushing sound.


Saxophone

A wind instrument made of brass with a single reed and a curved conical tube. The pitches are controlled by keys on its body. It is named for its inventor, Adolphe Sax.
Pronunciation:
Example:


Setar

An Iranian musical instrument and member of the lute family

*Usually considered a traditional instrument of the Middle East.

Pronunciation:


Shaker

A percussion instrument made of a container filled with beads or seeds which make a rattle sound when shaken.


Shakuhachi

A Japanese and ancient Chinese end-blown flute, made of bamboo

*Usually considered a traditional instrument of Japan.

Pronunciation:
Example:


Shamisen

A three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument

*Usually considered a traditional instrument of Japan.

Pronunciation:


Shekere

(also called Axatse) A West African percussion instrument consisting of a dried gourd with beads or cowries woven into a net covering the gourd.

*Usually considered a traditional instrument of Africa.

Pronunciation:
Example:


Sitar

A plucked stringed instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent.

*Usually considered a traditional instrument of India.

Pronunciation:
Example:


Snare Drum

A small double-sided drum with skin pulled tight over the top and bottom. Metal wires, called snares, are stretched across the bottom skin, and rattle when the drum is struck.
Pronunciation:
Example:


Steel Drums

A tuned percussion instrument, originally made from the kind of large, metal container (also known as a drum) used for storing oil. The head of the steel drum contains several depressions, each of which produces a different pitch. The steeldrum was developed in Trinidad in the 1930's and 40's, and is played with a rubber-headed stick.


Synthesizer

An electronic instrument, usually with a keyboard, used for the generation and modification of sound. First developed for electronic music studios, the technology evolved to enable concert performance, and eventually digital sound and recording capabilities.


Instruments Whose Names Start With S