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Musical Instruments Beginning With S

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.

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Setar

An Iranian musical instrument and member of the lute family

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Country of origin: the Middle East

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

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Country of origin: Japan

Shamisen

A three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument

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Country of origin: Japan

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.

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Country of origin: Africa

Sitar

A plucked stringed instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent.

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Country of origin: India

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.

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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A tuned percussion instrument, originally made from the kind of large, metal container (also known as a drum) used for storing oil.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.