Musical instruments, from the simplest pipes and drums to those of the utmost complexity, have formed an integral part of the cultures of all peoples of the world from the beginning of time.
Their range and diversity have inspired the skill and genius of maker, composer, and player.
This book celebrates that achievement and examines in a single A-Z sequence the astonishing variety of acoustic instruments throughout the ages. Each entry provides a concise description of the instrument itself, its construction, development, and playing techniques, together with details of its sound and use within the orchestra or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within rites of passage.
Musical examples highlight these points, and the whole text is beautifully illustrated with over two hundred photographs and figures. General articles cover instruments by period, continent, family, and other common groupings, such as orchestra and brass band, while there is wide coverage of related topics, including pitch, chord symbols, forgeries, and oddities.