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Musical Instruments

I have a strong suspicion (okay, I'm convinced) that one of the things I enjoy most are musical instruments and the sounds they make. I enjoy collecting and experimenting with them and have decided to add a section to this site in order to share some of them. Enjoy!

Unpitched percussion

The following instruments are commonly found in an "Orff Instrumentarium" that are used in many music education settings. They are presented in "score order" meaning that they appear in descending order as they are found on a musical score that uses the Orff approach:


Score Ordered
Other (Not score ordered)


Score Ordered
Other (Not score ordered)

Shakers and Scrapers

Score Ordered
Other (Not score ordered)
  • Goat toenails (I don't know the real name for these)
  • Jawbone (from an ass)
  • Rain-stick
  • Talking Drum
  • Thunder Tube


Score Ordered
  • Hand Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Bongo Drum
  • Conga Drum
  • Snare Drum
Other (Not score ordered)

Large Percussion

Score Ordered
  • Gong
  • Bass Drum
Other (Not score ordered)

Sound effects

Ethnic instruments & other cool things


  • Chinese spouting bowls - these fascinating instruments create spectacular "water fountains" when played properly.
  • Ghanta or Dril-bu - Tibetan singing bells
  • Himalayan (Tibetan) singing bowls - this link will take you to a video that was taken VERY QUICKLY of my latest toy - a Tibetan Singing Bowl. Please note that this video was not edited and was taken with a digital camera. I did NOT use a camcorder! In addition, I held the camera with one hand and played the bowl with the other. No attempt, at all, was made to play this well as both hands would have been required! Just the same, enjoy!
  • Shang - ritual bell of Bönpo shamans
  • Tingsha - Tibetan finger cymbals


Brass (Wind)


  • Chinese Opera Gongs - until a few years ago, when I went to a retreat on "sacred sound healing," I had no idea what kind of instruments made those very unusual "boing" sounds. As the following attest, I now how my own set of Chinese Opera Gongs (too cool)!
    • Ascending
    • Descending
  • Suspended cymbal



Trumps (Jew's Harps)

These instruments are found in many parts of the world are are commonly referred to as "Jew's harps." Most are played by placing the instrument between the teeth; the Kupling is placed between the lips. One interesting site that I've found about these instruments is Mouth Music Press.



These pages authored and maintained
by the BassoonMan.
© 1999-2014 All rights reserved.
Site Established: 8/31/02
Last Revised:
February 1, 2014 11:00 PM  


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