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Home Ensemble Category Acknowledgment



According to Catherine Schmidt-Jones in her article "An introduction to a classification system for all musical instruments", there are two method to classify musical instruments. One of the method is according to Western orchestra where instruments are divided into four main groups consist of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussions. Though the method is well known, it sometimes can be hard and confusing to implement to Malay musical instruments which are mainly non-orchestral instruments.

The second method was first published in 1914 by Erich von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs are more spesific, inclusive and accurate, where as instruments are classified by the way their sound are produced. Musicologist preferred this method over the first one.

In general instruments are classifies into four main categories:

1.0    Aerophones

2.0    Idiophones

3.0    Chordophones

4.0    Membranophones

However, there are one increasingly popular category which is the electrophone. An instrument that is not amplified electrically is an acoustic instrument. There are instruments (such as the electric-acoustic guitar, vibraphone, and electric saxophone) that keep their acoustic resonators but are also amplified and altered electronically. Actually any instrument sound that has been through a microphone and amplifier, or even been saved as a recording, belongs in this category. These instruments are probably best categorized as they would be before being amplified.

There are also a large number of instruments that could be categorized as either mechanical or electrical. Mechanical instruments are played by some mechanical mechanism instead of by a person. (Music boxes, player pianos, and carillons are in this category.) Electric instruments (electric guitar, electric bass) rely on electronics instead of a resonator to amplify and alter the sound. These hybrid instruments may be categorized as mechanical or electric instruments, or they may be classified according to how the sound is produced before it is amplified (electric guitar is still a plucked lute chordophone, for example, or perhaps simply an electric chordophone) or after the mechanism causes it to play (carillons are percussion idiophones - bells).

But there are some instruments that are true electrophones; their sound is both produced and amplified by electronic circuits. (This group includes the electric organ, synthesizer, and theremin.)


Ilustrasi oleh Margaret Jones

Figure: Electric guitar