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Musical Instruments

A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified for the purpose of making music. In principle, anything that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument. The term "musical instrument", however, is generally reserved for items that have a specific musical purpose such as a piano. The academic study of musical instruments is called organology. Until the 19th century, written musical histories began with mythological accounts of how musical instruments were invented. Such accounts included Jubal, descendant of Cain and "father of all such as handle the harp and the organ"; Pan, inventor of the panpipes; and Mercury, who is said to have made a dried tortoise shell into the first lyre. Modern histories have replaced such mythology with anthropologically proven information.

Among the first devices external to the human body considered to be instruments are rattles, stampers, and various drums. These earliest instruments evolved due to the human motor impulse to add sound to emotional movements such as dancing. Eventually, some cultures assigned ritual functions to their musical instruments. Those cultures developed more complex percussion instruments and other instruments such as ribbon reeds, flutes, and trumpets. Some of these labels carry far different connotations from those used in modern day; early flutes and trumpets are so-labeled for their basic operation and function rather than any resemblance to modern instruments. Among early cultures for whom drums developed ritual, even sacred importance are the Chukchi people of the Russian Far East, the indigenous people of Melanesia, and many cultures of East Africa. One East African tribe, the Wahinda, even believed that seeing a drum would be fatal to any person other than the sultan. The bagpipe was an old North African instrument used by the destitute Berbers to collect charity. Nero, the Roman Emperor, imported it to Europe.

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12 Items found Print
Band-in-a-Box
from Melissa & Doug Toys
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Musical Instruments (Location: AMU-00T)
$24.99
Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments
by Robert Dearling
from Smithmark Publishers
for 4th-12th grade
in Musical Instruments (Location: AMU-00T)
$18.00 (1 in stock)
Harmonica
from Melissa & Doug Toys
for ages 8 and up
in Musical Instruments (Location: AMU-00T)
$5.99
Kazoo
from Melissa & Doug Toys
in Musical Instruments (Location: AMU-00T)
$3.99
Meet the Orchestra
by Ann Hayes
from Harcourt
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Music Appreciation (Location: AMU-05B)
$7.99 $4.50 (1 in stock)
Musical Instruments
Scholastic: Voyages of Discovery #4
by Scholastic Books and Gallimard Jeunesse
from Scholastic Inc.
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Musical Instruments (Location: AMU-00T)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Musical Instruments - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by Ellen J. McHenry
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: A01-DOV)
$2.99 $1.88 (1 in stock)
Story of the Incredible Orchestra
by Bruce Koscielniak
from HMH Books for Young Readers
for 1st-3rd grade
in Music Appreciation (Location: AMU-05B)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Story of the Orchestra
by Robert Levine
from Black Dog & Leventhal
in Music Appreciation (Location: AMU-05B)
$19.95 $10.00 (1 in stock)
Those Amazing Musical Instruments!
1 Har/Cdr from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
for 1st-6th grade
in Musical Instruments (Location: AMU-00T)
$24.99
Young Person's Guide to Music
by Neil Ardley
from DK Publishing
for 4th-8th grade
in Music Education & Reference (Location: AMU-05A)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin
by Lloyd Moss
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 1st-3rd grade
1996 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$7.99