Music Theory Department, Governor's Magnet School for the Arts, Norfolk, Virginia
Instrument Chart
Collection of instrumentsThis page will show you the various transpositions and characteristics of each instrument at a glance. You'll find sections on each family of instruments.


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Quick Reference

Quick Reference

Woodwind instruments of oldThe woodwind section is one of the most beautiful sounding sections in the world of music. These instruments provide a delicate sound which can be heard just about anywhere there are woodwinds. In the woodwind section, there is a vast variety of instruments in the family, but there are just so many, not all of them can go in the chart. Do not be discouraged, though, if the instrument you play is not in the chart. It just shows the most commonly used woodwind instruments. Such examples of these instruments are like the contrabass clarinet. Most of time, this large instrument is used in a band if it does not have an adequate bass section. Another example would be the soprano saxophone, because it is usually used in jazz and soloing for jazz or recordings. There's even bass flute that is used sometimes, especially in flute choirs.

*woodwind info*

Quick Reference

Brass Instruments of oldWelcome to the Brasswind section! This section is another one of the most beautiful sounding sections there are. This is the section that gives a good sound to an ensemble anywhere from a brass quintet to drum core. Granted, that brass is not the best section in everything, but sometimes it provides the backbone to an ensemble. In the Brasswind family, instruments vary from the tuba to the piccolo trumpet. The chart below shows the most commonly used instruments such as Bb trumpet and the tenor slide trombone. In brass, there are some instruments that are only used for special occasions. For example, fluegel horns and alto trombones are used mainly in jazz, soloing, or recordings. Piccolo trumpets are used sometimes for soloing because of its bright sound, like in the Beatles song "Penny Lane" in which a piccolo trumpet was used in the song for the solo. Another example is the melophone which is used in marching band and drum core.

*brass info*

String instruments of old*strings intro*

*strings info*

Quick Reference

Percussion Instruments of oldThe percussion family includes many instruments, including everything from piano and harp to quadratoms and timbales. Percussion instruments are used to give a wide range of effects to the ordinary symphony to create an image the composer wished to paint. There are several auxiliary percussion instruments used to add smacks and buzzes throughout a piece of music. But then you have your drums. You can make soldier come alive in the war of 1812 with a snare drum or two, or go back to Africa with congas or bongos. Here's just a few.

*percussion info*