Stringed Instruments

What are Stringed Instruments & Their Varieties?

Stringed Instruments are an important family of Musical Instruments that produce sound when their strings are vibrated. The vibration occurs when the strings of the instrument are held at an appropriate tension and plucked, struck or bowed. These instruments are usually categorized based on the method which is used to produce sound.

Varieties of Stringed Instruments

The most common categories of Stringed Musical Instruments include –

  • Plucked String Instruments include instruments like the Guitar, Violin etc that produce sound when their strings are plucked with the fingernails, fingers, a pick or a plectrum.
  • Struck String Instruments produce sound when their strings are hit by hammers or beaters.
  • Bowed Instruments such as the viol and double bass etc produce sound when their strings are played / brushed with materials such as horsehair etc.

Specialties of Stringed Musical Instruments –

Stringed Musical Instruments have been a major part of most music cultures across the globe. What sets stringed instruments apart from other kinds of Musical Instruments is their ability to be tuned. Gut strings have been used extensively over the years to create music. Stringed Instruments also have the unique ability to adapt to almost genres of music and have a strong clarity of pitch.

Factors Determining Sound & Pitch of Stringed Instruments –

A number of factors are responsible for the kind of sound that is produced and the pitch a string sounds in on a stringed musical instrument such as the length of the string, the string tension, the body of the stringed instrument and the soundboard.

Acoustic Musical Instruments – The strings of Stringed Musical instruments when vibrated produce sound. However, this sound created by the vibrating strings is not very loud. This is where the body of the musical instrument comes into play – Its hollow resonating chamber, sound board and the bridge over which the strings rest – all act as amplifiers and are designed in such a way so as to amplify and increase the power of the string’s vibration, thus creating a louder sound capable of being heard by the listeners.

Amplification of Sound Electronically – The sound of an Acoustic stringed instrument can be amplified with the help of magnetic pickups that do the job of electrifying the string instrument this creating a louder electric sound.

List of Common Stringed Instruments –   

  1. Santoor
  2. Ukulele
  3. Guitar (Bass guitar, Acoustic bass guitar, Cigar box guitar, Electric guitar, Baritone guitar, Tenor guitar, Harp guitar, Resonator guitar)
  4. Sarangi
  5. Ek Tara
  6. Cello
  7. Cuatro
  8. Lyre
  9. Harp
  10. Lute
  11. Banjo
  12. Sarod
  13. Sitar (India)
  14. Tambura
  15. Veena
  16. Saraswati veena
  17. Mandolin
  18. Zithe
  19. Viol
  20. Viola
  21. Violin
  22. Fiddle
  23. Erhu
  24. Rabab
  25. Esraj
  26. Double Bass

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