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Keyboard instrument - Instruments in This Family

Updated June 14, 2019 137.4k views15 items

Keyboard instrument: list of all the most popular musical instruments in this family. Any well-known instrument in the Keyboard instrument instruments family is included along with photos when available. List includes Harpsichord, Keyboard controller, more.

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  • Accordions are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone type, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist. The concertina and bandoneón are related; the harmonium and American reed organ are in the same family. The instrument is played by compressing or expanding the bellows while pressing buttons or keys, causing valves, called pallets, to open, which allow air to flow across strips of brass or steel, called reeds, that vibrate to produce sound inside the body. The performer normally plays the melody on buttons or keys on the right-hand manual, and the accompaniment, consisting of bass and...  more
  • The celesta or celeste is a struck idiophone operated by a keyboard. It looks similar to an upright piano, or a large wooden music box. The keys connect to hammers that strike a graduated set of metal plates suspended over wooden resonators. Four- or five-octave models usually have a pedal that sustains or damps the sound. The three-octave instruments do not have a pedal because of their small "table-top" design. One of the best-known works that uses the celesta is Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker. The sound of the celesta is similar to that of the glockenspiel, but with a much softer and more subtle timbre. This quality gave the instrument its name, celeste...  more
  • The clavichord is a European stringed keyboard instrument known from the late Medieval, through the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras. Historically, it was mostly used as a practice instrument and as an aid to composition, not being loud enough for larger performances. The clavichord produces sound by striking brass or iron strings with small metal blades called tangents. Vibrations are transmitted through the bridge to the soundboard. The name is derived from the Latin word clavis, meaning "key" and chorda meaning "string, especially of a musical instrument"....  more
  • A dulcitone is a keyboard instrument in which sound is produced by a range of tuning forks, which vibrate when struck by felt-covered hammers activated by the keyboard. The instrument was designed by Thomas Machell of Glasgow and manufactured by the firm of Thomas Machell & Sons during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A significant feature of the dulcitone was its portability, a product of its lightweight and compact construction and the fact that the tuning forks were not prone to going out of tune. However, the volume produced is extremely limited, and the dulcitone's part is frequently substituted by a glockenspiel. One piece scored for the dulcitone is Vincent d'Indy's...  more