Instruments of the Orchestra

String Instruments


  • Trumpet
  • French Horn
  • Trombone
  • Tuba

Brass instruments are made of brass. They are the loudest instruments in the orchestra. They make sound when players "buzz" into a mouthpiece. They change notes by pressing valves.


  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Bassoon

Most woodwinds are made of wood, but some are made of metal. Except for the flute, these instruments use a thin piece of wood called a "reed." The clarinet uses a one reed, but the bassoon and oboe use a reed made of two pieces of wood. Woodwinds change notes by covering holes in the instrument. Some of these holes are covered with covers called "keys."


  • Drums
  • Timpani
  • Cymbals
  • Triangle
  • And many more!

Percussion instruments range from very large to very small and are made of different materials. They are played by hitting it, scraping it, or shaking it. Sometimes you use sticks or mallets. Some percussion instruments have pitch and others do not. They are used to keep the rhythm.


  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double Bass
  • Harp
  • Guitar

String instruments have strings stretched over them and they make sounds when the player plays the strings in different ways. These instruments look similar but they are different sizes. The player may draw a bow across the strings. They also may pluck or strum the strings with his or her fingers. Plucking the strings is called "pizzicato."

Yo-Yo Ma: Elgar Cello Concerto, 1st mvmt
Saint-Saens : The Swan ( Le Cygne ) - Carnival of the Animals