String Instruments List with Pictures

String Instruments List with Pictures


Instruments that produce sound through vibrating strings are called string instruments or in other words, stringed instruments. Stringed instruments are the instruments that make a sound due to the vibrations caused by applying strings to the strings or by striking them. The loudness of this sound is determined by the resonance created by the vibrating body cavity as a result of these wires vibrating no matter the way.

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Short History of String Instruments

"String” is the key feature for these instruments as you can understand from name of it. Movements of the strings on the instruments by using fingers or any kind of auxiliary tool creates vibration and the voice. Then, systematic and harmonious hits make up the notes. This is how string instruments are basically working.  Whereas it is easy to understanding of their working, their history is much more that.

A Lyre in Ur from the Ancient Mesopotamia in 2500 to 3000 BC, what we have as concrete evidence and source to explain history of string instruments. On the other hand, it is not clear when and where the first string instrument was created. Since music and musical instruments are evolving from culture to culture and every culture has some addition to the music world, it is understandible that we can not attribute string instruments to any nation or region. However, we can see the changing and affection from region to region and it brings string instruments nowadays.

We can see ravantstron from the Indian folk instruments and Rebab from the Eastern Asia as string instruments as evolved versions of Lyre from the Ur. When we look the west, we see the Lyra in Byzantina and then it has been contining to evolve. 1600 CE is called the Baroque period and it generated “lira da braccios” which is ancester of modern violin.

Turkish String Instruments: Link

Persian String Instruments: Link 

What are the features of string instruments?

Stringed instruments are the most basic instruments in the music world. The strings on it can make beautiful sounds if the right touches are made. These stringed instruments found their place in the first part of the Western music orchestra. In general, wires made from the intestine or metal vibrate by either being plucked, by a spring or by pulling with fingers.


stringed instrument


Stringed instruments are a type of instrument with many models. Different trees are used in the construction of each of these models, but as always seen, nature is used. Naturally, we can see that string instrument list vary according to many different cultural structures. For example, while violin and many violin models are the building blocks of a certain culture, the excess of the instruments in our country is always remarkable. Therefore, the instruments named with the same name may differ for the cultural infrastructure of the geography in which they are located.

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Stringed instruments can be produced entirely by hand or fabricated. Wired instruments are in a state that requires much more care and attention, and fabricated products are more guaranteed. However, it should not be overlooked that a handmade string instrument has much higher quality than a fabricated string instrument.


Playing techniques

String instruments, usually stringed instruments, are instruments that produce sound by causing the Stick-Slip-Effect stick to slip by vibrating the hand by sliding a stick over the string. They are usually classified according to the technique used to vibrate the strings (or, in the case of instruments to which more than one instrument is applicable, the primary technique). The three most common techniques are plucking, bending, and striking. An important difference between bowing and plucking is that in the former the phenomenon is periodic so that the timbres are kept in a strictly harmonious relationship with the fundamental.

There are also string instruments that are percussive with sticks. The bow is an integral part of string instruments. It consists of a bundle of horsetails stretched between the two ends of a slightly curved stick made of hardwood. Arrow; It is played from the bottom up by holding it with the right hand. This lower head is called the 'heel' and the upper one is called the 'tip' or 'top'. The lengths of the springs vary between 70 and 75 cm.

Plucking is a method of playing instruments such as the veena, banjo, ukulele, guitar, harp, oud, mandolin, lute, and sitar, using a finger, thumb, or feather (now plastic plectrum) to pluck strings.

Bowin is a method used in some string instruments such as the violin, viola, cello, and double bass and the old viol family. The bow consists of a bar with a "strip" of parallel ponytail hair stretched between its ends.

The third common method of sound reproduction in string instruments is to strike the string. Piano and hammered dulcimer use this sound production method. Even if the piano is hitting the strings, the use of felt hammers means that the sound produced can still be soft and rounded, unlike the sharp attack produced when a very hard hammer strikes the strings.


What are the list of string instruments?

  • Harp
  • Balalaika
  • Banjo
  • Banco
  • Saz (family)
  • Guitar (family)
  • Barbitos
  • Berimbau
  • Bouzouki
  • bouzouki
  • Chapman Stick
  • Charango
  • Cumbus
  • Cheng
  • Çifteli
  • Dutar
  • Epigonion
  • Kannel
  • Kantele
  • Qanun
  • Kitara
  • Kithara
  • Oud
  • Double Bass
  • Kopuz
  • Kora
  • Kamancheh
  • Kemancha
  • kemence
  • Classical Kemancha
  • Violin
  • Lavta
  • Lyre
  • Mandolin
  • Phorminx
  • Rebap
  • rebab
  • Sitar
  • Surbahar
  • Shamisen
  • Tar
  • Tremolo
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Violoncello
  • Tanbur
  • Yaren
  • Ukulele
  • Charango

Families of String Instruments

Stringed instruments are a group of instruments with a wide range of diversity. As mentioned above, we can examine this string instrument list range, which differs according to many cultures and geographies, under 3 main groups:

The first one is THESIS INSTRUMENTS. This instrument group sounds by pulling and releasing the wires with the help of tools such as pena or plectrum. In order to provide this vibration, only the use of fingers can be sufficient without the need for any auxiliary tools. As an example of this type of string instrument list; guitar, electric guitar, oud, mandolin, harp, tar, qanun can be shown.


String instrument


There are many sub-breakdowns in this group as well. For example, there are electric guitar, classical guitar and bass guitar types under the guitar title. This makes up the family of guitars. The same is also true for bağlama saz. There are many types of baglama that are found in many areas in our culture. Varieties such as short stem baglama, long stem baglama, saz types and electro baglama form the baglama saz family.

Another string instrument type is shown as SPRING WIRE INSTRUMENTS. In contrast to instruments with thesis, this type of instrument sounds with the help of strings and a bow. Bow hair rubs against the strings of the instrument, pulling the strings, resulting in sound. The most common stringed instruments can be shown as violin and fiddle.


cumbus instrument


Again, there are sub-refractions. There are many kinds of stringed string instruments under the name of violin. The violin is the smallest member of this family. Other members of this family are known as viola, violin and cello. The group formed by these stringed instruments came together and was called the violin family.

The third and last string instrument type is the PERCUSSION STRINGED INSTRUMENTS. In this type of string instrument, a hammer is hit on the strings, and as a result of this interaction, vibration and therefore sound occurs. The best-known example that can be given to the instruments in this group can be shown as piano.

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String Instruments Used in the Orchestra

Stringed instruments are the most common type of instrument used in orchestras. These string instruments are, respectively, the violin, viola, cello, double bass, and harp.

The violin is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family, which also includes the viola and cello. It has four wires. The tuning sounds are from low to treble: sol, re, la, and mi. Its length is 60 cm. Orchestras generally have three parts (solo, I, and II). It is given the task of solo and accompaniment (especially a solo instrument). It has a very rich expressive power with a tonal color that is not found in any other instrument. There are more violins in the orchestra than any other instrument.

The viola is the second member of the string instrument family and is similar in shape to the violin but slightly larger in size. Its physical structure is very similar to that of a violin. The violin family has a medium voice in musical instruments and is located between the violin and the cello. Body length is around 41–45 cm. In the orchestra, he is given the task of voicing the middle parts of the harmony accompaniment. Because the sound field of the viola is right in the middle of the sound field of the orchestra.

The cello is a four-stringed tenor instrument from the string family. Although the shapes of the violin and cello resemble each other to a large extent, their sizes are very different. An orchestra usually has 8 to 12 cellos, playing both harmony and melody.

The double bass is the deepest instrument of the string group, from the violin family. There are two types: 4 strings and 5 strings. The double bass with five strings is frequently needed in the performance of symphonic orchestral works. The double bass has four strings made of a special kind of steel.

The harp is a fixed-tone instrument. Each string can produce three distinct sounds. The harp, which is held in an upright position and used in orchestras, is the only instrument among contemporary orchestral instruments that can only be played by pulling the strings with the fingers. The harp has 47 strings and seven pedals. With the help of pedals, the sound of the strings can be changed. These pedals can be set to three different positions.

Some Tips to Choose a String Instrument

It is important to choose instrument what you love but exploring that is not always  easy. Sometimes it can be an adventure some of musicians from one instruments to another and sometimes, players can be affected from outside. Let’s look at some out advices:

  • Making a short research about string instruments can give you idea. Especially if you listen them, you can be familiar with the voices.
  • Features of instruments and your skills can guide you to apart instruments to choose easily.
  • Choosing a right place to buy your string instrument is also important detail. When you find your instrument market, it makes your music adventure comfortable. Sala Music one of the sites to help you to get satisfying instrument.


  • Kerem

    Awesome informations. Thanks for all!

  • Mehmet

    it was a nice post, thanks :)

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