African instruments are some of the most elegant and unique instruments in the world. There are several classification systems, and the Hornbostel-Sachs system is among the best classification system because it works for all musical instruments. It does this by analyzing the vibrations created by the instruments and how it does this. The Hornbostel-Sachs system is the most popular system and people view it as the best system because it measures instruments against one another. As this paper looks into these African instruments, they will be labeled with these classifications: membranophones, chordophones, aerophones, idiophones, and percussion.To be more specific, membranophones are drums, chordophones are stringed instruments, aerophones are wind instruments, idiophones are “resonant solids,” and percussion is things like foot stamping and hand clapping. The talking drum is considered a membranophone which can be played both by the hands as well as drum sticks. Idiophones are bit more complicated than membranophones, as they have three classifications called struck, shaken, and tuned. For struck idiophones, the musician uses only his hand to pound on the instrument, and for shaken the musician uses a “shake” to get the sound out. For tuned the musician tunes different parts of the instrument to create a musical scale.
Whisper singing, reed pipes, and yodeling are examples of aerophones, and koras and harps are examples of chordophones (“Performing music,” n.d.). The video says that African music has impacted music altogether very much, and that spiritual music has deep roots in Africa because of the melodic rhythms its adopted (Creighton University, n.d.). Of course, African celebrations require an ample amount of music which includes weddings, funerals, celebrations, and births. Africa covers all the classifications of music, and that’s been able to trickle down into other cultures and countries that have adopted this African music. African music will stay with us for a very long time and cross future generations.

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  • University, C. (2012, February 22). Retrieved August 08, 2017, from