An idiophone is whose category includes [Blown, Concussion, Friction, Lithophones; a category in percussion allocated to struck musical instruments made of stone, Shakers, Rattles] is any musical instrument that when played vibrates through the whole instrument without the use of air flow. The idiophone family is quite broad at the first two tiers direct and indirect this division is based on the methods playing the instruments.

A 19th century Burmese watercolour depicting a musician playing a patalla ; Watercolour painting by an unknown Burmese artist depicting 19th century Burmese life ~ Text: The Patalla and CHIN-GWIN, Shelf-mark: Ms. Burma. 5 ;

The four main categories in the original Hornbostel-Sachs Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification. The early classification of Victor-Charles Mahillon called this group of instruments autophones.

The most common are struck idiophones, or concussion idiophones, which are made to vibrate by being struck, either directly with a stick or hand [like the wood block, singing bowl, steel tongue drum, triangle, xylophones, marimba or indirectly, such as instruments that are played by scraping using friction to create sound. Or by scraping or shaking motion [like maracas or flexatone]. Various types of bells fall into both categories. A common plucked idiophone is the jawharp.


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