An idiophone is any musical instrument that creates the sound primarily by the instrument as a whole. Vibrating with out the use of strings or membranes. The early classification of Victor-Charles Mahillon called this group of instruments autophones. Most percussion instruments that are not drums are idiophones. Hornbostel-Sachs classifies idiophones into four main sub-categories.

The first division is the struck idiophones [sometimes called concussion idiophones]. This includes most of the non-drum percussion instruments familiar in the West. They include all idiophones made to vibrate by being struck, either directly with a stick or hand like the wood block, singing bowl, steel tongue drum, triangle or marimba or indirectly, by way of a scraping or shaking motion [like maracas or flexatone]. Various types of bells fall into both categories.

Idiophones / Hornbostel Sachs No#:
Number Type Instrument
111 Directly
111.1 Concussion Cymbals
111.2 Percussion Claves / Cajita
112 Indirectly
112.1 Shaken / Rattle Chekere
112.2  Scraped / Rasp Guiro
12 Plucked Mbira
121. Frame
121.1 Clack
121.2 Guimbarde Jaw-Harps
122.1 Comb
122.2 Cut out
13 Friction Glass Harp / Singing Bowls
131. Bowed Stick Nail violin
132. Bowed Plaque Musical saw / Daxophone
14 Blown
141. Stick
142. Plaque


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