Most Popular Italian Musical Instruments

For Italians, music has been one of the cultural identity of the society as well as in politics. Opera a famous classical music was invented by the Italians in late 16th century. And now opera has become the integral of Italian music. Instrumental as well as classical vocal music is a conspicuous part of their culture. Folk music is also an essential part of country’s heritage. A sense of appreciation of beauty and emotionality is in connection with the music. And on the political part, Renaissance and royalty of Roman Catholic Church were commissioned to this music. And in this article, we are going to focus on some essential and famous Italian musical instruments that are today in use not only specific to Italy but the entire world.

Italian Music Instruments


It is an aural stringed instrument invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori where hammers strike the strings. It is very much similar to a keyboard where there is a row of keys that the performer presses down or hits with fingers of both hands. And the keys will cause the hammer to strike the strings. Piano gives a soft as well as a loud sound, and it depends on the performer’s touch. It is a significant instrument in various genres like jazz, blues, rock and also folk.


It is made up of a hollow wooden body with strings on it, and it is usually played using a bow which is a stick with one string attached. The bow is drawn across the body, and the strings are plucked with fingers. It gives powerful sound and projection. The genres including are bluegrass music, jazz and rock. Nowadays electronic violin has also been introduced where the plucking by fingers is not required. It is common in name as a fiddle.


It is similar to a violin but is bit small in size, and we don’t need a bow to draw the strings. We just need to pluck it with a little piece of wood known as plectrum or pick. The music genre that uses mandolin is folk and classical music. Many contemporary singers also follow mandolin as it has a classic blend towards music. It is not a very big instrument, and one can hold it between two hands. The Americans and guitar later modified this string instrument.


It is basically of two types. One is old pipe or portative which is a portable pipe instrument while other is the modern organetto which is usually in use in Italian folk music. The performers who play them pushes the pipe, and the air gets pumped which further produces sound. It is generally in use in religious procession or other occasions.


It is a typical woodwind instrument which consists of three pipes. It is a polyphonic instrument where one part function as a drone and the rest two playing melody. It was invented during old kingdom that is 2778-2723BCE. It is the most effective instrument among all as it is resonant and the musical aura lasts for a prolonged period.


It is a drum-like instrument which is played in the southern part of Italy. It consists of a cylindrical box with its top closed by a stretchable membrane and a bamboo cane attached at the centre. The layer is made up of rabbit or goatskin. The instrument is played by hitting the rod with a cloth or sponge to the surface that causes it to vibrate and exhibit sound.


It is a type of vessel flute. Flutes are long pipes with several holes in it, but this is oval. It is an enclosed surface with four to twelve finger holes and one mouthpiece that is projected outwards. It is made up of ceramic or clay, but nowadays metals, plastic and wood are also used. Air enters through the mouthpiece and strikes the surface which produces sound. We can make variations using the holes. By covering the holes, low pitch sound is produced while uncovering it raises the pitch.

There are twenty-six types of Italian musical instruments which represent their culture and heritage. But the above were some of the important and oldest tools of the era.

One thought on “Most Popular Italian Musical Instruments

  1. Pete says:

    Italian music has made its own name around the world when it comes to music and this melodious music comes out with some of the best instruments out there. Italy releases La Bella e la Bestia in October 2009 in the National Theatre of Milan, which was fully restored for the musical. This album has been one of the most successful albums in the Italian history.

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