This online discussion is open for comments February 25-March 3. An overview of these assignments and how you’ll be graded is available here.


The approximate reading time of this post is quite short (around 2 minutes), but that’s because almost all of the content is listening-based rather than text-based. Below you’ll find links to pages with videos demonstrating various common (and uncommon) musical instruments found in Western classical music, grouped by instrument family (i.e., all the instruments on a single page produce sound in a similar way). There are many more instruments in the world than are included here, but this is a good introduction.

As you read and watch, think about ways you can describe the timbre or sound quality of the various instruments you hear, or other ways to group their sounds besides instrument family—these sonic details, just like the distinctions in sounds you’ve been noticing as you completed your soundscape journals, are what bring all of our other musical elements to life.

Explore and enjoy!

Instrument families:

You can hear various instruments combined on this page, which explores different ensembles.

Putting your attentive listening to work

In class, we’ll be listening to examples of symphonies, or large works for orchestra. What instruments a composer uses (or has available) doesn’t just reflect his or her taste or preferences; it’s also determined by the prevailing style of music when he or she was alive.

Here are three examples of symphonies from three different composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Classical era), Ludwig van Beethoven (early Romantic), Johannes Brahms (late Romantic). As you listen, use your attentive listening and knowledge of different instrument sounds to learn more about how the symphony orchestra has changed over time:

  • What instruments are used: What instrument(s) do you hear? Are some instrument families missing from the complete orchestra?
  • How those instruments are used: What instrument(s) are playing the melody? Which are playing the accompaniment? Which are added for color or flavor intermittently?

Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato 

Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio 

Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro 

Final thoughts

As suggested by how many instruments are included in this lesson, and the fact that it barely scratches the surface of all the instruments people play around the world, the world of musical instruments is huge. You can find woodwind, brass, string, and percussion instruments all over the world, and there are infinite combinations out there for you to experience and enjoy.

-Dr. J.

89 thoughts on “Instruments and voice types (Online discussion Feb 25-Mar 3)

  1. My take on this discussion would be voice types. Now, my reason why i preferred the voices than instruments is not just because it was the first one listed above. But because these songs sounded familiar to me. I’ve heard these classic songs before but only reference in movies or shows for dramatic impact. I never knew what were the actual messages of these songs. Never knew the meaning of these stories. And that’s what got me interested, the stories. Soprano type of music is story with a woman who has a high pitch voice. That plays as a menacing, supernatural, unruly Queen who disowns her daughter. The song sounds beautiful at first when you hear it but if you read the contexts of the story it’s pretty ugly. This a good contrast. Another good voice type would be Tenor. Tenor is usually by a man lead role where the person plays as romantic or heroin that reaches out to someone, many, or the audience with a high voice.

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    1. I honestly felt the same way. Hearing the pieces that revolved around the sound family of voice gave me nostalgia. These songs were played within various films in Hollywood and are still consistently being played today. I believe the goal of film makers was to add contrasts and juxtapositions. This is most likely to induce the audience to feel the result of sound with image. It transforms the entire film piece into something inseparable. Yet we knew very little about the original structure of these musical pieces. Its cool.

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      1. Yes , i agree even the face expressions of an artist while performing the piece was changing with the notes she was hitting. If u give a close look.

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      2. Yeah, we do know very little with these songs since its of a different language. It manges to make it somewhat difficult to understand it at first glance but what be your favorite ? An favorite piece of music on this site or outside of it that caught your interest.

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    2. I agree with that part that they need somebody with a great voice type which are women because they can reach that note. The part that got me confused is that while trying to pursue her dreams she is kind of bullying her daughter by bringing her down. The point brought up is that many different people can reach that high note or pitch just like an instrument. You need that person that kind of can stand out with a really good voice. As you stated about Soprano part of the four is the highest, that can be way higher than something like the trumpet, violin, etc from so many different artists Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, etc

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      1. Yes, it’s sometimes amazing how we can somewhat change the pitch of our voices to sound like instruments.

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    3. great intervention in the voice type. And i would like to know how different does it feel in feelings to hear a single voice and a specific instrument like violin, flute, guitar or piano?

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      1. Well it feels good in hearing someone sing or play a instrument. It makes no difference to me they both sound equally good but if done well of course. Nobody wants to hear someone who can’t sing or play. But let’s say i had to choose only one it would be instruments for sure. Reason is when you hear someone sing they’re usually telling you what’s the song is about. So, let’s say for example am listening to a song like Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC. It would basically be the same track your listening to over and over again until you can’t take it. But with instruments you can interpret it as many ways you like. You figure out what the instrument is telling you, like a piece of art.

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    4. Strongly I feel the same way of where you are coming with this claim. When I hear sounds of instruments playing in a background of old tv shows I notice it a lot. Also I agree that when you first hear a sound of an instrument in a song it sounds wonderful. Unfortunately when you get into the full details of that instrument being played it is like you start analyzing more of what message is being given. Overall starting a song off positive gets the audience interested in what they are gotta listen to as they engage into it than understand the message it is bringing to them as some songs start to go down negative as you listen to them.

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    5. why do you think they thought to use such a high beautiful voice for something so menacing? What effect do you think it gives off? What’s the meaning of it all?

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      1. Well in my opinion i figured they did this out of contrast. Usually menacing characters have deep heavy voices but with a more lighter voice puts a different turn on things. The effect of it would be to surprise the audience with this unexpected switch of voices. The meaning of this would be just to change the expectations of its audience and keep them on their toes for anymore impractical things. But what do you think is the meaning of this change ? The effect it gives off ? And why a beautiful voice for a menacing character ?

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        1. I definitely agree with you on the contact it adds dimension and a suprise to the audience listening

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    6. I agree with you when you say that you became interested knowing the stories behind the music. I feel like when it comes to listening to these pieces you just have to make your own story to find it interesting.

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      1. I agree, sometimes it’s better not to know the actual truth but your own, because than it might ruin the image you had it of.

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  2. My take on this lesson would be the power of the sound families. Within each sound family there are distinctions and influential qualities of sounds that withhold vigorous substance. While I listened vigilantly, I often went back to the previous videos to grasp a greater analogy and essence of these sounds. I find it intriguing that all of these instruments and ranges of voices still have a significant impact on society today no matter of its prolonged history. I appreciated the tips from the musicians that practice the instruments, I believe it helps us alleviate our understanding of the ramifications of not playing these instruments accurately and efficiently. After watching and listening to all of the videos provided regarding each sound family, it was refreshing to blindly listen to the three well constructed and beautiful pieces that revolutionized the western classical genre. To conclude, this lesson was very eye opening. I simply cannot imagine the tremendous effort that composers, musicians and vocalists put into these pieces and their development. Personally I truly love classical symphonies along with operas, therefore I enjoyed this lesson along with it.

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    1. i really like your point about how it’s fascinating to see how enjoyable to hear the sound of those instruments in this era. However do you think that there is a huge difference from people of today society and a century back on how they appreciate the value of an orchestra?

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  3. Audio 1
    Woodwind family almost flutes
    Strings family
    Keyboard instruments
    I think string instruments are used for melody
    Absence of percussion instruments
    Family of string instruments are used for effects
    Absence of voice
    Audio 2
    Keyboard instruments piano
    Basson
    French horn
    Percussion instruments drum sound
    Sounds like old movies background music
    Flutes like alto , piccolo used for effects
    Flute playing melody
    Absence of voice instruments
    Bass flute (not sure)
    Audio3
    Drums percussion instruments
    Volin string family
    Flute
    Oboe
    Piccloo
    Piano effects
    Absence of voice
    Bass flute
    I know this is not a great observation but I think fear for starting a discussion. I’m sure i had missed a lot of instruments so comment what u think or observe. Pieces was dramatic , serious, romantic. To me all them sounds like background music of movie and animated cartoons this is the only connection i can made with these pieces because i have never attended a show.what about u all please let me know ?

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      1. To be honest i just watch that YouTube videos given in the beginning of question. So basically they have divided all these instruments in families brass family, percussion, woodwinds family, etc. if you ever took pop choir in school you will be familiar with terms like bass, aulto, etc. same rule work iver here . The only difference is instead of human sounds we have instruments with different sounds. You can understand it better if you first try to understand different instruments families and how they work. Rather than jumping in to question.

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    1. It’s really nice, that you can distinguish so many instruments out of all those sounds. It is not as easy as it seems, and I tried but couldn’t tell the difference between many of the instruments.

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  4. To be honest, I cannot distinguish how many different instruments used in music. but, I felt those three different music are huge. I mean each instrument has difference timbre. As the result, all instruments to follow the melody to structure the music. I think it is wonderful to experiment to make me understand how those instruments working.

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    1. If you listen to how some different instruments sound it will become more easier to tell them apart.

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    2. That’s how i felt at first too, it took me a few attempts to really begin seeing some sort of originality between the pieces however, when i finally did, there were no substantial differences. only slight changes that were just enough to change the general tone.

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    3. I agree with you, the same happened to me I cannot distinguish how many instruments are used in music because I get used to enjoying the music and not to pay attention to the instruments.

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  5. Personally, I feel as if the thing that interest me the most is the first option of the voice types. This is interesting to me by just listening to Paul Robeson performing ”Ol man River’ ‘ which has that curiosity about the setting around him. This melody was something that had his voice change from a minor to a major with
    something happening that was mostly positive. This specific song seems like something related to the Titanic or somebody at sea on a journey. Paul sounds calm in the video where he is just going along with the umph in the song in terms of that big change where a minor that sounds like a weight to a major where their is an uprising, us the audience look at it as the unknown of what somebody could accomplish. This guy Paul has a path of what he needs to accomplish and realizes it across the course of four minutes.

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  6. My question is what do you think is higher in terms of voice, pitch, note, key, etc a person with a high pitched voice or a instrument like the Clarinet? Why do you think that is?

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    1. I would think that an instrument would be higher than a person with a high pitched voice. Unless vocally trained really well it’s hard for someone to reach the highest octave, however an instrument can hit it easily because it is meant to hit those notes.

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  7. I have good listening skills but when it comes to music and trying to distinguish the instruments it becomes pretty tough because I can distinguish some but not all. When all. the instruments are being played together and bring this harmonies sound it gives such a good feeling.

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    1. Similar to you, when I am listening to music, I tend to get carried away by the harmony and I do not always pay attention to the different musical instruments. As I continue to take this music class and be exposed to the different instruments, I plan to become more familiar with the instruments.

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    2. They honestly start to sound the same to me. I feel like you have to really be trained and familiar to be able to distinguish the instruments. I get easily distracted too and don’t pay attention to the individual instruments.

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    3. I can relate with you because trying to distinguish instruments is pretty tough for me. The music I listen to don’t have all these instruments playing so it very different and it’s the voice of the artist that I hear the most. So when it comes to just listening to instruments is something new to me.

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  8. For “Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato”  the instruments I heard were the Violin, Viola, Sul ponticello and maybe pizzicato. I’m sure there’s more I wasn’t able to pick up, but I do believe all the instruments being used for this song come from the same family—Strings.
    Now for “Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio” and “Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro”  Although the songs sound different, I believe they use the same instruments. I heard instruments from the string family, woodwind, keyboard, maybe brass but I cannot pinpoint exactly what the instruments are. If there is a difference in the instruments being used for these songs, what is it?

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  9. For “Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato” the instruments I was able to listen to were the Violin and pizzicato. I wasn’t able to notice any other instruments but im more then sure it was plenty more being used.
    for “Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio” I listened to it many times and I always listen to a new instrument for each time violin, tuba I also heard a piano & trumpets for sure.
    the last one “Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro” was my favorite one of all of them more relaxing for sure defiantly heard violins, Chellos and maybe a flute. I believe that the second a thirds pieces of music used the same instruments.

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    1. I also had a hard time distinguishing between all of the instrument families when listening to the three composer clips. The ones that really stood out to me right away were the string families with the violins and cellos being quite noticeable. After concentrating my listening and closing my eyes, I started to discern the woodwind family instruments such as the clarinet and flute along with the piano which is a percussion family instrument.

      My question to you is, were you able to distinguish between the violin and viola in either of those clips? I for one couldn’t distinguish between them.

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    2. I will have to agree with “Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro” it has such relaxing soothing sound to it. Like i hear more violin in it, and i feel like violin give more rushing fierce noise the compare to other instrument family.

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  10. Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato – I can hear strings; violins, violas, cellos, double basses. I can also some woodwinds and brass instruments; like French horns and clarinets. The instruments families that are missing from being a complete orchestra are percussion and keyboard instruments. In Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato the violins are playing the melody and the cello and double basses are playing the accompaniment. Sometimes the violins will use
    fast staccato techniques in the symphony. This symphony mainly focuses on the violins and pushes all the other instruments to play the accompaniments.

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  11. Listening to music of a different era may not me a norm, but it gets interesting once someone gets a feel for it. I listened to all the voice examples and it helped me to clearly distinguish the voice types. I may be able to identify a voice types the next time I listen to an opera. I have always been interested in symphonies because I discovered that the instrumental music helped me concentrate better when I study or read.
    In the ‘Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato’, the piece sounds like it has less instruments than the other symphonies and the music is very well defined. There is a serious feel to the music and I can more easily identify the instruments.
    In ‘Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio’, there is a mixed sense of emotion in the music. There is a feeling of excitement at some point and an anxious feeling in other parts. It feels like a mixture of the classical music and late romantic.
    The ‘Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro’ sounds like music from a Disney movie. It sounds like there are more instrument that the other symphonies. The different groups of instruments play at the same time, the instruments sound like they overlap. All the instruments give a harmonious texture to the piece of music.

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    1. @sashox – I actually believe keyboard instruments are easier to distinguish than voice types because in keyboard instruments, not just me, but as an audience we can tell if musicians play major or minor scale based on the musical notes they have in front of him/her.

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  12. i believe that most of the strings instrument, like violin, viola, cello and harp, brings some feelings of sadness into us. i Think the orchestra of the second listening has woodwinds, strings and brass instruments. i was not able to hear any percussion sound in the second listening. The melodt is mainly played by the violinists followed by the trumpets, horns and trombones. the accompaniment are played by the flutes, gong, chimes, and cowbell.

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  13. Even after listening to how the different instruments sound like, I still find myself having trouble identifying the instruments. I think it’s because I am so used to listening for enjoyment rather than listening for instruments. Although sometimes a certain instrument may stand out to me while listening.

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    1. I felt the exact same! i also never thought about how we pay attention to certain things others dont and everyones listening experience isnt the same. which instruments did you find easier to identify?

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    2. I totally agree with you on this, it isn’t as easy as it seems to differentiate between the different instruments used, and you also just get carried away listening to it rather than to start thinking about which types of instruments are being used after you hear the few basic ones.

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    3. I agree with you because I personally always focus on voice and not much on interments as its very important in a music piece and identifying the instruments in these pieces was quite difficult for me.

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  14. In Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato, I hear strings. In Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio, I hear woodwinds and percussion. In Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro, I hear both strings and woodwinds.

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  15. Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro
    I feel that this piece starts off with the strings leading the melody with other instruments such as brasses and woodwinds creating a homophonic texture.In which the woodwinds then take over the melody and the strings rest leading to a softer more relaxed part of the music. This then leads into a build up with the reemergence of the strings section allowing for a dramatic part of the piece to take place. From this I found that with orchestras, the type of sound and feel for the whole piece can be highly influenced based on which sections are participating in the moment that you are hearing. Such as woodwinds leading to a more relaxed sort of magical feel to the music, where as strings can be used to create either a slow relaxing feel or a fast dramatic feel.

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  16. It is not really noticeable that symphonies change through out the eras, but you can really distinguish the differences between the three music pieces. In Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato. It involves mostly with the string family. with the violin and cello accompanied with some of the woodwind families. In Ludwig van Beethoven’s, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio, unlike Mozart’s symphony, It involves more musicians taking part of the piece. I can hear String instruments doing the melody and accompanied by woodwinds, brass and percussion. Timpani, trumpets and french horns adds to the accompaniment as they give more “meat” to the piece. In Johannes Brahm’s Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro, I feel like the brass family has more contribution with the accompiment unlike in Beethoven’s piece which i feel like is more with the woodwinds. What I noticed with all the exquisite pieces, there was no cymbals even if some of the percussions were present.

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    1. @jnavz852- I can definitely picture what you are trying to describe for these three pieces of music. However, how do you feel about the instruments’ tempo while performing each piece of music? What about each piece grabs your attention and sets your mood? Please explain…

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      1. @jacobalon28
        I feel like they have the same tempos. I believe this is one of the characteristics of an orchestra. It goes on a fast pace and then goes on a calm pace. What my grab my attention was how or what does one musician think when producing or composing such incredible pieces. It is a bit interesting for me since i have a little to none knowledge about symphonies and orchestras. These pieces motivates me to know more what’s beyond music and the musician’s mind.

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  17. I can relate to this. It is a bit difficult to distinguish which instruments unless you are familiar of orchestras. I may know like the violins, the drums, the trumpets and etc. but when it comes to like differentiate between a violin and viola is a bit confusing. Maybe if a person is more used to orchestras, it would be easier for them to compare.

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    1. The method I use to distinguish orchestras instruments is listening to the pitch and texture of the sounds. For example the difference between a violin sound and a viola sound is in pitch. The viola sounds generally lower than the violin. Another example can be trumpet and the trombone, the difference is that the trumpet the sound comes out instantly and the trombone it kind of scales up or slides up when trying to reach a note.

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    2. I felt the same way when I was listening to those instruments. Part of is because I never grew up listening different type of instruments and I couldn’t spot much of a difference in the sounds.

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      1. That’s a very astute observation, and that really helps me understand why I was struggling to pick out the instruments present in this piece. Do you think that people who lived in that era had a much easier time listening out to the different pitches of instruments, like the difference between the viola and the violin, since those were the instruments used then?

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  18. My take on discussion would be about strings. The reason that I have chose strings was that as I was listening to a piece called “Niccolo Paganini, Moto Perpetuo, Op. 11 No. 6, performed by Yehudi Menuhin” as one of the sounds was the violin and another one the piano. In my opinion I felt that only two different sounds were played which didn’t really complete the orchestra as there should of been a few more instruments like the harp , double bass , cello and viola. The instrument that is playing the melody is the violin. The instrument which was accompaniment by the violin was the piano. The instrument that was added for color or flavor intermittently was a gray color that was the violin.

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  19. I am not used to listening to music during Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms’ time because they are usually not played in my everyday life. Although, out of all the musical families I understand the keyboard instruments the most. The reason why I find them simpler to comprehend because I am able to know which key to play especially in the piano because when I was twelve years old, my father taught me how to position my fingers on the board and read the notes in order to know which key was which. After a while, my father removed the notes and made me perform notes without depending on the notes itself in order to know how to compose music smoothly and efficiently like parents taking the training wheels off their children. For example, based on the Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “ Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111 I. Maestoso-Allegro Con Brio Ed Appassionato (1822)” video I observed on our online discussion under “Keyboard Instruments” https://youtu.be/E7XbzXMyXjg , Daniel Barenboim seems like has everything under control because he remembers all the notes he needs to play under Beethoven and it took skill, time and effort to perform this piece of music. In addition, you can just tell which keys are major scale and which are minor scale.

    In “Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato,” the instruments that I heard was the violins and the cellos (Strings family), clarinets from the Woodwind family and piano from the keyboard instruments family. Some instrument families that are missing from this orchestra was the percussion instruments such as cymbals and no voice type. I believe the violins are playing the melody. Viola plays the accompaniment and the cello adds the flavor.

    In “ Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major “Eroica,” I” by Ludwig Van Beethoven, the instruments I heard was the French Horn and Tuba from the bass family, Basson and flutes(Woodwinds) and snare drum (Percussion). What is missing are the voice instruments. I believe flutes play the melody and french horn plays the accompaniment. On the other hand, the trombone adds the flavor.

    Last, but not least, in Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro,” the instruments I heard was the piccolos, oboes, violas and piano. What I found missing is the double basses, and timpani. I believe the violins played the melody, cellos was the accompaniment and flute added the flavor.

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  20. I didnt realize that you can pick and chose the instruments to your liking. i thought that orchestras are conducted in a way that there is a formula like you need the exact instruments. i also really like the idea of voice groups, a song doesn’t always sound good in every key, maybe i need to find my kinda music for my vocals lol

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  21. In “Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato” I hear instruments such as violin, cello, and pizzicato. I’m not sure what instruments were played to the exact but they are seemingly all forms of strings. I like how the music in this piece goes from calming to up-beat and attempts to fill the listener with excitement and suspense.
    In “Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio” I hear the violin, woodwinds like the piccolo, bassoon, and oboe. I also heard a bit of drums at one point in the piece. I liked our dramatically the music changed and how often. If I closed my eyes I would feel like I’m going on a roller coaster of some sort because at one point I’d feel calm and then the next I felt the excitement; somewhat similar to the first piece, except I felt like the feeling of the music shifted more often.
    As for “Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro” I think I heard clarinets, and definitely heard violins, a bit of cello, as well as oboe and trumpet. I felt like there was a more epic feel to the music with this piece because of all of the different types of instruments used. I think certain instruments typically give off certain emotions – like how most people would associate the violin with sadness or misfortune and trumpet would represent something upcoming.

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    1. The instruments used and how they are played are indeed vital to the emotional deliverance of any musical piece. The rollercoaster metaphor is certainly fitting. I believe pizzicato is a string plucking technique, not an instrument; but I, too, find the violin and cello to be the most noticeable instruments you can hear.

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  22. My take on this discussion would have to be all the different voice types. In the music we listen to today, we often mainly focus on the artist voice and what it sounds like. This is why for me it was easier to tell the difference between the different style of voices. When it came to the instruments I had a harder time telling the difference between the instruments especially in the strings. I believe this is the case because of what I’ve been accustomed to.

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    1. I agree that it is easier to distinguish different vocals because rather than instruments. To me, some violins and woodwinds sounds the same. If I was to hear a flute or a clarinet I would not be able to hear the difference whereas as a soprano and alto singer sounds totally different.

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  23. In a orchestra there are a variety of instruments you can hear. In the three pieces of today I was able to hear strings and woodwind. In Mozart Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K 201, I. Allegro Moderato I mainly hear violins violas and woodwind. I was not sure what other instruments. I was not able name other instruments. Listening to this piece makes me feel relaxed and calm. I believe the violins were playing the melody in this piece. When I listened to this piece I could imagine sitting at a concert hall and watching them play.

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  24. I truly like the way you have done the parallel between the two types. It even feels sometimes that are forced to use our imagination and senses to really give a sense to what our hears are consuming from these instruments.

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  25. After listening to the symphonies carefully, it was still a bit hard to find out which instruments were being used but, in the first symphony ‘Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato’ the main instrument which I could hear off the bat was that violins were being used, and then I could also hear some flutes occasionally. The music started slow and with a low sound, but then after every few seconds or so, the music sound would just go back up and I am not sure if any type of horn was being used. But when the music would get louder it seemed that a horn was also being used. For the second symphony ‘Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio’ one the major instruments you can hear is again violins with also some viola. Along with that, you can hear flutes being used. I am not sure if horns and trumpets were being used, maybe both because it is hard to distinguish between them as they can sound the same if used together. For the last symphony ‘Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro ‘, it is almost the same as the other symphony’s, the instruments being used are violins, flutes, trumpets, maybe clarinet and also some other string instruments which I cannot distinguish from the rest. The instruments used in all the symphonies were probably the same, and maybe I just couldn’t tell. The main difference, however, was obviously that they were different pieces and all of them were composed different with different intentions and I liked them all. If anyone else finds a different instrument be sure to tell me.

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    1. yes, at first it is bit overwhelming because your trying to makes sense of all the instruments being played, but after a while the music sort of take you on a ride. A ride that shows how regimented and highly talented these individuals are especially the conductor. to have the ability to such good ear for music and simple details is brilliant.

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  26. My thoughts on this lesson of “Instruments and voice types”, after having listened to the clips on this online discussion and from our class lessons, are that both are very amazing to listen to and that both require so much discipline and practice to master. I also drew the strong connection between the voice types and the woodwinds and Brass instruments since they all require the musician to draw from their diaphragms, lungs, tongue and lips to create the different notes. Before this, I never really gave too much thought to how much discipline went into developing the proper techniques for playing instruments or performing in an opera as a soprano or tenor. Especially with opera singing, I find it so amazing that the performer not only has to concentrate on her notes but also on her acting.

    I also have to say that, after discovering the beautiful music that the English horn makes, I am now a fan of this instrument and would very much like to take lessons to learn how to play it. However, my passion of singing makes me naturally lean towards the voice type. I loved the clip about the soprano opera scene because it is a note that I can sing and that I admire so much. Singing takes a lot of practice. I know, because I do a lot of takes before being satisfied with my song recording before I post them online.

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  27. The instrumental family I always find to be the most prominent in most, if not all symphonies, is strings. Violin and cello, for example, are instrumental (pun intended) to a classical piece. They create the signature elegant feel of classical music, and have a diverse range of emotions that can be produced depending on how they are played. Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major moves in many different directions throughout the entire piece. It starts off loud and creates a feeling of positivity and almost grandeur, fit for a large ballroom. There are sections that fade into quieter, more soothing notes. This is also a common element in all three symphonies- the fluctuating behavior of the tempo and dynamics. It gives the composition a personality, almost.

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  28. My response on this discussion would also be the strings . in my opinion it’s whats heard the most amd convay a sort of harmony in the music it’s self but the sounds of the violins, and flutes are highly prevalent

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  29. While listening to Mozart,Beethoven and Brahms, I noticed in all samples of music, the flute and violin was being used. The violins made harsh sounds while the flutes were more light and smoother. When I listen to music during the classical era, the instruments sound like they are having a battle between good vs evil. Some instruments set a good mood while others can give you shivers and make your heart race. After listening to the strings group I find the violin a very versatile instrument because you can play it with a bow or just pluck it with your fingers.

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    1. I agree with you 100%. I came to the same realization that violins are so versatile. They basically control the songs.

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  30. I am a person who has a great deal of respect for the musicals who dedicate their time and energy into creating such magical pieces of work and there is nothing I love more than a sweet catchy tune but, perhaps it is because I was listening to these musical projects back to back that caused me to sense such a lack of creativity. Now I’m not saying the music sounded exactly the same however, i am saying that it sounds as if it was written by the same person, on the same day who had the same motivation after eating the same meal.

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    1. wow! strong criticism there. However I will have to respectfully dis agree with you on this one. I believed that all the musical pieces I listened to so far from all categories are very creative, especially the “Quartets and Orchestras” these types of music are created for a specific reason and are all inspired by different things. For these musicians to really incorporate and capture their emotions and produce it into a musical form is simply pure genius.

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  31. My insight on all these wonderful families of sounds is that music is a divine beauty. when listening to the various pieces and types of music, I deemed it very sophisticated because every instrument within its respective family has its own distinctive sound. Every details matters when comparing and playing all the instruments within that same family of instrument.

    one perfect example I can pull from all the groups is ” Béla Bartók, String Quartet No. 4, IV. Allegro pizzicato 1928), performed by the Amadeus Quartet” within that Quartet; all the instruments that are being played are string instruments. each string instrument however produces different sound completing the other. I found that to be truly wonderful.

    which family of instrument is your personal favorite and why? provide three reason.

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  32. I always try to listen for the different type of instrument in song but it always allude me because i just keep listening to the song ques and beats to follow a long. Though one instrument that always interested me is the string family and that is the violin, to me i believe the violin has such a nice tone of music that it just feel right in almost anything fierce to play. It can be distinguished easier compare to the cello or bass for me, it has a tone that aloof other sound around it with its high pitch smooth sound.

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  33. Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato: I hear some strings/violin, possibly an oboe and some horns…
    Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio: For this one, I’m going to say there’s flutes, oboes, clarinets, violins, and trumpets.
    Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro: Violin, flutes, oboes, trumpets, and clarinets.
    My take on getting to hear the variety of instruments in the music world was mind-boggling. I never even heard of a Harpsichord. It’s crazy to think that there are even more instruments!! Just in one instrument family, there are so many distinct sounds with each distinct instrument in that family. I just wanted to point out how each instrument can create a specific and special sound. Then when you add other instruments together, a completely different feel. It takes someone who is familiar with these sounds to create a masterpiece like the ones presented in this discussion.

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  34. After this exercise it’s become clear to me just how much the listening experience varies based on the consumer. I’ve read the comments from my peers and a lot of them seem to believe that the string family are the ones that truly cut through the music and make them selves heard. I would have to disagree with that because to me the woodwind family are the ones who really carry the entire musical piece. I know many will disagree with me however, if you listen closely to Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major; you’ll begin to see just how relevant and demanding the woodwind family in throughout the entire length of the piece. it’s slightly magical really.

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  35. When in comes to listening to music, I’m usually good at being attentive to the multitude of details and sounds carefully mapped out and executed by the song’s composer, but with classical music I find that so hard to do because there is just so much going on. The piece where I was able to discover the most instruments, and my favorite of the bunch was Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato, where we can hear strings like violins, violas, cellos, and clarinets and other brass instruments. I loved the way Mozart combined the instruments to create a sense of splendor. Which of the songs do you feel was executed the best and why?

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    1. I agree classical music is difficult due to the extreme arts found within the music and all the structured instruments. Its difficult to analyze and be attentive towards, you make an interesting point.

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  36. After listening to all three musical pieces I realized that strings truly bring together a orchestral piece. Almost all songs we’ve listened to especially classical songs use strings and honestly I can’t blame them. Strings bring emotion and character to a song and whether the song is dark, or happy strings are versatile enough to portray both emotions. Piano/keys as well are capable of controlling a songs emotion but there is just something about strings that captures emotions on another level.

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  37. I had a hard time identifying what instruments were being played to make the music but I was able to identify woodwinds such as flutes, strings such as violins, keyboard instruments like the piano and not much of percussion. I personally find it easier to identify the instruments in the genre of music that I listen to because they’re very simple instruments than the instruments in classical music.

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  38. In Mozart, Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201, I. Allegro moderato I can hear violins, violas, and cellos, The violins are playing the melody and the cellos are added for color. In Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major “Eroica,” I. Allegro con brio I can hear some violins, flutes, trumps, and cellos. In Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major, I. Allegro I can hear a mix of some instruments of the different families of instruments. I can hear violins, cellos, french horn, flutes, clarinets, and basses.
    I enjoyed this activity to listen carefully to what instruments are used in these pieces, this music reminds me of the black and white movies. In the movies appeared this music to make it more dramatic or more intense. It’s like a rollercoaster you have a lot up and downs when you hear these pieces.
    Why do you think the string family makes us feel a lot of feelings?

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