The Origin of Musical Instruments

Although there are a range of theories as to the origin of musical instruments, 2 of the earliest recognized musical instruments were the Lyre and the “Pipe”.

The Lyre was a stringed instrument with usually ten strings and connected to the Harp with twelve strings, except the Lyre was played by choosing a single string at a time with a plectrum, like a little thin piece of metal, plastic, bone, or synonymous information and the Harp with its twelve strings were usually played by either strumming or selecting the strings with all the fingers.

An early mention of the Lyre was in Genesis 4:20-21 of the Bible, (circa 1450 B.C.) referring to Jubal as the “dad of the lyre and pipe”.  It is recommended the term, Jubal is the root word of “jubilation” referring to a musical celebration.

In today’s planet, a musical instrument synonymous to the Lyre is the guitar with all the sound yielded by the string vibration.  Since each string of the guitar displaces a tiny amount of air, the amount of sound is improved by utilizing a soundboard or resonant cavity of the hollow body of the guitar, from which comes the name, Acoustic Guitar.

The soundboard with its greater surface region displaces a better amount of air and produces a more robust sound than the strings alone.  The Acoustic guitar could be played with a choose including the Lyre plectrum or with all the fingers as with all the Harp.  Then adding today’s electronic development, to the guitar creates totally unique and different musical sounds and increased sound projection.

In the same Bible scripture (Genesis 4:20-21, a 2nd musical instrument is moreover described as “the pipe”, which relates in contemporary instances to a woodwind instrument, like the flute.  But as with all the Lyre, there has been a noticeable development from maybe initially a grouping of many pipes of differing lengths tied together and blown over the finish to provide a differing sound pitch modified to a single hollow tube with holes opened and closed with all the fingers, more synonymous to the C flute of now, with its holes at differing lengths and sizes in the instrument opened or closed by the fingers to provide a different musical pitch.

Thus, with human ingenuity at work, modifications to these 2 authentic musical instruments have yielded an whole family of string and woodwind instruments including the Bb clarinet to the enjoyment of both the musician and the listener.

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