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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

World Music: Instruments

This guide can help you begin upper level research into ethnomusicology related topics. Especially helpful for graduate students or students in Music 417. Students in Music 133 have a separate guide.

The Basics

Identifying and studying unfamiliar instruments is an important part of world music research.  There are various resources that focus on this specifically and can be very helpful.


Before exploring some books, it is helpful to become familiar with the Hornbostel-Sachs system of instrument classification.  It is used frequently in discussions of instruments from around the world.

Subject Guide

Music and Performing Arts Library's picture
Music and Performing Arts Library
1300 Music Building
1114 W. Nevada St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Subjects:Dance, Music, Theatre