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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Music 133: Introduction to World Music

This guide can help you begin research into world music. Especially helpful for students in Music 133.

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.

Sounds of Specific Instruments