related topics
{album, band, music}
{language, word, form}
{math, number, function}
{@card@, make, design}
{work, book, publish}
{theory, work, human}
{rate, high, increase}
{acid, form, water}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}

Hornbostel-Sachs (or Sachs-Hornbostel) is a system of musical instrument classification devised by Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs, and first published in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie in 1914.[1] An English translation was published in the Galpin Society Journal in 1961. It is the most widely used system for classifying musical instruments by ethnomusicologists and organologists (people who study musical instruments).

Hornbostel and Sachs based their ideas by using a system devised in the late 19th century by Victor-Charles Mahillon, who was the curator of musical instruments at Brussels Conservatory. Mahillon divided instruments into four broad categories according to the nature of the sound-producing material: air column; string; membrane; and the body of the instrument. However, these categories were not new; they derive from the Natya Sastra, a roughly two-thousand-year-old Indian theoretical treatise on music and dramaturgy. Mahillon limited his system, for the most part, to instruments used in European classical music. From this basis, Hornbostel and Sachs expanded Mahillon's system to make it possible to classify any instrument from any culture. The result is the Sachs-Hornbostel system.

Formally, the Sachs-Hornbostel is modeled on the Dewey Decimal classification. It has four top level classifications, with several levels below those, adding up to over 300 basic categories in all. The top three levels of the scheme are described below.


related documents
Binary form
Tone row
Donegal fiddle tradition
Insomniac (album)
Slide whistle
Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters
Sound of White Noise
Raised on Radio
Perfect fourth
Wild Mood Swings
My War
Opus number
Tones on Tail
The Crickets
Attack of the Killer B's
Hanin Elias
Mark Farner
Satyricon (band)
Cleveland Orchestra
Nervous Breakdown
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
Keep the Faith
Fleming and John
Bedřich Smetana
Sylvie Vartan