• Ethnomusicology = the study of world music
  • Explain that they just finished reviewing 4 families of the orchestra, and that ethnomusicologists have categorized the world’s instruments into 4 families, which are similar, but not the same.
  • Display pictures of instruments from around the world. As they think through what some of the instruments have in common, guide them to put them into 4 categories based on what vibrates on each instrument.
  • Introduce the 4 ethnomusicology terms:
    • aerophones = air vibrates
    • chordophones = strings vibrate
    • membranophones = stretched skin vibrates
    • idiophones = solid material vibrates
  • When the students build their own instruments, tell them to inform you what category/ies their instruments fit into. (I don’t require them to memorize these terms.)

See also


Extras for Plus Members

(or available for purchase here)

  • Printable & Digital Visuals
  • Handout, Worksheet / Assessment