musical instrument

Classification of Musical Instruments

"The MIMO (Musical Instrument Museums Online) project has created a single access point to digital content and information on the collections of musical instruments held in a consortium of European museums. (...) The MIMO project has also involved the revision of the Hornbostel Sachs classification of musical instruments, with the main aim of classifying instruments such those in the new Electrophones class 5, invented since the publication of the original scheme of 1914 by Erich M. von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs. A number of scholars have at various times revised or extended the scheme.

CIMCIM Terminology

"All of us are frequently confronted with the problem of identifying musical instruments and their components correctly, whether in the process of defining a part that has been damaged or restored, or trying to transmit our knowledge to school children, students or our academic colleagues. Occasionally this task is a distinct challenge due to the lack of a standardized terminology in the field of organology.


"Die Hornbostel-Sachs-Systematik ist ein Klassifikationssystem für Musikinstrumente. Sie wurde 1914 von Erich Moritz von Hornbostel und Curt Sachs in der Zeitschrift für Ethnologie unter dem Titel Systematik der Musikinstrumente. Ein Versuch. veröffentlicht. Sie ist das heute am weitesten verbreitete System zur Einteilung von Musikinstrumenten. (...) Die Hornbostel-Sachs-Systematik ist hierarchisch aufgebaut. Jeder Kategorie entspricht eine Zahl, wobei in jedem Detaillierungsschritt eine Ziffer angefügt wird, so dass die Anzahl der Ziffern mit zunehmender Konkretisierung anwächst.

"The Hornbostel-Sachs system is a classification system for musical instruments, published in 1914 by Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs in the Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie under the title Systematik der Musikinstrumente Classification of musical instruments (...) The Hornbostel-Sachs system has a hierarchical structure, each category corresponds to a number, with a number being added in each detail step, so that the number of digits increases with increasing concretization Of the number, while further characters (-,:,], +) allow the notation of special meanings. "