Top Ten Musical Instruments (In My Opinion)

I was listening to some piano pieces last night, and I was thinking of doing a top 10 list of what I consider the best, or prettiest piano pieces for today’s post.  However, as I kept listening to one piece after another, another line of thought crept into my little brain, and that was how versatile the piano is as an instrument.  What I mean by that, and I apologize to all of the accomplished musicians out there, of which I am not one, if I don’t use the right musical terminology here, but what I mean is that the piano is simply amazing in its ability to convey mood, tone, and cross genres.  So I started thinking, what other musical instruments out there has similar versatility?  Below is what I think as some of the most versatile musical instruments, and again I apologize to the real musicians out there if my list might seem amateurish, but it is simply my opinion – we all have them – the rather subjective criteria that I used is much as listed earlier, the ability to convey a variety of moods, and cross genres.  Without further ado, below is my list:

10)  The harp:  This is a link is to a playlist of the harp being played covering rock music, and Celtic folk music; I think we all know that the harp is also widely used, and primarily thought of as being simply played in classical music; I hope you will listen to all of them.

9)  The flute:  Hip Hop (yes just click it and see); Jazz; Rock; Classical

8)  The trombone:  Jazz; Blues; Classical

7)  The trumpet:  Classical; Jazz; Blues

6)  The saxaphone:  Classical; Funk; Jazz; Blues; Rock

5)  The cello/double bass:  Classical; Rockabilly; Blues 

4)  The electric guitar:  Classical (yes, classical); Blues; Jazz; Funk; and of course Rock

3)  The acoustic guitar:  Classical; Flamenco; Blues; Jazz; Country; Rock

2)  The violin:  This link is about the mood that I probably have not done a good job of conveying in the previous examples; Classical; Country; Dubstep; Celtic/Folk; Rock; Blues; Jazz

1)  The piano:  Classical; Blues; Jazz; Folk; Country; Funk; Rock

Even as I was adding the links I realized that this list could very easily be reordered in any number of fashions, and I know I have missed many a genre, some other possible instruments, and as I already mentioned I strayed away a bit from the whole “mood” thing.  That’s the beauty of music though, because it is so large and varied as to make it impossible to construct any sort of top ten list without it being subjective, and anything less than definitive.

3 Responses to Top Ten Musical Instruments (In My Opinion)
  1. Chip

    You might also consider the percussion instruments, especially how the snare drum is used in nearly all western music genres.

    You might also consider the human voice and its use in so many genres, but that is likely missing the point of your post.

    • tim

      I did in fact consider including drums in general, but I thought they were were too obvious in their ubiquitous throughout all genres of music. People (like me who are decidedly average when it comes to music) do tend to forget that the human voice is essentially a musical instrument; you are right though the voice does kind of miss what I was aiming for in the post.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Justin Michael O'Toole

    What about the clarinet. It’s very versatile. 🙂