Electric instrument

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An electric musical instrument is one in which the use of electric devices determines or affects the sound produced by an instrument.[1] Electric musical instruments are an example of electric music technology. It is also known as an amplified musical instrument due to the common utilization of an electronic instrument amplifier to project the intended sound as determined by electric signals from the instrument. Two common types of instrument amplifiers are the guitar amplifier and the bass amplifier. This is not the same as an electronic musical instrument, like a synthesizer, which uses entirely electronic means to both create and control sound.

As of 2008, most electric or amplified musical instruments are electric versions of chordophones (including pianos, guitars and violins); an exception is the varitone, an amplified saxophone (part of the aerophone family) that was first introduced by The Selmer Company in 1965. Some of the most commonly used electric instruments are electric guitar, electric bass and electric piano. The Hammond organ was formerly a common electric instrument, but it is a complex, heavy instrument that has largely been replaced by digital emulation keyboards called clonewheel organs.

List of electric instruments[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Electric Musical Instruments." In The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. rev., edited by Michael Kennedy.