List of musical instruments by Hornbostel-Sachs number: 321.312

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This is a list of instruments by Hornbostel-Sachs number, covering those instruments that are classified under 321.312 under that system. These instruments may be known as spike box lutes or spike guitars.

3: Instruments in which sound is produced by one or more vibrating strings (chordophones, string instruments).
32: Instruments in which the resonator and string bearer are physically united and can not be separated without destroying the instrument
321: Instruments in which the strings run in a plane parallel to the sound table (lutes)
321.3: Instruments in which the string bearer is a plain handle (handle lutes)
321.31: Instruments in which the handle passes diametrically through the resonator (spike lutes)
321.312: Instruments in which the resonator is built up from wood (spike box lutes, spike guitars)

These instruments may be classified with a suffix, based on how the strings are caused to vibrate.

  • 4: Hammers or beaters
  • 5: Bare hands and fingers
  • 6: Plectrum
  • 7: Bowing
    • 71: Using a bow
    • 72: Using a wheel
    • 73: Using a ribbon
  • 8: Keyboard
  • 9: Using a mechanical drive
Instrument Tradition Hornbostel–Sachs classification Description
African American 321.312-5 Four or five stringed instrument, plucked with a bare thumb and a forefinger covered by a metal thimble, traditionally with four or five strings,
guinbri, guimbri, gimbri, ginibri
Gnawa music 321.312 Rectangular box lute with leather tuning rings
Serbia, Montenegro and elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia 321.312 Stringed instrument, round, typically with one string bound at the top of the neck with a tuning peg
About this sound Serbian gusle 
morin khuur
horse-head fiddle,
Mongolia, Tuva 321.312 Two-stringed instrument, held between the legs, with a trapezoidal body and a horse's head typically carved on the upper edge of the pegbox
Afghanistan and neighboring areas 321.312-6 Short-necked three-stringed lute with sympathetic and drone strings, fretted and plucked with a plectrum, with a double-chambered body, the lower part of which is covered in skin, and with three main strings
Ryukyus of Japan 321.312-6 Three stringed banjo-like instrument, covered with snakeskin


  • von Hornbostel, Erich M.; Curt Sachs (March 1961). "Classification of Musical Instruments: Translated from the Original German by Anthony Baines and Klaus P. Wachsmann". The Galpin Society Journal. Galpin Society. 14: 3–29. doi:10.2307/842168. JSTOR 842168. 


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