History:Instrument Tree/Requests

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Status, (as don would say): AdvancedInstrumentTree is now implemented! Go a head and to discuss instruments and suggest new ones!

Discuss Instrument additions and instrument addition wishes here. please use trac to add the request, (assign it to either luks or ZaphodBeeblebrox) when decided upon.

A new instrument can be added only when it is used on at least 5 regular, proper releases. live or album ok
Please supply as much information about the instrument as possible, mo will probably ask for more information about the instrument if none is given. The best way to get your pet instrument added is by doing some research, give a short concise explanation on what it is, and providing ample links.

Please also do a second search in the Instrument list to make sure it is not already there : )


  • From what I can tell, it's just a regular (acoustic) guitar with pick-ups. Do you want "electric-acoustic" bouzoukis, banjos, harps, accordions, violins, guitar basses, double basses, ... etc. as well? -- -- FrederikSOlesen 10:42, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
    • I suppose you have a point there. I personally don't have an electric acoustic anything, so I don't know if the sound is any different from normal acoustic. I do think that it's sort of odd that it's specifically credited as such in the booklet though. KiluTemplate:DateTime
      • Perhaps an "electric" option which could then be applied to any instrument in the list? -- BrianSchweitzer 13:40, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Cümbüş: I am not sure what the English word is, but WikiPedia also list it as Cümbüş and I never heard another saying for it. Many Turkish folk songs includes it. --syserror
    • Tuba: F Bass Tuba and E-Flat Bass Tuba, also used on Secret of the Sahara. -- BrianSchweitzer 02:13, 05 August 2007 (UTC)
    • tromboon (aka: babone): at least two PDQ Bach works (The Seasonings, Serenude (for devious instruments)) -- BrianSchweitzer 11:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Double-reed Slide Music Stand: Used by, who else, PDQ Bach. An oboe read crossed with a music stand into a funky slidebar instrument. -- BrianSchweitzer 11:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Saxobone: A trombine modified to accept a saxophone mouthpiece. Used by jazz player Eddie Harris (inventor?) among others. -- BrianSchweitzer 11:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Trautonium -- BrianSchweitzer 11:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Barrel Organ -- BrianSchweitzer 11:26, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
    • Basset-horn Mozart wrote several works specifically for basset-horn. To properly AR the full 170 CD set, I need this one. -- BrianSchweitzer 06:21, 03 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Piccolo trumpet Mozart also wrote several works for trumpet quintet, which includes a piccolo trumpet. Again, to properly AR several CDs in the 170 CD set, I need this one too. -- BrianSchweitzer 06:21, 03 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Tangent Piano In the harpsichord/clavichord family, dates from around the same time as the fortepiano. Mozart specifically wrote K. 300g and K. 315g for the Tangent Piano. I need this one for tracks 19 and 21 of disc 9 of volume 6 of the Brilliant Classics complete Mozart set. -- BrianSchweitzer 19:42, 03 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Kalimba: Steve Hackett played Kalimba on Wind & Wuthering. - jongetje
    • 12 string guitar: Found on almost any Genesis album. Right now I used acoustic guitar for those credits. - jongetje
    • Stroh violin: Listed several times in the booklet of the Tom Waits album Alice. See edit #7905421. - MClemo
    • Melodeon: Name used in UK for diatonic button accordion, exponents include John Spiers, John Kirkpatrick, Andy Cutting and Tim Van Eyken. See Melodeon.net or instruments at Hobgoblin. It is definitely distinct from the Melodica. -- monxton 00:39, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
  • IIRC, the "diatonic button accordion" is already in the instrument tree, so... however, as, in Ireland, a "melodeon" can be used to refer to a specific kind of instrument (a one-rowed dba in Ireland), it might have its merits. I just got up though and am kind of preoccupied, so you may find my argumentation lacking. Sorry. -- FrederikSOlesen 05:59, 12 December 2007 (UTC) (ps.: My first bodhrán was bought through Hobgoblin... if you care to ken. :p)
    • You're correct, the "diatonic accordion" is there. However the name melodeon is in common use in the UK, and is the only name for this instrument you are likely to see on instrument credits - and it does appear frequently within this genre. People are not likely to know to translate this to "diatonic accordion", unless they are experts or look it up on Wikipedia. More likely they will enter "accordion", which loses something, particularly if the performer has credits for several different free reeds, e.g. melodeon, one-row accordion, singing from Rice, or the credits from Tunes which read John Spiers plays melodeons by Saltarelle, Hohner and Oakwood and an Anglo-Concertina made by Connor. Surely the important thing is the name of the instrument that the >artist< thinks they are playing. Otherwise it's just cultural imperialism isn't it? Like you may think you're playing an oud, but I'm going to call it as lute. -- monxton 12:47, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
      • Basically you're proposing to add two names for the same thing. I see no reason to do that. British English and American English are two different languages. When I'm trying to add credits for a German release I have to look up the American English names of the instruments on Wikipedia just like you. But I am not asking to add the German names for all the instruments as that's not a problem of the instrument list. One day MB will be internationalised and we will be able to add instrument names in all languages. Until then I have to live with American English names. I might as well say it's imperalism because there are no German names, or I might not, because it isn't really imperialism. It's simply an i18n problem. -- Shepard 12:57, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
        • For me, this discussion is neither basic nor simple. YMMV. Please let's try to be polite. "British English and American English are two different languages". Not by any serious definition of language I've ever heard. We do have distinct cultures though, just as any European country does with the US. I said that the melodeon is a type of diatonic button accordion. I did not say say that a diatonic accordion is necessarily a melodeon. The criteria say that five distinct recordings are necessary. I could probably find 50 melodeon credits just on my shelves, and I am not a specialist in squeezeboxes. You state that instruments are named in American English. Are we looking at different instrument lists? The one I see has Uillean Pipes (they would be "Elbow" pipes in English translation), Kortholt, Zurna, Kèn bầu, Đing Năm, khèn meò, Bandoneón, Sheng, Sho, Ki pah ... well I don't think I need go on. I don't see any rule which dictates the language in which the instrument is named, but the convention appear to be that the name is given in the language of the culture in which the instrument is dominant. So for example, when I come to sort out the works of Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley, the wonderful Orcadian sisters, I shall be proud to enter Jennifer's instrument as the Hardingfele, the national instrument of Norway, whose culture is closely linked with the Orkneys, not as the "Hardinger Fiddle" as it is known in English. Similarly, the list allows me to use the commonly understood name "Tabla", not the technically correct but artificial English "goblet drum". Am I a minority of one? If so, I shall say no more on this subject. -- monxton 23:49, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
          • As I said, I'm not against adding the melodeon, especially seeing as how, in Ireland, it's a specific kind of diatonic accordion. And fans of the genre would probably also feel more familiar with the term "melodeon" that the, rather technical, name "diatonic accordion". If nothing else, "Diatonic Accordion" could be changed to "Diatonic Accordion / Melodeon" (there's precedence for the with "Double Bass / Contrabass"). (Also: "uilleann pipes" should be "Irish pipes", as "elbow" pipes might just as well refer to northumbrian or other bagpipes of that kind. :) But, then, it's not uncommon to see "uilleann pipes" listed as such on releases from the U.S. (Flogging Molly comes to mind).) -- FrederikSOlesen 10:40, 16 December 2007 (UTC) ps. For the record, I also disagree with Shepard's view of the linguistic 'behaviour' of the instrument tree. But I'm also in disagreement with yours, monxton's, view on imperialist behaviour of the very same.
            • OK, so it wasn't my last word after all, sorry. I noticed an edit that I'd like to bring into this discussion: edit #7831371, where a melodeon is credited as "Reed Organ", with note: "well, melodeon in the liner notes, but i think this is close enough". There's one editor who didn't know that a melodeon is a type of diatonic button accordion. The melodeon is very common in English traditional music and this confusion will continue to occur unless melodeon is at least offered as an alternative name in the instrument list, as FrederikSOlesen suggests. About the Uilleann pipes. This is the name used for this Irish instrument which comprises a Gaelic word "Uilleann", which I understand translates into English as "elbow", plus an English word "pipes". Clearly "Uilleann" is not an English word, but the term "Uilleann pipes" is the preferred one to use because it is the term by which this instrument is known wherever it is played, including in the US, and how it is credited on CDs. To require editors to enter them using a pure English phrase "Irish pipes" would just introduce confusion. So for me this is an example of where the instrument list gets it right, by not introducing an artificial translation.
              • "Mundharmonika" isn't translated to "mouth harmonica", but "harmonica", as "harmonika" is not translated to "harmonica" but "accordeon". Words/expressions do not always map 1:1 when translating, and this very same is the case for "uilleann pipes". Using "elbow pipes", you change the classification from being a specific instrument (the Irish bagpipes) to being a more generic subset of an instrument tree (namely, bellow blown bagpipes), which could easily mean an array of other pipes, most notably the Northumbrian pipes and Scottish smallpipes. Thus, a proper translation of uilleann pipes would more closely be "Irish pipes". (Also, attributing "uilleann" to "elbow" is something that happened after the pipes had begun being called "uilleann". The first written (printed) source calls them "Union pipes".) -- FrederikSOlesen 17:11, 02 March 2008 (UTC)
              Apologies for the mention of imperialism. It was meant humorously, but I'm experienced enough to know better. -- monxton 12:33, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
    For one use of melodeons in the Irish sense, check SubOptimalCredits under Trabjerg, Anders. -- FrederikSOlesen 16:53, 02 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Feet and Clogs: I see that the list does already have "Handclaps", and surely feet are no less important musically than hands? I have many recordings with credits for human percussion. For example, from Rice, how should I enter Lucy Adams feet, clogs, singing? -- monxton 23:49, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Clogging is a form of, or at least intimately related to, step dancing. See discussion on dancing below. -- FrederikSOlesen 10:40, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Pocket Trumpet: a compact size B♭ trumpet, easy to carry around. Though never was considered good enough to be in official use in orchestras, it was featured quite some times in small jazz bands. Don Cherry is Mr. Pocket Trumpet, and him alone has dozen of releases on which he uses it (also check most Ornette Coleman releases where he features) - revealing this somewhat neglected poor trumpet its true potential. All these are currently documented as simply trumpet. Note this is not the same as the Piccolo Trumpet that we now have. More about the thingie at wackypedia. -- dmppanda 05:24, 21 January 2008 (UTC)



  • Music(al) box - only have one case so far: Steve Thorne's EMO1 - so perhaps we should wait for more occurrences. This is probably something for the "Other instruments" section. -- Shepard 14:31, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
    • I don't know about Music Boxes really, to me it seems like less of an instrument and more like "instrument, composition(melody), medium(fex vinyl) and medium-player all wrapped up in one thing". I am not sure here to be honest. ~mo


Why shouldn't particular types of synth be added? They're frequently listed on CDs and some people care what type of synth was played. Why not make them subtypes of 'Synthesizer'. PaulSharpe

  • Because it's impossible to keep up with them all, especially considering the protracted process by which new instruments need to go through before they are added. I've said time and time again that this is all NUTS - what we need are a few (50 tops) instrument/role macro-categories, and then a free text field by which users can input qualifiers. Eg: "Synthesizer [[[Mini Moog|MiniMoog]]]". --Gecks
    • Free text fields are not possible in the current AdvancedRelationships implementation. (And also I think a mixture of a list and free text is counter productive, but well..) You guys are just too impatient. :) Let mo finish his job of restructuring the tree and after that he will create a wiki page to make the process of adding instruments much faster. Noone will die inbetween. And it will prevent total chaos to do it structured and in this order. --Shepard

The number of different synths produced numbers in the several hundreds. Roland alone has made well over 100 different synths and tone generators. Do you want to start listing all of those? That's a slipperly slope to be on. Besides, they are just models and brands. In the end the artist is still playing a synthesizer. If we start listing those then to be consistent we'd have to list the brand and model of all of the other instruments. Does it matter that Jaco Pastorius played a Fender Precision Bass on most of his albums or can we be content to know that he played electric bass guitar? Likewise, does it really matter that Lyle Mays played a Korg Triton and a Steinway Grand on the last Pat Metheny album or is knowing that he played synthesizer and piano enough? MattPerry


  • Dancing - Occasionally, I stumble upon releases and tracks which have someone credited as "dancer" or with "dancing"
    • Stepdancing - I also see step dancing every now and then (actually, probably more often than simply dancing). --FrederikSOlesen 2007-04-17T07:52:33CEST (I will provide links to releases with these credits as soon as I get around making that WikiPage I talked about yesterday in IRC.)
    • maybe Tapdancing, which is apparently a subtype of stepdancing - on Who Used to Dance (actually represented as "percussion instruments performed by Savion Glover"), and probably a lot more releases (Musicals' stuff).
  • I'm not really sure there is a point in crediting things that don't have a relation with the recorded sound (eg: "My mother made the cookies"), and possibly we may define this "instrument" only when it actually has a "part"? -- dmppanda 09:09, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Well, all the dancing credits I thought of in my above proposal actually have a "part" in the sound picture. Step dance in particular is used in "Celtic" music for percussion, in line with bodhrán, bones, and spoons. -- FrederikSOlesen 13:02, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
      • krazykiwi says there's a band called 'Tilly and the Wall' who make a feature out of having a tap dancer instead of a drummer (both live and on recordings). -- mikemorr Template:DateTime

Mo, no interest in H'arpeggione, Hardanger Fiddle, Spinet, Rebec, Lira da braccio, Viol, treble viol, viola da gamba, bass viol, violone, vihuela, viola da mano, Mexican vihuela, xiao, yali tambur, saz, tar, setar, kamenchech, fasil kemenche, santur, sarangi, santoor, rubab, komuz, dotar, pipa, er-hu, matouqin, gu zeng, gu qin, zhong ruan, charango, ronroco, waylaycho, tiple, requinto, sonqo, patasi charango, South American mandolin, quatro, tambura, instrumental tambura, vocal tambura, valiha, kalimba, or Vocal Role: "Percussion"? (All lost in the revert)... Foolip's working on Chinese releases (have we ever before had someone working on them to need Chinese instruments?) and I'm working on a 170 CD set of classical on period instruments. Even if there's not yet 5 releases listed in here to justify adding each of these yet, shouldn't they still be listed? (For vocal percussion, if anyone can edit that table, I can provide links to at least 30 releases in the db for which it would be needed) -- BrianSchweitzer 15:35, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm not very familiar with the instruments of Chinese classical music, but there are annotations on and 三笑 where a few instruments are listed. -- foolip 03:15, 14 November 2007 (UTC) Several of the instruments you list, Brian, are already in the tree – please check AdvancedInstrumentTree before requesting instruments for addition! Also, vocal stuff, like "Vocal role: percussion", doesn't belong here at all, but rather in the AdvancedVocalTree. -- FrederikSOlesen 14:10, 02 March 2008 (UTC)

Failed, and why

  • Indian Strings NOTE: will not be added as it is to generic - what should we use when it's listed on a CD as an instrument then? -- Then try to find out exactly what kind of Indian stringed instrument it is. See: http://chandrakantha.com/articles/indian_music/instruments.html
  • Tabla already here, see Goblet Drum
  • Guitar synthesizer This shouldn't be added either. Just because you added a MIDI pickup to your guitar it doesn't change the fact that you're still playing a guitar.
  • E-mu synthesizer This is just a brand of synth. It should not be added.
  • Yamaha DX7 This is just a brand and model of synth. It should not be added.
  • Cymbalum already in here, see list : )

Recently Added

  • Haha! You're welcome. :) It was interesting to partake in how to best approach that problem. -- FrederikSOlesen 05:34, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Violone
  • Kantele
    • adding my note here, i think that a generic "Kantele" entry is best. *I* don't know enough about it t even being creating a tree.
  • And we have SubOptimalCredits to see whether there's a need for more specific kantele entries (and which) as well. (If people will use it as intended, that is.) -- FrederikSOlesen 05:39, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

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