Mind Map: Taxonomy of Musical Instruments

I have created a musical instruments mind map based on the Hornbostel & Sachs (1914) method of classifying musical instruments.

Interestingly, brass is a subset of wind; and the closest relatives to the human voice are the organ reed pipes. Take a look. Click to download.

Taxonomy of Musical Instruments Mind Map James Kennedy Beijing
Taxonomy of Musical Instruments Mind Map by James Kennedy, Beijing. Click to download.

6 thoughts on “Mind Map: Taxonomy of Musical Instruments

  1. James,

    Can I have your permission to embed your Taxonomy of Musical Instruments graphic in one of my website’s pages, with full attribution to you of course? The site is LuthierBuilt.net.

    Sincerely and best regards



  2. James, we have use your image as reference, with credits to you on our site chordsclasses.com . Here is the link : http://www.chordsclasses.com/hornbostel-sachs-classification-of-musical-instruments/

    Since you gave permission to Bob already, we assumed you wouldnt mind giving to us also. But then, it just doesn’s feels good to us, until we hear from you.

    So, do we have the permission also ?

    PS : The site is actually a blog dedicated to music industry, and thus many people are supposed to be benefited by this. 🙂


  3. There are several typos, such as “Tree flutes” instead of the correct “True flutes”. And several instruments, such as the jew’s harp or the human voice, have a controverse classification. This is however not James’s fault, the musicists’ responsible for the taxonomy.


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