Idiophone instruments

Idiophone instruments are those musical instruments in which sound is produced primarily by way of the instrument itself vibrating (idos = alone, phone = sound). Depending on the manner of sound production they are divided into four groups, i.e. those that produce sound by:

a) clapping

b) shaking

c) plucking

d) rubbing, scraping, friction (Cf. Bezić et al. 1975, Andreis 1974, Ćaleta 2001).


Idiophones were mostly used as signal instruments, accompaniment for customs or as means of entertainment for children (which explains a great number of idiophones used as children's toys).

There are 24 idiophones in the Collection of musical instruments.


The small gusle / gingara; Hrvatsko zagorje, the middle of the 19th century / POH-441ab-1920, The Collection of musical instruments by Franjo Ksaver Kuhač