The Most Beautiful Instrument to Play: Exploring Musical Elegance

Choose the instrument you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 20, 2023 05:53
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion takes center stage! We're excited to present our latest ranking, "What is the most beautiful instrument to play?" – a harmonious symphony of melodious contenders vying for the top spot. With thousands of polls and rankings covering a multitude of topics, we're now diving into the entrancing world of musical instruments. From the graceful elegance of the violin to the soul-stirring resonance of the piano, we've got them all lined up for you to choose from. So, come and be a part of this melodious journey and let your voice be heard! Cast your vote for your favorite instrument or suggest a hidden gem that deserves a place on our list. Together, let's strike the perfect chord and unveil the true symphony of beauty!

What Is the Most Beautiful Instrument to Play? (September 2023)

  1. 1

    The piano

    Bartolomeo Cristofori
    With its wide range of notes and ability to create both gentle and powerful sounds, the piano is often considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play.
    The piano is an elegant and versatile musical instrument that consists of a keyboard with a series of keys and a soundboard. It produces sound by striking strings with small hammers when keys are pressed. The piano is known for its wide range, expressiveness, and harmonic richness, making it one of the most beloved instruments to play and listen to.
    • Number of dampers: Approximately 88
    • Number of keys: 88
    • Range: A0 to C8
    • Weight: Approximately 300-500 kilograms
    • Number of strings: Approximately 230
  2. 2
    With its ability to capture emotions and express subtle nuances, the violin is a classic and beautiful instrument that has been beloved for centuries.
    The violin is a string instrument known for its captivating sound and beautiful design. It is a member of the violin family, which also includes the viola, cello, and double bass. The violin produces sound through the vibration of its strings, which are played with a bow made of horsehair. It is widely regarded as one of the most expressive and versatile instruments in the classical and contemporary music genres.
    • Size: Standard violins are typically 23.5 inches long.
    • Strings: Most violins have four strings, usually tuned to G, D, A, and E.
    • Materials: Traditional violins are made of spruce wood for the top, maple wood for the back, sides, and neck, with an ebony fingerboard.
    • Sound: The violin produces a wide range of tones, from sweet and delicate to rich and powerful.
    • Playing Technique: The violinist uses a combination of bowing and finger placement on the strings to create different pitches and effects.
  3. 3
    With its delicate and ethereal sound, the harp is often associated with angelic music and is considered one of the most beautiful instruments in the world.
    The harp is a beautiful and enchanting musical instrument known for its soothing and melodious tones. It consists of a tall, vertical frame with a curved neck, and strings stretched across it. The strings are plucked or strummed by the player's fingers or a set of pedals, producing rich and resonant sounds that can be both gentle and powerful.
    • Number of Strings: The harp can have anywhere from 22 to over 47 strings, depending on its size and design.
    • Range: The harp covers a wide range of pitches, typically spanning several octaves.
    • Materials: Harp frames are commonly made from wood, while the strings can be made of nylon, gut, or metal.
    • Pedal System: Some harps feature a pedal system that allows the player to easily change the pitch of the strings while playing.
    • Lever Harps: Lever harps, also known as Celtic or folk harps, have levers attached to the strings, enabling the player to modify their pitch.
  4. 4
    With its deep, rich tone and ability to convey a wide range of emotions, the cello is often considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play.
    The cello is a string instrument belonging to the violin family. It is often considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play due to its rich and resonant tones. The cello is played by a bow made of horsehair being drawn across the strings. It possesses a wide range of expressive capabilities, capable of capturing both melancholic and joyful emotions. The instrument has a visually captivating presence with its curvaceous shape and elegant design.
    • Size: Ranging from full-size to 1/8 size for younger players
    • Strings: Four strings (A, D, G, and C) made of various materials (e.g., steel, gut)
    • Materials: Traditionally made of wood such as spruce, maple, and ebony for the fingerboard and tailpiece
    • Tuning: Tuned in fifths (C-G-D-A)
    • Range: A span of four octaves, from C2 to A5
  5. 5
    With its clear, sweet sound and ability to evoke feelings of peace and tranquility, the flute is often considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play.
    The flute is a wind instrument known for its enchanting and melodious tone. It is made of a long slender tube with a series of keys and finger holes along its length, enabling the player to produce a wide range of notes by manipulating their fingers. Its cylindrical shape and open-ended design allow for its distinct clear and airy sound.
    • Range: Approximately three octaves
    • Material: Traditionally made from wood, but also available in materials such as silver, gold, and platinum
    • Key(s): Transverse or side-blown
    • Mouthpiece: Lip plate or embouchure hole
    • Sound Production: By blowing air across the embouchure hole while manipulating fingerings
  6. 6
    With its versatility and ability to create both gentle and powerful sounds, the guitar is a beloved and beautiful instrument that has been used in a wide range of musical genres.
    The guitar is a highly versatile and melodic instrument that is widely recognized for its captivating sound and expressive qualities. Its elegant design and harmonic resonance make it a beloved choice for musicians of all genres.
    • Type: String instrument
    • Playing Method: Plucking or strumming the strings
    • Number of Strings: Usually 6, but variations with 7, 8, 10, or 12 strings are available
    • Body Shape: Most common variants include dreadnought, cutaway, classical, and archtop
    • Materials: Typically made of wood, such as spruce, mahogany, or rosewood, with metal strings
  7. 7
    The saxophone
    Adrienne Easton · Attribution

    The saxophone

    Adolphe Sax
    With its smooth, sultry sound and ability to convey a wide range of emotions, the saxophone is often considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play.
    The saxophone is a versatile and expressive musical instrument belonging to the woodwind family. It is known for its soulful and rich sound, making it a favorite among many musicians. The saxophone combines elements of both brass and woodwind instruments, as it features a single reed mouthpiece like a clarinet and a brass body with keys like a flute or trumpet.
    • Range: The saxophone typically has a range of about two and a half octaves.
    • Size: The saxophone comes in various sizes, including the soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone. The alto saxophone is the most widely used.
    • Material: Saxophones are commonly made of brass, but other materials like silver or gold plating can be used for added aesthetics.
    • Mouthpiece: The single reed mouthpiece, made of cane or synthetic material, is attached to the neck of the saxophone.
    • Keys: The saxophone features a set of keys and buttons that are used to control the pitch and produce different notes.
  8. 8

    The clarinet

    Johann Christoph Denner
    With its warm, mellow tone and ability to convey a wide range of emotions, the clarinet is often considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play.
    The clarinet is a woodwind instrument with a unique and captivating sound. It is known for its versatility and ability to play a wide range of musical genres, from classical to jazz. The clarinet has a distinctive cylindrical shape and is played by blowing air through a single reed attached to a mouthpiece. The sound is produced when the air vibrates inside the instrument's hollow body.
    • Range: Approximately 3 octaves
    • Material: Wood (traditionally boxwood, now often made from other types of wood or plastic)
    • Keys: Usually made of silver or other metals
    • Mouthpiece: Usually made of hard rubber or plastic
    • Bore size: Between 14.5 and 15.5 millimeters
  9. 9
    The trumpet
    PJ, background cropped by EWikist · CC BY-SA 3.0
    With its bright, bold sound and ability to convey a sense of triumph and celebration, the trumpet is often considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play.
    The trumpet is a brass instrument that produces a resonant, piercing sound. It is considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play due to its dynamic range and expressive capabilities.
    • Pitch range: The trumpet is a transposing instrument and is typically written in B♭ or C. It has a pitch range of approximately two and a half octaves.
    • Bore: The trumpet has a cylindrical bore, which contributes to its bright and focused sound.
    • Valves: Most trumpets have three piston valves that are used to change the pitch by altering the length of the tubing.
    • Mouthpiece: The trumpet is played by buzzing the lips into a cup-shaped mouthpiece, which amplifies the sound.
    • Materials: Traditionally, trumpets were made of brass, but modern variations can incorporate different materials such as silver, gold, or even plastic.
  10. 10
    The organ
    José Luiz · CC BY-SA 4.0
    With its ability to create powerful, majestic sounds and convey a sense of awe and reverence, the organ is often considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play.
    The organ is a majestic and complex musical instrument that produces sound through the manipulation of air flow. It is often considered one of the most beautiful instruments to play due to its rich and powerful tones.
    • Number of pipes: Organs can have thousands of pipes, varying in size and material.
    • Manuals (keyboards): Organs typically have multiple manuals (keyboards), allowing for different sound combinations and dynamics.
    • Pedals: Organs have a pedalboard, which is played using the feet to produce bass tones.
    • Registers: Organs feature registers that allow the player to control the specific sets of pipes used.
    • Wind supply system: Organs have a complex wind supply system, which can be powered by air pressure generated by bellows or electronically.

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Ranking factors for beautiful instrument

  1. Tone and Sound Quality
    The richness, warmth, and versatility of the instrument's sound should be a key factor. The resonance and depth of its tones contribute to the beauty of the music it produces.
  2. Aesthetic Appeal
    The design, craftsmanship, and overall visual appeal of the instrument matter. Intricate detailing, unique shapes, and beautiful materials can enhance the beauty of an instrument.
  3. Emotional Connection
    The ability of the instrument to evoke emotions and connect the player and listener through its sound is essential. An instrument's ability to express emotion adds to its overall beauty.
  4. Playability
    A beautiful instrument should be comfortable, ergonomic, and accessible for players of different skill levels. The ease of playing an instrument can greatly affect the quality of sound produced and enjoyment of the musician.
  5. Range and Versatility
    The ability of an instrument to produce a wide range of musical styles and tones contributes to its beauty. Versatility enables the musician to explore various genres and express a broader spectrum of emotions.
  6. Historical and Cultural Significance
    Instruments with rich cultural backgrounds or valuable historical connections can be more attractive to musicians and listeners. The stories and traditions associated with an instrument can contribute to its beauty.
  7. Rarity and Uniqueness
    Rare and unique instruments often possess attributes that set them apart from more common instruments. These distinct features, when paired with excellent sound quality and playability, contribute to the beauty of an instrument.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful instrument to play. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite instrument is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 211 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each instrument once every 24 hours. The rank of each instrument is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful instrument to play

Music is an art form that has been present in human culture for centuries. It has the power to evoke emotions, tell stories, and connect people from different parts of the world. One of the key elements that make music so captivating is the use of instruments. These tools of the trade come in different shapes and sizes, each with its unique sound and beauty. When it comes to playing an instrument, many factors come into play. Some may prefer the ease of playing a keyboard, while others may enjoy the challenge of mastering the guitar. However, when it comes to the most beautiful instrument to play, opinions are divided. Some may argue that the violin is the most beautiful instrument to play. With its rich and expressive sound, the violin can evoke a range of emotions, from joy to sadness. Others may argue that the piano is the most beautiful instrument, with its ability to convey complex melodies and harmonies. Regardless of which instrument you believe takes the crown, one thing is clear: playing an instrument is a rewarding experience that can bring joy to both the musician and their audience. So, whether you prefer the beauty of the violin or the versatility of the piano, pick up an instrument and let the music flow.