Music is a universal language that brings joy and harmony to people of all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned musician or just beginning your musical journey, the world of musical instruments offers a vast array of options to explore.
In this article, we’ve compiled a diverse list of over 35 musical instruments that all share one common feature – their names begin with the letter B.
Let’s delve into this musical treasure trove and discover the rich sounds and cultural significance of each instrument.
Table of Contents
List of the Musical Instruments that Start with B
Originating from Afghanistan, the Babarak is a traditional wind instrument with a cylindrical body and a distinctive melodic range. Crafted from wood or metal, it typically features finger holes for pitch control and a mouthpiece for producing sound.
Used for centuries in Afghan folk music, the Babarak’s hauntingly beautiful tones and expressive qualities evoke a sense of nostalgia and cultural pride. Its role in traditional Afghan ensembles adds depth and richness to musical performances, serving as a vehicle for storytelling and emotional expression.
A percussion instrument native to the Philippines, the Babendil is a small gong traditionally played during festive occasions and ceremonial events. Made of bronze or brass, it features a flat circular shape with a raised center and is struck with a padded mallet to produce resonant, metallic tones.
In Filipino traditional music, the Babendil serves as a rhythmic anchor, providing pulsating beats and dynamic accents that enhance the overall texture and energy of the music. Its presence is often associated with communal gatherings, celebrations, and cultural rituals, symbolizing unity and harmony within Filipino communities.
Iconic symbols of Scottish heritage, Bagpipes are aerophones consisting of a bag, a chanter, and one or more drones. The bag acts as a reservoir for air, which is released through the chanter and drones to produce sound. With their stirring melodies and distinctive drone accompaniment, Bagpipes have become synonymous with Scottish culture and celebrations worldwide.
From stirring marches to plaintive laments, the haunting beauty of the Bagpipes resonates deeply with listeners, evoking a sense of pride, nostalgia, and reverence for Scottish tradition and history.
With its roots in West Africa, the Balafon is a wooden xylophone-like instrument featuring tuned wooden bars laid over gourds. Played with mallets, the Balafon produces vibrant, percussive tones that reverberate through the air, capturing the essence of African music and cultural heritage.
Used in various traditional ceremonies, social gatherings, and musical performances, its lively and rhythmic melodies evoke a sense of joy, celebration, and community spirit. The Balafon’s versatile sound and expressive qualities make it a beloved instrument across West Africa, enriching the cultural tapestry of the region with its infectious rhythms and melodies.
A triangular-bodied string instrument from Russia, the Balalaika is characterized by its three strings and unique tuning. Traditionally crafted from wood and adorned with intricate inlays, it produces bright, vibrant tones that are a hallmark of Russian folk music.
Whether accompanying lively dances or plaintive ballads, the Balalaika adds a distinctive Russian flavor to traditional tunes and celebrations. With its spirited melodies and infectious rhythms, it embodies the soul and spirit of Russian culture, captivating audiences with its lively and expressive performances.
Originally from Germany, the Bandoneón found its true home in Argentina, where it became an integral part of tango music. This free-reed instrument, similar to an accordion, produces emotive, melancholic tones that capture the essence of Argentinean tango and its passionate dance.
With its complex harmonies and expressive capabilities, the Bandoneón serves as the soulful voice of the tango orchestra, conveying a range of emotions from longing and desire to joy and nostalgia. Its haunting melodies and rich timbre have earned it a revered place in Argentinean music and culture, inspiring generations of musicians and dancers to express their deepest emotions through the art of tango.
A plucked string instrument from Ukraine, the Bandura features a large, trapezoidal body and multiple strings. Its distinctive sound and intricate ornamentation are integral to Ukrainian folk music, reflecting the country’s cultural heritage and musical traditions.
Played solo or in ensemble settings, the Bandura produces rich, resonant tones that evoke a sense of longing, romance, and national pride. Its complex techniques and expressive capabilities make it a versatile and beloved instrument among Ukrainian musicians, embodying the soul and spirit of Ukraine’s musical heritage.
Resembling the mandolin in structure, the Banduria is a string instrument indigenous to the Philippines. Its small, pear-shaped body and fretted neck contribute to its bright, cheerful tones, making it a beloved fixture in traditional Filipino music ensembles.
Used to accompany folk songs, dances, and cultural performances, the Banduria adds a lively and melodic dimension to the rich tapestry of Filipino musical heritage. Its nimble fingerpicking style and distinctive timbre evoke a sense of nostalgia and community, embodying the spirit of Filipino identity and cultural expression.
Originating from Africa and popularized in the Americas, the Banjo is a quintessential American instrument with a distinctive twangy sound. Deeply rooted in Appalachian folk music and bluegrass traditions, it serves as the backbone of these musical genres, driving rhythms and adding dynamic texture to ensemble performances.
Whether plucked or strummed, the Banjo’s vibrant tones and infectious energy evoke images of rolling hills, country roads, and the spirit of American folk heritage.
10. Banjo mandolin
A unique hybrid instrument blending elements of the banjo and mandolin, the Banjo Mandolin offers a versatile sound palette favored by folk musicians and enthusiasts. Featuring the banjo’s resonator body and the mandolin’s paired strings and fretted neck, it combines the percussive attack of the banjo with the melodic clarity of the mandolin.
Used in various musical styles, from traditional folk to contemporary bluegrass, the Banjo Mandolin adds a distinctive flavor to acoustic ensembles and solo performances, enriching musical arrangements with its twangy charm and expressive versatility.
11. Banjo ukulele
Combining the compact size of a ukulele with the twangy sound of a banjo, the Banjo Ukulele offers a playful and upbeat tone perfect for island music and beyond. With its resonator body and nylon strings, it delivers a bright and lively sound that captures the essence of tropical breezes and carefree melodies.
Popularized in Hawaiian music and vaudeville performances, the Banjo Ukulele has become a beloved instrument among ukulele enthusiasts and folk musicians, adding a touch of nostalgia and whimsy to any musical repertoire.
A lute-like instrument originating from Persia, the Barbat is steeped in history and tradition, dating back to ancient civilizations. With its long, slender neck and pear-shaped body, it produces hauntingly beautiful melodies that have captivated audiences for centuries.
Integral to Persian classical music, the Barbat is revered for its expressive capabilities and intricate ornamentation, serving as a vehicle for storytelling, improvisation, and spiritual reflection. Its ethereal tones and evocative melodies evoke a sense of timelessness and transcendence, transporting listeners to distant lands and bygone eras.
13. Baritone horn
A member of the brass family, the Baritone Horn boasts a mellow, rich tone that adds depth and warmth to brass ensembles and marching bands. With its conical bore and large bell, it produces resonant and sonorous tones that resonate across musical genres, from classical to jazz to contemporary pop.
Often featured in concert bands and orchestras, the Baritone Horn provides a solid foundation in the brass section, blending harmoniously with other instruments while adding a distinctive timbre and color to ensemble performances.
14. Baritone sarrusophone
A rare double-reed instrument, the Baritone Sarrusophone is prized for its distinctive, nasal timbre and unique sound. With its metal body and conical bore, it produces resonant and penetrating tones that stand out in ensemble settings.
Used primarily in military bands and concert bands, the Baritone Sarrusophone adds depth and character to brass sections, enriching musical arrangements with its bold and expressive voice. Despite its rarity, it has earned a devoted following among enthusiasts and collectors, who appreciate its distinctive sound and historical significance.
15. Baritone saxophone
Renowned for its deep, resonant tones, the Baritone Saxophone serves as the powerhouse of saxophone sections in jazz and marching bands. With its large size and low-pitched range, it provides a rich and robust foundation to ensemble performances, adding warmth and depth to musical arrangements.
Whether delivering soulful solos or anchoring melodic lines, the Baritone Saxophone commands attention with its commanding presence and expressive capabilities, making it a vital component of any saxophone ensemble.
16. Baritone ukulele
Larger than the traditional ukulele, the Baritone Ukulele produces a deep, full-bodied sound ideal for accompaniment or solo performance. With its longer scale length and lower tuning, it offers a rich and resonant tone that bridges the gap between the ukulele and the guitar.
Whether strummed for rhythmic accompaniment or fingerpicked for melodic expression, the Baritone Ukulele offers versatility and musicality, making it a popular choice among musicians seeking a unique and expressive instrument for a variety of musical genres.
A historical string instrument from the Baroque era, the Baryton features sympathetic strings that resonate sympathetically, adding richness to its sound. With its distinctive shape and elaborate decoration, it embodies the opulence and elegance of the Baroque period.
Used primarily in chamber music and solo repertoire, the Baryton offers a wide range of expressive possibilities, from delicate melodic lines to rich, sonorous harmonies. Despite its relative obscurity in modern times, it remains a treasured instrument among enthusiasts and historians, preserving a rich legacy of musical craftsmanship and artistic expression.
18. Bass clarinet
An essential member of the clarinet family, the Bass Clarinet produces deep, sonorous tones that provide a solid foundation in orchestral and jazz settings. With its extended range and powerful projection, it adds depth and richness to ensemble performances, filling out the lower register with its warm and resonant sound.
Whether performing lyrical melodies or providing rhythmic support, the Bass Clarinet offers versatility and expressiveness, making it a versatile and indispensable instrument in a wide range of musical contexts.
19. Bass drum
Known as the heartbeat of the percussion section, the Bass Drum produces powerful, resonant thuds that anchor the rhythm in various musical genres. With its large size and deep, booming sound, it provides a solid foundation for ensemble performances, driving the pulse and creating a sense of forward momentum.
Whether in orchestral music, marching bands, or contemporary ensembles, the Bass Drum commands attention with its commanding presence and dynamic range, adding impact and intensity to musical arrangements.
20. Bass guitar
A cornerstone of modern bands, the Bass Guitar provides the rhythmic and harmonic foundation, driving the groove and adding depth to musical arrangements. With its low-pitched range and distinctive sound, it serves as the backbone of the rhythm section, laying down steady basslines that underpin the music’s structure and dynamics.
Whether holding down the groove or taking center stage with a melodic solo, the Bass Guitar offers versatility and flexibility, making it an essential instrument in virtually every genre of popular music.
21. Bass oboe / Baritone oboe
Rare and distinctive, the Bass Oboe delivers dark, reedy tones that contribute a unique color to orchestral and chamber music. With its large size and deep, resonant sound, it provides a rich and expressive voice in the woodwind section, adding depth and warmth to ensemble performances.
Whether performing lyrical melodies or providing harmonic support, the Bass Oboe offers versatility and versatility, making it a prized instrument among composers and performers seeking to expand the sonic palette of their music.
22. Bass sarrusophone
A rare brass instrument with a deep, robust sound, the Bass Sarrusophone is prized for its versatility and expressive capabilities. Featuring a conical bore and a range that extends into the lower register, it adds depth and richness to ensemble performances, whether in concert bands, orchestras, or chamber ensembles.
With its unique timbre and powerful projection, the Bass Sarrusophone commands attention, lending a distinctive character to any musical arrangement or performance.
23. Bass saxophone
With its cavernous, resonant sound, the Bass Saxophone commands attention in saxophone ensembles and jazz bands. Featuring a larger size and lower pitch than its counterparts in the saxophone family, it produces deep, rumbling tones that resonate throughout a room.
Whether laying down the foundation in a saxophone section or taking center stage for a soulful solo, the Bass Saxophone adds richness and depth to musical performances, capturing the listener’s attention with its commanding presence and expressive capabilities.
24. Basset clarinet
Renowned for its extended range and warm, woody tones, the Basset Clarinet adds versatility and expressiveness to classical and contemporary music. With its additional keys and extended lower register, it offers a broader palette of tonal colors and expressive possibilities, from delicate lyricism to powerful projection.
Whether performing solo repertoire, chamber music, or orchestral works, the Basset Clarinet shines as a versatile and indispensable instrument in the clarinet family, enriching musical performances with its lush and resonant sound.
A member of the clarinet family, the Basset-Horn boasts a rich, mellifluous sound, beloved by composers such as Mozart and Brahms. With its deep, expressive tone and wide range, it lends a sense of warmth and lyricism to ensemble performances, whether in orchestral settings or chamber music.
Used for both solo and ensemble repertoire, the Basset-Horn offers a unique combination of versatility and elegance, making it a cherished instrument among clarinetists and composers alike.
Known for its distinctive timbre and wide range, the Bassoon is a versatile double-reed instrument that shines in orchestral and chamber settings. With its deep, resonant tones and expressive capabilities, it adds depth and richness to ensemble performances, whether providing bass support or taking on solo passages.
From delicate lyrical lines to agile virtuosic passages, the Bassoon offers a wide range of expressive possibilities, making it an essential component of the woodwind section in any musical ensemble.
A percussion instrument consisting of a series of tuned tubes, the Bazooka produces resonant, bell-like tones and is popular in contemporary music. With its unique construction and sound characteristics, it adds a modern and distinctive flair to musical arrangements, whether in studio recordings or live performances.
Used for both melodic and rhythmic purposes, the Bazooka offers versatility and creativity, allowing musicians to explore new sonic possibilities and push the boundaries of traditional instrumentation.
Simple yet versatile, the Bell adds shimmering, percussive accents to musical arrangements and is a staple in orchestras and marching bands. Whether struck with a mallet or played with a hand, its clear and resonant tones cut through the ensemble, providing rhythmic punctuation and adding a touch of sparkle to musical passages.
From delicate arpeggios to bold accents, the Bell enhances the texture and dynamics of a composition, creating depth and interest in a wide range of musical genres.
29. Bell tree
Comprising a series of graduated bells suspended on a rod, the Bell Tree produces cascading, ethereal tones, often used to create magical effects in orchestral music. By striking the bells with a mallet or gliding a hand along the rods, musicians can evoke shimmering, otherworldly sounds that add color and atmosphere to musical compositions.
From delicate trills to thunderous swells, the Bell Tree offers a dynamic range of expression, making it a versatile and captivating instrument in both orchestral and studio settings.
A Brazilian musical bow, the Berimbau is integral to the Capoeira tradition, providing rhythmic accompaniment to martial arts performances and dances. Played with a wooden stick and a small gourd resonator, it produces a twangy, percussive sound that drives the rhythm and tempo of Capoeira music.
With its roots in Afro-Brazilian culture, the Berimbau adds energy and authenticity to Capoeira rituals, creating a dynamic and immersive experience for performers and audiences alike.
A traditional Breton bagpipe, the Biniou produces bold, resonant tones that are central to Breton folk music and dance. Played with a wooden chanter and a drone, it emits lively melodies and rhythmic drones that accompany traditional dances such as the An Dro and the Gavotte.
With its distinctive sound and cultural significance, the Biniou is a symbol of Breton identity and heritage, embodying the spirit of celebration and community in Brittany’s rich musical traditions.
A Japanese lute with a history spanning centuries, the Biwa emits melancholic, haunting melodies and is associated with storytelling and epic poetry. Played with a plectrum, it produces a rich, resonant sound that evokes a sense of nostalgia and introspection.
Used in traditional Japanese music and theatrical performances, the Biwa adds depth and emotion to storytelling, enhancing the narrative with its expressive and evocative tones.
A percussion instrument resembling a wooden box, the Bock-a-da-bock produces rhythmic, resonant tones, often used in folk and world music. Played by striking the surface with hands or mallets, it creates a percussive groove that drives the rhythm and adds texture to musical ensembles.
With its versatile sound and portable design, the Bock-a-da-bock is a popular choice among musicians seeking to add dynamic percussion to their performances, from intimate acoustic settings to large-scale productions.
A traditional Irish frame drum, the Bodhrán provides rhythmic accompaniment with its deep, booming tones, enhancing the pulse of Irish music. Played with a wooden stick called a tipper, it produces a resonant, earthy sound that complements fiddles, flutes, and other traditional instruments.
With its roots in Celtic culture and folklore, the Bodhrán adds a sense of tradition and authenticity to Irish music sessions, evoking images of rolling green hills and lively pub gatherings.
A traditional Breton double-reed instrument, the Bombarde emits piercing, lively tones that add energy and excitement to Breton folk music. Played with circular breathing techniques, it produces a continuous stream of notes that drive the rhythm and melody of traditional Breton dances.
With its distinctive sound and spirited performance style, the Bombarde is a key element in Breton musical ensembles, contributing to the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere of festivals and celebrations throughout Brittany.
36. Bongo drum
Originating from Afro-Cuban traditions, the Bongo Drum is a pair of small, open-bottomed drums joined together. Played with the hands and fingers, it produces vibrant, rhythmic patterns that are central to Latin American music styles such as salsa, mambo, and son.
With its versatile sound and compact size, the Bongo Drum adds energy and excitement to percussion ensembles, driving the rhythm and enhancing the groove of musical performances. Its distinctive tones and expressive capabilities make it a beloved instrument among percussionists and enthusiasts worldwide.
A percussion instrument consisting of hollow, color-coded tubes, the Boomwhacker produces musical tones when struck against a surface or each other. Each tube is tuned to a specific pitch, allowing players to create melodic patterns and harmonies by striking them rhythmically.
Popular in music education and team-building activities, the Boomwhacker fosters creativity and collaboration, encouraging players to explore rhythm, melody, and harmony in a fun and interactive way. With its vibrant colors and playful sound, it adds a lively and engaging element to musical performances and educational settings alike.
A string instrument native to Puerto Rico, the Bordonua is a large-bodied, deep-pitched instrument similar to a bass guitar. Played with fingers or a pick, it produces rich, resonant tones that provide a solid foundation in traditional Puerto Rican music genres such as bomba and plena.
With its distinctive sound and cultural significance, the Bordonua embodies the spirit of Puerto Rican identity and heritage, serving as a symbol of resilience and pride in the island’s musical traditions.
Originating from West Africa, the Boungu is a traditional percussion instrument consisting of a hollowed-out gourd or wooden vessel covered with animal skin. Played with hands or sticks, it produces deep, resonant tones that form the rhythmic backbone of West African music styles such as afrobeat and highlife.
With its earthy sound and infectious rhythms, the Boungu adds energy and vitality to musical performances, creating a sense of community and celebration wherever it is played. As a cultural symbol of West African heritage, it embodies the spirit of tradition and unity in the region’s rich musical tapestry.
A string instrument originating from Greece, the Bouzouki is characterized by its pear-shaped body, long neck, and double courses of strings. Played with a pick, it produces bright, metallic tones that are central to Greek folk music and rebetiko.
With its expressive capabilities and virtuosic playing techniques, the Bouzouki adds depth and emotion to musical performances, whether in solo or ensemble settings. As a symbol of Greek culture and identity, it evokes images of sun-drenched landscapes, lively tavernas, and spirited celebrations, embodying the spirit of Greek music and tradition.
A simple brass instrument with a conical bore and no valves, the Bugle produces clear, bright tones that are synonymous with military and ceremonial music. Played with a series of fingerings and embouchure techniques, it is used to convey signals, commands, and melodies in military bands, scout groups, and ceremonial events.
With its distinctive sound and historical significance, the Bugle evokes a sense of tradition and patriotism, serving as a symbol of honor and duty in military and civilian contexts alike.
An ancient aerophone consisting of a flat, elongated piece of wood attached to a cord, the Bullroarer produces a distinctive whirring sound when spun in the air. Used in indigenous cultures around the world for ceremonial and spiritual purposes, it is believed to possess mystical properties and the ability to communicate with the spirit world.
With its hypnotic sound and ritual significance, the Bullroarer holds a revered place in traditional indigenous practices, serving as a link between humanity and the natural world.
We hope this exploration of musical instruments starting with the letter B has sparked your curiosity and inspired you to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of world music.
Whether you’re drawn to the rhythmic pulse of percussion or the soulful melodies of wind instruments, there’s a world of musical discovery awaiting you. So grab your instrument of choice and let the music begin!
With so many different instruments to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs and interests. Have fun!
- Musical Instruments that Start with A-Z (Exclusive Guide)
- 55+ Best Musical Instruments that Start with C Letter
- Popular Musical Instruments that Start with D
- Top Musical Instruments that Start with E
- 25+ Musical Instruments that Start with G
- What’re the Musical Instruments that Start with K?
- What’re the Musical Instruments that Start with M?
- 50+ Best Musical Instruments that Start with S Letter
- What Is an Musical Instruments that Start with T?