Need a gift for the music lover in your life? How about this mesmerizing chart of hundreds of musical instruments?
The geniuses at Pop Chart Lab have created a mind-blowing poster featuring more than 540 unique musical instruments. The Chart of Musical Instruments groups instruments by category, and showcases them in an organized diagram of detail-rich, hand-drawn illustrations.
The designers based the chart on the historic Hornbostel-Sachs system of classification for musical instruments. They then combined these traditional categories with an “updated, intuitive approach to sorting songful stuff.”
All of the usual suspects make an appearance, of course: strings, woodwinds, pianos, saxophones, guitars and so on. However, this musical family tree goes far beyond what you’d see from a typical rock band, or even an orchestra.
It breaks down hundreds of instruments from all over the world into categories like aerophones (oboes and flutes), chordophones (fiddles and guitars), idio- and membranophones (drums) and electrophones (the noble theremin). With everything from a dabakan (a tall goblet drum) to the kobza (a stringed folk lute), the chart also offers enough variety to appeal to even the most experienced musicologist.
The 39″ x 27″ poster sells for $38 on Pop Chart Lab’s website.
This isn’t Pop Chart Lab’s first foray into visually documenting the world of music. The musical instrument chart expands on their visual compendium of guitars, which catalogues 64 famous guitars from decades of rock ‘n’ roll history. Other musical creations include a hip-hop flow chart, a guide to musical notation and a grand taxonomy of rap names. They’ve even developed a comprehensive “curtain call” of famous Broadway costumes.
Pop Chart Lab was founded in 2010 by a book editor and graphic designer. The company’s goal is “to render all of human experience in chart form.” They’ve tackled topics like beer, coffee, kitchen gadgets, movies and sports—and now, musical instruments, too.