A category of musical instrument defined by ethnomusicologists Erich Hornbostel and Curt Sachs. From the Greek -phone (sound or voice) and Latin membrana- (skin, parchment)

Membranophones are percussion instruments, generally referred to as drums. In a membranophone, a skin or membrane is stretched over a hollow, resonating cavity. Membranophones may be single- or double- headed. Further classification of membranophones is done based on the shape of the resonating body.

See Also: idiophone, chordophone, aerophone, electrophone.

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