Musician Special: Small Portable Instruments That Are Easy To Carry!

Oluwatosin Michael
Oct 24, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Nov 13, 2021
Man has been playing musical instruments since the beginning

A device produced or adapted to generate musical sounds is called a musical instrument.

In general words, any device or object capable of producing sounds is considered a musical instrument, and a person that plays a musical instrument is called an instrumentalist. There are various types of musical instruments present in the world, designed for various purposes.

Man has been playing musical instruments since the beginning of human culture. During olden times, musical instruments were used during rituals, like a drum in a religious ceremony or a horn for signaling a successful hunt.

As time went on, man evolved and started using these instruments for the purpose of entertainment. Over time these musical instruments took various forms, shapes, and sizes.

Today, there exists a very wide variety of musical instruments in the world. From huge mega-scale musical instruments to small musical instruments, man has developed them all.

Although there is a wide abundance of these sound-producing devices in the world, small instruments are some that are people's favorites. These small instruments are not only portable but also very easy to learn to play.

From a beginner to an expert, everybody can play these small musical instruments and create music with them.

The small instrument is also light in weight and cheap, which makes it perfectly pocket-friendly. These small musical instruments include the metal or wood guitar, the flute, the harp, the harmonica, the whistle, portable pianos, the violin, the trumpet, drums, the ukulele, and thumb pianos.

If you like reading about small portable instruments, you should read further to know about them in detail. The answer to the question of what are the smallest musical instruments lies below!

There is a lot of information available on small portable instruments below, and lots of curious questions have been answered for you. So keep reading to learn about some small, easy to play instruments and to learn or what is the smallest instrument. Also, you could check out our articles on the smallest ocean and neolithic tools.

What are the smallest musical instruments?

There are many small instruments; some of these are the harmonica, the ukelele, the ocarina, the kalima, and the flute.

The ukulele is another tiny portable instrument that belongs to the family of lute and is of Portuguese origin. However, the instrument was popularized in Hawaii. It usually has four nylon strings and generally comes in four sizes: baritone, concert, soprano, and tenor.

The ukulele possesses a figure eight body structure which is very much similar to that of miniature acoustic guitars. The instrument is also available in some non-standard shapes, like oval and cutaway, called a 'pineapple' ukulele.

The tone and sound of the device vary with its construction and its size. They are also cheap and pocket-friendly and can easily fit inside a bag.

A flute is a musical instrument that belongs to the family of the woodwind group. It is an aerophone or a reedless wind instrument that produces beautiful music and sound because of the flow of air across its opening.

The flute is the oldest known musical instrument globally, and even paleolithic instances of flutes with hand-bored holes have been found.

The ocarina is a tiny wind instrument, which is a type of vessel flute. The structure of the ocarina is usually enclosed with 4-12 finger holes and a mouthpiece that bulges out of the body.

Generally, the ocarina is made up of ceramic or clay, but other materials such as wood, bone, glass, and plastic are also used for its construction.

The instrument is available in various sizes and shapes, and the transverse (sweet potato) is the best-known design of the ocarina. These little instruments are fun to play and are pocket-friendly.

The piano is an acoustic musical instrument with strings that was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Italy, somewhere around the 1700s. In pianos, the strings are struck using a wooden hammer coated with a soft material.

Musicians play pianos using a keyboard, which consists of a series of keys that are to be pressed down by the performer or struck with the thumbs and fingers of both hands.

It generally has a protective case surrounding the strings and the soundboard that is strung on a heavy metal frame under strong tension. A small type of piano is the small portable thumb piano that is light in weight and cheap in price, and extremely easy to play.

What are some small, easy to play instruments?

There are many small, portable instruments which can be played quite easily. Some small easy to play musical instruments are listed below.

The violin, alternatively called the fiddle, is a small chordophone belonging to the family of the violin. It has a hollow wood body and is the smallest soprano (high-pitched instrument) in its family which is in common use.

It generally consists of four strings, mostly tuned in perfect fifths with the notes G3, D4, A4, E5, which are played by drawing a bow across the device's strings.

The instrument is also played by plucking its strings using fingers, which is called pizzicato, or by striking its strings using the wooden side of the bow, called col legno by experts. The sound of a violin is determined by the thickness of its wood, its physical qualities, and its arched shape.

The mandolin is another stringed musical instrument that belongs to the family of lute and is generally played using a plectrum. It generally comprises four doubled strings harmonized in unison of perfect fifths, just like that of a violin.

The mandolin is the soprano member of a family, similar to that of the violin. There are also various types of mandolins available, and the Neapolitan or round-backed mandolin, the flat-backed mandolin, and the archtop mandolin are the three most common types.

The kalimba is a tiny musical instrument that comprises a wood soundboard and keys or bars. The kalimba is of African origin and can easily fit inside a bag. The kalimba falls under the category of lamellophone and is not very difficult to play if you have some basic musical skills.

What is the smallest instrument?

The smallest musical instrument to ever be created is the nano harp. It is produced using a single piece of silicon and is only 140 atoms dense.

A harp is another stringed musical instrument that comprises a series of strings running at some angle to the soundboard. These strings are plucked using the fingers to produce melodious sound and music.

Harps can be played in a variety of ways: while sitting, standing, in a concert, or in an orchestra. Many harps are little in size, and musicians are able to play them on the lap, whereas some harps are large in size and have to be kept on the floor to play the instrument perfectly.

The sound that the nano harp produces is so low that it's beyond the level of human hearing. In fact, different harps use strings of different types like nylon, catgut, or certain combinations.

Every harp comprises a resonator, a neck, and strings.

Triangular harps, also called frame harps, comprise a pillar at the long end which supports the strings, whereas open harps, like bow harps and arch harps, lack the same. The most common form of the harp is the triangular shape which is made of wood and has multiple rows of strings and pedal attachments.

What are some small musical instruments that are easy to take when traveling?

Some small instruments that are easy to carry while traveling include the melodica. This is a free-reed musical instrument that is identical to the harmonica and pumps organ. It consists of a musical keyboard on its upper surface and a hole on its side.

The melodica is played by blowing through the mouthpiece and simultaneously pressing the keys, which opens a hole and enables the wind to flow through the reed. Melodicas are light, small, and portable and can be easily carried in a backpack while traveling. They are a top choice for music educators across Asia.

The clarinet belongs to the family of woodwind instruments and comprises a single-reed mouthpiece, a cylindrical tube with a cylindrical bore, and a swollen bell. Musicians who play clarinet are referred to as clarinetists.

The clarinet possesses the largest pitch range among the most common woodwinds, and the reeds of the instrument are produced using Arundo donax, which is a type of grass.

The reed is fastened to the mouthpiece using a ligature, and when the wind is blown through the holes in between the mouthpiece and the reed, the reed vibrates, and the clarinet produces music. Clarinets can easily be carried in a backpack for easy transport.

The trumpet is a musical instrument made up of brass. A trumpet is generally used in jazz and classical ensembles. Trumpets are fun to play and can be carried easily in a backpack while traveling.

Did You Know...

The otamatone is considered the cutest instrument. The Big Carl tuba is the biggest instrument in the world, whereas the Boardwalk Hall Auditorium organ is the loudest. The Great Stalacpipe organ is world's largest instrument.

Guitars are considered the best musical instruments that are held with one hand and played with the other.

A guitar is a fretted musical instrument that generally possesses six strings. This device is held flat against the musician's body and is then played by plucking or strumming the tuned strings with the main hand, all while pressing the other particular strings against frets using the fingers of the opposite hand.

Individual fingerpicks or a plectrum can be used to strike the strings to play the perfect notes on a guitar.

The sounds of a guitar are projected either acoustically, through a resonance chamber on the device, or amplified using an electric pickup accompanied with an amplifier. A guitar is considered a chordophone, which is a device that produces music and sound by a vibrating string stretched between two permanent points.

Guitars come in various types: acoustic, electric, resonator, and hollow body are the most popular types of guitars.

The flute produces music and sound when a directed stream of air across a hole in its structures creates a vibration of air at the opening.

This stream of air generates a siphon which excites the air present in the cylindrical resonant cavity inside the flute. A flutist can change the pitch of the sound to produce different melodies by simultaneously opening and closing the chambers present in the flute's body while blowing air from his or her mouth.

The flute is a tiny instrument that is easy to learn and play, light in weight, cheap, and also pocket-friendly.

In order to learn a musical instrument, you have to set real-life goals that are attainable with the instrument and then keep practicing whenever you can. You have to be dedicated and determined.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for musician special: small portable instruments that are easy to carry then take a look at goldfish colors or different types of German Shepherds.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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