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  • Samoan Ironwood slit drum and two drum sticks, made in Samoa.
    Rights: Koffeinoverdos, CC BY-SA 3.0 Published 16 August 2021 Size: 3.5 MB Referencing Hub media

    The sounds we produce from a musical instrument depend on three elements:

    • The vibrating part of the instrument, which we activate by striking, blowing (including blowing air over vocal chords for speaking or singing), plucking or scraping.
    • The amplifying part of the instrument – anything that can make the sound louder or bigger by allowing the vibrations to move around a space and grow such as an amplifier, a sound box (the open chamber of a stringed instrument like a guitar or the pātē drum pictured) or a tube (flutes or horns).
    • Any sound-altering devices on the instrument – for example, keys, frets, valves or mutes.

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