Musical Instruments

Musical instruments in French
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Instruments de musique

Do you play a musical instrument? Here are the most common ones, in French, along with the grammar you need to play them.

 To play (the instrument) = Jouer de (+ definite article + instrument). The normal rules about de + definite article contractions apply.

Par exemple …

to play the violin jouer du violon
to play the guitar jouer de la guitare
to play the viola jouer de l’alto
to play the cymbals jouer des cymbales

Keyboard instruments – Instruments Ă  clavier

accordion l’accordĂ©on (m)
keyboards les claviers(m)
organ l’orgue(m or f)
piano le piano 
synthesizer le synthĂ©tiseur
le synthé
 
(apocope)

Percussion Instruments – Instruments de percussion

bass drum la grosse caisse 
brush le balai 
cowbell la cloche de / Ă  vache 
cymbals les cymbales(f)
drum le tambour 
drums, drum kit la batterie 
drumsticks les baguettes(f)
pedal la pĂ©dale 
snare drum la caisse claire 
triangle le triangle 

Stringed instruments – Instruments Ă  cordes

cello le violoncelle 
double bass la contrebasse 
guitar la guitare 
harp la harpe(h aspirĂ©)
viola l’alto(m)
violin le violon 

Wind instruments – Instruments Ă  vent

bassoon le basson 
clarinet la clarinette 
English horn le cor anglais 
flute la flĂ»te 
French horn le cor d’harmonie 
harmonica le harmonica(h aspirĂ©)
oboe le hautbois(h aspirĂ©)
saxophone le saxophone 
trombone le trombone 
trumpet la trompette 
tuba le tuba 

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Musical instruments

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2 Responses

  1. David Henderson 22 March 2018 / 19:15

    I’m trying to find an accurate English equivalent for the French word “monotone” as used by 20th century French composers such as Francis Poulenc