The Hornbostel-Sachs system of musical instrument classification defines idiophones as all instruments in which sound is produced primarily by way of the instrument itself vibrating without the use of membranes or strings.
Idiophones set in motion by a percussion action: hitting, shaking, or scraping. Also see Struck idiophone.
111.1 Concussion Idiophones or clappers
111.11 Concussion sticks or sticks of clap
111.12 Concussion plaques or plaque clappers
111.13 Concussion troughs or trough clappers
111.14 Concussion vessels or vessel clappers
111.141 Castanets - Natural and hollowed-out vessel clappers
111.142 Cymbals - Vessel clappers with manufactured rim
111.2 Percussion Idiophones
111.21 Percussion sticks or bars
111.211 Individual percussion sticks
111.212 Sets of percussion sticks in a range of different pitches combined into one instrument. - All xylophones, as long as their sounding components are not in two different planes.
111.22 Percussion plaques
111.221 Individual percussion plaques
111.222 Sets of percussion plaques
111.23 Percussion tubes
111.231 Individual percussion tubes.
111.232 Sets of percussion tubes.
111.24 Percussion vessels.
111.241 Gongs - The vibration is strongest near the vertex.
111.241.1 Individual gongs.
111.241.2 Sets of gongs.
111.242 Bells - The vibration is weakest near the vertex.
111.242.1 Individual bells
111.242.11 Resting bells whose opening faces upward.
111.242.12 Hanging bells suspended from the apex.
111.242.121 Hanging bells without internal strikers.
111.242.122 Hanging bells with internal strikers.
111.242.2 Sets of bells or chimes.
111.242.21 Sets of resting bells whose opening faces upward.
111.242.22 Sets of hanging bells suspended from the apex.
111.242.221 Sets of hanging bells without internal strikers.
111.242.222 Sets of hanging bells with internal strikers.
112.1 Shaken idiophones or rattles
112.11 Suspension rattles - Perforated idiophones are mounted together, and shaken to strike against each other.
112.111 Strung rattles - Rattling objects are strung in rows on a cord.
112.112 Stick rattles - Rattling objects are strung on a bar or ring.
112.12 Frame rattles - Rattling objects are attached to a carrier against which they strike.
112.121 Pendant rattles.
112.122 Sliding rattles.
112.13 Vessel rattles - Rattling objects enclosed in a vessel strike against each other or against the walls of the vessel, or usually against both.
112.2 Scraped Idiophones
112.21 Scraped sticks.
112.211 Scraped sticks without resonator.
112.212 Scraped sticks with resonator.
112.22 Scraped tubes.
112.23 Scraped vessels.
112.24 Scraped wheels - cog rattles
112.3 Split idiophones - Instruments in the shape of two springy arms connected at one end and touching at the other: the arms are forced apart by a little stick, to jangle or vibrate on recoil.
Instruments set into vibration by plucking.
121.1 Clack idiophones - The lamella is carved in the surface of a fruit shell, which serves as resonator.
121.2 Guimbardes and Jaw harps - The lamella is mounted in a rod- or plaque-shaped frame and depends on the player's mouth cavity for resonance.
121.21 Idioglot guimbardes - The lamella is of one substance with the frame of the instrument.
121.22 Heteroglot guimbardes - The lamella is attached to the frame.
121.221 Individual heteroglot guimbardes.
121.222 Sets of heteroglot guimbardes.
The lamellae are tied to a board or cut out from a board like the teeth of a comb.
122.1 With laced on lamellae.
122.11 Without resonator.
122.12 With resonator.
122.2 With cut-out lamellae
Instruments set into vibration by rubbing.
131.1 Individual friction sticks.
131.2 Sets of friction sticks.
131.21 Without direct friction.
131.22 With direct friction.
132.1 Individual friction plaques.
132.2 Sets of friction plaques.
133.1 Individual friction vessels.
133.2 Sets of friction vessels.
Instruments set into vibration by blowing or moving air.
141.1 Individual blown sticks.
141.2 Sets of blown sticks.
142.1 Individual blown plaques.
142.2 Sets of blown plaques.
Idiophones not allocated a number in the Hornbostel-Sachs system.