IMSLP:Abbreviations for Instruments

The following abbreviations for instruments and voice ranges may be used in work lists, and is not intended to be a comprehensive list of musical instruments.

The abbreviations should be used in the following order:

  • Voices: solo voices first, then choruses
  • Solo Instruments: woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, keyboard
  • Ensembles: woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, orchestra, continuo

Within each group instruments are generally given in score order (see IMSLP:Tagging#Abbreviations for instruments for specific details).

The symbols ( ) + and / are used to indicate optional or alternative instrumentation, in the following manner:

Examples
  • fl vn pf = for flute, violin and piano (3 instruments)
  • fl/vn pf = for either a flute or a violin, accompanied by a piano (2 instruments)
  • fl/vn/pf = for a solo flute, or a solo violin, or a solo piano (1 instrument)
  • fl vn (pf) = for a flute and violin playing together, with the optional (ad lib.) accompaniment of a piano (2 or 3 instruments)
  • fl (vn/pf) = for a solo flute, with the optional (ad lib.) accompaniment of either a violin or a piano (1 or 2 instruments)
  • (fl vn)/pf = for either just a flute and a violin playing together without any accompaniment, or a solo piano (1 or 2 instruments)
  • fl vn (pf?) = for a flute and violin playing together, with a piano part which is lost or of doubtful authenticity.

Square brackets can be used to include more details:

  • fch[SSA] = for 3-part female chorus consisting of 2 soprano sections and an alto section
  • str[2.0.1.1] = a string ensemble consisting of 2 violin sections, a cello section and a bass section (no violas)
  • 2cl[E] = two E clarinets.

Abbreviation English French German Italian Spanish
acc Accordion Accordéon Akkordeon (Ziehharmonika) Fisarmonica Acordeón
afl Alto flute Flûte alto (Flûte en sol) Altflöte (Altquerflöte in G) Flauto contralto Flauta alto (Flauta en sol)
alt Alto (voice) (contralto) Alto (Contralto) Alt Contralto Contralto
arp Arpeggione Arpeggione Arpeggione Arpeggione Arpeggione
bag Bagpipe Cornemuse (Biniou) Dudelsack (Sackpfeife) Cornamusa (Zampogna) Gaita
bar Baritone (voice) Baryton (Bariton) Bariton Baritono Barítono
bass Bass (voice) Basse Bass Basso Bajo
bbar Bass baritone (voice) Basse-bayiton (Basse-bariton) Bassbariton Basso-baritono Bajo-barítono
bc Continuo (Basso continuo) Basse continue Generalbass Basso continuo Bajo continuo
bcl Bass clarinet Clarinette basse Bassklarinette Clarinetto basso Clarinete bajo
bell Bell (Chimes) Cloches Glocken Campane Campanas
bfl Bass flute Flûte basse Bassflöte (Bassquerflöte in C) Flauto basso Flauta baja
bgtr Bass guitar Guitare basse E-Bass Basso eletrrico Bajo elétrico
bjo Banjo Banjo Banjo Banjo Banjo
bn Bassoon Basson Fagott Fagoto Fagot
bob Bass oboe (Baritone oboe) Hautbois baryton Baritonoboe Oboe baritono Oboe bajo
br Brass instruments instruments à vent de cuivres Blechblasinstrumente Strumento a fiato di ottone Instrumentos de viento-metal
bryt Baryton Baryton (Bariton) Bariton Baritono Barítono
bstcl Basset clarinet Clarinette de basset Bassettklarinette Clarinetto di bassetto Clarinete basset
bsthn Basset horn Cor de basset Bassetthorn Corno di bassetto Cuerno basset (Trompa de basset)
bug Bugle Clairon Signalhorn Corna de segnale Corneta
cbcl Contrabass clarinet Clarinette contrabasse Kontrabassklarinette Clarinetto contrabbasso Clarinete contrabajo
cbn Contrabassoon Contrebasson Kontrafagott Contrafagotto Contrafagot
cch Children's chorus Choeur d'enfants Kinderchor Coro di fanciulli Coro infantil (Coro de niños)
cel Celesta Célesta Celesta Celesta Celesta
ch Mixed chorus Choeur mixtes gemischter Chor Coro miste Coro mixto
cimb Cimbalom Cymbalum Zimbal Cimbalom Címbalo
cit Cittern Cistre Cister (Cyther) Cetra (Cetara) Kithara (Cítara)
cl Clarinet Clarinette Klarinette Clarinetto Clarinete
clvd Clavichord Clavicorde Klavichord Clavicordo Clavicordio
cm Chalumeau Chalumeau Chalumeau Salmoè Salmoé
conc Concertina Concertina Konzertina Concertina Concertina
crh Crumhorn Cromorne Krummhorn Cromorno Cromorno
crt Cornet Cornet (à pistons) Kornett (Ventilkornett) Cornetta (a pistoni) Cornetín (de pistones)
crtt Cornett (Zink) Cornet-à-bouquin Zink Cornetto Corneta
cv Child's voice Voix d'enfants Kinderstimme(n) Voce di fanciullo Voz de niño (Voz de infanto)
db Double Bass Contrebasse Kontrabass Contrabasso Contrabajo
dlcn Dulcian Douçaine Dulzian Dulciana Bajón (Dulcián)
dom Domra Domra Domra Domra Domra
dulc Dulcimer Psaltérion (Tympanon) Hackbrett Salterio Salterio (Tímpano)
egtr Electric guitar Guitarre électrique Elektrische Gitarre Chitarra elettrica Guitarra eléctrica
eh English horn (Cor anglais) Cor anglais Englischhorn Corno inglese Corno inglés
elec Electronic Instruments Instrument électronique Elektronische(s) Instrument(e) Strumento elettrica Instrumentos eléctricos
epf Electric piano Piano électronique Elektronisches Piano Pianoforte elettrico Piano eléctrico
eq Equal voices Voix égales gleiche Stimmen Voci pari Voces iguales
erhu Erhu Erhu Erhu Erhu Erhu
euph Euphonium Euphonium Euphonium Eufonio Bombardino
fch Female chorus Choeur de femmes Frauenchor Coro femminile Coro femenino (Coro de mujeres)
fda Flute d'amore (Tenor flute) Flûte ténor Tenorflöte Flauto tenor Flauta tenor
fgh Flugelhorn Bugle (Grand bugle) Flügelhorn Flicorno soprano Fliscorno
fife Fife Fifre Querpfeife (Militärflöte) Fiffaro Pífano
fl Flute Flûte Flöte Flauto Flauta
flag Flageolet Flageolet Flageolett Flagioletto Flageolet (Flajeolet)
ghca Glass harmonica (Bowl organ) Harmonica de verre (Coupes de verre) Glasharmonika (Gläserspiel) Glassarmonica (Bicchieri de vetro) Armónica de cristal
gl Glockenspiel Jeu de timbres Glockenspiel Campanelli (Metallofono) Juego de campanas (Lira)
gtr Guitar Guitare Gitarre Chitarra Guitarra
harm Harmonium Harmonium Harmonium Armonium Armonium
hca Harmonica (Mouth Organ) Harmonica Mundharmonika Armonica a bocco Armónica de boca
heck Heckelphone Heckelphone Heckelphon Heckelfono Heckelfón
hn Horn Cor Horn Corno Trompa (Corno francés)
hp Harp Harpe Harfe Arpa Arpa
hpd Harpsichord Clavecin Cembalo (Clavicembalo) Cembalo (Clavicembalo) Clavicémbalo
kbd Keyboard instrument Instrument à clavier Tasteninstrument Strumento a tastiera Instrumento de tecla
lute Lute Luth Laute Liuto Laúd
lyre Lyre Lyre Lyra Lira Lira
mand Mandolin Mandoline Mandoline Mandolino Mandolina (Mandolín)
mar Marimba Marimba Marimbaphon Marimba Marimba
mch Male chorus Choeur d'homme Männerchor Coro maschile Coro masculino (Coro de hombres)
mez Mezzo-soprano Messo-soprano Mezzosopran Mezzosoprano Mesosoprano (Mezzosoprano)
mus Musette Musette Musette de Cour Musette de cour Musette
nar Narrator (Reciter) Narrateur Erzähler Narratore Narrador
ob Oboe Hautbois Oboe (Hoboe) Oboe Oboe
oca Ocarina Ocarina Okarina Ocarina Ocarina
oda Oboe d'amore Hautbois d'amour Oboe d'amore Oboe d'amore Oboe de amor
om Ondes Martenot Ondes Martenot Ondes Martenot Onde Martenot Ondas Martenot
oph Ophicleide Ophicléide Ophikleide Ophicleide Oficleido
orch Orchestra Orchestre Orchester Orchestra Orquesta
org Organ Orgue Orgel Organo Órgano
oud Oud Oud Oud Oud Laúd árabe
pan Pan flute (Pan-pipes) Flûte de Pan (Syrinx) Panflöte (Hirtenflöte) Flauto di Pan (Siringa) Flauta de Pan (Zampoñas)
perc Percussion instruments à percussion Schlaginstrument (Schlagzeug) Strumento a percussione Percusión
pf Piano Piano Klavier Pianoforte Piano
pf3h Piano 3 hands Piano à 3 mains Klavier zu 3 Händen Pianoforte 3 mani Piano a 3 manos
pf4h Piano 4 hands Piano à 4 mains Klavier zu 4 Händen Pianoforte 4 mani Piano a 4 manos
pf5h Piano 5 hands Piano à 5 mains Klavier zu 5 Händen Pianoforte 5 mani Piano a 5 manos
pf6h Piano 6 hands Piano à 6 mains Klavier zu 6 Händen Pianoforte 6 mani Piano a 6 manos
pflh Piano left hand Piano à main gauche Klavier linkshändig Piano di sinistra Piano mano izquierda
pfped Pedal piano Piano à pédalier (Clavier de pédales) Pedalflügel (Pedalklavier) Pianoforte organistico Piano con pedales
pfrh Piano right hand Piano à main droite Klavier rechtshändig Piano di destra Piano mano derecha
picc Piccolo Petite flûte Kleine Flöte (Piccoloflöte) Flauto piccolo (Ottavino) Flautín (Píccolo)
pipa Pipa Pipa Pipa Pipa Pipa
pk Timpani Timbales Pauken Timpani Timbales
ptpt Piccolo trumpet Petite trompette Piccolotrompete Trombino Trompeta píccolo
reb Rebec Rebecq (Rebecquet) Rebec Rebeca (Ribeca) Rabé (Rebequín)
rec Recorder Flûte à bec (Flûte douce) Blockflöte Flauto dolce (Flauto a becco) Flauta de pico (Flauta dulce)
sar Sarrusophone Sarrusophone Sarrusophon Sarrusofono Sarrusofón
sax Saxophone Saxophone Saxophon Sassofono (Saxofono) Saxofón
sheng Sheng Sheng Sheng Sheng Sheng
shw Shawm Chalemie Schalmei Ciaramella (Piffaro) Chirimía (Xirimía)
sit Sitar Sitar Sitar Sitar Sitar
skbt Sackbut Sacqueboute Sackbutt Sackbut Sacabuche
sop Soprano (voice) Soprano Sopran Soprano Soprano
srp Serpent Serpent Serpent Serpentone Serpentón
stpt Slide trumpet Trompette à couluisse Zugtrompete Tromba a tirarsi Trompeta de varas
str String instruments Cordes Streicher Archi Instrumentos de cuerda
sxh Saxhorn Saxhorn Bügelhorn Flicorni Saxhorno
syn Synthesizer Synthétiseur Synthesizer Sintetizzatore Sintetizador
tba Tuba Tuba Tuba Tuba Tuba
tbn Trombone Trombone Posaune Trombone Trombón
ten Tenor Ténor Tenor Tenore Tenor
thrm Theremin Thérémine Theremin Theremin Theremín
timp Timpani Timbales Pauken Timpani Timbales
tpt Trumpet Trompette Trompete Tromba (Clarino) Trompeta
uch Unison chorus Choeur unisson Unisonochor Coro unisono Coro unísono
uke Ukelele (Ukulele) Ukulélé Ukelele Ukelele Ukelele
v Voice (solo) Voix Stimme Voce Voz
va Viola Alto Bratsche Viola Viola
vap Viola pomposa Viola pomposa Viola pomposa Viola pomposa Viola pomposa
vc Cello Violoncelle Violoncello Violoncello Violonchelo (Violoncello)
vda Viola d'amore Viole d'amour Viola d'amore (Liebesgeige) Viola d'amore Viola de amor
vib Vibraphone Vibraphone Vibraphon Vibrafono Vibráfono
vie Vielle (Hurdy-Gurdy) Vielle à roue (Chifonie) Leier (Drehleier) Lyra tedesca (Ghironda) Viola de rueda (Zanfona)
viol Viol (Viola da gamba) Gambe (Viola da gamba) Gambe Gamba (Viola da gamba) Viola de gamba
vlne Violone Violone Violone Violone Violone
vn Violin Violon Violine (Geige) Violino Violín
vuv Vuvuzela Vuvuzela Vuvuzela Vuvuzela Vuvuzela
vv Voices (multiple soloists) Voix Stimmen Voci Voces
wag Wagner tuba Tuba wagnérien Wagnertuba Tuba di Wagner Tuba Wagneriana
ww Woodwind instruments Instrument à vent en bois Holzblasinstrument Strumento a fiato di legno Instrumentos de viento-madera
xiao Xiao Xiao Xiao Xiao Xiao
xyl Xylophone Xylophone (Harmonica de bois) Xylophon Xilofono (Silofono) Xilófono
zith Zither Cithare Zither Cetra da tavola Cítara