A musical instrument is an instrument which is specifically created or adapted for making of musical sounds. In general any subject which produces sound can be a musical instrument – it is the way how the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments starts with beginnings of human culture, but we have to remember that early musical instruments were not like musical instruments nowadays – they were made from natural materials and their purpose was ritual rather than entertainment, for example, they were used as a trumpet to signal the start of hunt or as a drum in religious ceremonies. The concept of melody and artistry of musical composition were unknown to early musical players of musical instruments. But over the centuries cultures eventually developed both composition and performance of melodies for entertaining purposes, therefore, it can be said that musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications of them.
Anyway, the date of origin of the first device which can be considered as musical instrument is disputed. The oldest object which could have been a musical instrument – a simple flute – is about 67000 years old. Actually determining a specific time of musical instrument invention is impossible, because definitions of musical instruments are subjective and used materials are relatively unstable – a lot of early musical instruments were made from animals skins or skins, as well as from wood, shells, plants and other non-durable materials. As musical instruments evolved, the selection and quality of materials evolved as well. We have to take into account that musical instruments developed independently in many populated regions of world, but contact among civilizations caused rapid adaptation of most musical instruments in places which are placed far from their origin place.
Classification of musical instruments is a discipline in its own right, but many classification systems have been used over the years to obtain the existing. Musical instruments can be classified, basing on their effective range, material composition, size and other features, but the most common academic method, called Hornbostel-Sachs, used means by with musical instruments produce the sound. It should be mentioned that the academic study of musical instruments is called organology.