Origin of music and musical instruments dates back to the pre-historic times. They have evolved at every step since those times. Music is a flourishing profession now and making musical instruments to cater to their needs is a lucrative business. As music is greatly influenced by culture, the materials used for making the instruments have also been varying accordingly. Following the commercialization of musical instruments market, the cultural concept has been merged to deliver application based standardized products.
Musical instruments are usually categorized as per the Horbostel - Sachs system widely used by organologists and ethnomusicologists. This system categorizes musical instruments as: membrano phones (percussion), idiophones (percussion), aero phones (wind), chordophones (stringed) and electrophones (electronic), which are further divided into many more sub-groups. For commercial purpose, musical instruments have been segmented on the basis of product which includes pianos, guitar, digital keyboards, drums, electronic equipments and wind equipments.
The musical instruments market has usually been catering to music connoisseurs, professional musicians, school troupes, local bands, etc. apart from the niche amateur segment. However it has witnessed a surge of lately. More and more people are taking up music as a professional, leisure or extracurricular activity. Different musical tastes influence their musical instrument choices. The driving factors for following these interests are the increasing levels of disposable income of the consumers, making it affordable to spend on these instruments. On the other hand, not all consumers consider it essential to possess musical instruments. High costs are been incurred in making branded good quality musical equipments, making these instruments expensive to purchase for many interested consumers with limited disposable incomes. Also, insufficient marketing activities for its products fail to influence potential consumers. This has deterred the instruments market from achieving its full potential. Nevertheless, with increase in e-commerce, the global musical instruments market has been witnessing growth of online retailing of its products. Many manufacturers have adopted the online approach to cater to a wider consumer base demanding variety and ease of purchase.
Japanese manufacturers with their technologically advanced processes have been aiming at the upper-end markets while leading companies have been shifting operations to Asia Pacific region due to low labor and production costs. China has been emerging with its increasing production capacity. Musical instruments market vendors include Yamaha Corp., Roland Corp., Kawai Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Fender Musical Instruments Corp., Steinway Musical Instruments Inc., Sennheiser Electronic GmbH & Co. KG Shure Inc., QRS Music Technologies Inc., Gibson Guitar Corp. and D'Addario & Company Inc.
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