An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics or any other sort of vocal music; all of the music is produced by musical instruments. This term is used when referring to popular music rather than to other musical genres such as European classical music. In commercial music, instrumental tracks are sometimes renditions of a corresponding release that features vocals, but may also be compositions originally conceived without vocals.

Instrumentals that have reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 include

* "Theme from A Summer Place" - Percy Faith (1960)
* "Telstar" - Tornados (1962)
* "L'Amour Est Bleu (Love Is Blue)" - Paul Mauriat (1968)
* "Grazing in the Grass" - Hugh Masekela (1968)
* "Frankenstein" - Edgar Winter Group (1973)
* "Love's Theme" - Love Unlimited Orchestra (1974)
* "The Hustle" - Van McCoy (1975)
* "Theme from 'S.W.A.T.'" - Rhythm Heritage (1976)
* "Rise" - Herb Alpert (1979)
* "Chariots of Fire" - Vangelis (1981)
* "Miami Vice Theme" - Jan Hammer (1985)

Since the release of the theme to "Miami Vice", no instrumental has reached the top of the "Billboard" chart.

Borderline cases

Some recordings which include brief examples of the human voice are typically considered instrumentals. Examples include singles with the following:
*Short verbal interjections (e.g. "Tequila" or "Wipe Out" or "Topsy");
*Repetitive nonsense words (e.g. "Woo Hoo" or "Uh! Oh!");
*Wordless vocal effects (such as drones (e.g. "Rockit");
*Vocal percussion such as beatbox B-sides on rap singles;
*Yodeling (e.g. "Hocus Pocus");
*Whistling (e.g. "I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman" or "Colonel Bogey March").

A few songs categorized as instrumentals may even include actual vocals, if they appear only as a short part of an extended piece (e.g. "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)").

ee also

*Instrumental hip hop
*Instrumental rock
*List of rock instrumentals
*Easy listening
*Beautiful music
*Smooth jazz
*A cappella, vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • instrumental — Instrumental …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • instrumental — instrumental, ale, aux [ ɛ̃strymɑ̃tal, o ] adj. • 1563; instrumentele 1361; de instrument 1 ♦ Didact. Qui sert d instrument. Les pièces instrumentales d un procès. 2 ♦ (1390) Qui s exécute avec des instruments. Musique instrumentale (opposé à… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • instrumental — INSTRUMENTÁL, Ă, instrumentali, e, adj. 1. Făcut, executat cu ajutorul instrumentelor. 2. (gram.; în sintagma) Complement circumstanţial instrumental = complement circumstanţial care arată mijlocul prin care se realizează o acţiune. – Din fr.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Instrumental — In stru*men tal, a. [Cf. F. instrumental.] [1913 Webster] 1. Acting as an instrument; serving as a means; contributing to promote; conductive; helpful; serviceable; as, he was instrumental in conducting the business. [1913 Webster] The head is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • instrumental — 1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo al instrumento. Elemento de orden instrumental. [m6]Medios instrumentales. 2. Que sirve de instrumento o tiene función de tal. Agente instrumental. 3. Perteneciente o relativo a los instrumentos musicales. Canto… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • instrumental — instrumental, ale (in stru man tal, ta l ) adj. 1°   Qui sert d instrument. La cause instrumentale. 2°   Terme de grammaire. Cas instrumental, cas qui se trouve dans quelques langues, entre autres le sanscrit, et qui exprime l instrument, le… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • instrumental — adjetivo 1. De los instrumentos, en especial los musicales: canto instrumental. música* instrumental. 2. Que sirve de instrumento: Hay los medios instrumentales necesarios para arreglar esta situación. sustantivo masculino 1. Conjun …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • instrumental — m. med. Conjunto de aparatos, máquinas y herramientas (instrumentos) necesarios para realizar una intervención determinada. Medical Dictionary. 2011 …   Diccionario médico

  • instrumental — (adj.) late 14c., of the nature of an instrument, from O.Fr. instrumental, from M.L. instrumentalis, from L. instrumentum (see INSTRUMENT (Cf. instrument)). Meaning serviceable, useful is from c.1600. Of music, c.1500; noun meaning musical… …   Etymology dictionary

  • instrumental — [in΄strə ment′ l] adj. [ME < MFr < ML instrumentalis] 1. serving as a means; helpful (in bringing something about) 2. of or performed with an instrument or tool 3. of, performed on, or written for a musical instrument or instruments 4. of… …   English World dictionary

  • instrumental — I adjective advantageous, aiding, assisting, auxiliary, beneficial, conducive, contributory, helpful, indispensable, serviceable, useful, valuable II index causal, clerical, constructive (creative …   Law dictionary

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