- Robert E. Eliason
The development of musical instruments in the United States through the early 20th century to a large degree reflected the history of European musical instruments. From that time and increasingly since the end of World War II, American practices in the design and manufacture of musical instruments can be said to have led, as much as followed, European practices. By the late 20th century, many American and European manufacturers had become subsidiaries of large international corporations and had moved their manufacturing operations to Japan, China, and Korea. The present article outlines the beginnings of musical instrument industries in the United States, their evolution, and their more important contributions. Within the chronological ordering—generally by 30-year periods—instruments are discussed broadly in the following groups: woodwinds, brass, percussion, bowed strings, plucked or hammered strings, keyboard strings, organs (pipe and reed), and automatic, electronic, and miscellaneous instruments....