Instrumentation Coding Guide

Band means liberal doubling of any part is intended by the composer.

Wind Ensemble means one to a part, or some other specific numbering specified by the composer. All other ensemble types follow the Wind Ensemble assumption.

Woodwinds and brass use a standard orchestral numbering system as follows:

Woodwinds: Flute.oboe.clarinet.bassoon =
Brass: horn.trumpet.trombone.tuba =

Other instruments in these families are listed as abbreviations next to their closest relations (e.g., piccolo next to flute). Other families use only abbreviations.

Periods separate instruments in the same family. A dash separates families, which
are listed in the following order:


2.picc means piccolo has its own part. 2(II=picc) means the 2nd flute player doubles on piccolo.

2 means two separate parts. 2(8) means two separate parts that actually require 8 players.

For percussion instruments, separate parts labeled for separate instruments appear distinctly, while several instruments that are grouped together in parts labeled “Percussion” or “Mallets” are listed as “perc.” 2perc means two parts assuming two players, while 2perc(3) means two parts that actually require three players. “Perc” designations are followed by a list of instruments required for the whole of all of those parts in square brackets.

This site uses the following abbreviations:


picc = Piccolo
fl = Flute
afl = Alto Flute
ob = Oboe
eh = English horn
cl = Clarinet
ecl = E-flat Clarinet
bshn = Basset Horn
acl = Alto Clarinet
bcl = Bass Clarinet
cacl = Contra Alto Clarinet/Contrabass Clarinet in E-flat
cbcl = Contrabass Clarinet in B-flat
bn = Bassoon
cbn = Contrabassoon
sx = Soprano Saxophone
ax = Alto Saxophone
tx = Tenor Saxophone
bx = Baritone Saxophone
bsx = Bass Saxophone


hn = French Horn
wtb = Wagner tuba
tpt = Trumpet
crt = Cornet
ptpt = Piccolo trumpet
etpt = E-flat trumpet
btpt = Bass trumpet
bgl = Bugle
tb = Trombone
atb = Alto Trombone
btb = Bass Trombone
ahn = Alto Horn
thn = Tenor Horn
bhn = Baritone Horn
euph = Euphonium
tba = Tuba
etb = E-flat tuba
cbass = Contrabass saxhorn
srp = Serpent
oph = Ophicleide


agogo = Agogo Bells
anv = Anvil
bchi = Bar Chimes
bd = Bass Drum
bng = Bongos
brk = Brake Drum
bt = Bell Tree
cab = Cabasa
cast = Castanets
chi = Chimes/Tubular Bells
china = China Cymbal
clv = Claves
cng = Congas
crot = Crotales
cym = Crash Cymbals
dbk = Derbuka
djm = Djembe
fcym = Finger Cymbals
fd = Field Drum
flex = Flexatone
glk = Glockenspiel
gong = Gong
guiro = Guiro
hat = High Hat
hbl = Hand Bells
kick = Kick Bass/Pedal Bass
lion = Lion’s Roar
mar = Marimba
mrc = Maracas
mt = Mark Tree
od = Ocean Drums
rain = Rain Stick
rcym = Ride Cymbal
rtc = Ratchet
sand = Sandpaper Blocks
sbl = Sleigh Bells
scym = Suspended Cymbal
sd = Snare Drum
spl = Splash Cymbal
ss = Whip/Slapstick
tam = Tam-Tam
tamb = Tambourine
td = Tenor Drum
temp = Temple Blocks (Set of Five)
timb = Timbales
timp = Timpani
tom = Single Tom-Tom
toms = Multiple Tom-Toms
tri = Triangle
tsh = Thundersheet
vib = Vibraphone
vslp = Vibraslap
wb = Woodblock
wchi = Wind Chimes
wind = Wind Machine
wph = Waterphone
wtubes = Whirling Tubes
zcym = Sizzle Cymbal


pno = Piano
cel = Celeste
hpscd = Harpsichord
synth = Synthesizer


vn = Violin
va = Viola
vc = Cello
db = Double Bass
hp = Harp
gtr = Guitar
agtr = Acoustic Guitar
egtr = Electric Guitar
ebass = Electric Bass


l=large or low