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  • The boys play their 'instruments' in the band
    The boys play their 'instruments' in the band
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj instrumental serving or acting as a means or aid "instrumental in solving the crime"
    • adj instrumental relating to or designed for or performed on musical instruments "instrumental compositions","an instrumental ensemble"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A few items unearthed at Jamestown which were used by doctors and apothecaries. Included are drug jars, ointment pot, bleeding bowl, mortar and pestle fragments, glass vials, and portions of surgical instruments A few items unearthed at Jamestown which were used by doctors and apothecaries. Included are drug jars, ointment pot,...
Roberts-Mackensen bee insemination instrument, 1944 Roberts-Mackensen bee insemination instrument, 1944
Morse's pendulum instrument Morse's pendulum instrument
Electric cautery instrument Electric cautery instrument
The First Telegraphic Instrument, as Exhibited in 1837 by Morse The First Telegraphic Instrument, as Exhibited in 1837 by Morse
Morse Making his own Instrument Morse Making his own Instrument
11. Italian harpsichord (1693): Full view of instrument in outer case 11. Italian harpsichord (1693): Full view of instrument in outer case

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The designated instrument for the city of Detroit is the accordion
    • Instrumental Acting as an instrument; serving as a means; contributing to promote; conductive; helpful; serviceable; as, he was instrumental in conducting the business. "The head is not more native to the heart,
      The hand more instrumental to the mouth."
    • Instrumental (Gram) Applied to a case expressing means or agency; as, the instrumental case. This is found in Sanskrit and Russian as a separate case, but in Greek it was merged into the dative, and in Latin into the ablative. In Old English it was a separate case, but has disappeared, leaving only a few anomalous forms.
    • Instrumental (Mus) Pertaining to, made by, or prepared for, an instrument, esp. a musical instrument; as, instrumental music, distinguished from vocal music. "He defended the use of instrumental music in public worship.""Sweet voices mix'd with instrumental sounds."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Cat gut, used in tennis rackets and strings for musical instruments does not come from cats, but from sheep.
    • instrumental Of the nature of an instrument or tool; serving as an instrument or means; used or serving to promote or effect an object; helpful; serviceable: as, the press has been instrumental in enlarging the bounds of knowledge.
    • instrumental Pertaining to, made by, or prepared for instruments, especially musical instruments. Specifically, in music, noting a composition or a passage intended for instruments rather than for the voice, or in a style not germane to the voice: opposed to vocal.
    • instrumental In grammar, serving to indicate the instrument or means: applied to a case, as in Sanskrit, involving the notion of by or with. In Anglo-Saxon and other Teutonic tongues this case is merged, with a few exceptions, in the dative; In the Latin, with the ablative. Abbreviated inst. or instrumental
    • n instrumental An instrument.
    • n instrumental The instrumental case. Compare I., 3.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: If the coils of a French horn were straightened out, the instrument would be 22 feet long.
    • adj Instrumental acting as an instrument or means: serving to promote an object: helpful: belonging to or produced by musical instruments:
    • adj Instrumental (gram.) serving to indicate the instrument or means—of a case in Sanskrit, involving the notion of by or with
    • ***


  • Heinrich Heine
    “Mark this well, you proud men of action! you are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.”
  • Samuel Lover
    Samuel Lover
    “Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; they are but the instruments of the wise.”
  • Washington Irving
    “The tongue is the only instrument that gets sharper with use.”
  • Dorothea Lange
    Dorothea Lange
    “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
  • Calvin Coolidge
    “Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.”
  • Henry Ward Beecher
    “Riches are not an end of life, but an instrument of life.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. instrumental,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr.,—L. instrumentuminstruĕre, to instruct.


In literature:

And each child, from the biggest to the smallest, played on a musical instrument.
"Jewish Children" by Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
See also Kathleen Schlesinger, "Orchestral Instruments", part ii., "Precursors of the Violin Family," fig.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3" by Various
C. (for the sterilisation of surgical instruments, rubber tubing, and stoppers, etc.).
"The Elements of Bacteriological Technique" by John William Henry Eyre
Because this instrument is temporal, it has a height and limitation to reach.
"Child and Country" by Will Levington Comfort
The piano is a solo instrument and has its limitations.
"Great Pianists on Piano Playing" by James Francis Cooke
The first mention of music, either vocal or instrumental, in the Scriptures, is made in Gen. iv.
"Music and Some Highly Musical People" by James M. Trotter
The needles on both receiving and transmitting instruments wag in accordance with the movements of the handle.
"How it Works" by Archibald Williams
They went down into the dim bowels of the deadly instrument.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science February 1930" by Various
My instrument gave general satisfaction.
"Sir William Herschel: His Life and Works" by Edward Singleton Holden
With some other instruments it is different.
"The Bow, Its History, Manufacture and Use" by Henry Saint-George
But even as the Gens brought their instruments of destruction into play, the mighty tentacles of the first hundred Aircars had got into action.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science July 1930" by Various
They report that they cannot positively identify the ships with their instruments, but feel certain that they are the two we seek.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930" by Various
He favoured the use of the organ and of prayers in the vernacular, and was instrumental in founding schools on modern lines.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3" by Various
Next step was to check the spacemonk's instruments' circuits.
"The Scarlet Lake Mystery" by Harold Leland Goodwin
It would confuse them more when he walked right off their instruments.
"Tangle Hold" by F. L. Wallace
Percussion instruments producing determinate sounds, keyed instruments.
"Principles of Orchestration" by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov
In 1776 he was a warm advocate of the Declaration and with great satisfaction placed his name upon that sacred instrument.
"Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution" by L. Carroll Judson
From the instrument of instinct there has been developed an instrument of intellection.
"History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume II (of 2)" by John William Draper
Recently sound-ranging instruments have been produced by means of which the position of a gun can be determined.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 1" by Various
A right angle can also be run by making a simple instrument, such as is described in Chapter XV.
"The Teaching of Geometry" by David Eugene Smith

In poetry:

Of all the sweet instruments, shiver'd and broken,
That once in the Temple delighted his ear,
The Ram's-horn alone has he kept, as a token,
And sobs out his soul on it once in the year.
"Sephirah" by Morris Rosenfeld
Singers to come, what thoughts will start
To song? what words of yours be sent
Through man's soul, and with earth be blent?
These worlds of nature and the heart
Await you like an instrument.
"Future Poetry" by Alice Meynell
LILIA rises. He places her a chair, and seats himself at the
instrument; plays a low, half-melancholy, half-defiant prelude, and
"Within and Without: Part III: A Dramatic Poem" by George MacDonald
Strange reveries steal o'er us then,
Like keyless chords of instruments,
With music's soul without the notes;
And subtle, sad, and sweet there floats
A melody not made by men,
Nor ever heard by outer sense.
"Nocturne" by Abram Joseph Ryan
In summer-time, you might observe,
His scythe and sickle make a curve.
In winter days, his flail sublime
True as a fidler's foot beat time.
Should you attend, morn, night, and noon,
You'd find his instrument in tune.
"Happiness" by William Hutton
Made them his constant home, centre and sweep,
Channel and instrument of life and truth,
The word of God on earth, Love's other self,
The high ambassadors of truth and light;
And Love was free where Life was wholly true.
"From 'The Hills Of Life'" by Albert Durrant Watson

In news:

The E Instruments Model 7899 Gas Sniffer portable combustible leak detector pinpoints small leaks of any combustible gas or hydrocarbon from piping and/or appliances.
In addition to acquiring Phase Matrix, Inc, National Instruments (NI) has signed a definitive merger agreement with AWR Corp.
The MC6 also contains a full fieldbus communicator for HART, FOUNDATION Fieldbus and Profibus PA instruments.
The song sprang from computer-sampled snippets of musical instruments that I stitched together using Apple Computer's GarageBand software.
The Army Concert Band, founded in 1946, is an elite 65-member instrumental ensemble.
Overture welcomes adults who wish to learn how to play a band instrument, or who use to play and want to 'tune-up' their skills.
Advances in sensor technology and in digital positioner and variable speed drive algorithms, combined with smart features, offer a step change in the performance of modern measurement instruments and final elements.
The installed accuracy of many smart instruments has increased by an order of magnitude.
Louisville Athletics Communications Angel McCoughtry earned a place in Louisville's Hall of Honor and was instrumental in luring fans to women's games.
Camels carried instruments for regimental band.
"When I first started playing the guitar, I had no idea what I was doing," says Jana Hunter, 33, on discovering the instrument in high school.
Diagnostic test equipment from Webster Instruments.
What type of fittings and instruments are needed for this type of pipe.
Most such instruments die lingering rather than sudden deaths, of course.
Make what you want of a guy who's taken to calling himself "The Bill Doss, " but this is someone in love with musical instruments.

In science:

Interferometry: The instrumental contrast directly impacts the sensitivity of the instrument and should therefore be as high as possible.
An integrated optics beam combiner for the second generation VLTI instruments
As we make explicit below, we first compute all possible distances between the instrumental colors and the points on the standard locus line, then we find the minimum distance for each instrumental data point.
Stellar Locus Regression: Accurate Color Calibration, and the Real-time Determination of Galaxy Cluster Photometric Redshifts
Consider instrumental color data points cα, where α indexes the instrumental color data vector of each star.
Stellar Locus Regression: Accurate Color Calibration, and the Real-time Determination of Galaxy Cluster Photometric Redshifts
We construct a color that is a hybrid of instrumental optical magnitudes and calibrated 2MASS magnitudes, z − J, which extends the instrumental stellar locus to c = (g − r, r − i, i − z, z − J ).
Stellar Locus Regression: Accurate Color Calibration, and the Real-time Determination of Galaxy Cluster Photometric Redshifts
This can be done for any combination of instrumental calibrated 2MASS data and instrumental optical or infrared data from a different passband.
Stellar Locus Regression: Accurate Color Calibration, and the Real-time Determination of Galaxy Cluster Photometric Redshifts
We show the measured data (without removing instrumental features), and the best-fitting model, folded through the instrumental response (solid black line).
Hydrostatic Gas Constraints on Supermassive Black Hole Masses: Implications for Hydrostatic Equilibrium and Dynamical Modelling in a Sample of Early-Type Galaxies
Particularly relevant for the implementation details discussed here is the fact that multiple instruments allow us to reconstruct partial or full information (depending on the number of instruments in the network and their location/orientation) about the source position in the sky.
Bayesian coherent analysis of in-spiral gravitational wave signals with a detector network
We first investigate the detection efficiency of our algorithm, using log B as a “detection statistics”; we then introduce and characterise a new test to discriminate a coherent gravitational-wave at the output of multiple instruments from the presence of incoherent instrumental artefacts.
Bayesian coherent analysis of in-spiral gravitational wave signals with a detector network
We compute Bcoh,inc, Eq. (50) as a function of ∆T, considering the case in which the analysis is carried out using the two LIGO instruments (HL-network) and the three-instrument (HLVnetwork).
Bayesian coherent analysis of in-spiral gravitational wave signals with a detector network
Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference, Vol. 4841, Instrument Design and Performance for Optical/Infrared Ground-based Telescopes.
Forty seven new T dwarfs from the UKIDSS Large Area Survey
The code acts simultaneously on multiple lines from the same species (e.g. doublets), and accounts for instrumental broadening by convolving the model spectra with the instrumental line spread function (LSF) during the fit.
Exploring the Origin and Fate of the Magellanic Stream with Ultraviolet and Optical Absorption
Instrument sub-systems We describe in this section the various sub-systems of the QUBIC instrument.
QUBIC: The QU Bolometric Interferometer for Cosmology
C(cid:96) +  (9) CMB polarization (E or B) power spectrum: where t is the integration time, Ω = 2πσ2 beam is the solid angle subtended by the primary beam (therefore the field of view of the instrument), fsky = Ω/2π is the fraction of the sky covered by the instrument.
QUBIC: The QU Bolometric Interferometer for Cosmology
KEYWORD S : Beam-line instrumentation, Instrumentation for particle accelerators and storage rings - high energy, Hardware and accelerator control systems.
Results from a Prototype Chicane-Based Energy Spectrometer for a Linear Collider
Mounting the instrument in this manner each time ensures that the alignment of the instrument to the AO system is repeated to to less than 1 mm.
A New High Contrast Imaging Program at Palomar Observatory