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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. An instrumental version of a song which otherwise features vocals is also known as a −1 (pronounced minus one).

Instrumental Theme Tune is a subtrope where the opening theme of a show is an instrumental.


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    Music Albums 
  • The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings by Louis Armstrong is a compilation box set of four CD's with all the recordings of his bands between 1925 and 1928. Historically important as being the progenitor of all jazz and popular music that would follow. Almost all tracks are predominantly instrumental, with some occasional scatting, singing or talking.
  • Ornette Coleman: The Shape of Jazz to Come.
  • John Coltrane: All of his albums were instrumental, including Blue Train, Giant Steps and My Favorite Things.
  • Dick Dale: On his album Surfers Choice several tracks are instrumentals, including the iconic "Let's Go Trippin'" and "Misirlou".
  • Miles Davis: Most of his albums were jazz instrumentals, including Kind of Blue, Sketches of Spain and Bitches Brew.
  • Deep Purple's Live Album Concerto for Group and Orchestra (1969) with the London Symphonic Orchestra is mostly instrumental, save for a few songs.
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Live Album Pictures at an Exhibition (1973) is also mostly a straightforward rock performance of Modest Mussorgsky's famous score, though it does feature some singing here and there.
  • Brian Eno: Many of his albums are instrumental, including Ambient 1: Music for Airports and Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks. Many of his other albums only have vocals on a handful of songs (Another Green World is a good example of this).
  • Gong: All but two of Pierre Moerlen's Gong (1976-1982; 1986) albums were all instrumentals, and on the other two, Moerlen provides vocals.
  • Herbie Hancock: Head Hunters is entirely instrumental, Future Shock too, save for two sung tracks.
  • Lovelyz: Muse on Music is a 33-track long instrumental album. Their other albums also start with an instrumental intro song.
  • Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um.
  • Thelonious Monk: Brilliant Corners.
  • St Germain: Tourist, save for the tracks "Rose Rouge" and "Sure Thing", which have a few sampled lyrics.
  • Frank Zappa: Also released a number of albums with predominantly instrumental compositions, including Hot Rats, Waka/Jawaka, The Grand Wazoo, Orchestral Favorites, The Perfect Stranger, Francesco Zappa, Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, Guitar, London Symphony Orchestra, Jazz from Hell and The Yellow Shark.
  • Switched-On Bach by Wendy Carlos features compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach played on a Moog synthesizer.
  • Most of Jean-Michel Jarre's albums are almost all entirely instrumental, including Oxygène. Zoolook kind of straddles the line with vocal samples. In fact, Revolutions from 1988 was Jarre's first album that included one song with lyrics, albeit vocoded. Metamorphoses and the two Electronica albums still include a number of instrumentals in between songs with vocals.
  • Nearly all of John Zorn's music, including Radio with Naked City, is instrumental.
  • An interesting case with progressive sludge metal band The Ocean. Pelagial was originally going to be an entirely instrumental album as Loic's throat was recovering. When he recovered, the band felt that as the frontman, he was needed, and recorded vocals. The album usually includes both a version with vocals and an instrumental version.
  • Pink Floyd's last album, The Endless River (2014), is entirely instrumental, save for the last track, "Louder Than Words".
  • An Endless Sporadic are Progressive Rock that only write instrumentals.
  • NateWantsToBattle's Instrumentals consists of instrumental versions of 16 previously released tracks.
  • Nine Inch Nails's Ghosts albums, consisting of Ghosts I-IV (2008) and Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts (both 2020), are all instrumental. The first is rather experimental and ambient, while the latter two are more concept albums. NIN also released The Fragile: Deviations I (2017), which removes the lyrics from the already instrumental-heavy The Fragile (1999), along with some previously unreleased material.
  • Rob Dougan's Furious Angels was released in vocal and instrumental versions. He may have got the idea from former collaborator Andrea Parker, who did the same thing with her debut Kiss My Arp.
  • C418 has 22 albums on his Bandcamp page. A majority of his tunes are lacking in vocals, with 148, the album that compiles some of his less...refined official works into one area. What he's most renowned for is the production of the sounds of Minecraft, from the tracks included in 'Survival' mode in the first album, to the 'Creative' mode tracks in the second album. Minecraft players don't actually consider learning who creates the music by name and only learn the game's name by the music.
  • Dream Theater sister project Liquid Tension Experiment, which has released three albums, which are all entirely instrumental.
  • The Dutch progressive rock band Focus, while typically having one or two songs with lyrics on each album, primarily does instrumentals.
  • Noah: During the transition between being named Peterpan and Noah, they released Suara Lainnyanote  which mostly consisted of instrumental arrangement of Peterpan songs. The exception being "Cobalah Mengerti" which has vocals from fellow Musica Studio artist Momo of Geisha and "Dara" which is the vocalist Ariel's solo single.
  • The Human League's The Dignity of Labour, Pts. 1-4 EP.
  • The majority of Dutch Italo Disco duo Laserdance's output is instrumental. When their songs do have vocals, they're mostly vocodered Indecipherable Lyrics.
  • Anders Enger Jensen's first two albums were entirely instrumental; it wasn't until Retro Grooves Vol. 3 that he began producing songs with lyrics.
  • BT's debut album Ima is almost completely instrumental except for "Loving You More"(f/ Vincent Covello) and "Blue Skies"(f/ Tori Amos).
  • Kraftwerk's first three albums were purely instrumental. Their first song with vocals was the Title Track of Autobahn, the rest of said album still consisting of instrumentals.
  • Basically all of Brad Paisley albums are bound to have at least one, with a rather more fast-paced approach. Oddly, the one on his Christmas album that should have vocals, Jingle Bells, is instrumental.

    Music Singles 


Alternative Title(s): Instrumental