What Is Music Without Lyrics Called?

Music without lyrics is called instrumental music. It can be created either through the recording of musical instruments, synthesized music, or a combination of both.

Instrumental music is quite popular, especially among today’s electronic artists. Instrumental songs are often beneficial to one’s creativity and allow one to picture any scenario or narrative that relates to it.

The way you experience instrumental music with vocals is one of the most significant distinctions between it and ordinary music with vocals. Instrumental songs are frequently able to tell a tale in various ways, but traditional music with vocals has a language barrier.

Types of Instrumental Music

Instrumental music is a very broad term that can be applied to most genres of music. In fact, if we tried to compile a list of all instrumental music types, it would be almost endless. These range from very early forms of music to compositions based on digitally produced music.

Nowadays, this list has expanded greatly due to the variety of instruments and electronic virtual instruments available.

Here are a few commonly used instruments that are used to play various types of instrumental music:

  1. Piano
  2. Guitar
  3. Violin
  4. Synths
  5. Drums

The type of instrument being used largely depends upon the genre of music. We have listed some of the top genres using instrumental music, so keep reading!

It can also be referred to as a “beat”

Contrary to what most people assume, instrumental music is not always soft or ambient. Electronic music can also be instrumental if the vocals are not at the forefront, and this music may be referred to as a “beat.”

What is the opposite of instrumental music?

Since instrumental music doesn’t involve vocals, its opposite is music that involves vocals but lacks instruments. This form of music is called “a cappella.”

A cappella music’s popularity has risen and fallen throughout history and in many different cultures.

It rose to fame again during the late 2000s, thanks to music TV shows, popular singers singing a cappella versions of their songs. In 2013, Miley Cyrus sang an a cappella version of her song “We Can’t Stop” with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.

Instrumental music can still include ambient or backing vocal sounds

This might come as a surprise to many, but some types of instrumental music include inarticulate vocals. In this type of music, the vocals aren’t at the forefront and are used only a handful of times in the background.

A prime example of this would be post-rock music or anything in the post-genre. Even though post-rock is considered instrumental music, a lot of the time there are muffled, or not-so-clear vocals incorporated into the songs.

The vocals almost always resemble an instrument or can be as simple as a hum. When listening to this genre, you might not even realize that something is a voice – instead, you might think it’s an instrument. That’s why this is the perfect example.

Why do people like instrumental music?

Instrumental music can give a completely different auditory experience compared to songs with vocals. The lead lines, melodies, or hooks are performed using instruments instead of the voice. This can have quite a different effect on you and give a different timbre to the music.

Moreover, songs with vocals come with a language barrier, while instrumental music is universal.

The songs we listen to tell stories of romance, heartbreak, friendship, and so much more. Songs with vocals tell the story the writer wishes you to know.

Instrumental music allows a musician’s creativity to run wild, and compositions can be quite abstract, allowing people to interpret music in their own way. This is why instrumental music is so universal, a single instrumental song can be understood and interpreted by anyone on this globe, no matter where they’re from.

“Instrumental” is not a genre

Instrumental music itself is not a genre as it would be far too wide. Instead, it is used within other genres such as rock, classical, folk, etc.

If you are interested in knowing about the genres that use instrumental music, read the section below!

Listed below are some popular genres that often have instrumental music:


The classical category mainly involves instruments such as the piano and others you might find in an orchestra. Classical instrumental music is known to be a highly sophisticated form of instrumental music.

Electronic Dance Music

Electronic dance music involves an almost endless amount of different genres. For that reason, I don’t like when people use the term “EDM” as a generic label for all dance music. Genres include techno, downtempo, house, trance, drum and bass, ambient, and many others.

Techno covers electronic dance music and uses instruments like drum machines, sequencers, and synthesizers. On the other hand, ambient music sets an entirely different relaxed tone at lower tempos.


Jazz music has no real set definition! It’s more about an attitude of musical freedom and improvisation. Jazz music tends to be very sophisticated, and musicians often need to have a lot of skill and experience playing an instrument to improvise well while playing this genre.


Bluegrass is a subgenre of country music, and the instrumentation in this subgenre is generally string-based. The instruments used are guitar, upright bass, banjo, mandolin, etc.


Post-rock is a style of experimental rock that focuses on texture and timbre rather than typical rock song structures. The majority of post-rock bands utilize electronics and rock instruments, although instrumental styles are prevalent.

This genre is a very good example that melody can reach and tell stories without being sung to anyone, regardless of where they’re from.


Instrumental music is very popular, especially with the rise of electronic music. Instrumental songs often increase your creativity and allow you to imagine any story or scene that relates to it.

Many genres don’t only have instrumental songs but are based around them as well! This is what makes this genre so universal, as instrumental songs can be interpreted differently by everyone on this earth.

The main difference between instrumental and conventional music with vocals is the way you experience it. Instrumental songs are often able to tell a story in different ways, while traditional music with singers comes with a language barrier.

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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