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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
instrumental
I.adjective
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
instrumental music (=with no singing)
▪ a programme of instrumental music
instrumental/string/brass etc ensemble
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ NOUN
ensemble
▪ An on-stage instrumental ensemble is conducted by Westminster Abbey's Harry Bicket.
▪ A delightful touch is that in the opening movements the instrumental ensemble is cast as an independent personality.
music
▪ Thomson was also prolific in instrumental music on both chamber and solo scale.
▪ Thereafter, he played only instrumental music.
▪ This takes the form of organ or instrumental music, or of a recording.
▪ But vocal music gave way to instrumental music, especially with the development of bow instruments.
piece
▪ There are more classic vocals including the title track, ad three instrumental pieces.
▪ So too does the use of solos or worship songs and instrumental pieces.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ He had made Mark's life a misery, been instrumental in his death.
▪ He has been instrumental in the complete change in my appearance - a good hairdresser is a very valuable asset!
▪ Strangely the instrumental chapters are spread throughout the book in no logical order.
▪ The presentation was divided into three sections, the first being instrumental.
▪ There are a few other forms of experimental instrumental conditioning, such as discrete trials and shaping.
▪ Vocal and instrumental timbres: symbiosis Curiously, the timbre of an instrument always resembles vocal timbre.
▪ Yaki, who was instrumental in negotiating the leases as an aide to Rep.
II.noun
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Duane Eddy and his Gretsch guitar said it all on his instrumentals cut between 1958 and 1960.
▪ Expect instrumentals, funky numbers and some soulful jazz vocals from one Marie Harper.
▪ It plays the instrumentals over a photo of the artist.
▪ Most of the instrumentals are simply variations of past themes, but who cares?
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Instrumental

Instrumental \In`stru*men"tal\, a. [Cf. F. instrumental.]

  1. 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.
    --Shak.

  2. (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.''
    --Macaulay.

    Sweet voices mix'd with instrumental sounds.
    --Dryden.

  3. (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 errors, those errors in instrumental measurements, etc., which arise, exclusively from lack of mathematical accuracy in an instrument.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
instrumental

late 14c., "of the nature of an instrument," from Old French instrumental, from Medieval Latin instrumentalis, from Latin instrumentum (see instrument). Meaning "serviceable, useful" is from c.1600. Of music, c.1500; noun meaning "musical composition for instruments only" is attested by 1940. Related: Instrumentally; instrumentality.

Wiktionary
instrumental

a. 1 Acting as an instrument; serving as a means; contributing to promote; conductive; helpful; serviceable; essential or central. 2 (context music English) Pertaining to, made by, or prepared for, an instrument, especially a musical instrument. 3 (context grammar English) Applied to a case expressing means or agency, generally indicated in English by ''by'' or ''with'' with the objective. n. 1 (context uncountable grammar English) The instrumental case. 2 (context countable music English) A composition without lyrics.

WordNet
instrumental
  1. adj. relating to or designed for or performed on musical instruments; "instrumental compositions"; "an instrumental ensemble" [ant: vocal]

  2. serving or acting as a means or aid; "instrumental in solving the crime" [syn: implemental]

Wikipedia
Instrumental

An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics, or singing, although it might include some inarticulate vocal input; the music is primarily or exclusively produced by musical instruments.

In a song that is otherwise sung, a section not sung but played with instruments can be called an instrumental interlude. If the instruments are percussion instruments, the interlude can be called a percussion interlude. These interludes are a form of break in the song.

Instrumental (disambiguation)

An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without any sort of vocals.

Instrumental may also refer to:

  • Instrumental case, a grammatical case, also called the "eighth case",
  • In statistics, an instrumental variable,
  • "Instrumental" (song), a single by My Bloody Valentine,
  • extrinsic, as in instrumental value in value theory,
  • Instrumental, an Irish reality television show.

Instrumentals may also refer to:

  • Instrumentals (Mouse on Mars album), a 1997 electronica album by Mouse on Mars
  • Instrumentals (Lil Rob album), a 2000 rap album by Lil Rob
  • Instrumentals (The Pharcyde album), a 2005 hip hop album by The Pharcyde
  • Instrumentals Vol. 1, a 2001 hip hop compilation album produced by Necro
  • Instrumentals (Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder album), a 2006 bluegrass album by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
Instrumental (My Bloody Valentine song)

"Instrumental" (also known as "Instrumental No 1") is a song by the alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine. It was released as a limited edition free single with the first 5,000  LP copies of the band's debut studio album Isn't Anything, released on 21 November 1988 on Creation Records.

The single's B-side, also titled "Instrumental" and known as "Instrumental No 2", demonstrates My Bloody Valentine's first known experimentation with dance music. "Instrumental No 2" features an uncredited sample of "Security of the First World", a song by Public Enemy from their 1988 studio album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Both "Instrumental No.1" and "Instrumental No.2" were remastered and reissued on the compilation album EP's 1988–1991 (2012).

"Instrumental No 1" and "Instrumental No 2" were composed by vocalist and guitarist Kevin Shields, with the latter being referred to as "a real acid-house track" by Shields and "an uncanny prophecy of [1990s] drum and bass jungle" by music critic Simon Reynolds. Shields later incorporated elements of dance music on My Bloody Valentine's 1990 single "Soon", which was released on both Glider (1990) and Loveless (1991), and elements of jungle music on their third studio album m b v (2013).

Usage examples of "instrumental".

At his lodgings two days later, Adams sat quietly writing to Abigail: When I consider the great events which are passed, and those greater which are rapidly advancing, and that I may have been instrumental of touching some springs, and turning some wheels, which have had and will have such effects, I feel an awe upon my mind which is not easily described.

And the business of rigidly centralized planning of research prevented the inspired laboratory anarchy which has been so instrumental in the rapid development of biochemically based research in the last decades.

Twenty years later, Devi could control the necessary instrumental forces from two keyboards.

This certainly impairs the executive authority and directs the Court to be instrumental to that end.

And Dulan de Laal was instrumental in keeping the country together when Grandfather died.

Before discussing the function of this case, we will fill in some more details about the instrumental forms as such.

For instrumental power lies in several instruments through which the chief agent acts.

He was instrumental in publishing the name and greatness of the Israelitish prophets and he proved to the world that the Israelites constituted the people of God.

It helped that Dick Leyton told them that Pell had been instrumental in getting them this close to Mr.

Garabed was not actually the first to detect impulses from the Longline, he was certainly the first to believe that those impulses constituted genuine, objective data rather than instrumental artifacts.

But when we have the songs, the five or six hundred of them, the operas and other vocal works, in which music is so lovely in and of itself, yet at the same time so descriptive, so loyal to the changing moods of the text, we necessarily interpret the instrumental music in the same light, especially when we know that there are no distinct periods in the short life of this composer concerning which different principles can be predicated.

Taylor points out, substantive and dialectical and dialogical, not merely instrumental and procedural and monological.

But if we hold that a sacrament is an instrumental cause of grace, we must needs allow that there is in the sacraments a certain instrumental power of bringing about the sacramental effects.

It is not generally known that it is the Anarchists who are mainly instrumental in insuring the success, moral as well as financial, of most of the radical undertakings.

This man, John Allison Anderton, was instrumental in the original creation of the Precrime system, the prophylactic pre-detection of criminals through the ingenious use of mutant precogs, capable of previewing future events and transferring orally that data to analytical machinery.