History of Instrument Makers: From Zildjian to Hohner, Fender, Marshall, and More

We’ve already covered some fun music factoids in our Rock and Roll Quiz and Jazz Quiz—now let’s look at the history of the musical instruments that made rock and jazz possible in the first place. Many of today’s big names in musical instruments and gear got their start more than 75 years ago. Some accidently stumbled upon success, and others saw a demand in the market that was not being filled. Here’s our timeline of some of the big names who’ve been around for 75+ years, including some videos and interesting facts about how they began.


Timeline includes: Zildjian; C.F. Martin & Company; Steinway & Sons; Hohner; Yamaha; Epiphone; Gretsch; William S. Haynes Flute Company


Timeline includes: Gibson; Paiste; D’Addario Strings; Ludwig-Musser; Lowrey Organ; Alfred Publishing; D’Andrea Picks; Rickenbacker; Getzen


Timeline includes: Fender; Carvin; Gemeinhardt; Meinl; ProMark; Marshall Amplification; Vic-Firth; LP Percussion

For more stories about the history of music manufacturers, visit the NAMM Oral History series.


Instead of being dedicated to one instrument, young musicians, or professionals, MakingMusicMag.com is a lifestyle resource for all music makers, regardless of age, instrument, or ability. We focus on providing educational articles teaching people how to play an instrument, but we also favor travel pieces, music related health articles, interesting news stories, and plenty more.

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