Instruments Muktzah?

Are instruments which are designated to make music or noise Muktzah on Shabbos?

Designated for music:[1] Any item which is designated to make musical notes is MM”I on Shabbos, and hence may only be moved for their space or a permitted use, and not to save from damage. [If the item is expensive and one is thus careful not to use them for any other purpose then the item is MMC”K and is forbidden to be moved for any purpose on Shabbos, unless it is moved with an irregularity.[2]]

Designated for noise making Items which are designated for simply making noise and not music are not Muktzah[3][See footnote for other opinions], although they may only be moved if one does not consciously intend to make noise while moving them.

Examples of Musical items and their Muktzah status:

  • Guitar is MMC”K
  • Piano is MMC”K
  • Keyboard: MMC”K
  • Violin: MMC”K
  • Saxophone: MMC”K
  • Trumpets: MMC”K
  • Xylophone: MMC”K
  • Chello: MMC”K
  • Harp: MMC”K
  • Clarinets and Flutes: MMC”K
  • Toys which is meant for playing music: MM”I
  • Toys which are meant for making noise:According to some Poskim[4] is MM”I. From Admur it is implied it is not Muktzah.[5]
  • Rattle: According to some Poskim[6] is MM”I. From Admur it is implied it is not Muktzah.[7]
  • Bell: According to some Poskim[8] is MM”I. From Admur it is implied it is not Muktzah.[9]


[1] 308/20

[2] Pashut as explained in “The Laws of Muktzah”, and so rules Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 16 footnote 8

[3] Levush brought in Peri Megadim 338/3 and so is implied from Admur [338/1] which allows moving a bell if he does not intend to make noise with it and does not mention any of the Muktzah regulations.

Perhaps the reason for this is because there is a dispute with regards to if even initially one may make noise with this vessel on Shabbos, hence regarding Muktzah we are lenient. [As rules Levush brought in Peri Megadim 338/3 that since it is a mere stringency it is not Muktzah] Now even though he mentions the concept of “sound of music” regarding bells worn on clothing, and hence it seems that bells are defined as designated for actual music and not just noise, in which case according to all it is forbidden to make music with them on Shabbos, nevertheless perhaps Admur there was referring to that specific case of bells on clothing which make musical sounds and not mere noise when walked with. However a typical bell itself is not designated specifically for music but for noise, although it can be used also to make music.

Other Opinions: The Peri Megadim [ibid] leaves this matter in question, as does the Biur Halacha “Asur”. Piskeiy Teshuvos 338/1 and SSH”K 16/2 rule these items are Muktzah.

[4] The Peri Megadim [ibid] leaves this matter in question, as does the Biur Halacha “Asur”. Piskeiy Teshuvos 338/1 and SSH”K 16/2 rule these items are Muktzah.

[5] See previous footnotes in summary.

[6] The Peri Megadim [ibid] leaves this matter in question, as does the Biur Halacha “Asur”. Piskeiy Teshuvos 338/1 and SSH”K 16/2 rule these items are Muktzah.

[7] See previous footnotes in summary.

[8] The Peri Megadim [ibid] leaves this matter in question, as does the Biur Halacha “Asur”. Piskeiy Teshuvos 338/1 and SSH”K 16/2 rule these items are Muktzah.

[9] See previous footnotes.

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