An electric musical instrument is one in which the use of electric devices determines or affects the sound produced by an instrument."Electric Musical Instruments." In The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. rev., edited by Michael Kennedy. It is also known as an amplified musical instrument due to the common utilization of an electronic instrument amplifier to project the intended sound as determined by electronic signals from the mechanical instrument. This is not the same as an electronic musical instrument, which uses entirely electronic means to both create and control sound.
As of 2008, most electric or amplified musical instruments are electric versions of chordophones (including pianos, guitars and violins); an exception is the varitone, an amplified saxophone (part of the aerophone family) that was first promulgated by The Selmer Company in 1965.