- Musical bows - May or may not have resonators; the strings are attached and stretched over a wooden bow.
- Harps - The strings aren't parallel to the sound board.
- Lyres - The strings run through a crossbar holding it away from the resonator. Lyres may either be bowed or plucked.
- Lutes - These instruments have necks; the strings are stretched across a resonator and travel up the neck. Lutes may be bowed or plucked.
- Zithers - Have no necks; strings are stretched from one end of the board to another end. Zithers may be plucked or struck.
Chordophones also have subcategories depending on how the strings are played. Examples of chordophones played by bowing are double bass, violin and viola. Examples of chordophones that are played by plucking are banjo, guitar, harp, mandolin and ukulele. The piano, dulcimer and the clavichord are examples of chordophones that are struck.