Some of the larger maple species have valuable timber, particularly Sugar Maple in North America, and Sycamore Maple in Europe.
Some maple wood has a highly decorative wood grain, known as flame maple and quilt maple. This condition occurs randomly in individual trees of several species, and often cannot be detected until the wood has been sawn, though it is sometimes visible in the standing tree as a rippled pattern in the bark. Birdseye maple is another distinctive grain pattern.
Maple is considered a tonewood, or a wood that carries sound waves well, and is used in numerous musical instruments. Maple is harder and has a brighter sound than Mahogany, which is the other major tonewood used in instrument manufacture.
Most drums are made from maple. From the 70s to the 90s, maple drum kits were a vast majority of all drum kits made. In recent years, Birch has become popular for drums once again. The back and sides of most fiddles are made from maple.