Woodwind Instruments

These main woodwind instruments are apart of the symphony orchestra and are in approximate order of range from the highest (piccolo) to the lowest (contrabassoon).

Characteristics of Woodwinds

Sound is produced by blowing air through the instrument.

Woodwind instruments use a "whistle" type mouthpiece such as flute and piccolo-Air is blown across the edge of the mouth hole.
The rest of the woodwinds use a reed - a thin piece of cane that vibrates when an airstream is blown into it.

Single reed instruments=Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Saxophone (A saxophone is common in concert bands, symphonic bands, jazz and popular music.  It is not generally used in an orchestra).

A double reed is two pieces of cane that are tied together at the base with a thick thread.

Double reed instruments=Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon and Contrabassoon.

Use of woodwind instruments can represent feelings of sorrow, passion, power, reflection, remorse, etc.

Brass Instruments

Characteristics of Brass Instruments

Sound is produced by blowing into a mouthpiece.

The player's lips act like a reed and vibrate which produces the sound.

Sound exits the instrument through the bell.

Pitch is changed in 2 ways:
    -Pressure of the lips together or against the mouthpiece
    -Lengthening the instrument via valves or slides.
      (Trombone uses a sliding tube).
      (Others use valves connected to additional tubing).
      (Generally, the longer the tubing the lower the pitch).

Tone color or timbre can be altered by inserting a mute into the bell for certain musical effects.

Use of Brass instruments represent power, strength, courage, etc.

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