Woodwind instrument

Woodwind instrument

A woodwind instrument is a musical instrument which produces sound when the player blows air against an edge of, or opening in, the instrument, causing the air to vibrate within a resonator. Most commonly, the player blows against a thin piece of wood called a reed. Most of these instruments were originally made of wood, but some, such as the saxophone and some flutes, are now commonly made of other materials such as metals or plastics.

Types of woodwind instruments

* Single-reed instruments use a reed, which is a thin cut piece of cane or plastic that is held against the aperture of a mouthpiece with a ligature. When air is forced between the reed and the mouthpiece, the reed vibrates, creating the sound. Single reed instruments include the clarinet and saxophone families of instruments.
* Double-reed instruments, use two precisely cut, small pieces of cane joined together at the base. The finished, bound reed is inserted into the top of the instrument and vibrates as air is forced between the two pieces of bound cane. There are two sub-families:
** Exposed double-reed instruments, where the reed goes between the player's lips. The oboe, cor anglais (also called English horn) and bassoon make up the more popular instruments within this family.
** Capped double-reed instruments, where there is a cap covering up the reed with a hole in that the player just blows through. This family includes most bagpipes, the crumhorn, and the cornamuse.
* Flutes produce sound when air is blown across an edge. There are two sub-families:
** Open flute family, where the player's lips form a stream of air which goes directly from the players lips to the edge, such as transverse flutes and end-blown flutes. Modern concert flutes are usually made of pure metal or a combination of metals including nickel, silver, and gold.
** Closed flute family, where the instrument forms and directs the air stream over the edge. This family includes fipple based flutes like whistles and the recorder family.

See also

* Brass instrument
* Musical instrument
* Wind instrument

External links

* [http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/woodwind.html How do Woodwind Instruments work]
* [http://www.wfg.woodwind.org/fing.html Woodwind Fingering Chart]
* [http://www.b-visible.co.uk/article/woodwind_instruments.html Woodwind Videos & Pictures]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • woodwind instrument — noun any wind instrument other than the brass instruments • Syn: ↑woodwind, ↑wood • Hypernyms: ↑wind instrument, ↑wind • Hyponyms: ↑beating reed instrument, ↑reed instrument …   Useful english dictionary

  • woodwind instrument — Any musical wind instrument that produces sound by either directing a stream of air against the edge of a hole or by making a reed or a double reed vibrate (see reed instrument). In a brass instrument, by contrast, the airstream passes directly… …   Universalium

  • woodwind instrument — noun A musical instrument in which sound is produced by blowing against an edge or by vibrating a thin piece of wood or metal known as the reed, and in which the pitch is governed by the resonant frequencies of an enclosed air column …   Wiktionary

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  • woodwind — 1. noun Any (mostly wooden) musical instrument which produce sound by the player blowing into them, through a reed, or across an opening. Woodwind instruments include the recorder, flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, cor anglais and bassoon …   Wiktionary

  • woodwind — Synonyms and related words: English horn, German band, Pandean pipe, Philharmonic, aulos, band, basset horn, basset oboe, bassoon, big band, bombard, brass, brass band, brass choir, brass quintet, brass section, brasses, callithumpian band,… …   Moby Thesaurus

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