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Woodwind
Family
Woodwind Family
Characteristics
• Originally made from wood
• Mouthpiece: fixed hole,
single reed, double reed
• Single column
• Keys to cover holes in the
body
• Bell
More About the Woodwind Family
• Woodwinds are any instrument that is played by
forcing air past a vibrating reed or across an
opening
• Woodwinds are made of all kinds of materials,
but mainly wood and metal.
• A reed is a small piece of cane wood that is used
on the mouthpiece
– Single reed
– Double reed is different in that both sides are cane, rather than
part of a mouthpiece
Clarinet
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•
•
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•
Popular woodwind instrument
Can play a range of notes from high to low
Single reed
Held vertically
Bell
Saxophone
• The saxophone looks like it ought to be a brass
instrument, it’s in the woodwind family because
the player uses a reed.
• Single reed instrument
• Used in jazz music
• Easier to play than the other
woodwinds
• Bright sound
• Held vertically
Oboe
•
•
•
•
Looks a lot like the English horn
Snake charmers used this instrument
Double reed
Held vertically
English Horn
• Double reed
• Held vertically
• Funny shaped bell
“Egg Head”
• Look a lot like the oboe
Bassoon
• Largest in the Woodwind family
(Almost 8 feet long)
• Plays the lowest sound in the
family and orchestra
• Held vertically
• Double reed
Flute
• Originally made from wood but is now made out of
silver-nickel
• Played by blowing the breath across the opening
• Plays high pitches (but not as high as the piccolo)
• Held horizontal (to the side)
Piccolo
• Piccolo mean “little flute” in Italian
• Smallest in the Woodwind family
• Plays the highest pitches in the Woodwind
family and the entire orchestra
• Played horizontally (to the side)
• No reed just a fixed hole
Single Reed
• Clarinet
• Saxophone
Double Reed
• Oboe
• English horn
• Bassoon
No Reed
• Piccolo
• Flute
Woodwind Family Sound
• Woodwinds are played by blowing into them
through the reed or across the top of a hole cut
into the instrument. The noise comes from the
vibrating air resonating inside the tube.
• To change the pitch, the player opens or closes
holes cut into the instrument with his/her fingers
or by pushing levers (keys) that cover the holes.