The instruments in this family all supplied to be made of wood, which offers them their name. Today, they room made the wood, metal, plastic or some combination. They room all basically small cylinders or pipes, through holes, an opened at the bottom end and a mouthpiece in ~ the top. Girlfriend play them by blowing air through the mouthpiece (that"s the "wind" in "woodwind") and opening or closing the holes with your finger to change the pitch. Metal caps calledkeyscover the feet of many woodwind instruments.

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The mouthpieces for some woodwinds, including the clarinet, oboe and also bassoon, usage a thin item of wood referred to as areed, which vibrates as soon as you blow across it. The clarinet provides a single reed make of one item of wood, if the oboe and bassoon usage a twin reed do of 2 pieces joined together. Just similar to the stringed instruments, the smaller woodwinds play higher pitches if the longer and larger tools play the reduced notes. The woodwind family members of tools includes, native the highest possible sounding tools to the lowest, thepiccolo,flute,oboe,English horn,clarinet,E-flat clarinet,bassclarinet,bassoonandcontrabassoon.

Learn much more about every woodwind instrument:Flute• Oboe• Clarinet• Bassoon

Other tool families:Strings•Brass•Percussion


Thefluteis the oldest of all instruments that create pitched sounds (not just rhythms), and was initially made from wood, stone, clay or hole reeds like bamboo. Modern flutes room made of silver, yellow or platinum; there are normally 2 come 4 flutes in an orchestra. A standard flute is a tiny over 2 feet long and also is often featured play the melody. Friend play the flute through holding that sideways with both hands and also blowing across a hole in the mouthpiece, lot like blowing throughout the peak of a bottle. Her fingers open and close the keys, which changes the pitch.



A shorter version the the flute is referred to as thepiccolo, which method small in Italian. At half the size of a typical flute, piccolos play the highest notes of every the woodwinds; in the orchestra one of the flute football player will also play piccolo if the instrument is required. The high piping sound of the piccolo is likewise heard in classic drum corps and marching band music.


Theoboeis a 2 foot lengthy black cylinder v metal keys covering its holes, and also its mouthpiece supplies a dual reed, which vibrates when you blow through it. This vibration of the reed renders the air within the oboe move, and thus create sound. Come play it, host the oboe upright, blow through the double reed in her mouth, and also use both hands to push down top top the tricks to open and close the feet and change the pitch. There space usually 2 to 4 oboes in one orchestra and they create a wide variety of pitches, indigenous haunting sounds to warm, velvety smooth notes, which do the sound the the oboe an extremely memorable. In enhancement to play in the orchestra, the very first oboist is also responsible because that tuning the orchestra prior to each concert. Hear for the special keep in mind "A" that the oboe plays prior to the music begins.


English Horn

Despite that is name, the isn"t English and also it isn"t a horn. TheEnglish hornis actually carefully related to the oboe, likewise uses a twin reed, and also is play in the exact same manner. It"s longer than an oboe and its tube is a bit wider. In ~ the bottom end of the English horn it opens out into a rounded bell shape, which gives it a warmer, fuller sound. Since it"s larger, the English horn additionally has a lower pitch range than an oboe. One oboe player will likewise play English horn if it is needed.



Theclarinetcould conveniently be mistaken for an oboe, except for the mouthpiece, which uses a single reed. Clarinets come in a number of different sizes, and also the traditional B-flat clarinet is simply over 2 feet long. Part musical works need the clarinetist come play several varieties of clarinet in the very same piece. The 2 to 4 clarinets in the orchestra pat both melodies and harmonies, and also they have a dark well-off sound in their reduced notes, when the upper part of the clarinet"s selection is bright and resonant. You play the clarinet together you carry out an oboe, through holding that upright, blowing through the reed, and using her hands to adjust the pitches by opening and also closing the keys with her fingers.


E-flat Clarinet

The smallerE-flat clarinetis similar to a typical clarinet, but about fifty percent the length. Its shorter size enables it come play greater notes.

Bass Clarinet

This is the grand of the clarinet family. Thebass clarinetis so big that the top and also bottom room bent to do it simpler for musician to hold and also play. Its greater length allows it come play some of the lowest notes in the orchestra.



Thebassoonis a lengthy pipe, doubled in half, make of wood, with numerous keys. The bending in the pipe makes it feasible for musicians to play that comfortably. If it to be straight, the bassoon would be roughly 9 feet long! prefer the oboe, the bassoon offers a twin reed, i beg your pardon is fitted right into a curved metal mouthpiece. There space 2 to 4 bassoons in an orchestra and also they have a similar range to the of the cello. Bassoons typically play reduced harmonies, however you will occasionally hear their hole low notes featured in a melody. You play the bassoon by holding the upright and blowing v the double reed. The waiting travels under the tube and then renders a u-turn and also goes up and out the top. As with the oboe, you use both hand to push on the keys to open and close the holes and adjust the pitch.

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Imagine a much longer bassoon v a broader pipe. Thecontrabassoonis the grandfather of the wind section and also is therefore much bigger than a regular bassoon that its pipe is doubled over double to allow the player to hold it. The takes a many breath to make sound come out of together a long pipe! The lone contrabassoon plays the lowest notes in the whole orchestra.