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Woodwind instruments


The instruments have 4-12 holes, ... produces musical pitches by means of thin reeds, set vibrating by air under pressure or suction. The Concertina ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Woodwind instruments

Woodwind instruments
There are 3 sub families within the Woodwind
Family. Can you name them?
  • Flutes
  • Single reeds
  • Double reeds

Woodwind instruments are tubes that are made from
wood, plastic, or metal. Players blow their
"wind," or breath, into them to make sounds.
Some woodwinds are conical, or cone-shapedthe
tube starts small and gets bigger along the way
to the end. Other woodwinds are cylindrical, or
cylinder-shapedthe size of the tube stays about
the same from one end to the other, like a
paper-towel tube.
The shape of the bore (cone or cylinder) affects
the tone of the instrument and the overtones that
it produces. The octave key on woodwinds is
really a device that allows the column of
vibrating air to move into the higher ranges of
the overtone series for that instrument, commonly
referred to as overblowing the instrument or
playing in the altissimo range.
The length of a woodwind instruments tube is
related to the pitch produced. If a tube has a
hole halfway up, the length of resonating column
of air is only as long as the tube down to the
hole. Cover the hole, and the pitch lowersthe
longer length of tube resonates. In this way the
player can change pitches by changing the length
of the resonating part of the tube of the
The Flutes
  • There are many types of woodwinds that dont use
    a reed. These instruments are called the Flutes.
    How many do you know?
  • Flutes (of course)
  • Recorders
  • Ocarinas
  • Flageolettes transverse flutes
  • Panpipes
  • Tin whistles

The Flute
  • People have enjoyed playing the flute for at
    least 5,000 years. Most modern flutes are made of
    metal because metal helps them to sound louder in
    todays big concert halls.
  • Flutes come in four sizes. The smallest flute is
    the piccolo.
  • The flute is next in size and is the most popular
    member of its family.
  • The alto flute is bigger than the flute, so it is
    lower in pitch. It has a deep, mysterious sound
    and takes more air when played.
  • The bass flute is very long. The part into which
    the player blows has to be bent into a U shape so
    that the player can hold it.

The Recorder
  • The recorder is a kind of fipple flute, an
    end-blown flute that is found in folk music of
    many different cultures all over the world. The
    top end is stopped with a block (fipple) except
    for a small, flat opening for blowing, and there
    is a notch in the top side of the pipe near the
    blowing end.
  • We know for sure that recorders have been played
    in Europe since the 1300s. They were at their
    most popular in the 1600s and early 1700s.
  • Composers often wrote pieces for a consort of
    recordersa group of recorders in all different
    sizes, ranging from soprano to bass.
  • Recorders played an important part in the music
    of baroque composers, including Bach, Vivaldi,
    Handel, Purcell, and Telemann.

The Ocarina
  • Ocarinas are globular flutes that can be traced
    back to ancient China, ancient Egypt and the
    pre-Columbian Americas. The Incas used ocarinas
    to relay messages in the Andes. The instruments
    have 4-12 holes, the pitch being determined by
    how many holes are covered with the fingers. The
    same fingering can produce 2 to 3 notes,
    depending on the way air is blown into the
    ocarina. The larger the vessel, the lower the
    tone. These instruments are made of clay, wood,
    gourds, and todays synthetic materials.

The Flagolettes or Transverse Flutes/Fifes
  • Transverse Flutes are first seen in Chinese art
    in the 9th century BC.
  • Transverse flutes in the Renaissance had six
    holes producing a range of two octaves or more.
    They were commonly seen in three or four sizes
    and fingered like recorders except that they were
    pitched one note higher, not having the bottom
    little-finger hole. The tone of the upper
    register was not refined and cross-fingerings
    were necessary for chromatic tones.
  • The fife was an enormously popular instrument in
    the United States during the period from the
    1750s until shortly after the end of the Civil
    War. Because of the prominent role of fifes and
    long drums during the Revolutionary War and the
    early years of the republic, these instruments
    have become traditional symbols of our nation.

The Panpipes
  • The Greeks and Romans had several kinds of
    flutes. The panpipes, an older style, were made
    of several tubes of staggered length. Legend
    says, they were invented by the God Pan. They
    have become associated with a pastoral lifestyle.

The Tin Whistle
  • No other whistle can match its clear, flute-like
    tone quality. Many famous musicians made their
    start in music with these instruments. In fact,
    James Galway, the world renowned flautist, first
    learned to play on a Pennywhistle.
  • The tin whistle is a simple metal tube, with six
    holes and a mouthpiece like a recorder, and a
    range of about two octaves.

The Single reedsClarinets and Saxophones
  • Single Reed instruments use a reed-- a thinly
    sliced piece of cane wood, (or less frequently,
    plastic) -- that is held against the aperture of
    the mouthpiece with a ligature. When air is
    forced between the reed and the mouthpiece, the
    resulting vibration of the reed creates the
    resonant wave inside the tube.

  • The clarinet's predecessor was the chalumeau--the
    first true single reed instrument. It appeared in
    the late 1600's and wasn't very flexible and had
    a range of about 1.5 octaves.
  • Johann Christoph Denner and his son, Jacob are
    attributed to innovating the speaker key which
    gave the clarinet a larger register. The clarinet
    overblows at the 12th, the other woodwind
    instruments overblow at the octave. So, when you
    play with the thumb and first three fingers of
    the left hand without the speaker key, you sound
    the note C. When you add the speaker key, you do
    not get a C an octave higher, you sound a G,
    which is the interval of a twelfth. Because of
    his improvements of the chalumeau, J C Denner is
    said to be the inventor of the clarinet.
  • The clarinet has a cylindrical bore--it doesn't
    flare, even though the bell of the clarinet gives
    that impression. This is why the clarinet
    overblows at the twelfth and is so laden with
    overtones, which contributes to its unique sound.
  • In the late 1700's, many improvements were made
    to the clarinet--more keys were added and the
    tone holes were experimented with--different cuts
    and such.
  • Ivan Muller may be considered the father of the
    modern clarinet. Mullers 13 key system also
    allowed for extra openings, further improving
    tone and pitch. This provided a series of extra
    keys that could open and close in conjunction
    with the use of other keys and without the need
    for six extra fingers. The pads on a clarinet to
    this point had been made of felt. Mullers pads
    were made of wool and covered with gut or
    leather. They did not fall off as easily and were
    more waterproof.
  • Hyacinthe Klose and Auguste Buffet adapted the
    Theobold Boehm (flute) fingering system to the
    clarinet ca. 1839-1843. This system is the one
    most common today, although there are other
    fingering systems in use such as the Albert and
    Auler (mostly in Germany.)
  • The basset horn is a type of clarinet usually
    pitched in F. This was the instrument which
    Mozart composed his Clarinet Concerto and
    Quintet. His friend, Anton Stadler was a
    virtuosic basset hornist and Mozart fell in love
    with the mellow, dark tone of the clarinet.

Types of Clarinets
The E flat
Contra Alto
Contra Bass
There are 27 different types of clarinets
throughout the years.
The Basset Horn
The B flat
  • Adolphe Sax, the Belgian inventor, patented the
    saxophone in 1846. His invention combined the
    single reed of the clarinet with the bore and
    fingering patterns of the oboe, producing unique
    tonal qualities.
  • He dreamed of an instrument with the flexibility
    of the strings, the tonal variety of the
    woodwinds, and the power of the brasses.
  • He also wanted his instrument to produce the
    octave when overblowing, not the clumsy 12th as
    the clarinet. So he needed a larger conical bore.

There are 7 types of saxophones. The E flat
Sopranino The B flat Soprano The E flat Alto The
B flat tenor The E flat Baritone The B flat
Bass And the E flat ContraBass
The Double ReedsOboe, Oboe d'amore, English
horn, oboe da caccia Hecklephone, Double Bassoon
( contrabassoon ), Bassoon, Crumhorn, Shawm (
bass ), Shawm ( tenor )
  • A double reed is two reeds bound together with a
    slight separation between them so that air
    passing through them causes them to beat against
    one another.
  • Resistance refers to how easy or difficult it is
    to blow air through the reed. In general, the
    more resistant the reed, the more cane is on the
    reed, the longer the reed must be broken in, and
    the more demanding it is on the embouchure (mouth

The Oboes, Oboe, Oboe d'amore, English horn
  • The Oboe has a narrow conical bore. It was
    invented in the 17th century by the French
    musicians Jean Hotteterre and Michel Danican
    Philidor, who modified the louder shawm (the
    prevailing double-reed instrument) for indoor
    use. Their oboe, called hautbois (French for
    "high, or loud, wood"), had a narrower bore than
    the shawm's, a body in three sections instead of
    one, and a smaller reed.
  • Oboe d'amore is the alto or mezzosoprano member
    of the oboe family.
  • The English Horn is the alto of the family, is
    pitched a fifth lower than the oboe. It has a
    pear-shaped bell, giving it a soft, melancholy

The Bassoons also called Hecklephones
  • The bassoons are the lowest and largest of the
    woodwinds. The bassoon itself first appeared
    about 1650, and by the end of the 1700s, it had
    from 4 to 8 keys. During the 1800s, many people
    experimented with improving the fingering of the
    bassoon. Most of the changes helped the
    fingering, but made the tone of the instrument
    suffer. The Heckel family of Germany managed to
    improve the fingering of the bassoon without
    damaging its tone.
  • The reed fits onto the metal crook, or bocal,
    which is a curved metal tube about 13-1/2 inches
    long that fits into the bassoon.
  • The double bassoon, or contrabassoon, sounds
    lower and is about two times longer

Other Double Reeds
  • The bagpipe is also a double reed instrument.
    Its origin was probably in Mesopotamia from
    which it was carried east and west by Celtic
    migrations. It was used in ancient Greece and
    Rome and has been long known in India. Some form
    of bagpipe was later used in nearly every
    European country it was particularly fashionable
    in 18th-century France, where it was called the
    musette. Its widest use and greatest development
    was in the British Isles, particularly
    Northumberland, Ireland, and Scotland. The
    Highland pipe of Scotland is the most well-known
    type, but at least six other types were once used
    in the British Isles. The basic construction of a
    bagpipe consists of a bag, usually leather, which
    is inflated either by mouth through a tube or by
    a bellows worked by the arm, melody pipes having
    finger holes and fitted usually with double
    reeds, and one or more drones, which produce one
    sustained tone each and usually have single
    reeds, though the musette drones have double
    reeds. Associated with folk and military music,
    it has been neglected by composers, possibly
    because of its short range.

The Harmonica - The reeds are set in a small,
narrow case of wood or metal. For each reed there
is a hole, through which the player draws or
blows air with the mouth.
The Concertina - An improved small ACCORDION, but
without the accordion keyboard, was patented in
England in 1829. Its hexagonal end pieces are
fitted with studs for selecting the various
pitches from its reeds. Fully chromatic and
capable of various tonal effects, it has been
used in solo and chamber music. Tchaikovsky used
four concertinas in his second orchestral suite.
A popular instrument for informal occasions
during the 19th century, the concertina is still
widely used, especially in England.
The Accordian - (or the reed-organ) descended
from the Chinese SHENG, produces musical pitches
by means of thin reeds, set vibrating by air
under pressure or suction.
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