Chapter

Wind Instruments

Leonardo Fuks and Heinz Fadle

in The Science & Psychology of Music Performance

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195138108
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849291 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195138108.003.0020
Wind Instruments

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In mouth-blown wind instruments, the energy provided by the respiratory system is converted directly into sound. In all cases a primary vibrating element, generically called a reed, controls the airstream. The reed may be a piece of bamboo, the lips, a metallic tongue, or even the air jet (in flutes and recorders). Players control loudness, attack, intonation, and timbre by means of embouchure settings, blowing pressure, airflow, and length of the air column. The respiratory muscles perform complex and systematic movements, generating wide ranges of pressures, and coordinated oscillations that produce the vibrato effect. Intonation may be affected by the characteristics of the lung air. This chapter addresses the associated sensory, physiological, and acoustical phenomena. Common controversial or misleading concepts among wind players are discussed and some simple experiments are proposed for pedagogical applications.

Keywords: reed; wind instruments; wind players

Chapter.  7134 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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