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Basic wind instrument

In between the mouthpiece and the bell, the space inside the instrument that the air moves through is the bore of the instrument. The bore of an instrument is often described as being either cylindrical or conical. A cylindrical bore stays about the same width from the mouthpiece to the bell. A conical bore gets gradually wider as it moves from the mouthpice to the bell. The bore of the instrument strongly affects its timbre . For more complete information on how the shape of a wind instrument affects its sound, please see Standing Waves and Wind Instruments .


Bore affects the timbre of the instrument. In general, instruments with a cylindrical bore have a more direct sound with less complex harmonics. Instruments with a conical bore usually have a mellower sound with more complex harmonics.

Lips, tongue, and fingers: playing the instrument

Most wind instruments require the player to do something very specific with the lips and the facial muscles while blowing, in order to get a good, controlled sound. (Brass instruments will get no sound at all unless the lips are buzzing against each other and the mouthpiece.) The formal term for what a player does with the lips and face is embouchure ; the informal term is chops .

Unless they are slurred , notes played on wind instruments are tongued . This means that the tongue, which has temporarily blocked or interrupted the airstream, begins each note by releasing the airstream again. Tonguing is usually done with the tip of the tongue, as if the player is saying "tah". But sometimes, when the music is very fast, some wind players will double tongue (tah-kah-tah-kah) or triple tongue (tah-kah-tah tah-kah-tah) the notes, using the back as well as the front of the tongue. Flutes can also get an effect called flutter tongue by using an articulation that resembles the rolled Spanish "rr".

In the meantime, the fingers are usually involved in making the column of air in the instrument shorter or longer, to make the pitch higher or lower. This may involve a sliding section of the instrument (as in a trombone), or fingerholes that can be covered or uncovered with the fingers (as in recorders).

In most modern instruments, however, it usually involves either keys or valves. The fingering of a note is the keys or valves that need to be held down for that note. But most instruments can get more than one note with the same fingering, by changing the embouchure to get different harmonics of the standing wave. In fact, brass winds can get so many different harmonics with one fingering that changing the embouchure is the main way to play the instrument. Brass usually use valves, and woodwinds usually use keys. Keys and valves work in fundamentally different ways.

That vibrating standing-wave column of air inside the instrument generally ends at the first place where air can escape from the instrument. So (this is simplified for explanation purposes), the more fingers a recorder player is holding down, the longer the column of air and the lower the pitch. But it can be difficult (on some large instruments, impossible) to completely cover all the holes with the fingers, so most modern woodwind instruments use keys instead. The fingers press down the keys, and the keys cover the holes as needed, usually with a pad that covers the hole more completely than a finger could, and sometimes also using a lever that lets the finger press in one easy-to-reach spot, while the lever presses the pad over a hole in a more-difficult-to-reach spot.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Source:  OpenStax, A parent's guide to band. OpenStax CNX. Jun 25, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10428/1.1
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