Woodwinds

Flute

• One of the oldest and most widely used wind instruments
• Highest pitched instrument of the woodwind family
• Replaced the recorder in the orchestra due to its brighter tone and increased power
• Several flutes in common use: C flute, piccolo, alto flute and bass flute

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Oboe

•  Uses a double reed to produce sound
• Used in orchestras for about 400 years - occupies the alto register of the woodwind family
• Its larger relative is cor anglais (english horn)
• Produces a beautiful, sweet and haunting sound

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Clarinet

• Uses a single reed to produce sound
• Warm and resonant on the low notes - bright and clear on the high register
• Associated with jazz and swing music
• Different types - from high pitched sopranino to low contrabass clarinet

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Bassoon

• Lowest sounding member of the woodwind family
• Also uses a double reed to produce sound
• Can be very expressive and has a slightly buzzing quality in the lower notes
• Contrabassoon sounds an octave lower than the bassoon

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Saxophone

• Used in all kinds of music, from classical to pop, though best known in jazz.
• Though made out of brass, it’s considered a woodwind because of the use of a single reed.
• Produces a wonderful and incredibly varied sound
• Most widely used saxophones are: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone.

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