The flute is the instrument that serves as the soprano voice in most bands, orchestras, and woodwind groups. Most flutes are made of metal and consist chiefly of a tube with a mouthpiece near one end. The musician holds the flute horizontally and blows across an oval shaped hole in the mouthpiece. At the same time, the musician presses levers on the flute, called keys. The keys, when depressed and released, open and close tone holes on the flute to produce different notes. The concert flute, which is tuned in the key of C, is the most popular flute and has a three octave range. Other members of the flute family include the piccolo, the alto flute, and the bass flute.
The oboe is the smallest and highest pitched double reed instrument. It has a cylindrical wooden body with keys along the length of its body. The oboe has a range of about three octaves but is extremely difficult to play. The oboe requires alot of air to play, and the musician must learn proper breathing techniques.
The clarinet, a member of the woodwind family, usually consists of a long tube with a mouthpiece at one end and a bell-shaped opening at the other end. Usually made of wood, the clarinet has tone holes that are covered by small metal levers. To create sound, the musician blows on a flat cane reed that is attached to the mouthpiece. As the reed vibrates, a full, rich tone is produced. By pushing the keys to close and open the tone holes on the instrument, the pitches of the tone can be changed. Clarinets are manufactured in four keys; the most common band instrument is the B-flat clarinet. This clarinet has a range of about three-and-one-half octaves.
The bassoon is a double reed instrument. It is made up of about eight feet of cylidrical wood tubing. There are four joints in the bassoon: the bass joint, the tenor join, the double joint, and the bell joint. The bell joint is slightly flared and is attactched at the bottom to the bass joint. This is set in turn to the tenor joint which is then set into the double joint. The double reed mouthpiece is attached to a crook in the tenor joint. The bassoon usually has about ten key controlled holes on the body as well has eight finger holes. The musician plays the basson by putting his or her lips on the double reed, blowing through the instrument, and changing fingerings on the keys and holes to create different tones
The saxophone is a member of the reed-sounded wind instruments. In its construction, it combines the single reed and mouthpiece of the clarinet, a metal body, and a widened version of the conical bore of the oboe. Most saxophones are curved at the bottom so they resemble the bass clarinet. A few, however, such as the soprano saxophone, are straight and look very similar to a clarinet. The saxophone body contains twenty openings that are covered by keys. These keys can be opened or closed in groups by the musician by depressing and releasing six studs, or finger plates. Two additional holes are located on the body of the instrument to produce notes an octave above or below the normal range of the instrument. The most common saxophones, the soprano, the alto, and the tenor, have a range of about two and a half octaves
The trumpet is a popular brass instrument that is played in both bands and orchestras. The trumpet player produces tones by vibrating his or her lips and blowing into a cup-shaped mouthpiece. Notes on the trumpet can be changed by changing fingerings on the trumpets three valves and by changing lip tension. Most modern bands use trumpets that are pitched in the key of B flat and have a tube of four and a half feet. This tube makes up the majority of the instrument
The French horn, or the orchestral horn, is a member of the brass family, and consists of a metal tube that is about twelve feet long. The tube is coiled into a circular shape which flares into a bell at the base of the instrument. A musician plays the French horn by vibrating his or her lips in funnel shaped mouthpiece. The musician can then change the pitch of the instrument by moving the three valves and by changing his or her lip tension. The valves are usually fingered with the musicians left hand while the musician places his or her right hand in the bell of the instrument to create additional pitches and variations in tone qualities
The trombone is a brass-wind instrument that is most typically used as the tenor voice in a brass section. It has a cup- shaped mouthpiece, a slide mechanism, and a nine foot tube that is folded to overlap in the center. Most trombones are made out of brass though some are sometimes nickel-plated. With the slide closed, the trombone produces the third B- flat below middle C as its fundamental note. Some orchestras also use bass trombones which have a lower fundamental note
Tuba is the general name for several musical instruments which are the newest additions to the brass family. Tubas are the largest instruments in the brass family and also have the lowest pitch. The tuba, unlike most other brass instruments is held vertically when it is played. Sound is produced when the musician vibrates his or her lips into a cup shaped mouthpiece. Notes can then be changed when the musician changes his or her lip tension or fingering on the instruments valves. The most popular type of tube is the baritone tuba, also known as the euphonium. This type of tuba usually has three or four valves and is most common in concert and marching bands. The upright tuba is usually used in symphony orchestras. This tuba has three to five valves and is generally larger than the baritone tuba.
VIOLIN VIOLA CELLO DOUBLE BASS HARP GUITAR PIANO
The violin, which is probably the best known orchestral instrument, is a stringed instrument that is played with a bow. The violin is the highest pitched member of the violin family, which also includes the viola, the cello, and the double bass. The violin consists of several main parts: the front, the ribs, the neck, the fingerboard, the peg box, the scroll, the bridge, the tailpiece, and the f-holes. The front, also known as the top, belly, or soundboard is usually made of well-seasoned spruce, while the back is made of well-seasoned maple. When a violin is made, the front, back, and ribs are joined together to create a hollow sound box. The four strings of the violin are fastened to the tailpiece, rest on the bridge of the violin, are suspended over the fingerboard, and run to the peg box. At the peg box, they are attached to tuning pegs which can be turned to alter the pitch of the string. By changing the position of his or her fingers on the fingerboard, different pitches are made. Then the player draws a bow across the strings at a right angle to produce a tone. It is about 75 cm. long and has a band of horse hair strung from one end to the other.
The viola is the second highest pitched member of the violin family. It has four strings tuned to the notes c, g, d, and a. Music for the viola is written in the alto clef. Violas vary in size, although they are always larger and tuned lower than violins.
The cello, also known as violoncello, is a stringed instrument which is part of the violin family. It is played with a bow much like the violin. It is also shaped liked a violin but is much larger. The cello is about four feet long and one and a half feet across at its widest part and, therefore, this member of the violin family is played sitting down. Supported by an end pin which is placed on the floor, the cello is then placed between the knees of the musician and played with a large bow. The cello, like a violin, also has four strings and notes are changed on the instrument when the musician changes his or her fingerings on the neck of the instrument. The cellos range can, therefore, extend over more than four octaves.
The double bass (also known as the string bass, bass viol, or contrabass) is the largest and lowest pitched string instrument of the violin family. It is usually six feet high and has four strings. Some basses have an optional mechanism that allows the player to lengthen one string, thereby lowering the pitch. To create sound, the players left hand sets the pitch on the neck of the bass while the right hand either plucks the strings or uses a bow across them.
The harp is a stringed instrument and produces a sound by plucking the strings which are perpendicular to the body of the instrument. The strings themselves run between a neck and a sound box also known as the body or resonator. The modern orchestral harp has forty-six strings. The instrument has six and a half octaves with no accidentals. To produce sharp or flat notes, pedals which control strings in each octave are depressed to certain degrees thereby creating different steps.
The guitar is a string instrument constructed from wood and strung with either nylon or steel strings. The modern guitar was preceded by the lute, vihuela, four-course renaissance guitar and five-course baroque guitar; all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument. There are three main types of modern guitar: the classical guitar (nylon-string guitar), the acoustic guitar, and the electric guitar
The piano is a musical instrument played mainly by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Although not portable and often expensive, the pianos versatility and ubiquity have made it one of the worlds most familiar musical instruments. Pressing a key on the pianos keyboard causes a felt- covered hammer to strike steel strings. The hammers rebound, allowing the strings to continue vibrating at their resonant frequency. These vibrations are transmitted through a bridge to a sounding board that more efficiently couples the acoustic energy to the air. The sound would otherwise be no louder than that directly produced by the strings. When the key is released, a damper stops the strings vibration.
The xylophone is a mallet percussion instrument. It consists of a set of graduated wooden bars which are hit with mallets to produce a tone. Xylophones were used in Southeast Asia during the 1300s and spread to Africa, Latin America, and Europe.
The first drum sets were put together in the late 1800s sometime after the invention of the bass drum pedal. This invention made it possible for one person to play several percussion instruments at one time. The drum set, also commonly referred to as drum kit, is a collection of percussion instruments which is played by one musician. It usually includes a bass drum, a snare drum, several cymbals, and tom toms. Other percussion instruments such as cowbells and woodblocks are sometimes included.
The timpani is often called a kettledrum because it is shaped like a kettle. The timpani has a large copper or fiberglass shell with a single drumhead. It also has a pedal mechanism which allows the musician to adjust the tension of the drumhead, thereby tuning the drum to different pitches. This makes the timpani the only drum which can produce definite musical notes. To produce the deep tone of the timpani, its drumheads are hit with mallets. Mallets are made of soft and hard felt or wood and will produce different tones on the timpani. Timpani are most often played in pairs or groups of four.
Cymbals, thin round concave plates (usually made from copper-tin alloy), have been known since the Middle Ages. Often used in religious ceremonies, they became part of the orchestra around the 18th century and are played by dashing two together or by being struck separately by beaters.
TRIANGLE : The triangle is another commonly used percussion instrument. The instrument is made by bending a steel rod into a triangle shape with an opening at one corner. It is suspended by a string and struck with a steel beater to produce a tone. The instrument has been used in Europe since the 14th century. GONG: The gong is a bronze disk which, when struck by a beater, produces a rich ringing sound. Many gongs have a central dome and a turned down outside rim. The gong has obscure origins in the Middle East or South East Asia and by the 9th century had migrated to Indonesia. The gong then made its way to Europe by the 18th century
MARACAS: Maracas are egg-shaped musical rattles that are played in pairs. They originated in South America and were first made from dried gourd shells that were filled with beans or beads. A handle was attached so the gourd shells could be shaken. Today maracas are made from plastic or wood. They are often used in Latin American music. TAMBOURINE: A tambourine is a single-headed frame drum that has jingling metal disks set in its frame. It can be struck, shaken, or rubbed to produce a tone.