2The Woodwind FamilyThe woodwind family consists of piccolos, flutes, oboes, english horns, clarinets, bassoons, and saxophones.With the exception of the piccolo and flute, the sound is produced by a vibrating reed.Different pitches are produced by opening and covering holes along the instrument
3The Brass FamilyThe brass family typically consists of trumpets, (french) horns, trombones, euphoniums, and tubas.Sound is produced by forcing air through the mouthpiece.With the exception of the trombone, pitches are altered by pressing or releasing valves.All brass players also tighten or relax their lips to change pitch.
4The Percussion FamilyThe percussion family contains the most instruments. Some of the standard instruments include the bass drum, snare drum, timpani, bells, cymbals, and the triangle.Sound is produced by striking some part of the instrument with a mallet, stick, or hands.Not all percussion instruments can produce multiple pitches. In most cases the pitch of the instrument is dependent on the size of the instrument.
5The piccolo is the highest pitched instrument in the band. The tuba is the lowest pitched instrument commonly found in bands.The contrabassoon can actually produce lower tones than the tuba, but it is not commonly found in bands.The sound clip “shows” the difference in pitch between the piccolo and tuba. Listen carefully for the tuba, it is particularly low.
6Sound Examples Piccolo Oboe Clarinet Bassoon Saxophone Flute English HornCan you match the picture with the name/sound?
7Sound Examples French Horn Trumpet Tuba Trombone Euphonium Can you match the picture with the name/sound?
8How is the pitch of instruments determined? As was mentioned earlier, the biggest determining factor in the pitch an instrument produces is the size of the instrument.The distance that air travels in the instrument also determines the pitch.
9Generally…The larger and longer an instrument is, the lower the pitch.The smaller and shorter an instrument, the higher the pitch.
10One of the easiest ways to see this is with the trombone. The higher the note is on the staff, the higher the pitch of the note.Notice how the trombone slide gets longer as the notes get lower?
11Some things you can try on your own: Hold a rubber band so that it is stretched between two fingers. Pluck the rubber band.Now, increase the distance between your fingers, stretching the rubber band. Pluck the rubber band again.
12What do you notice about the sound What do you notice about the sound? Does it sound lower or higher than before?Try the same thing with rubber bands of different widths. What do you notice?
13Music ReferencesBeethoven, Ludwig Van. Horn Sonata, Op. 17. III. Allegro Moderato. Albert Linder, horn. Naxos: BIS-CD-47. Compact disc.Donizetti, Gaetano. Concertino for Cor Anglais and Orchestra in G minor. Andante con Variationi. Budapest Camerata conducted by Laszlo Kovacs. Marco Polo: Donizetti: Instrumental Concertos. Compact disc.Handel, George Frideric. Trumpet Concerto in D minor. II Furioso. Miroslav Kejmar, trumpet. Naxos: Famous Trumpet Concerti. Compact disc.Holst, Gustav. Second Suite in F for Military Band. I. March, IV. Fantasia on the Dargason.. Edmonton Wind Ensemble conducted by Harry Pinchin. CBC Records: Snake Fence Country. Compact disc.Marcello, Benedetto. Cello Sonata in F major (arr. for tuba). II. Allegro. Michael Lind, tuba. Naxos: BIS-CD-95. Compact disc.Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, K I. Allegro. Stephan Turnovsky, bassoon. Naxos: Compact disc.Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Clarinet Concerto in A major, K III. Rondo: Allegro. Ernst Ottensamer, clarinet. Naxos: Compact disc.Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Oboe Concerto in C major, K. 271k/ K I. Allegro aperto. Martin Gabriel, oboe. Naxos: Compact disc.Taffanel, Paul. Fantasy on Der Freischutz. Robert Aitken, flute. Naxos: BIS-CD-166. Compact disc.Tubin, Eduard. Alto Saxophone Sonata. III. Allegro vivace. Pekka Savijoki, alto saxophone. Compact disc.Vivaldi, Antonio. Cello Sonata No. 1 in B flat major, RV 47 (arr. for trombone). IV. Allegro. Christer Torge, trombone. Naxos: BIS-CD-95. Compact disc.Vivaldi, Antonio. Piccolo Concerto in C major, RV 445. Gunilla von Bahr, piccolo. Naxos: BIS-CD-21. Compact disc.