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Woodwind Family

All of the instruments in this family used to be made of wood, which is where their names come from. Today, they are made of wood, metal, plastic or some combination. They are all basically narrow cylinders or pipes, with holes, an opening at the bottom end and a mouthpiece at the top. You play them by blowing air through the mouthpiece (that's the "wind" in "woodwind") and opening or closing the holes with your fingers to change the pitch. Metal caps called keys cover the holes of most woodwind instruments.

The mouthpieces for some woodwinds, including the clarinet, oboe and bassoon, use a thin piece of wood called a reed, which vibrates when you blow across it. The clarinet uses a single reed made of one piece of wood, while the oboe and bassoon use a double reed made of two pieces joined together.

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1. The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family
2. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band, and chamber music literature.
3. It is known for its distinctive tone colour, wide range, variety of character, and agility.


1. The clarinet is a family of woodwind instruments.
2. It has a single-reed mouthpiece, a straight, cylindrical tube with an almost cylindrical bore, and a flared bell.
3. A person who plays a clarinet is called a clarinetist (sometimes spelled clarinettist).

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1. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening.
2. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones.
3. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flautist, flutist or, less commonly, fluter or flutenist.


1. Oboes are usually made of wood, but may also be made of synthetic materials, such as plastic or resin.
2. The most common oboe plays in the treble or soprano range. A soprano oboe measures roughly 65 cm long, with metal keys, a conical bore and a flared bell.
3. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed at a sufficient air pressure, causing it to vibrate with the air column.

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