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Module 3 - Musical Acoustics

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Acoustics  ::   String  ::   Brass  ::   Woodwind  ::   Percussion  ::   Keyboard


Woodwinds consist of instruments like the clarinet, flute, saxophone, oboe and bassoon. Originally they were made out of wood. Today they may be made out of wood, or other materials such as plastic or metal. Woodwind instruments produce sound using a mechanical or air reed with the frequency determined by air traveling down the pipe.

To successfully complete this chapter you should...

  • Read chapter 12 in your text book (pages 237- 256).
  • Carefully study the important concepts about brass instruments.
  • Be able to contrast the clarinet family with the flute family for producing sound.
  • Describe the effects of tone holes, bore type, and reed type on the timbre of the woodwind family.

Important Concepts

Instruments in the Woodwind family.

Vibration of a pipe-reed system.
Regenerative feedback
Impedance curves
Tone holes
Bore types
Registers & register holes

Mechanical reed instruments
Double reed (oboe, bassoon)

Oscillating air streams and whistles.
Organ Pipes

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, January 25). Module 3 - Musical Acoustics. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License