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Woodwind Instruments

Woodwinds include the single-reed driven instruments (clarinets and saxophones), double-reed instruments (oboes, bassoons, english-horns), and ``air-reed'' instruments (flutes, piccolos, and recorders). The common element to all these instruments is their use of toneholes to vary the effective length of their air column.

If you wish to pursue a more in-depth analysis of woodwind instruments, perhaps for your class project, a unique collection of research materials is maintained here at CCRMA. The Musical Acoustics Research Library (MARL) is a collection of independent archives or libraries assembled by distinguished groups or individuals in the field of musical acoustics research. Currently, MARL is comprised of the Catgut Acoustical Society Library, the Arthur H. Benade Archive, the John Backus Archive, and the John W. Coltman Archive. Our current understanding of woodwind instrument acoustic behavior owes much to the work of Arthur Benade, John Backus, and John Coltman.

Wind Instrument Air Columns

  1. Cylindrical Bores: See Section on Brasses

  2. Conical Bores:

  3. Register Holes:

Reed Excitations

  1. Reeds Driven Closed:

    Figure 18: The single-reed as a mechanical oscillator blown closed.
\epsfig{file = Figures/reed.eps,width=3in} \end{center} \vspace{-0.2in}

  2. ``Air Reeds'':

Sound Raditaion: Toneholes

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