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Circular breathing is a technique used by players of some wind instruments to produce a continuous tone without interruption. This is accomplished by breathing in through the nose while simultaneously pushing air out through the mouth using air stored in the cheeks.
In the 13th century, Asian metalsmiths who specialized in gold and silver used circular breathing techniques for crafting various decorative and ornamental items. In crafting such items, craftsmen were required to blow continuously to the flame through a pipe with needle like hole, in order to make the hard metal melt or soften. From such necessity, craftsmen mastered a circular-like cycle of breathing, simultaneously inhaling through their nose while blowing without any pauses. The introduction of the circular breathing technique in the art of ancient windplayers was a productive invention in its performing technique. 
It is used extensively in playing the Eastern zurna, the Mongolian limbe, the Sardinian launeddas, the Egyptian arghul, the Australian didgeridoo, as well as many traditional oboes and flutes of Asia and the Middle East. A few jazz and classical wind and brass players also use some form of circular breathing.
Although many professional wind players find circular breathing highly useful, few pieces of European orchestral music composed before the 20th century actually require its use. However, the advent of circular breathing among professional wind players has allowed for the transcription of pieces originally composed for string instruments which would be unperformable on a wind instrument without the aid of circular breathing. A notable example of this phenomenon is "Moto Perpetuo", transcribed for trumpet by Rafael Méndez from the original work for violin by Paganini.
In 1997, a Guinness World Record was set for longest held musical note. Kenny G used circular breathing to sustain an E-flat on a saxophone for 45 minutes and 47 seconds. On February 2000, Vann Burchfield set a new Guinness world record for circular breathing, holding one continuous note for 47 minutes, 6 seconds, surpassing Kenny G’s record.
The musician inhales fully and begins to exhale and blow. When the lungs are nearly empty, the last volume of air is blown into the mouth, and the cheeks are inflated with this air. Then, while still blowing this last bit of air out by squeezing the cheeks, the musician must very quickly fill the lungs by inhaling through the nose prior to running out of the air in the mouth. If done correctly, by the time the air in the mouth is nearly exhausted the musician can begin to exhale from the lungs once more, ready to repeat the process again. Essentially, circular breathing bridges the gap between exhalations. The air stored in the person's cheeks is used as an extra air reserve to play with while they sneak in a breath through their nose.
Instruments with circular breathing integral to technique
Musicians known for circular breathing
- Rahsaan Roland Kirk – jazz multi-instrumentalist
- Harry Carney, baritone saxophonist and clarinetist, prominent member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra
- Sonny Rollins - American jazz musician
- David S. Ware - American jazz musician
- Anthony Braxton - American saxophonist and composer
- Roscoe Mitchell – jazz multi-instrumentalist
- David Murray- Plays tenor saxophone and, on occasion, bass clarinet
- James Carter - American jazz musician
- Ken Vandermark – American saxophonist, improviser and composer
- Theodosii Spassov - Bulgarian kaval performer and composer
- Nikolay Doktorov - Bulgarian kaval performer and teacher
- Ian Anderson - Scottish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work in Jethro Tull
- Sharon Bezaly, classical flautist
- Merlon Devine - Urban/Gospel Jazz saxophonist
- Bora Dugic - Serbian flautist and composer[verification needed]
- Herbie Flowers - Tuba - former member of Sky
- Martin Fröst - Swedish clarinetist
- Kenny G - American smooth jazz saxophonist
- Daniel Goode – avant-garde clarinetist
- Vladimir Kachmarchik - flute
- Stephen Kent - didgeridoo
- Nancy Ambrose King- Oboe
- Tanel Koho - Estonian saxophonist
- Travis LaPlante - Avant Garde musician
- Wynton Marsalis - classical and jazz trumpeter from New Orleans.
- Irvin Mayfield – Grammy Award-nominated jazz trumpeter, composer and cultural ambassador to New Orleans
- Rafael Méndez - Mexican virtuoso solo trumpeter
- Sergei Nakariakov - classical trumpeter 
- Quinn Pariseau- Trumpeter and composer
- Evan Parker - free improvising saxophonist noted for his lengthy circular breathing excursions on soprano and tenor saxophones
- Brad Pauley-trombonist
- Ned Rothenberg - multi-instrumentalist
- Eugene Rousseau – classical saxophonist
- Xavier Rudd - modern one-man band
- Andy Sheppard - jazz saxophonist from Bristol England.
- Colin Stetson- saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist 
- Jaap Stotijn - Dutch musician; solo oboist with the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague and with the French Opera in Paris
- Clark Terry - Jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player and educator. Author of Clark Terry's System of Circular Breathing (1976).
- Kim Wilson - American blues harmonica player
- Canibus (Germaine Williams) - Jamaican-American rapper[verification needed]
- Trombone Shorty (Troy Anderson) - Trombonist and Trumpeter from New Orleans
- Neil Dusseault - American saxophonist and music educator 
- Amy Dickson - Saxophonist from Australia 
- Jonah Parzen-Johnson - Baritone Saxophonist and composer.
- Courtney Pine - Jazz Saxophonist e.g. on "Modern Day Jazz Stories" album.
- John Surman - Jazz multiinstrumentalist, mostly on saxes and clarinets, on "Cloud Line Blue" and other albums.
- Carlo Actis Dato - Italian Baritone Saxophonist and Bass Clarinetist
- Vann Burchfield - American Smooth Jazz Saxophonist, writer, composer and music producer.
- Blake Noble - Didgeridoo
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- University of Chicago
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- Reviewed by John, Shand. "Bend and stretch of morphing genres." Sydney Morning Herald, The 15 July 2008: 18. Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 17 Sept. 2012.
- Eugene Rousseau
- Watson, Chad. "Powered by Good Spirit." Newcastle Herald, The (includes the Central Coast Herald) 29 Oct. 2005: 22. Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 17 Sept. 2012.
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- Conan, Neal. "Trombone Shorty Melds Jazz Old And New." Talk Of The Nation (NPR) (n.d.): Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 17 Sept. 2012.
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- "Amy Dickson - Phillip Glass' Violin Concerto No 1". "Having arranged the piece for saxophone, Amy then had to spend a further 6 months learning how to circular breath (a technique where you can both inhale and exhale air at the same time) in order to actually be able to play it!"
- Reed, Bryan. "On The Beach". The Mountain Xpress. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
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- Six Steps To Mastering Circular Breathing at Didge Project
- iDIDJ Australia: Australian Didgeridoo Cultural Hub
- Circular breathing for harmonica
- Learning circular breathing
- The Circular Breathing - Launeddas
- How to do circular breathing on saxophone
- Kenny G Circular Breathing Lesson at YouTube
- Young woman demonstrating circular breathing technique while playing didgeridoo in Carcassonne France at YouTube in HD