Talk:Woodwind instrument

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Record Sustained Note?[edit]

This either needs to be qualified or removed, if the longest sustained note relates to one produced on a single breath, then that needs to be explicitely states as being a requirement, not as an aside on that attempt like it is now, if not there are instruments like the great highland bagpipe (which is a woodwind instrument) where you can sustain a note almost indefinately due to having the bag to use... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:43, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Quite apart from the bagpipe, you can sustain a note almost indefinitely on any breath-related instrument with circular breathing. This section is pretty stupid imho, but at the very least the "produced on a single breath" does indeed need to be stated as a requirement. Stevekeiretsu (talk) 01:22, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
Removed it. Seems trivial and not-that-well documented. - Special-T (talk) 16:16, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Woodwind are harder to record?[edit]

Strongly feel this whole paragraph should be removed or only included in a much more detailed discussion. "Harder to record" is very objective and though this generalization about directionality is somewhat accurate, it could be argued. For instance the compact nature of the alto sax makes its sound relatively directional & relatively easy to record. The french horn however can be recorded from the front, even though its bell points to the back, and is sometimes recorded from front and back at the same time. A contemporary player like David Sandborn can get as much volume out of the alto sax and "project to the stands" as many brass players. I would remove this paragraph, but feel that someone else who takes the time to expand the article might use part of the existing paragraph. --Greenfield1 (talk) 15:53, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Woodwind are harder to record?[edit]

Brass instruments, on the other hand, are highly directional, with most of the sound produced traveling straight outward from the bell. This difference makes it significantly more difficult to record a woodwind instrument accurately. It also plays a major role in some performance situations, such as in marching bands.

Is that correct. I would of thought woodwind would be easier to record. Could someone care to explain? --Bazarnz 04:07, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

"by opening or closing holes in the body of the instrument using a mouthpiece."

sounds wrong. The holes are closed with the fingers. not sure what is meant, so I'll leave it to someone else to edit. -- Tarquin 14:21 28 May 2003 (UTC)

Free reeds[edit]

I feel like the free reeds (harmonica, accordian, etc.) belong here, but it's not my domain so I'll wait on it.

I agree that we need to include the free reeds, but I'm no expert either. Christoffel

Are free reeds actually considered woodwinds? Certainly they should be included in any article on reed instruments. Using reeds doesn't necessarily make an instrument a woodwind any more than being a woodwind means that an instrument uses reeds, as with flutes. As mentioned in the article the "wood" in "woodwind" doesn't refer to the reed.--LoboSooner 01:14, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
In the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system, the aerophones include free aerophones (which includes free-reed instruments), and separately non-free aerophones (wind instruments proper) (which includes woodwinds and brasses. Though not by those names; instead there are "flutes", "reed instruments", and "trumpets".) So in that system the free reeds are in a separate category from the wind instruments.
"As mentioned in the article the "wood" in "woodwind" doesn't refer to the reed." -- not that this is particularly relevant, since the reeds in free reed instruments are usually metal anyway. -- Rsholmes 02:47, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I think we need a separate list of woodwind instruments.Lebob 06:59, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I think now we need a separate page for this list. Karol 13:48, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Silver and gold flutes?[edit]

Are modern flutes really made from silver and gold? I would think that they'd be made of a less expensive metal, and possible be plated with silver or gold.

Have you seen the prices for some musical instruments? A quick search finds a new solid silver flute available for £3000, and references to gold and even platinum flutes! 18:57, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

When did woodwinds start being made of metal? Someone please answer this. Sean —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:09, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Only mouthpieces and edges?[edit]

The first sentence says that the sound in woodwinds is produced when air is blown through a mouthpiece or against an edge. Does this overlook double-reed instruments or are the two bound reeds considered to be a mouthpiece?--LoboSooner 01:14, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, no, it says
sound is produced by blowing through a mouthpiece against an edge or by a vibrating reed
which I parse as meaning (through a mouthpiece against an edge) OR (by a vibrating reed). But I don't think this is satisfactory in several respects. On a transverse flute air is blown across, not through, a mouthpiece. The singular noun in "a vibrating reed" might seem to rule out double reeds. And, here and later:
When air is forced between the reed and the mouthpiece, the reed vibrates, creating the sound.
the statement that the vibrating reed produces sound is wrong. If, say, you had some mechanical transducer that shook the reed back and forth, it wouldn't create much of a sound. What's really happening is that the vibrating reed produces periodic variations in the energy being supplied (as moving air) to drive the vibrations of the air column inside the instrument. It's the vibration of the air column, caused by variations in the incoming air stream, caused by the reed vibration, that produces sound. -- Rsholmes 02:28, 21 August 2006 (UTC)


I deleted the entire section on presidents. This was a list of presidents with woodwind instruments, lacking any explanation or sources. The section was added by User:, who has made numerous disruptive edits in the past. This user has declined to engage in discussion, even after repeated requests. WeisheitSuchen (talk) 15:50, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

rm "comparison to brass"[edit]

I've removed the following section:

"== Comparison to brass instruments ==

One important difference between woodwind and brass instruments is that woodwind instruments are non-directional. This means that the sound produced propagates in all directions with approximately equal volume. Brass instruments, on the other hand, are highly directional, with most of the sound produced traveling straight outward from the bell. It also plays a major role in some performance situations, such as in marching bands. In the latter case, brass instruments will be the dominant sound in the ensemble as they are able to project their sound into the stands, while the woodwind sound will be retained primarily to the field"

It's trivia, unsourced, and not very accurate. - Special-T (talk) 13:25, 10 June 2008 (UTC)


I've added Gounod's Little Symphony for Nine Woodwinds (though, despite the name, it's actually 7 woodwinds and two horns). Still, it does an excellent job introducing the woodwinds. =) Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 03:08, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

External link[edit]

Would it be possible to add to the external links section. This page lists all the best oline reference materials for woodwind instruments. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ndifrancesco (talkcontribs) 13:02, 22 May 2009 (UTC)


The duduk is listed as a single reed instrument, when it's actually a double reed instrument. (talk) 17:44, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Ocarinas normally have fipples[edit]

I have not seen the source of the following statement

"Examples of open flutes are the transverse flute, panpipes and ocarinas."

but this is not true in my experience. Open (in the sense defined in the article) ocarinas exist, but they usually go by different names, like the Chinese xun. Could someone with access to the source check this? EdvinW (talk) 11:23, 5 July 2016 (UTC)