AskDefine | Define woodwind

Word Net

woodwind n : any wind instrument other than the brass instruments [syn: woodwind instrument, wood]

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  1. Any musical instrument which produce sound by the player blowing into them, through a reed, or across an opening. Woodwind instruments include the recorder, flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, cor anglais and bassoon.


musical instrument


  1. related to a woodwind instrument


related to a woodwind instrument
A woodwind instrument is a musical instrument which produces sound when the player blows air against an edge of, or opening in, the instrument, causing the air to vibrate within a resonator. Most commonly, the player blows against a thin piece of wood called a reed. Most of these instruments were originally made of wood, but some, such as the saxophone and some flutes, are now commonly other materials such as metals or plastics.

Types of woodwind instruments

  • Single-reed instruments use a reed, which is a thin cut piece of cane or plastic that is held against the aperture of a mouthpiece with a ligature. When air is forced between the reed and the mouthpiece, the reed vibrates, creating the sound. Single reed instruments include the clarinet and saxophone families of instruments.
  • Double-reed instruments, use two precisely cut, small pieces of cane joined together at the base. The finished, bound reed is inserted into the top of the instrument and vibrates as air is forced between the two pieces of bound cane. There are two sub-families:
    • Exposed double reed instruments, where the reed goes between the player's lips. The oboe, cor anglais (also called the English horn) and bassoon make up the more popular instruments within this family.
    • Capped double reed instruments, where there is a cap covering up the reed with a hole in that the player just blows through. This family includes most bagpipes, the crumhorn, and the shawm.
  • Flutes produce sound when air is blown across an edge. There are two sub-families:
    • Open flute family, where the player's lips form a stream of air which goes directly from the players lips to the edge, such as transverse flutes and end-blown flutes. Modern concert flutes are usually made of pure metal or a combination of metals including nickel, silver, and gold.
    • Closed flute family, where the instrument forms and directs the air stream over the edge. This family includes fipple based flutes like whistles and the recorder family.

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
woodwind in Arabic: آلة نفخ خشبية
woodwind in Min Nan: Phín-siau
woodwind in Catalan: Instrument de fusta
woodwind in Czech: Dřevěný nástroj
woodwind in Danish: Træblæser
woodwind in German: Holzblasinstrument
woodwind in Estonian: Puupuhkpillid
woodwind in Modern Greek (1453-): Ξύλινα πνευστά της συμφωνικής ορχήστρας
woodwind in Spanish: Instrumentos de viento-madera
woodwind in Esperanto: Ligna blovinstrumento
woodwind in Basque: Zurezko haize instrumentuak
woodwind in French: Bois (musique)
woodwind in Western Frisian: Houtblaasynstrumint
woodwind in Galician: Instrumento de vento-madeira
woodwind in Korean: 목관 악기
woodwind in Croatian: Drveni puhački instrumenti
woodwind in Indonesian: Alat musik tiup kayu
woodwind in Icelandic: Tréblásturshljóðfæri
woodwind in Italian: Legni
woodwind in Hebrew: כלי נשיפה מעץ
woodwind in Hungarian: Fafúvós hangszerek
woodwind in Dutch: Houtblazer
woodwind in Japanese: 木管楽器
woodwind in Norwegian: Treblåseinstrument
woodwind in Polish: Instrument dęty drewniany
woodwind in Quechua: Qiru phukuna waqachina
woodwind in Russian: Деревянные духовые музыкальные инструменты
woodwind in Slovenian: Pihala
woodwind in Serbian: Дрвени дувачки инструменти
woodwind in Finnish: Puupuhallin
woodwind in Swedish: Träblåsinstrument
woodwind in Turkish: Tahta nefesli çalgılar
woodwind in Chinese: 木管乐器
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