Wind instrument

Erke, wind instrument of Argentina

A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator (usually a tube), in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into (or over) a mouthpiece set at or near the end of the resonator. The pitch of the vibration is determined by the length of the tube and by manual modifications of the effective length of the vibrating column of air. In the case of some wind instruments, sound is produced by blowing through a reed; others require buzzing into a metal mouthpiece.

Methods for obtaining different notes

  • Using different air columns for different tones, such as in the pan flute.
  • Changing the length of the vibrating air column by changing the length of the tube through engaging valves (see rotary valve, piston valve) which route the air through additional tubing, thereby increasing overall tube length, lowering the fundamental pitch. This method is used on nearly all brass instruments.
  • Changing the length of the vibrating air column by lengthening and/or shortening the tube using a sliding mechanism. This method is used on the trombone and the slide whistle.
  • Changing the frequency of vibration through opening or closing holes in the side of the tube. This can be done by covering the holes with fingers or pressing a key which then closes the hole. This method is used in nearly all woodwind instruments.
  • Making the column of air vibrate at different harmonics without changing the length of the column of air (see natural horn and harmonic series).

Almost all wind instruments use the last method, often in combination with one of the others, to extend their register.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Blaasinstrument
Alemannisch: Blasinstrument
العربية: آلة هوائية
eesti: Puhkpillid
Esperanto: Blovinstrumento
Gaeilge: Uirlis feaga
한국어: 관악기
हिन्दी: वायुवाद्य
Bahasa Indonesia: Alat musik tiup
עברית: כלי נשיפה
Lingua Franca Nova: Strumentos de venta
Bahasa Melayu: Alat tiup
Nederlands: Blaasinstrument
日本語: 管楽器
norsk nynorsk: Blåseinstrument
occitan: Aerofòn
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Puflama musiqa cholgʻulari
shqip: Aerofonia
Simple English: Wind instrument
slovenčina: Dychový nástroj
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Puhački instrumenti
Tiếng Việt: Nhạc cụ hơi
吴语: 管乐器
中文: 管樂器