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Musical InstrumentsHistory, Technology, and Performance of Instruments of Western Music$
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Murray Campbell, Clive Greated, and Arnold Myers

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198165040

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198165040.001.0001

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Woodwind Instruments with Reeds

Woodwind Instruments with Reeds

(p.75) 3 Woodwind Instruments with Reeds
Musical Instruments

Murray Campbell

Clive Greated

Arnold Myers

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the acoustical principles of sound generation in reed woodwinds, with particular reference to the bore profile. The way in which overblowing and side holes are used to produce a scale is explained, and also how cut-off frequency and radiation patterns affect the spectral characteristics of the sound. The historical background given for the four main classes of woodwind instruments (i.e., clarinets, oboes, bassoons, and saxophones) includes a discussion of shawms, crumhorns, and mouthpieces. Early and modern examples of each class of instrument are shown in photographs and compared. Construction techniques used for the body, keywork, pads, and reeds are described, and playing techniques and performance practice are examined with reference to orchestral examples.

Keywords:   clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, radiation, bore, cut-off, reed, mouthpiece

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