The first section is devoted to wind instrument air columns. It discusses the acoustic behavior of air in conical tubes and cylindrical tubes, as well as variations on these shapes. Three-dimensional enclosures (as in vessel flutes or globular flutes) are discussed as well. The reader will learn the effects of air column shape on both fundamental pitch and overtone content.
Here is the most comprehensive bookon flute making to integrate theory, design and hands-on aspectsof the craft. A focus on bore shape and tonehole layout is aimedat enhancing the maker's understanding of what goes on insidea wind instrument and why the vibrating air column behaves asit does. Written in a practical, nuts-and-bolts manner, this bookcondenses and interprets much of the recent work done on the acousticalphysics of woodwind instruments.
Aside from chapters on the mechanicsof oscillating air chambers and the effects of bore shapes onresonance and tone quality, it outlines several approaches thatcan be taken in the task of making a flute. It also discussestypes of mouthpieces and bells, Helmholtz Resonators and toneholesfor cylindrical, conical and globular instruments. Most valuableare appendices dealing with frequency and wavelength relationships,a tuning chart and information on formulas used in the processof woodwind production as well as an extensive bibliography.
Air Columns and Toneholes: Principles for Wind Instrument Design, by Bart Hopkin, Tai Hei Shakuhachi, 1999 (revised edition). A highly technical discussion of acoustics for instrument makers. Bart is the editor of the respected quarterly Experimental Musical Instruments. Best ordering may be from the publisher, at www.shakuhachi.com, or the author, at www.windworld.com.
ABOUT FLUTES | ACOUSTICS | CONSTRUCTION | METALWORK & MACHINING | REPAIR | WOODWORKING & WOODSPECIALTY TOOLS & TOOLMAKING | PLAYING TUTORIALS | PLANS & DRAWINGSThis list has been compiled through the input of members of the Flutemakers mailing list, and includes books, articles, and web resources that have proven useful and practical in the construction of flutes of all kinds. If you have any other recommendations–or brief comments on a book already here–please contact me. Where comments come from more than one source, they will be numbered to separate them. Do not expect to agree with all comments. About Flutes Baines, Anthony Woodwind Instruments and Their History.New York: Dover, 1991 [reprint].Wonderful resource for all woodwind instruments, not just flute. Thekeywork diagrams are very useful if you ever come across a Rudall CarteRadcliff or 1867 model in need of repair.
Benade, Arthur A. Horns, Strings & Harmony.New York: Anchor Doubleday & Co. Inc., 1960. 271 pp. 5-3/8" x 8-1/2"; index. ISBN: 0-486-27331-8. 1.Acoustics made delightfully readable. Theory of wave motion andthe phenomenon of harmony. Benade explains the operating mechanismat work in three major groups of instruments: woodwinds, brasses andstrings. Calculations and practical illustrations in Chapter X,"Homemade Wind Instruments."
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, while yet others require the player to blow into a hole at an edge, which splits the air column and creates the sound.
Woodwind instruments were originally made of wood, just as brass instruments were made of brass, but instruments are categorized based on how the sound is produced, not by the material used to construct them. For example Saxophones are typically made of brass, but are woodwind instruments because they produce sound with a vibrating reed. On the other hand, the didgeridoo, the wooden cornett (not to be confused with the cornet), and the serpent are all made of wood (or sometimes plastic), and the olifant is made from ivory, but all of them belong to the family of brass instruments because the vibration is initiated by the player's lips.
Sound production in all wind instruments depends on the entry of air into a flow-control valve attached to a resonant chamber (resonator). The resonator is typically a long cylindrical or conical tube, open at the far end. A pulse of high pressure from the valve will travel down the tube at the speed of sound. It will be reflected from the open end as a return pulse of low pressure. Under suitable conditions, the valve will reflect the pulse back, with increased energy, until a standing wave forms in the tube.
The frequency of the vibrational modes depends on the speed of sound in air, which varies with air density. A change in temperature, and only to a much smaller degree also a change in humidity, influences the air density and thus the speed of sound, and therefore affects the tuning of wind instruments. The effect of thermal expansion of a wind instrument, even of a brass instrument, is negligible compared to the thermal effect on the air.
The bell of a wind instrument is the round, flared opening opposite the mouthpiece. It is found on clarinets, saxophones, oboes, horns, trumpets and many other kinds of instruments. On brass instruments, the acoustical coupling from the bore to the outside air occurs at the bell for all notes, and the shape of the bell optimizes this coupling. It also plays a major role in transforming the resonances of the instrument. On woodwinds, most notes vent at the uppermost open tone holes; only the lowest notes of each register vent fully or partly at the bell, and the bell's function in this case is to improve the consistency in tone between these notes and the others.
Playing some wind instruments, in particular those involving high breath pressure resistance, produce increases in intraocular pressure, which has been linked to glaucoma as a potential health risk. One 2011 study focused on brass and woodwind instruments observed "temporary and sometimes dramatic elevations and fluctuations in IOP". Another study found that the magnitude of increase in intraocular pressure correlates with the intraoral resistance associated with the instrument and linked intermittent elevation of intraocular pressure from playing high-resistance wind instruments to incidence of visual field loss. The range of intraoral pressure involved in various classes of ethnic wind instruments, such as Native American flutes, has been shown to be generally lower than Western classical wind instruments.
In this article under "Frequency and Harmony" there is a chart with frequencies and stuff, but I don't understand it, and how it would apply to a wind instruments. I understand the "Common Name" column and the "Example name Hz", but the other ones confuse me greatly. I'm not sure if this would help me understand what I asked more, but it seems like it.
The direction taken in woodwind instrument development has been towards an ever increasing sophistication in the superstructure of the keywork, enabling an ever smoother and faster manipulation of these resonating air columns; witness the evolution of flutes from the beautiful simplicity of the five holed shakuhachi to the technical ingenuity of the Boehm system used on the modern western flute. This in turn has encouraged a rather mechanistic approach to playing, where pressing certain keys produces certain equal-tempered pitches.
All this tends to overshadow the acoustic properties and possibilities inherent within the instrument. Pressing a key on a piano will play one note and no other, but any fingering pattern on a woodwind instrument can potentially produce a wealth of different pitches, depending on how it is blown. In its simplest form this principle allows a player to use the same fingering patterns when playing in higher octaves by a process of overblowing. For an air column in a flute, as in a brass instrument, can be incited to resonate in various, clearly defined modes of vibration, known as the overtone series.
While in theory the overtone series is infinite, for higher woodwind instruments their size and resultant pitch range makes such an approach to playing somewhat limited. However, for low instruments such as the baritone saxophone, the harmonic potential is more promising, particularly when this overtone approach is pursued in tandem with varying the length of the air column.
The irony of this is the fact that woodwind instruments, while intimating this natural Harmonicism, are not best suited for extending this investigation. Due to the limitations of its structure an ideal saxophone, for instance, is a physical impossibility: it can never be perfectly conical because no mouthpiece tapers to a point. Furthermore, wavelengths behave in a very complex fashion when holes are opened on the body of an instrument - the response of the tube in figure 7 will be different from that of a tube sawn off at the three quarter point since the overblown partials of a tube with tone holes become increasing inharmonic the shorter the air column becomes. Therefore, trying to coax a musicallly meaningful and varied harmonic language from woodwind instruments, as envisaged above, is like trying to play a hornpipe on a kettle. It can probably be done but there are more fruitful and responsive means.
Experimental Musical Instruments was a periodical edited and published by Bart Hopkin, an instrument builder and writer about 20th century experimental music design and custom made instrument construction. Though no longer in print, back issues are still available. The material and approach of EMI can now be found electronically on their site hosted by Bart Hopkin. This site is, together with www.oddmusic.com the main source on the internet for experimental musical instrumentalism.[better source needed] 2b1af7f3a8