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Home > CCA > Performing Arts > Symphonic Band > Introduction > Introduction - Woodwinds

Introduction - Woodwinds

The flute is to be held sideways with the right hand at the other end away from the player's lips. It has 7 upper finger holes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers of each hand. It sounds melodious, agile and smooth flowing. While the higher registers of the flute is bright and piercing, the lower registers produce rich and warm tones.     

The clarinet has a cylindrical tube with a mouthpiece at one end and a bell at the other. It is very expressive and nearly as agile as the flute, but it has a more powerful tone.      

The saxaphone is curved in a backwards "J" shape but can sometimes come in a straight model with a slightly tipped bell. It is a powerful horn with an incredible tone and cannot be used  for certain styles of music.
Literally means "small", the piccolo is half the size of the flute and pitched an octave higher. As it is the highest pitched instruments in the entire orchestra, it stands out shrilly above all the other instruments.     


As the first of all the woodwind instruments to be introduced into the orchestra, it used to be a popular wind instrument largely for solo works in the Baroque period. Totally different in tone colour from the flute, the oboe is melodious-sounding with a rather nasal tone. It is very capable of great expressiveness, suitable for both melancholic and lively tunes.
The bassoon was very popular in the Baroque period. Now, it is a standard bass instrument of the woodwind section and is a very useful orchestral instrument. It blends well as a bass accompaniment and provides a strong musical support. However, it can also be used as a solo instrument. It is loud in the lower registers, and it becomes thinner in tone as the pitch rises.