Notable Woodwind Instruments Used In Symphony Orchestras


The woodwind family of instruments got their name because they were all formerly made of wood. In essence, they are all slender pipes or cylinders with holes, an opening at one end, and a mouthpiece at the other. You manipulate the pitch by closing or opening the holes with your fingers while blowing air through the mouthpiece Some of the woodwind instruments used in a symphony orchestra are the Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, etc.,


The piccolo, which translates as “little” in Italian, is a scaled-down version of the flute. In the orchestra, one of the woodwind players also will perform piccolo if that instrument is needed. Piccolos are half the size of a standard flute and can generate the highest tunes of all the woodwinds. Traditional marching band and drum corps music both feature the high whistling sound of the piccolo.


The flute, which was originally crafted from materials like wood, stone, clay, or hollow reed-like bamboo, is the oldest instrument that can make pitched notes. Modern flutes are made of silver, gold, or platinum, and a symphony typically has 2 to 4 flutes. The flute is played by blowing along a hole in the mouthpiece, much like blowing across the lid of a bottle, while holding it sideways with both hands. Pitch fluctuates as a result of your fingers opening and closing the keys.


The oboe is a two-foot-long black cylinder with metal keys filling its holes, and when you breathe through its mouthpiece, a double reed vibrates. The air within the oboe moves as a result of the reed’s vibration, which produces sound. Use both hands to push down on the buttons to close and open the holes and adjust the pitch while holding the oboe upright and blowing into the double reed in your mouth. The oboe produces a wide range of pitches, from eerie noises to warm, velvety smooth notes, making its sound very distinctive. There are typically two to four oboes in a symphony.


With the exception of the mouthpiece, which makes use of a single reed, the clarinet may readily be confused for an oboe. The typical B-flat clarinet is just over 2 feet long, but clarinets come in a variety of sizes. The two to four clarinets in the orchestra perform both melodies and harmonies. Their lower notes have a dark, rich sound, and their upper range is vibrant and resonant. Holding the instrument upright, breathing in through reed, including using your hands to alter pitches by opening and shutting the keys using your fingers are how you play the clarinet.


  • Bass clarinet

This man is the clarinet family’s granddad. To make it simpler for musicians to grasp and play, the bass clarinet’s top and bottom are curved due to the instrument’s size. Due to its length, it may play a few of the symphony’s lowest notes.

  • E- flat Clarinet

The shorter E-flat clarinet is identical to a standard clarinet in every way except for the length. It can play higher notes because of its smaller size.

Notable Woodwind Instruments Used In Symphony Orchestras

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