The history of woodwind instruments

The history of woodwind instruments dates back to time of first made tools for domestication and farming practices. The two main woodwind instruments used during these times were; flutes and reeds. People realized that they could make music from wind by causing the wind to vibrate within a region prompting them to make instruments mainly of wood to serve the purpose of music entertainment. These wood instruments were mainly bands of ten or twenty and more to generate music. Such instruments were considered sacred and were kept safe.

History of woodwind instruments majorly started with the make of flute which were either open or closed. Flutes during these immemorial time were made from hollowed tree branches, tubular reeds and maybe just wood not as compared to today where they are made from metals and metal alloys.

The open flutes operation principle was simple, blowing air across the sharp edge splitting air stream which finally could act upon air in the flutes hollow causing vibration which made the music. The difference of the closed flute from the open one is that the closed one had a duct.

The history of woodwind instruments can not be complete without mentioning the reed instruments which were made to vibrate producing sound upon directing air into a mouthpiece. The reeds were made into a unique shape from plant stalks or reeds from the see or lakes, flattened towards the end they would cause the vibration upon blowing an air-stream (single reed). The other way of using reed was double-reed where two reeds were connected and air forced through to produce sound.These were later improvised and made from wood. The reeds were mainly used by the herders mostly in Africa to scare away the predators from the herd.
Bagpipes were later adopted to be used without actually placing the mouth on the instrument.

Although in the current world these woodwind instruments have been actually improved to suit various musical needs of the current generation, that is, saxophones, bassoons, clarinets among others, the old woodwind instruments are still being used. In Africa it is not uncommon to find children making these instruments for entertainment in the fields while herding.

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