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Instruments

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Instruments have been in action for a very long time. Obviously, not in the same style as today’s instruments, but still with the same goal, to create music.
In an orchestra, all the instruments are separated in groups. There are four main families (groups). These are the string, the brass, the percussion and the wood-wind families. In the pages to come, we shall discuss them in more detail.

The String Family
The string family is made up of instruments that are plucked or are even drawn with a bow. Some common instruments in the string family are the violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, harp and electric bass. In the orchestra, one will always find the violin, viola, cello and the double bass. The first forms of violins were found in Italy, in the sixteenth century. The violins name, at that time, was ‘violas da braccio’, to distinguish it from the cello (violoncello) and the double bass. The violin is used for orchestral, country and folk music. But for country and folk music, the violin is called a fiddle. The viola is used for orchestral music mainly, while the cello and the double bass are used for orchestral and even for jazz music. The harp is usually and accompaniment to other instruments. Sometimes, if the composer of a piece of music wishes to include a harp, the harp will join the orchestra. The guitar is for classical guitar, but mainly, it is used for rock.

The Percussion Family
A percussion instrument is an instrument that is mainly played by being struck or by being scraped. These instruments are considered to be one of the oldest types of instruments. In an orchestra, the percussion section is made up of the timpani, the snare drum, the bass drum, the cymbals, the triangle and the tambourine. The percussi...

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...ments use a slide to change the length of tubing. The main instruments of this family are the trombones. These are mainly used in jazz. The natural brass instruments are played by notes in the instruments harmonic series. The only three instruments that use the natural are the bugle, the horns and the trumpets. The keyed or fingered brass instruments have holes through their body which would be covered by the fingers or by finger operated keys. These include the Cornett, serpent, ophicleide, the keyed bugle and the keyed trumpet. They are more difficult to play than the valved instruments.
The Woodwind Family
To begin with, there are two types of woodwind instruments. The flutes and the reed instruments. The differences is from the way they produce their sound. The flutes produce sound by directing a focused stream of air into the of a hole in a cylindrical tube
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