Woodwind Instruments List

Just as the name goes, you can tell that musical instruments that makeup the woodwind instrument family are made using a high quality wood material. However, there are some made out of metal and other materials nowadays, and one way to identify these instruments is the fact that they tend to have narrow pipes and cylinders with holes, and this post is here to talk to you about the woodwind instruments list. Welcome to this interesting post today.

The holes on the woodwind instrument are found at the bottom end of the instrument, and there is a mouthpiece on every woodwind instrument. The easiest way to play the woodwind instrument is by blowing air through the mouthpiece, and this explains the wood that is evident in the name woodwind. If you want to change pitch, it can be achieved by opening and closing of the holes on the woodwind instrument.

There are metal caps present on woodwind instruments that which are referred to as keys that functions as a cover for all the holes you would find on a woodwind instrument. The mouthpiece you will find on a woodwind instrument is called a reed, and the woodwind instruments that come with the reed mouthpiece includes bassoon, oboe, and the clarinet. The reed on a clarinet is designed using a single piece of wood, but this is different in other instruments.

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Other instruments like the oboe and the bassoon come with reeds that are designed using double reed materials, and you can count on smaller woodwind instruments just like in stringed instruments to play higher pitches. Lower notes and pitches are played by the longer or bigger instruments, and below are the key instruments that you will find in the family of the woodwind instruments.

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • E-Flat Clarinet
  • English Horn
  • Piccolo
  • Bass Clarinet
  • Contrabassoon
  • Bassoon

Back in the olden days, musical instruments were mostly whistles and flutes, but a lot has changed over the years. Variety of instruments have been developed, and the ones designed for blowing of air inside holes across the tubes are considered as aerophones. This instruments tend to have double reed or single reed attached to the mouthpiece of these instruments, and the length of the tube determines the pitch of the note, making it fixed.

Fitting together shorter sections of the tube is how woodwind instruments like the clarinet and and flute is formed, and they are joined together to form a longer tube. Under the orchestra woodwind instrument section, the musical instrument present in it range from tiny piccolo, to the bassoon, and finally the contrabassoon. A lot of instruments found in the woodwind family are ideal for bands and orchestras.

They can be used in various types of music, and jazz and classical music isn’t exempted. Just like we mentioned at the beginning of this post, woodwind instruments in the past were made using wood materials. Things have changed today as they can be designed using different types of material. Come with us as we talk more on some of the top materials that make up the woodwind family.

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Woodwind Instruments List

Woodwind Instruments List

The Flute

Commonly used in bands and orchestras, the flute can also be played as a solo instrument. The fact that it generates sound through blowing air across a hole which is found at the top of the flute is what makes it a member of the woodwind family, and the air inside the instrument causes a vibration to happen. However, modern flute used when playing classical music is made out of metal material, and there are other materials used for designing the flute.

Playing high pitch is what the flute is known for, and a smaller version of the flute which we mentioned in our list above is the piccolo. The piccolo on the other hand is designed to play higher than the flute itself, and it is considered as one of the loudest or highest sounding instruments used in an orchestra. If you are looking for sounds produced by the flute and used in music, go listen to California Dreaming by Mamas and Papas.

The Oboe

The oboe instrument is yet another instrument and high quality member of the woodwind family, and it can also be made out of plastic and wooden materials. Blowing air into the double reed which is found at the top of the instrument is the technique used in creating sounds when playing the Oboe instrument, and its double reed is designed using two thin pieces of wood that are held together, and allow vibration to pass through them.

The sound produced by the oboe woodwind instrument is said to be distinct and unique, and it is possible for you to hear the Oboe instrument over several other instruments played in an orchestra. Playing important melodies is what the Oboe instrument is known for, and this is based on its nasal sound quality and piercing. Sounding very high is another attribute of the oboe instrument, but it doesn’t have the ability to play as loud as the flute.

A song where you would hear the oboe woodwind instrument clearly is Sonny and Cher’s i got you babe.

English Horn

The fact that this instrument is named English Horn doesn’t make it English, and this is one instrument that is designed to be similar like the Oboe. It plays the same way an oboe is played, and it also boasts of a double reed. Its tube is known to be a bit wider, and it is also a bit longer than the oboe woodwind instrument. It has a rounded bell shape at the bottom, and this rounded bell shape is responsible for producing fuller and warmer sounds.

However, the oboe has a higher pitch range compared to the English horn, and you can count on an English horn instrumentalist to play the oboe if the need arises.


The clarinet is one instrument that can also pass for the oboe, but the differences lies in the mouthpiece. This is because its mouthpiece comes with a single reed, and clarinets are known to come in different sizes and shapes. There are musical works that might requires a clarinet player to play several clarinet sizes, and 2 to 4 clarinets are used in playing harmonies and melodies in an orchestra.

There are rich dark sounds present in the lower notes played by a clarinet, while the upper notes contains resonant and bright sounds. You can also play the clarinet as the oboe, and it is played by holding down the instrument in an upright manner, while blowing air through the reed. You can open and close the keys using your fingers which in turn helps to change pitch when necessary.

Conclusion – Woodwind Instruments List

This post contains a list of the top instruments that make up the woodwind family, and we also took out time to talk about some of these instruments. Now that you have a clear idea of what these instruments are, you will not have a problem with identifying them when the need comes up. One point we don’t want you to forget is that even though woodwind instruments were made using wood in the past, they are tod

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