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Strings & Woodwinds

The stringed instrument family

TermDefinition
Stringed Instrument Any Instrument with strings, that is played either by strumming, plucking, or bowing the strings.
Violin Smallest stringed instrument of the orchestra. It is held between the chin and shoulder and is played by plucking or using a bow.
Viola The second smallest stringed instrument of the orchestra. It looks similar to a violin, but sounds lower.
Cello The second largest stringed instrument of the orchestra. It is played by sitting down and holding it between the knees. It is lower than both the violin and viola.
Double Bass The largest bowed instrument of the string family. It is the lowest sounding instrument of the family as well. It is played by either sitting down on a stool, or by standing up. It is also popular in jazz.
Harp Sometimes called the standing piano. It is a large piece of wood with piano-like strings in it. It is played by strumming and plucking the strings while pushing down pedals with the feet. It has a very bright and sparkly sound.
Bow The bow is what allows the string instrument to be played. It is pushed and pulled along the strings to make sound. The ow itself is a piece of wood, with horse hair connecting the ends.
Woodwind Instrument Any number of instruments played by blowing air through a horn with various holes. The holes are either covered with fingers or with keys or pads. They are played with either one or two reeds to make sound.
Reeds Reeds are pieces of cane that a either tied together or placed on a mouthpiece. They are blown into and the vibrations created help make the sound. Most woodwind instruments require reeds, with there being a few exceptions.
Flute Made of metal, the flute has a bright sound and does not use a reed. Air is blown across a hole to make a sound. Historically they were made of wood, this and their sound is why they are in the woodwind family.
Clarinet A long wooden tube with keys and holes. It is played by blowing into a mouthpiece with a reed on it, and by covering the holes either with fingers or keys.
Oboe Similar to the clarinet, however. It is played with a double reed instead of a single reed. It has a middle eastern sound.
Bassoon The lowest instrument of the woodwind family. It is 8 feet long if laid out straight. It is often called, the “Farting Bedpost”.
Saxophone An instrument made out of brass. It is also played by covering holes and by blowing into a mouthpiece with a reed. It is not usually in the orchestra, as it is more popular in jazz. It has a brassy sound.
Created by: DanCon