Electronic Wind Instruments

Flutes are considered to be the first musical instrument to be created. The flute is in the woodwind family of musical instruments. However, flutes give a different aspect of woodwind than any other woodwind instruments because it does not require a reed, which makes it an aerophone or reedless woodwind instrument. The flute generates its sound by the flow of air across the opening of the instrument on one end.

The flutes can be broken into a few major categories or classes which includes the traverse, end-blown, and fipple flutes. Flutes can also be in different forms where the keys have closed holes or open holes. There are no differences in sounds between the two, but the open holes require different techniques, and it also encourages proper finger position on the keys.

A transverse flute also called the side-blown flute is a flute, which is held horizontally when it is played. It is played by blowing across the lipping hole, in a direction perpendicular to the flute’s body. Transverse flutes include the Western Classical concert flutes, fife, dizi, piccolo, bansuri, and Japanese/Korean flutes.

The end-blown flute, also known as the edge-blown or rim-blown flute, is keyless and played by blowing air through the sharp upper end of the flute. End-blown flutes are widespread in folk music and art music. Some examples of end-blown flutes are the ney, kaval, xiao, Anasazi flute, quena, shakuhachi, and danso.

The fipple flute is similar to the end-blown flute but has a duct inside the flute that directs the air above and below the sharp edge of a hole. The whistle, gemshorn, recorder, tin whistle, flageolet, fujara, ocarina, and tonette are all fipple flutes.

My wife played the flute growing up. She began playing at the age of 12 and continued playing for about 13 years. She took private lessons from a renowned flutist residing in Dallas, Texas. She enjoyed going on competitions and performing in front of a crowd. She was mainly a solo flutist, but she often did duets with other flutists or with a piano accompaniment. The two-flute duo or when accompanied by a piano creates a beautiful melody that is very enjoyable to the audiences’ ears.

Instruments have come a long way in quality and sound. More impressively, many instruments have a digital counterpart. Even flutes have a digital version that sounds very similar to that of a Western classical concert flute. To get a better idea of what that looks like, check out this digital instrument that can mimic many of the woodwind instruments.

With one digital instrument, Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI), you can play music with the sounds of many instruments. Now, that is impressive! I know the true sound of the real instrument is a lot better than any digital sounds, but the flexibility of only needing one device to play multiple sounds is perfect for a multi-instrument player. Also, check out this review and video of the Roland Aerophone AE-10 from djmag. I didn’t realize the popularity of these EWIs until I saw them at guitarcenter.

Perhaps Best E-drums need to add the digital wind instrument to their list of electronic instruments, which will be a fascinating addition to completing a band!

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