What Are Examples of Woodwind Instruments?

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Examples of woodwind instruments are bassoons, piccolos, flutes, clarinets, oboes, panpipes, recorders, flageolets and shawms. They get their name because they are aerophones, which make music through the vibration of air or wind and because they all used to be made of wood. In modern times, they can be made out of many materials, but they're still referred to as woodwinds.

Most of these woodwinds can be found in a full orchestra. However, flageolets, shawms, panpipes and recorders usually aren't part of an orchestra.

A flageolet is a type of whistle flute with a bore that's tapered and narrow. It was popular in England and France from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The instrument is still played, but its beaked mouthpiece has been replaced by a nozzle made of bone or ivory. The nozzle has a tiny sponge in it that absorbs saliva. Toy flageolets are also available.

Panpipes are a set of graduated flutes that are joined together. They have no finger holes. Panpipes have been played for thousands of years.

A shawm is a double-reeded instrument whose heyday was during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Its origins are in the Middle East, and it was often played in pairs. Its buzzing, strident sound is ideal for outdoor performance.