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An aerophone (/ˈɛəroʊfoʊn/) is a musical instrument that produces sound primarily by causing a body of air to vibrate, without the use of strings or membranes (which are respectively chordophones and membranophones), and without the vibration of the instrument itself adding considerably to the sound (or idiophones). Aerophone_sentence_0

Overview Aerophone_section_0

Aerophones are one of the four main classes of instruments in the original Hornbostel–Sachs system of musical instrument classification, which further classifies aerophones by whether or not the vibrating air is contained within the instrument. Aerophone_sentence_1

The first class (41) includes instruments which, when played, do not contain the vibrating air. Aerophone_sentence_2

The bullroarer is one example. Aerophone_sentence_3

These are called free aerophones. Aerophone_sentence_4

This class includes (412.13) free reed instruments, such as the harmonica, but also many instruments unlikely to be called wind instruments at all by most people, such as sirens and whips. Aerophone_sentence_5

The second class (42) includes instruments which contain the vibrating air when being played. Aerophone_sentence_6

This class includes almost all instruments generally called wind instruments — including the didgeridoo, (423) brass instruments (e.g., trumpet, french horn, baritone horn, tuba, trombone), and (421 & 422) woodwind instruments (e.g., oboe, flute, saxophone, clarinet). Aerophone_sentence_7

Additionally, very loud sounds can be made by explosions directed into, or being detonated inside of resonant cavities. Aerophone_sentence_8

Detonations inside the calliope (and steam whistle), as well as the pyrophone might thus be considered as class 42 instruments, despite the fact that the "wind" or "air" may be steam or an air-fuel mixture. Aerophone_sentence_9

History Aerophone_section_1

According to Ardal Powell, the flute is a simple instrument found in numerous ancient cultures. Aerophone_sentence_10

There are three legendary and archeologically verifiable birthplace sites of flutes: Egypt, Greece and India. Aerophone_sentence_11

Of these, the transverse flute (side blown) appeared only in ancient India, while the fipple flutes are found in all three. Aerophone_sentence_12

It is likely, states Powell, that the modern Indian bansuri has not changed much since the early medieval era. Aerophone_sentence_13

Identifying the origin of the aerophone is difficult, though it is believed that Americans and their descendants developed the largest diversity of aerophones, and they are understood to have been the major non-vocal, melodic instruments of Native America. Aerophone_sentence_14

Archaeological studies have found examples of globular flutes in ancient Mexico, Colombia and Peru, and multiple tubular flutes were common among the Maya and Aztec. Aerophone_sentence_15

The use of shells of Conches as an aerophone have also been found to be prevalent in areas such as Central America and Peru. Aerophone_sentence_16

Examples of aerophone type instruments in China can be dated back to the Neolithic period. Aerophone_sentence_17

Fragments of bone flutes can be found at the burial sites of the Jiahu settlements of ancient China, and they represent some of the earliest known examples of playable instruments. Aerophone_sentence_18

The instruments were typically carved from the wing bone of the red-crowned crane, and had five to eight holes. Aerophone_sentence_19

The flutes were efficient enough to produce sound in a nearly accurate octave, and are thought to have been used ceremonially or for ritualistic purposes. Aerophone_sentence_20

Examples of flutes made out of bamboo in China date back to 2nd Century BC. Aerophone_sentence_21

These flutes were known as Dizi's or simply Di () and typically had 6 holes for playing melodies that were framed by scale-modes. Aerophone_sentence_22

Flutes including the famous Bansuri, have been an integral part of Indian classical music since 1500 BC. Aerophone_sentence_23

A major deity of Hinduism, Krishna, has been associated with the flute. Aerophone_sentence_24

Some early flutes were made out of tibias (shin bones). Aerophone_sentence_25

The flute has also always been an essential part of Indian culture and mythology, and the cross flute is believed, by several accounts, to originate in India as Indian literature from 1500 BCE has made vague references to the cross flute. Aerophone_sentence_26

Types Aerophone_section_2

Free Aerophone_section_3

Further information: Free reed aerophone Aerophone_sentence_27

Free aerophones are instruments where the vibrating air is not enclosed by the instrument itself. Aerophone_sentence_28

Displacement Aerophone_section_4

The air-stream meets a sharp edge, or a sharp edge is moved through the air. Aerophone_sentence_29

Interruptive Aerophone_section_5

The air-stream is interrupted periodically. Aerophone_sentence_30

Plosive Aerophone_section_6

Occasionally called "percussive aerophones", plosive aerophones are sounded by percussion caused by a single compression and release of air. Aerophone_sentence_31

An example of a plosive aerophone is the "scraper flute" which has tubes with ridged or serrated edges so that they can be scraped with a rod to produce sound. Aerophone_sentence_32

Non-free Aerophone_section_7

Further information: Wind instrument Aerophone_sentence_33

Non-free aerophones are instruments where the vibrating air is contained within the instrument. Aerophone_sentence_34

Often called wind instruments, they are typically divided into two categories; Woodwind and Brass. Aerophone_sentence_35

It is widely accepted that wind instruments are not classified on the material from which they are made, as a woodwind instrument does not necessarily need to be made of wood, nor a brass instrument made of brass. Aerophone_sentence_36

Woodwind instruments are often made with wood, metal, glass or ivory, with examples being flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, recorder and the saxophone. Aerophone_sentence_37

Brass instruments are often made with silver, copper, ivory, horn, or even wood. Aerophone_sentence_38

Examples include the trumpet, cornet, horn, trombone and the tuba. Aerophone_sentence_39

Flute Aerophone_section_8

Main article: Flute Aerophone_sentence_40

A flute is a type of aerophone, as is the Eunuch flute, also referred to as a mirliton. Aerophone_sentence_41

A flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening, usually a sharp edge. Aerophone_sentence_42

According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. Aerophone_sentence_43

Aside from the voice, flutes are the earliest known musical instruments. Aerophone_sentence_44

A number of flutes dating to about 43,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Alb region of Germany. Aerophone_sentence_45

These flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe. Aerophone_sentence_46


  • Flute aerophone examplesAerophone_item_0_0
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Reed Aerophone_section_9

Main article: Reed aerophones Aerophone_sentence_47

A reed aerophone is a musical instrument that produces sound by the player's breath being directed against a lamella or pair of lamellae which periodically interrupt the airflow and cause the air to be set in motion. Aerophone_sentence_48

Reed aerophones can be further sub-divided into two distinct categories: single-reed and double-reed instruments. Aerophone_sentence_49

The former includes clarinets and saxophones, while examples of the latter are oboes and bassoons. Aerophone_sentence_50


  • Reed aerophone examplesAerophone_item_1_4
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Brass Aerophone_section_10

Main article: Brass instrument Aerophone_sentence_51

A brass aerophone is a musical instrument that produces sound by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Aerophone_sentence_52

Brass instruments are also called labrosones, literally meaning "lip-vibrated instruments". Aerophone_sentence_53

There are several factors involved in producing different pitches on a brass instrument. Aerophone_sentence_54

Slides, valves, crooks, or keys are used to change vibratory length of tubing, thus changing the available harmonic series, while the player's embouchure, lip tension and air flow serve to select the specific harmonic produced from the available series. Aerophone_sentence_55

Unlike all other aerophones, brass instruments can be "muted", in other words, their sounds can be somewhat suppressed as one would use a silencer on a firearm. Aerophone_sentence_56

A variety of mutes exist for these instruments, ranging from those made of plastic to others made of metal, and in various shapes. Aerophone_sentence_57


  • Brass aerophone examplesAerophone_item_2_9
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List of Aerophones Aerophone_section_11

Main article: List of aerophones by Hornbostel–Sachs number Aerophone_sentence_58

See also Aerophone_section_12


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