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Physics of wind instruments; Recxommendations on how to learn about this topic?
Topic Started: 23 Mar 2017, 08:52 PM (1,787 Views)
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invisible ties
Hi there,

since I read more about ocarinas and wind instruments since I started playing, and because I took up interest in the bassoon as well very recently, I'd also like to know more abouat how exactly wind instruments in general work in terms of physics. I've got only scarce physcial knowledge, mostly in optics/photography and meterology, so I've got almost no idea about acoustics. A short google search gave me a book called "The Physics of Musical Instruments" here and "Acoustical Aspects of Woodwind Instruments, Revised Edition" here (Swiss link). Does anyone of you know if these are good? Could you recommend me some other books or online resources I couzld learn from?

I thank you in advance very much for your answers and comments. :)

Best regards,
Edited by Gemstone, 23 Mar 2017, 08:53 PM.
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Inline Ocarinist
I think I would recommend "The Physics of Musical Instruments" for someone with very limited knowledge of physics since it seems like it's aimed more a layperson rather than a specialist. The other strikes me as the sort of thing a researcher would read.
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invisible ties
Thank you for your reccomendation :) I'm trying to get this book or others, too. I'm looking forward to further recommendations :)
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The ocarina is a bit different than most other woodwind instruments because it is a type of vessel flute, and vessel flutes use the principle of Helmholtz resonance to amplify sound. So you may want to look up some information specifically about that in addition to the book (if it doesn't cover that well, anyway).

Still, all wind instruments rely on vibrations in an air stream being amplified by the instrument. The difference between brass and woodwind instruments is not actually about the material used but rather where the vibrations are produced. With brass instruments the player creates the vibrations with his lips and they are only amplified by the instrument while with woodwind instruments the vibrations are created with a part of the instrument.
Edited by CFWhitman, 24 Mar 2017, 02:39 PM.
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