This article is largely based on an article in the out-of-copyright Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, which was produced in 1911. (January 2011)
A Holztrompete (Wooden Trumpet), an instrument somewhat resembling the Alpenhorn in tone-quality, designed by Richard Wagner for representing the natural pipe of the peasant in Tristan und Isolde . This instrument is not unlike the cor anglais in rough outline, being a conical tube of approximately the same length, terminating in a small globular bell, but having neither holes nor keys; it is blown through a cupshaped mouthpiece made of horn. The Holztrompete is in the key of C; the scale is produced by overblowing, whereby the upper partials from the 2nd to the 6th are produced. A single piston placed at a third of the distance from the mouthpiece to the bell gives the notes D and F.
Wagner inserted a note in the score concerning the cor anglais for which the part was originally scored, and advised the use of oboe or clarinet to reinforce the latter, the effect intended being that of a powerful natural instrument, unless a wooden instrument with a natural scale be specially made for the part, which would be preferable. The Holztrompete was used at Munich for the first performance of Tristan and Isolde, and was still in use there in 1897.At Bayreuth it was also used for the Tristan performances at the festivals of 1886 and 1889, but in 1891 Wilhelm Heckel's clarina, an instrument partaking of the nature of both oboe and clarinet, was substituted for the Holztrompete and was found more effective.
The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that plays music written in the bass and tenor clefs, and occasionally the treble. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band, and chamber music literature. It is known for its distinctive tone colour, wide range, variety of character, and agility. The modern bassoon exists in two forms; Buffet and Heckel systems. One who plays a bassoon of either system is called a bassoonist.
The clarinet is a family of woodwind instruments. It has a single-reed mouthpiece, a straight, cylindrical tube with an almost cylindrical bore, and a flared bell. A person who plays a clarinet is called a clarinetist.
The oboe is a type of double reed woodwind instrument. Oboes are usually made of wood, but may also be made of synthetic materials, such as plastic, resin or hybrid composites. The most common oboe plays in the treble or soprano range. A soprano oboe measures roughly 65 cm long, with metal keys, a conical bore and a flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed at a sufficient air pressure, causing it to vibrate with the air column. The distinctive tone is versatile and has been described as "bright". When the word oboe is used alone, it is generally taken to mean the treble instrument rather than other instruments of the family, such as the bass oboe, the cor anglais, or oboe d'amore.
Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments within the more general category of wind instruments. Common examples include flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, and bassoon. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments. The main distinction between these instruments and other wind instruments is the way in which they produce sound. All woodwinds produce sound by splitting the air blown into them on a sharp edge, such as a reed or a fipple. Despite the name, a woodwind may be made of any material, not just wood. Common examples include brass, silver, cane, as well as other metals such as gold and platinum. The saxophone, for example, though made of brass, is considered a woodwind because it requires a reed to produce sound. Occasionally, woodwinds are made out of earthen materials, especially ocarinas.
Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90, is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hoftheater und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but called it "eine Handlung".
Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra. Also called "instrumentation", orchestration is the assignment of different instruments to play the different parts of a musical work. For example, a work for solo piano could be adapted and orchestrated so that an orchestra could perform the piece, or a concert band piece could be orchestrated for a symphony orchestra.
The cor anglais, or English horn in North America, is a double-reed woodwind instrument in the oboe family. It is approximately one and a half times the length of an oboe.
The heckelphone is a musical instrument invented by Wilhelm Heckel and his sons. The idea to create the instrument was initiated by Richard Wagner, who suggested at the occasion of a visit of Wilhelm Heckel in 1879. Introduced in 1904, it is similar to the oboe but pitched an octave lower.
The basset horn is a member of the clarinet family of musical instruments.
The tárogató refers to two different woodwind instruments commonly used in both Hungarian and Romanian folk music. The modern tárogató was intended to be a recreation of the original tárogató, but the two instruments are thought to have little in common.
The zhaleika, also known as bryolka (брёлка), is the Slavic wind instrument, most used in Belarussian, Russian and sometimes Ukrainian ethnic music. Also known as a "folk clarinet" or hornpipe. The zhaleika was eventually incorporated into the balalaika band, the Hungarian tarogato, and may have contributed to the development of the chalumeau, a predecessor of the clarinet.
The bass oboe or baritone oboe is a double reed instrument in the woodwind family. It is about twice the size of a regular (soprano) oboe and sounds an octave lower; it has a deep, full tone somewhat akin to that of its higher-pitched cousin, the English horn. The bass oboe is notated in the treble clef, sounding one octave lower than written. Its lowest note is B2 (in scientific pitch notation), one octave and a semitone below middle C, although an extension may be inserted between the lower joint and bell of the instrument in order to produce a low B♭2. The instrument's bocal or crook first curves away from and then toward the player (unlike the bocal/crook of the English horn and oboe d'amore), looking rather like a flattened metal question mark; another crook design resembles the shape of a bass clarinet neckpiece. The bass oboe uses its own double reed, similar to but larger than that of the English horn.
A double reed is a type of reed used to produce sound in various wind instruments. In contrast with a single reed instrument, where the instrument is played by channeling air against one piece of cane which vibrates against the mouthpiece and creates a sound, a double reed features two pieces of cane vibrating against each other. The term double reeds can also refer collectively to the class of instruments which use double reeds. The timbre of a single and double reed instrument is related to the harmonic series but only including the odd harmonics, due to air column modes canceling out the even harmonics. This may be compared to the timbre of a square wave.
A Parsifal bell is a stringed musical instrument designed as a substitute for the church bells that are called for in the score of Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal.
Pommer or bombard describes the alto, tenor, bass, and contrabass members of the shawm or Schalmey family, which are similar in function to the modern cor anglais, tenoroon, bassoon, and contrabassoon, although the bassoon family's direct ancestor was the dulcian/curtal family.
The heckel-clarina, also known as clarina or patent clarina, is a very rare woodwind instrument, invented and manufactured by Wilhelm Heckel in Wiesbaden-Biebrich, Germany. Heckel received a patent for the instrument on 8 December 1889. It was apparently intended to be used for the shepherd’s pipe solo in Act III of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. It was used beginning in 1891 at the Festspielhaus, Bayreuth as a substitute for Wagner's Holztrompete. The clarina was found more practical and more effective in producing the desired tone-colour.
The woodwind section, which consists of woodwind instruments, is one of the main sections of an orchestra or concert band. Woodwind sections contain instruments given Hornbostel-Sachs classifications of 421 and 422, but exclude 423
A horn is any of a family of musical instruments made of a tube, usually made of metal and often curved in various ways, with one narrow end into which the musician blows, and a wide end from which sound emerges. In horns, unlike some other brass instruments such as the trumpet, the bore gradually increases in width through most of its length—that is to say, it is conical rather than cylindrical. In jazz and popular-music contexts, the word may be used loosely to refer to any wind instrument, and a section of brass or woodwind instruments, or a mixture of the two, is called a horn section in these contexts.
Symphony No. 6 by Russian composer Alfred Schnittke was composed in 1992. It was commissioned by cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, who together gave its first performance in Moscow on 25 September 1993.