Brass instruments rely on vibrations created by the movement of a musician's lips at the opening of the instrument. As the vibrations pass through the mouthpiece into the tube of the instrument, a unique sound is created, which can be manipulated into various volumes, notes and tones according to the movements of a musician's lips. The valves and sliding mechanisms on brass instruments are also used to manipulate sounds.
Brass instruments built with a series of valves, such as trumpets, rely on the buttons to change the way sound moves through the body of the instrument. When a valve is pressed by a musician, it lengthens the distance the sound must travel before it exits the end of the instrument, which is called the bell. As the musician presses and releases these buttons, the notes emanating from the instrument change. A similar action takes place in brass instruments that have slides, such as trombones. Slides allow a musician to lengthen and shorten the bore of the instrument, and they also have the unique added effect of creating a sliding sound between notes. The note changes created from slides are not as rapid as the modifications that valve instruments are capable of creating. The use of valves and slides, combined with the musician's varying lip movements, are the two main factors that actively control sound from brass instruments. The size of the instruments and their openings also determine the quality and pitch of the sounds they produce.Learn More
The largest brass instrument is the tuba. It is also the lowest in pitch. Because of its low tone, the tuba serves as the bass in the brass section of orchestras and other musical groups.Full Answer >
Stringed instruments create sound through the vibrations caused by the musician's manipulation of the strings. This is achieved through strumming, striking, plucking or rubbing a bow across the strings. The strings are supported by a bridge that transfers their vibrations into the top of the instrument, referred to as the sound board. The sound board carries the vibrations to the instrument's body, which is called the soundbox or resonator.Full Answer >
Flutes are reedless instruments that produce sound from the flow of air across a hole in a cylindrical tube. Reed instruments produce sound by focusing air into a mouthpiece that causes a reed to vibrate.Full Answer >
Several techniques are commonly used to get brass instruments looking and sounding their best. If an instrument has fallen into any kind of disrepair, it is best to first disassemble the entire instrument â€” that is, take it apart piece by piece, according to Dana Hofer Brass Instrument Repair.Full Answer >