Music has been produced by combining vibrating reeds with
cylinders, and cones probably for thousand of years or more. Double reeds
instruments probably came before single reeds. Now, reeds drive instruments such as the clarinet, oboe, bassoon,
and saxophone. The mouthpiece on clarinets and saxophones hold the reed;
vibrating air enters the instrument where pitches and timbres are determined by
the shape of the bore and by an elaborate series of holes, opened and closed by
key presses and releases.
Early flutes and reed instruments were modified by drilling
holes in the cylinder or cone that were covered by fingers. The development of a
chromatic instrument required both holes and a mechanism to cover or uncover
sets of holes. Theobald Boehm invented a key system for the transverse flute
that was adapted by Klosé and Buffet for the Clarinet. The modern key system
consists of generally 6 rings, on the thumb, 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th holes, a
register key just above the thumb hole. Above the 1st hole, there is a key that
lifts two covers creating the note A in the low register. A key at the side of the instrument at the same height as
the A key lifts only one of the two covers, producing G# a semitone lower. The A
key can be used in conjunction solely with the register key to produce A#/Bb.
The saxophone combines elements of woodwind and brass
instruments. It has a conical bore, made of brass, flared at the tip to form a
bell; 20 to 23 pitch holes of varying size, are drilled in the metal, covered by
leather pads, controlled by keys pressed by the fingers. The soprano saxophone
is a straight cone. The larger saxes
have a U-bend that points the bell upwards. The fingering for flute, clarinet
and saxophones is sufficiently similar that players often can perform on all
Persona Music Recordings: Our Music Catalogue includes recorded performances
under the titles Persona Digital, P2500 Band, Em4U, and the Persona Classical Consort. Music online is offered to illustrate music history, advance music education and appreciation. All the recordings are
arrangements and performances completed in house by Stephen Gislason. The music selections and their history
are explained in the book, Sound of Music.
Topics presented at Persona Digital Studio are from the
The Sound of Music by
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