The Functions of Wind Instruments in the Orchestra

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When a composer writes for an orchestra, they write different voices for every song, and woodwind instruments generally serve as the lead in orchestration. Discover which woodwind instruments play high notes, and which play low notes, with help from a professional saxophonist in this free video on music and instruments.

Part of the Video Series: Music Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hey, my name's Brian Medeiros. I'm going to explain the functions of wind instruments in an orchestra. Wind instruments would be brass and woodwind instruments, including clarinet, saxophone, flute. Brass instruments being trumpet, tuba, trombone. When a composer is writing a orchestration, they write different voices for different songs. Within every song there's different voices. The function of wind instruments are generally the lead in orchestration. A lot of times you'll have the melody being played on wind instruments. They also play background, as the strings can play background as well. But wind instruments and their various different types and sizes play different voices in an orchestra, like a flute would play the high notes, and a clarinet would play the middle notes. And the bigger instruments, like tuba, trombone, stuff like that, play the bottom. So that's the function of wind instruments in an orchestra.

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