Start of content


Wind instruments emerged when primitive men started blowing bones and bamboos and found out they could emit similar sounds to the singing of birds. They are usually formed b a tube (pipe) and the sound is produced by the passage of air inside it. The larger and wider the pipe is, the lower is the sound it produces. Belonging to this family, we have the woodwinds, originally built in wood, and the brass instruments.

A bit of history...

Wind instruments are quite old, having emerged in primitive cultures. The flute, the most popular and ancient example of this family, is at least forty thousand years old and can be found in just about all cultures and in all continents.

In the past, wind instruments were made of horns and animal bones, bamboo and, of course wood. Over time, the metal gained importance in the manufacture of these instruments and even plastic is now widely used in its construction.

Wind instruments also have great representations in the recent history of music. Present in musical styles such as jazz and choro (typical brazilian music style), some of them refer to the great icons of Brazilian music as the carioca (native of Rio de Janeiro) Pixinguinha (1897-1973), one of the greatest flutists and saxophonists of the 20th century, and Joaquim Callado Jr., composer and flutist, considered the father of choro.







Pixinguinha and Joaquim Callado Jr.



How do they work?

Most wind instruments have holes or keys that, when covered or squeezed by the musician's fingers, change the space through the air passes, producing different musical notes. 

Action of wind instruments

Wind instruments can be divided into two categories: woodwinds and brass. However, it is the form of sound production that determines its classification and not building material of the instrument.


This category includes all wind instruments whose sound is produced by the direct vibration of the performer's lips on a mouthpiece, as in several flutes, or on a single or double reed, as the clarinet and the oboe. Initially, all instruments of this family were built of wood, but over time they were built from other materials such as metal and plastic. Even so they are still part of woodwind family.  

Nowadays, it is also included in this family the saxophone, an instrument built in metal since its invention, but which has a reed made of wood.

Brass instruments 

Into this category are all wind instruments that produce sound by direct vibration of the performer's lips on a metal mouthpiece. All are built of metal or combined metal alloys and have a very powerful sound. The most important representatives of this group are the horn, the trumpet, the trombone and the tuba. They are all part of the orchestra, as well as military bands..

The ancient instruments of this group had a plain tube. Over time, holes have been added, additional keys and tubes called crooks, valves, pistons and slides.