The Brass Family of Instruments

March 29, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Posted in Music Education, Musical Instruments | Leave a comment
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In the history of musical instruments, I can imagine how some instruments were created naturally.

Percussion ~ Well, that is an easy one. Just as the musical group Stomp can hear percussive music in everything (including the kitchen sink), one can hear tempo and patterns in simple things such as someone walking with a steady beat, a door closing, branches clicking together, or rain pattering on the ground.

Woodwinds ~ The wind sure makes plenty of interesting sounds and pitches as it flows through and around objects. Whistling through the reeds of different sizes and thicknesses.

Strings ~ Know this would take more thought at first. What do you suppose started string instruments? A bundle which someone tied up with cords taunt at various levels perhaps?

Brass ~ In this instrumental family, I have a harder time thinking of someone creating these through natural circumstances. Brass instruments had to come about in a much later historical time period than the other instruments simply because they couldn’t come about until metal technology was advanced enough. Think of the shaping, turning, and designing that went into those first models. Not to mention the know how to create valves and slides that could create tonal accuracy!

What a variety of sounds brass instruments can create ~ powerful majestic sounds to welcome royalty; strong, loud bugles to lead armies into battle; hunting horns to call the animals and hunting parties together; and so many more! It amazes me how brass instruments may play classical, chamber, jazz, blues, rock, and so many other styles of music proficiently. Bold and brassy like a tuba or flowing and sweet like a French Horn ~ many uses and styles to play!

Trumpet had been one of my first choices of an instrument to play when I was young. It didn’t work out for various reasons and so woodwinds quickly became my voice, but I have always loved the excitement that the instruments bring. When I did learn to play the trumpet in college, I was so excited to begin … that was until I realized that it was a good thing I was a flautist instead! My poor teacher – he tried to be patient, but I’m sure he had to stifle a few giggles at the “unique” sounds I was making. Anyway, I think it would be best if I just stick to my woodwinds, but I still love the sound of brass instruments! Enjoy listening to some sample of them!

If you would like to read more about brass instruments, listen to large variety of samples from the family, or find an entire unit on teaching about brass instruments for teachers and parents, please visit my Brass Family Lapbook Unit from the Orchestra Series of webpages I have created for students, teachers, homeschoolers, and anyone who wants to find out more about these cool instruments!


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