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The Difference Between Brass And Woodwind Instruments

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By Author: victor12johnson
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If someone asks you about the difference between brass and woodwind musical instruments - what would be your answer as a layman or a non-expert? Many people opine - brass musical gears are brass-made, and woodwinds, as the name suggests, are wooden. Anyone with no or little knowledge about musical instruments would think the same. It is quite understandable. And, of course, this difference is pretty much correct. However, the scenario is not as simple as that. There are more points to it. Probably, you are also looking forward to understanding the main differences between brass musical gears and their woodwind cousins. So, let us take a quick look at how brass and wood gears differ.

Brass musical instruments Vs. Woodwind musical gears

Positioning in an orchestra

Brass and woodwinds serve distinct functions in an orchestra. So, they are placed in different areas in the band. If you take the example of a live musical gig with an orchestra, you will find the brass musical instruments in the center, unlike woodwinds, which sit ahead of the brass gears. The reasons are purely acoustic. In case the brass gears ...
... are placed in front of the woodwind, you are unlikely to hear the latter.

Harmonic Sounding

Being a novice, you may think - why musical instruments are positioned a certain way and together. Right? It is called harmonic sounding. The volume of musical instruments varies. So, positioning is crucial when it comes to getting a balanced sound. And as far as protecting your entire musical paraphernalia is concerned, getting Woodwinds Insurance or brass musical instruments cover should be your priority.

Some major differences between brass and woodwind musical instruments await you. Have a closer look at the below:


Although woodwind musical gears are usually wood-made, according to the term, many instruments are also made using metals. Here is an example for you. Until around 1875, flutes were carved out of wood. However, after that period, they have been also made from metals, including solid silver or silver-coated nickel. With the invention of new raw materials, such as plastics, resin, or/and amalgamations of both.

To your surprise, brass musical instruments are originally made using animal horns, tusks, woods, and a range of different materials available at a given period. However, brass is the most predominant option with varieties. Take a look:

● Yellow brass (67% Copper + 33% Zinc)
● Gold brass (85% Copper + 15% Zinc)
● Rose Brass (90% Copper + 10% Zinc)

Playing Technique:

A majority of woodwind musical instruments make use of a reed to produce the sound.

Both woodwind and brass gears use air force to produce sound. However, the latter does not have reed in its mouthpiece. Brass musical gears do not have moving parts to create the music as these are lip-vibrating gears. The player changes the pitch of the sound by trying combinations of airflow changes. Adjustments in the pitch are made via the lip tension of the person playing the brass gear.

Amount of breath needed:

Woodwind musical gears need less breath than their brass counterparts. It takes more air to fill the latter family of musical instruments.

Brass equipment needs more air than woodwinds to produce sound. Some of the reasons are the size and the playing techniques used.

Volume or Direction of the Sound:

Woodwind musical instruments are non-directions. It means the player does not have control over the direction or volume of the sound produced.

Brass musical gears are directional.

Before you go!

So, now that you know the key differences between woodwind and brass instruments, it may make it easy for you to choose one. However, no matter which of them entices you the most, make sure to buy an instrument-specific insurance plan. Woodwinds Insurance for woodwind gears and brass instrument cover for the brass ones are readily available in the market. Find a reputable insurance carrier in your state and cover your musical gears right away!

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