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The clarinet's sound is begun with just one larger piece of cane tied to a plastic mouthpiece. The body of the instrument can be made of different kinds of wood or even plastic. Although the oboe and clarinet look quite similar, their sounds are very different. Of all the woodwind instruments, the clarinet is the one most often used in jazz.




The oboe's sound originates with two small, thin pieces of cane tied almost together. When the air goes between the pieces of cane they vibrate and that sound then goes through the body of the instrument. The very dense wood of the granadilla tree is used for the body of the oboe. The orchestra often tunes to the oboe at the beginning of a concert.




The bassoon's sound is produced with reeds similar to the oboe's. It is usually made of maple wood. As the longest of the woodwind instruments it plays the lowest sounds and is the foundation of the woodwind family.




Flutes were originally made of wood but now they are usually made of silver or gold. The flute plays the highest lines of music. Its lowest note is middle C on the piano. The piccolo, half the length of the flute, plays an octave higher and both instruments are very agile. They are called upon to play some of the fastest sections of the music.




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