Wind instruments are technically known as aerophones. Wind instruments produce sound when the column of air inside them is set into vibration by either a reed or the player's lips. Their tuning is controlled by the length of their pipe. Wind instruments from various parts of the world are presented, and include flutes, whistles, bagpipes, didgeridoo, harmonium and many more.


     Accordions and Concertinas

An accordion is a musical instrument that produces sound by forcing air through its bellows.  An accordion is also referred to as a squeezebox.  Accordions use buttons or keys to produce specific notes.  Piano accordions have a keyboard resembling a small piano.  The concertina is smaller and produces sound similar to the accordion, with each button producing one note.



     Bagpipe

Bagpipes are classified as aerophones. They are reed instruments that utilize an air reservoir. The reservoir allows an uninterrupted stream of air to be directed through the reeds. Such reservoir aerophones are not limited to Scotland and Ireland. Their antiquity can be traced throughout Asia, in North Africa and across Europe. There are various types of bagpipes: traditional, chalice, mediterranean, medieval, and a related item, the chanter. The craft of making musical instruments by hand is well-developed in many countries other than the country where the instrument originated. Often the tradition of making instruments is handed down through the generations, which results in high quality production of specific types of instruments. The craftsmen making these bagpipes only make bagpipes. These bagpipes are great for learning and great for pipers who march in varying weather conditions, since rosewood is tolerant of weather conditions and resists cracking and splitting. Metal used in these bagpipes is nickel plated solid brass.



     Bloul

Just like the Duduk, the Bloul, also known as the Armenian Flute, is undoubtedly of Armenian origin. It was developed in Western Armenia by Kurdish and Armenian shepherds. The player holds the Bloul at an angle while blowing into half the mouthpiece, the result being a haunting, wind-like sound.



     Bugle

The bugle is a classic wind instrument. Tones are achieved by changing the mouth position and by increasing the amount of wind that passes through the instrument. The bugle is the basis for many other wind instruments and is a great way to learn control of mouth positions that are useful when playing other wind instruments.



     Bulb Horn

The bulb horn is typically used to get attention. Various shapes of the bulb horn are available, as well as replacement reeds and replacement bulbs.



     Didgeridoo

Some believe that the didgeridoo is the world's oldest wind instrument. It may date back to 20,000 BC. Whether you spell it didjeridus or didgeridus or didgeridoos, the didj is part of the musical, healing and ceremonial heritage of the aboriginal peoples of Australia. Traditional playing of the didgeridoo is accompanied by tapping out soft rhythms on the sides of the instrument while it is being played. To play the didgeridoo, you blow into the mouthpiece while creating a buzzing with your lips. Circular breathing allows you to continually blow air from your mouth without ever stopping for breath. This technique allows you to blow an uninterrupted drone since you are inhaling and exhaling at the same time. It takes some practice!
Read how the one-of-a-kind didgeridoos are made.



     Duduk

The duduk is an Armenian wind instrument with sound qualities similar to the clarinet. The duduk is one of the oldest double reed instruments in the world. It can produce a wide range of melodies, including rhythmic dance tunes. The duduk has truly become a part of everyday life in Armenia. Both beginner and professional duduks are offered.  Other Armenian instruments offered by WorldMusicalInstruments include Bloul and Shvi, listed in their own categories under Wind Instruments.



     Flute, Bansuri

The bansuri flute is a transverse flute from India, literally from the words bans (bamboo) and suri. It is one of the oldest musical instruments. Bansuris are made from a single piece of bamboo with seven holes. All half notes, accidentals and microtones are produced by a unique fingering system. The finger holes have to be precisely covered either fully or half by the phalanxes of the fingers and not by the fingertips. This fingering technique also simplifies the playing of longer bansuris. The standard quality of the Indian bansuris produce a quite beautiful sound, but their tuning is often not exactly to western standard notes. Bansuri Flutes can sometimes sound slightly out of tune to the western ear.



     Flute, Bombard

The bombard is a small, double-reed instrument, similar to a soprano shawm in range but shorter in length.



     Flute, Cane

Cane Flutes are made of straight bamboo pipes. Includes individual cane flutes, Kawla flutes, Ney Flutes, Shakuhachi flutes, and a set of bamboo flutes.



     Flute, Irish

The Irish flute is a name for a wooden flute used in the playing of traditional Irish music. Irish flutes are being made expressly for the playing of Irish traditional music. These modern Irish flutes often have few, if any keys, which is one difference between them and their predecessors, which had anywhere from 5-10 keys in addition to the standard six open holes.



     Flute, Medieval Pipe

The Medieval Pipe is very similar to the rauschpfeif and the cornamuse. The Medieval Pipe has a straight bore and the bell has an open end; it is much softer sounding than the rauschpfeife. The primary art in playing windcap instruments is in maintaining a strong breath pressure to keep the reed vibrating and the instrument in tune. The required breath pressure is very strong compared to flute and recorder.



     Flute, Plastic

Keyed plastic flutes.



     Flutes, Native American

Native American flutes have been around for a very long time. The Native American flute has a distinctive soft sound.



     Flutes, with Reeds

Feeling adventurous? Try these simple flutes with reeds, the Mizmar and Shehnai.



     Harmonium

The British introduced harmoniums to India during the colonial period. They were quickly adopted by the India cultures. Harmoniums are in the family of free-reed aerophones. Harmoniums resemble small, tabletop size organs. Each harmonium has a bellows at the back that is pumped by one hand while the other hand plays the keyboard. The most common playing position is to place the harmonium on the floor and sit, cross-legged, in front of it. You can play the keys with your dominant hand while your other hand works the bellows, but most often the right hand plays the keys. You can also place the harmonium on a table and sit in a chair while you play.



     Hunting Horn

The hunting horn is often used in fox hunting to announce a hunter's position and to signal hunting dogs. The hunting horn is a type of bugle.



     Mijwiz

Mijwiz, Arabic for dual, is a double-pipe, single-reed instrument (sometimes referred to as a double-clarinet) popular in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. It is predominantely used to accompany the dabkah, or line dance, at weddings and other festive celebrations. The mijwiz is one of the oldest wind instruments.



     Ocarina

The ceramic Ocarina is probably more than 12,000 years old. Ancient examples have been cited - small whistles shaped like birds or other animals and made of terracotta are known in India for 6,000 years. China has a very long history of ocarina music - songs and dance had already appeared as early as five thousand years ago.



     Rag-Dung

The Rag-Dung is a Tibetan ritual instrument that is made in sections that can be telescoped and is basically played in drones for chanting.



     Shofar

The shofar is a magnificent musical horn that was developed by the ancient Hebrews. This was never a folk instrument nor considered a classical instrument. It was, and is, a ceremonial item. Today, this ancient trumpet of Israel is used in both Jewish and Christian worship. It is most closely associated with the Jewish Holy days of Rosh Hashana (New Years) also called Yom Teru'ah (the day of blowing), and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Outside of these religions it is not uncommon to find the shofar used in holistic ceremonies or rites associated with the earth elements.



     Shruti Box

The shruti box is a very simple drone instrument. It is often used to accompany Indian wind instruments especially flute. One side of this instrument has the bellows. By pumping this with one of your hands, air flows into the reeds housed on the opposite side. Each hole where the brass reed is placed has a movable plug. By rotating these one can open and close the air flow. Hence, opening the flow will make the reed sing and closing it will mute the sound. The shruti box probably originated from the harmonium.



     Shvi

The Shvi is known as the Armenian Whistle. A flute-type instrument, the Shvi can produce one and a half to two octaves of the chromatic scale. The lower octave is attained by blowing normally into the mouthpiece; the upper octave is attained by blowing harder. The lower octave has a soft, recorder-like tone; the upper octave has a powerful birdlike shrillness, similar to a piccolo or flute. The Shvi is famous for its ability to mimic bird calls.



     Snake Charmer

Pungi or Bin is the snake charmer's instrument. The snake charmer consists of two reeds or bamboo tubes. One is for the melody and the other is for the drone. These are attached to a larger cavity made of gourd. The snake charmer can be played for its interesting sounds or used as a decorative item and conversation piece.



     Whistle

A variety of whistles are offered: Irish Whistle, brass whistles in various keys, and cane whistles in various keys. Please also see the Flute category, which contains similar wind instruments.



     Whistle, Slide Whistle

Whether for fun or for serious sounds, everyone needs to experience a slide whistle at some point. Slide Whistles make great party favors for children's birthday parties.