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Unusual Instruments: Brass

Backgrounds and Videos of Unusual and Unique Musical Instruments

Brass

A wind instrument in which sound is produced through vibration of the lips on a cup-shaped mouthpiece and adjustment of the length of the (usually metal) sound tube by means of valves or a slide.

Serpent

The serpent is the bass wind instrument, descended from the cornett, and a distant ancestor of the tuba, with a mouthpiece like a brass instrument but side holes like a woodwind.

It is usually a long cone bent into a snakelike shape, hence the name. The serpent is closely related to the cornett, although it is not part of the cornett family, due to the absence of a thumb hole. It is generally made out of wood, with walnut being a particularly popular choice. The outside is covered with dark brown or black leather. Despite wooden construction and the fact that it has fingerholes rather than valves, it is usually classed as a brass

- from Wikipedia

Didgeridoo

The didgeridoo (also known as a didjeridu) is a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians of northern Australia potentially within the last 1,500 years and still in widespread use today both in Australia and around the world. It is sometimes described as a natural wooden trumpet or "drone pipe" and is classified as a "brass" instrument because of how it is played.

A modern didgeridoo is usually cylindrical or conical, and can measure anywhere from 1 to 3 m (3 to 10 ft) long. Most are around 1.2 m (4 ft) long. The didgeridoo is played with continuously vibrating lips to produce the drone while using a special breathing technique called circular breathing. This requires breathing in through the nose whilst simultaneously expelling stored air out of the mouth using the tongue and cheeks. By use of this technique, a skilled player can replenish the air in their lungs, and with practice can sustain a note for as long as desired.

- from Wikipedia

Alphorn

The alphorn or alpenhorn or alpine horn is a labrophone, consisting of a wooden natural horn of conical bore, having a wooden cup-shaped mouthpiece, used by mountain dwellers in Switzerland and elsewhere. Similar wooden horns were used for communication in most mountainous regions of Europe, from the French Alps to the Carpathians.

- from Wikipedia

Shofar

The shofar is an ancient musical horn made of ram's horn, mostly used for Jewish religious purposes, but beginning to be incorporated into contemporary classical music and movie soundtracks.

Like the modern bugle, the shofar lacks pitch-altering devices. All pitch control is done by varying the player's embouchure. Shofars come in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the choice of animal and level of finish.