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  • What gives the trumpet its clarion ring

  • and the tuba its gut-shaking "omm pah pah?"

  • And what makes the trombone so jazzy?

  • The answer lies not in the brass these instruments are made of,

  • but in the journey air takes

  • from the musician's lungs to the instrument's bell.

  • Like any sound, music consists of vibrations traveling through air.

  • Instruments are classified based on how those vibrations are produced.

  • Percussion instruments are struck.

  • String instruments are plucked or bowed.

  • Woodwinds have air blown against a reed or sharp edge.

  • For brass instruments, however,

  • the vibration come directly from the musician's mouth.

  • One of the first things a brass player must learn is to breathe in deeply,

  • until every possible particle of air is crammed into the lungs.

  • Once all that air is inside, it must come out through the mouth,

  • but there, an internal battle takes place

  • as the musician simultaneously tries to hold their lips firmly closed

  • while blowing enough air to force them open.

  • The escaping air meets resistance from the lip muscles,

  • forms an opening called the aperture

  • and creates the vibration that brass players call "the buzz."

  • When a mouthpiece is held up to those vibrating lips,

  • it slightly refines the buzz,

  • amplifying the vibration at certain frequencies.

  • But things get really interesting

  • depending on what instrument is attached to that mouthpiece.

  • A brass instrument's body is essentially a tube

  • that resonates with the air column blowing through it.

  • The way that sound waves travel through this column

  • forms a limited pattern of pitches known as the harmonic series,

  • with notes spaced far apart at the lower end,

  • but coming closer together as the pitch increases.

  • The musician can alter the pitch of the note

  • through slight contractions of the lips and alterations to air volume and speed.

  • Slower, warm sighing air produces lower pitches,

  • and faster, cool, flowing air produces higher pitches in the series.

  • But any single harmonic series has gaps where pitches are missing

  • and the versatility of brass instruments

  • lies in their ability to switch between multiple series.

  • On instruments like the trumpet, valves can be lowered

  • to increase the length of tubing the air travels through,

  • while on a trombone, this is done by extending its slide.

  • Lengthening the tube stretches the vibrating air column,

  • reducing the frequency of vibrations and resulting in a lower pitch.

  • This is why the tuba, the largest brass instrument,

  • is also the one capable of playing the lowest notes.

  • So changing the instrument length shifts its harmonic series,

  • while slight variations of the air flow and the player's lips

  • produce the different notes within it.

  • And those notes finally emerge through the flared bell opening at the end.

  • What started as a deep breath and a vibrating buzz on the lips

  • has now been transformed into a bold and brassy tune.

  • The musician's skillful manipulation of every part of the process

  • from lungs,

  • to lips,

  • to the mouthpiece,

  • to the instrument itself creates an amazing palette of pitches

  • that can be heard in musical genres across the globe.

  • By harnessing the power of natural resonance

  • in a flexible and controllable way,

  • brass instruments are great examples of the fusion of human creativity

  • with the physics of our world.

What gives the trumpet its clarion ring

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B2 中高級 美國腔

TED-Ed】銅管樂器是如何工作的--艾爾-卡農。 (【TED-Ed】How brass instruments work - Al Cannon)

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    稲葉白兎 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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