Instrument Families

Woodwind Family


Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophones, Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon

-have a reed to vibrate and make the sound resonance

-piccolo and flute uses the mouth piece to resonate

Brass Family 


Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba

-Mouth piece and lips create a buzz which creates the resonance

-all use piston or roar valves, trombone uses a slide

-called brass because they are made of brass; some made parts of silver

Percussion Family


Many many percussion instruments

-need a mallet or a hand to create the percussive sound

-some change notes and some remain the same note throughout

String Family


Violin, Viola, Cello, Upright Bass, Guitar, Harp

-have strings that are bowed or plucked

-strings vibrate that resonate inside instrument

Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra


Flute – Label the parts of the flute as I explain and show them

The flute is silver and plays the highest of all the instruments.

The it has a smaller version called the Piccolo. There are also two bigger flutes that are called the Alto Flute and the Bass Flute


Flute – Inspector Gadget


The Oboe is about the same size as the flute, but it is black. It has about the same number of keys as well.

It is a double reed instrument, which means that both the top and bottom lip play on the reed.

The larger cousin to the oboe is called the English Horn


Tchaikovsky- Oboe Solo


Clarinet- label the parts of the Clarinet as I explain and show them

The Clarinet is black, either plastic or wood and only a little longer than the flute.

The Clarinet has many keys and even has 4 keys for each pinky.

The Clarinet has a smaller version called the Eb Clarinet. There are also many larger clarinets. Alto, Contralto, Bass, Contrabass.


Contrabass Clarinet Solo- Philip Glass


Label parts of the saxophone as we talk about it!

The Saxophone is usually a brass color, but also come in silver.

Since the saxophone is part of the woodwind family, it also has many keys, but not as many as the Clarinet.

The Saxophone also has a smaller version call the Soprano Saxophone. Like the other woodwind instruments it has larger versions as well. The Tenor, Baritone, and Bass. (There is actually a contra bass also)


Saxophone Quartet- Jazz Suite


The bassoon is made of wood and is often a wooden color, they are also sometimes black.

Like all the woodwind instruments, the Bassoon has many keys. It is so long that the tubes are wrapped up on the inside.

Like the Oboe and English Horn, the Bassoon is a double reed instrument. It also has a larger version called the Contra Bassoon


Bassoon -Rite of Spring


Made of brass and has 3 piston valves.

Treble Clef brass instrument

Usually a brass or a silver color.

Wynton Marsalis- trumpet

French Horn

Made of brass also. Unlike the other instruments in the brass family, the French Horn has rotor valves instead of piston valve. These valve turn side to side instead of move up and down.

This instrument also plays in the treble clef and is seen as a brass or silver color.

Vienna Horns- Back to the Future


This instrument is different from any in the brass family because it doesn’t have valves at all. It has a slide that is used to change notes. There are 7 positions on the trombone

This instrument plays in the bass clef and also come in a brass or silver color.

Trombone Shorty


The baritone has valves like a trumpet, but is much larger.

The instrument is different because it plays in the bass clef. But it is the same as other brass instruments in color.

Baritone – Flight of the Bumble Bee


The tuba is the largest instrument in the brass family but shares the same color traits.

It also plays in the bass clef.

Mnozil Brass- Tuba Solo


Keys made of rosewood and is played in both treble and bass clef. Most come in 3 octaves, while some can come in 4 octaves. Uses mallets to strike the keys which makes the sound.


Marching Snare, Bass Drum, and Tenor Drum

Uses two sticks on a drum head. Two drum heads and snares use a snare on the bottom.

Bluecoats Drumline


These percussion instruments are hand instruments and have beads or seeds on the inside.



This instrument is also  one that is mostly used with the hands. You can tap it on your hand, shake it, or run your thumb across it.



Plays in the treble clef. Has 4 string E A D G (high to low).



Plays in the Alto Clef and the 4 strings are. A D G C (high to low)



Plays in the bass clef and has 4 strings. C G D A (high to low)

Cello- Yo Yo Ma

String Bass

Plays in the bass Clef and has 4 string. G D A E ( high to low)

Bass – Pirates


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