Lip reed instruments

We are most interested in musical instruments that are simple in construction but nevertheless capable of complex musical expression. Note that one can perceive musical instruments as simple - a flute for instance - but one should recall that the player is part of the instrument and the player can (and is) actually quite complex. The human voice is often cited as the most simple of musical instruments, we all possess it and learn to use it from the day we take our first breath. We take it foregranted though it is exceedingly complex, much more so than any other instrument. Simple because we need no external extensions to make it work, but complex because the physiology of vocal folds and audio feedback and voice projection and all the rest is actually quite complex - to create a cybernetic version of the human voice system is an ongoing research project requiring the most sophisticated engineering and computer hardware and software, with no sign of a satisfactory completion.

The simplest instruments involve a single static component, a string, a tube, a stretched skin. I am most interested in the woodwind and their simplest version - tubes as aerophones.

What is so interesting about tubes? Their resonances! A woodwind instrument is a tube with fixed (or variable if we have a slide or finger holes or other such geometry modifying possibilities) resonances that are excited by a vibrating source - a fluctuating turbulent air stream for flutes, vibrating lips for brass or a vibrating (single or double) reed for all the others.