No one can say for sure when exactly music was born, but it is known that it has accompanied humanity since ancient times. At the dawn of civilization, three methods of musical sound production were distinguished: hitting a sounding object, vibrating a stretched string and blowing air into a hollow tube. This was the beginning of three types of musical instruments - percussion, strings and winds.
The earliest wind instruments were the hollow bones of various animals. For example, the most ancient musical instrument known to scientists - the Neanderthal pipe - is made from the bone of a cave bear. In their development, wind instruments took different forms, but among different peoples, general patterns were observed in this process.
Having learned how to extract a sound from a tube (first a bone one, then a wooden one), a person wanted to diversify this sound. He noticed that pipes of different lengths emit sounds of different heights. The simplest (and therefore the oldest) solution was to tie several different tubes together and move the structure along the mouth.
This is how the instrument, best known by the Greek name Syrinx, or Pan's flute, was born (according to Greek myth, it was created by the god Pan). But one should not think that such a flute was only among the Greeks - among other peoples it existed under different names: ekuduchay in Lithuania, nai in Moldavia, kugikly in Russia.
A distant descendant of this flute is such a complex and majestic instrument as the organ.
Pipe and flute
To produce sounds of different heights, it is not necessary to take several pipes, you can change the length of one by making holes on it and overlapping them with your fingers in certain combinations. This is how the instrument was born, which the Russians call the flute, the Bashkirs call the kurai, the Belarusians the pipe, the Ukrainians call the sopilka, the Georgians call the salamuri, and the Moldovans fluer.
All these instruments are held across the face, this is called a "longitudinal flute", but there was another design: the hole into which air is blown is in the same plane as the holes for the fingers. Such a flute - transverse - was developed in academic music, the modern flute goes back to it. And the “descendant” of the flute - the block flute - is not included in the symphony orchestra, although it is used in academic music.
The instruments mentioned above belong to the number of sibilants, but there is also a more complex design: the instrument is equipped with a bell, into which a tongue is inserted - a thin plate (originally made of birch bark), the vibration of which makes the sound louder and changes its timbre.
This design is typical for the Russian zhaleika, the Chinese sheng. There were similar instruments in Western Europe, and the modern classical oboe and clarinet date back to them.
Another variant of the wind instrument's design is an additional part in contact with the musician's lips, the mouthpiece. This is typical for the horn.
The horn is usually associated with the work of a shepherd. Indeed, the shepherds used horns, because the sound of this instrument is quite strong, it can be heard at a great distance. This is facilitated by the conical shape.
This is only a small part of the diversity that wind instruments of different nations represent.