Sonority - woodwind

Folk music features a range of wind instruments including bagpipes and whistles.

The use of woodwind instruments depends on the period of music. In the Baroque period woodwind instruments were generally independent from the strings and had their own melodic line. Woodwind instruments used in the Baroque period included oboes, recorders, flutes and occasionally bassoons. You can hear flutes accompanied by strings in the opening of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4.

In the Classical period, woodwind instruments typically played more of an accompanying role. You can hear this in Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 here:

In the Romantic period and the 20th century, woodwind instruments became more individually important and composers often used single instruments for their particular sonorities.

Woodwind instruments were also used as solo instruments in concertos throughout in the Classical and Romantic periods, and in 20th century music.