Mr. Fred J. Allen

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Intonation Tendencies of Wind Instruments

General Points to Consider:

  • All wind instruments are affected the same regarding temperature (cold=flat, hot=sharp).
  • All have the same tendency regarding embouchure (tight=sharp, loose=flat).
  • All wind instruments have the same tendency regarding air intensity (weak air=flat).
  • All wind instruments are pulled out to flatten and pushed in to sharpen (see concern in this area under oboe and bassoon).
  • All wind instruments can lip down (flatten) pitch to a greater degree than they can lip up (sharpen).
  • Venting (opening closed keys or holes) and damping (closing open keys or holes) are available on all woodwinds.  The possibilities are almost infinite, though some "pet"  fingerings seem to be widely known and used.


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