3   The Elephant Trumpet

Conventional wind instruments fall into three broad groups: reed woodwinds, such as clarinets and saxophones; reedless woodwinds, such as flutes; and brass instruments, such as trumpets, tubas, bugles, and so on. This last category is a bit of a misnomer because many “brass” instruments are not made of brass: didgeridoos, for example, are considered brass instruments, as are obscure instruments like the serpent (a twisty hybrid brass-woodwind distantly related to the tuba), the Russian rozhok (an archaic wooden trumpet), the damnable plastic vuvuzela, and our own Elephant Trumpet (see Figure 3-1).

Whatever the materials, all of these “brass” instruments are labrosones: they make musical tones by harnessing the power of ...

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