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The harmonica, mouth harp and African thumb piano (kalimba) all rely on vibrating metal tines to create sound. The tines are excited by airflow (harmonica) or by the fingers and thumbs.


Whistles produce a jet of air on a sharp edge. The direction of the jet becomes unstable and flutters between sides of the sharp edge producing sound, as shown below. The top instrument is a Chinese flute (from Shengen), followed by an Irish Penny Whistle, then a recorder, on the bottom left a “sweet potato” or ocarina and on the bottom right a nose flute.



This Chinese toy is a percussion instrument.  The small, attached balls collide with the drumheads when properly shaken. The vibration of the drumheads produces sound.


This is a Pan flute.  Blowing across the top of a pipe produces sound, when the pipe resonance pitch is excited.  The length of the pipe determines this pitch.  Short pipes have higher pitch. The wavelength of the pitch is twice the pipe length.


These conch shells are labrosones. A mouthpiece has been drilled into the end of each. Like brass instruments, lip vibration in the mouthpiece produces the trumpet sound.


Musical Instruments