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Wind Instruments

Wind instruments include any instrument that is played by blowing into an opening. These instruments usually consist of some type of hollow tube with a hole to blow into and holes or keys to change the tone as notes are played. Some wind instruments use single or double reeds to add vibration to the sound. Others require the musician to vibrate his or her lips while blowing into the hole. Wind instruments include flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and many others.

The oldest wind instrument is the flute, dating back about 35,000 years. Other wind instruments evolved as instrument makers attempted to improve the tone and style of various instruments. Early reed instruments appeared around 3000 B.C. and brass instruments appear in drawings from ancient Greece and Rome. Wind instruments appear in orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, small ensembles, jazz bands, and small performance bands of all styles including country and rock and roll.

As with other musical instruments, collectors of antique and vintage wind instruments usually focus on one specific type of instrument. Value is directly related to condition and antique instruments in as close to original condition as possible fetch the highest prices. If an instrument is not playable, or if it has had extensive repairs, its value will decrease significantly.


Quick Facts

  • The format of the modern wind ensemble was established in 1952 at the Eastman School of Music in New York. Called the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the group was modeled after the wind section of the Wagner orchestra
  • A Selmer Model 26 trumpet owned by trumpet virtuoso and Big Band leader Harry James was sold by Heritage Auctions in 2010 for $11,950
  • The sarrusophone was invented in 1856 as a replacement for oboes and bassoons in outdoor marching bands. Vintage sarrusophones in excellent condition can sell for more than $5,000

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Sellers Who Sell Wind Instruments


Vintage Auctions Online

Vintage Auctions Online

Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers

Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers

Roland Auctions NY

Roland Auctions NY