This is a notebook and guide for learners of English as a second or overseas language, all over the earth. Most of the writings here are in Basic English, first designed by C. K. Ogden, using 850 necessary words and a number of international words only.
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Pipes: Music in Basic
[Note: In this posting, I made an error of putting the word "whistles" in green letters. "Whisle," in fact, is a Basic word.]

Thousands of years back, someone in Asia sent a breath of air over the top of the hollow stem of a plant, and a sound came out. Being interested in the discovery, that person, or someone with the knowledge, made other attempts on stems long and short, getting low and high sounds. That was the invention of simple whisltes, not noted in history.

Years went by, and someone in Asia made a discovery that, by opening and shutting the hole at the end, a whistle made of a plant stem gave different sounds, low and high. More attempts were made with more holes in the whistle, or pipe, and that was the start of music pipes like shakuhachi, Japanese pipe played in the upright position, and flutes, pipes played in the sideways position.

There were other inventions. The most important one is a more complex whistle made with one or two small bits of a plant stem, giving out a harder and clearer sound. This apparatus, as the sound-maker, was put at the upper end of a pipe, and it became other sorts of pipes like Japanese sho and hichiriki.

Those pipes made journeys from China through the Silk Roads to Europe. Because it was hard in Europe to get the stems of water-plants, new pipes were made of wood. They are woodwinds.

There were more inventions in Europe: more holes, metal keys, and new designs for better playing. Today, there are woodwind instruments like clarinets, oboes, english-horns, bassoons, and so on.

Though flutes and saxophones are made of metals, they are named woodwinds because of their system and history.

In everyday English, those woodwinds are, after all, pipes.







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