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The Slithering Shape of the Instrument The Serpent

May 26, 2008
When referring to the instrument, the serpent is a wind instrument that resembles a snake in its design. It can be hard to classify this particular instrument at first because it could be a brass instrument for its mouthpiece, but it could be a woodwind instrument because of the material it is made out of and the holes in the side of the tube. In the end, the serpent is classified as a brass instrument. This classification could be a result of the fact that the mouthpiece used is the same as the ones used by brass instruments, and the serpent is believed to be an ancestor of the tuba, which is also a brass instrument.

Though the body of the tuba is long if all the curves were taken out of it, the instrument only has six holes, which are divided up into two sets of three. The way the holes are set in the instrument can make the instrument appear awkward to play. Originally, the holes were open, but today's serpent will often have keys that the musician will use in order to play the instrument. The instrument is typically made out of wood and is covered with a layer of leather.

It is interesting to note that there are two different types of serpent. The more familiar type is the one that is shaped like an "s"; the other is a straight tube that folds back in the middle. There are also different sizes of serpents in order to reach different pitches. While these different sizes will have typical names, they also have nicknames that go well with the name of the instrument. There is the soprano serpent, which is often regarded as the worm, the tenor, which is often regarded as the serpet, and the contrabass, which is also known as the anaconda.

The serpent is not one of the easiest to play. The position of the finger holes and the shape of the instrument can be awkward to play, especially for a beginner. What makes this instrument more challenging is that the player has to control the pitch of the instrument with their lips. They also have to have good control over their breathing and have good strong lungs in order to get the sound they are looking for.

It would probably be easier for someone who has played brass instruments before, or even woodwind instruments, in that the person will be familiar with the need to control their breathing and control the pitch through the mouthpiece. Someone who has never played a wind instrument before might find a bit of difficulty with this particular instrument because they have to start from scratch. Not only do they have to learn how to control their breathing properly as well as learn how to control the pitch through the mouthpiece, they will also have to learn how to read the music for the serpent. Someone looking for a challenge would probably find this instrument quite enjoyable to play, but someone looking for something a little less challenging might want to consider another kind of wind instrument.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments. You can find the best marketplace for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments at these sites for used serpent CDs, autographed serpent CDs, and used serpents.
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