Wind machine (musical instrument)

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Wind machine (around 1900) in the Ravensburg concert hall

The wind machine (English wind machine or aeoliphone ) is the group of friction idiophone belonging effect instrument , which in music and theater is used for imitation of wind and storm noises. The wind machine usually consists of a horizontally rotating cylinder fitted with brushes, which is driven by a hand crank and which makes a stationary belt made of taffeta or similar material, stretched around the cylinder, vibrate. The volume and, to a limited extent, the pitch can be influenced by varying the rotation speed of the cylinder. In the orchestra the wind machine is part of the percussion , so it is operated by the percussionists.

A well-known example of the use of a wind machine in the symphony orchestra is the tone poem Don Quixote by Richard Strauss , where Don Quixote's air passage is musically staged in the 7th variation. Other usage examples : Don Quixotte (Georg Philipp Telemann) , Les Boréades (Jean-Philippe Rameau), An Alpine Symphony , The Woman Without a Shadow (Richard Strauss), Sinfonia Antartica ( Vaughan Williams ), Daphnis and Chloé ( Ravel ).

See also


  • James Blades: Wind machine. In: Grove Music Online, 2001

Web links

Commons : Wind Machine  - collection of images, videos and audio files