For centuries, woodwind instruments have been, well, instrumental to the culture and heritage of those who live in Scotland and Ireland. Woodwind instruments have a long history among citizens of these nations. Music from these nations comes in all styles and types, but among some of the most one of a kind melodies are the ones produced by woodwind instruments, as they generate a number of different sounds with tones and textures that are unique to only them. Within the broad category of these woodwind instruments there are smaller variations that make them truly special.

Woodwind instruments are considered among the first musical instruments in the world following percussion instruments. These instruments were first crude creations fashioned out of hollowed wood or bone, and they were believed to be magic in the way that peoples would use them to communicate with the dead, protect crops or cure illnesses as they believed they would.


For a while, these instruments were played individually by different bands of musicians who would blow their note in the appropriate spot in the song, but then the invention of finger holes in the instruments helped more complex melodies to be created by individual people. Over the next several thousands of years, finger placement and technique was cultivated, and during these times, the instruments became more sophisticated. Today, these instruments are used in everything from intricate symphonies to fun pop songs on the radio, showing that woodwind instruments have and will always be relevant and beautiful.


It is a common misconception because of their names that woodwind instruments are all fashioned out of wood, but this is not true. Some of these instruments can be and are made out of metal and plastics. The name woodwind mainly references the reeds that are used in many of these instruments. Woodwind instruments include everything from bagpipes, flutes, saxophones, oboes, clarinets and even plastic recorders.


Reed Woodwind Instruments

 The first kind of woodwind instrument is one that uses the reed. A reed is a wooden tool that is vibrated by pushing air onto it as it rests in the mouthpiece. They can be divided into two different styles of reed instruments: single reed and double reed. The single reed instruments make their sounds when the reed is placed in the front of a mouthpiece and air is pushed against the reed itself. This makes the air in the woodwind instrument to generate its sound through vibration. Double reed instruments differ in the way that they have two different reeds that are bound together at the bottom.

Lyra harp

The air, instead of vibrating between the mouthpiece and the reed in a single reed instrument, will vibrate between the two different reeds instead to create its sound.  Both of these types of reed styles will still create the iconic sounds that woodwind instruments are known for.


It gets even more divided and intricate from there. Within the double reed category, there are capped double reed instruments and exposed double reed instruments. The exposed type is played with the double reed placed right between the lips of the player. With the capped double reed instruments, the reeds are covered by a cap. This way, the player of the instrument will push their air through the hole that the cap creates in order to move it through the reeds.

Scottish wind instrument that virtually everyone knows, bagpipes are unique in the way that they will use two or more single or double reeds depending on the player. Even so, bagpipes will still function similarly to capped double reeds because the reeds even come into contact with the players lips.

Irish Flutes

The flute is considered the oldest musical instrument in the world and have long cemented their place in a variety of different cultures. Flutes are unique in that they do not use a reed like the other woodwind instruments do. instead, they generate melodies by blowing air into the edge of a hole that is found at the end of the flute tube. Within the flute category, there are even more specific sub-families of flutes, including closed and open flutes. Many of the ancient flutes that produce flute music in Ireland are open flutes. The closed flute is different in that the flutist blows air into a small duct that brings the air toward a sharp edge where the air is then split off into different directions to produce the sound.

Though these instruments have plenty of history, they are still relevant in the modern age, and many of Scottish and Irish descent still play these instruments today. There is no better time than now to further your connection with your rich heritage, and with the bagpipes and Irish flute, you can do just that in a way that will offer you a memorable and unique experience.

Irish flute

Here at Scottish Kilt Shop, we love connecting our customers with their Celtic heritage, and that means more than just providing you with access to high quality, made-to-measure kilts. It also means that we offer you flutes for sale at an affordable price to ensure that everyone can get in touch with their traditional roots. We also offer bagpipes scottish instruments for those who are interested in learning. Each of our instruments is made from the finest quality material in an effort to ensure their long life and their ability to bring you joy over the years.

With the flutes, we offer protective cases that will keep your flutes safe when you travel with them or safe in storage when they are not in use. The bagpipes come with everything you need to create the gorgeous sounds you love, and they are easy to assemble for playing right out of the package.

Take pride in your culture and heritage by learning or furthering your knowledge of Scottish woodwind instruments. Shop our selection of flutes and bagpipes for sale and get started creating gorgeous traditional tunes.