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Tonguing

A musical technique performed by wind and brass instrument players that involves interruption of the wind stream by moving the tongue in order to articulate notes. This affects both attack and articulation and is often employed to produce a rapid succession of notes.

The most basic tonguing technique is to produce the consonant “T” while blowing into the instrument. A more advanced method is called double tonguing, which employs repeating the “T” and “K” consonants. A further elaboration is triple tonguing, often vocalized at “tuh-kuh-tuh”. Flute players (and some brass players) sometimes utilize a technique called flutter tonguing, which produces a rapid-fire succession of notes.

One shortcoming of some wind and brass sample libraries is their lack of tonguing samples. While it would be nearly impossible to include every articulation of these, this is a factor that diminishes the “reality” of orchestrations that utilize samples.

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