Hi and welcome to BLOG 4 which begins an exploration of instruments that are played by buzzing the lips and their modes of vibration, the harmonics. Such instruments are usually called brass instruments though they don't have to be made of brass. Some are made of wood, conch shell and so on.
A convenient label is labrosone, a term used in the landmark book Brass Instruments: Their History and Development by musicologist and instrument researcher Anthony Baines (page 40), though I haven't seen it used elsewhere!
I have grouped each instrument by the harmonics a player can produce. This grouping is a new classification of labrosones using the tuning theory of musical pioneer Harry Partch. His book Genesis of a Music, published in 1974, has details of his theories. A prime numbered harmonic is the limit for each category. The reason for this only becomes clear when dealing with the larger context of just intonation. (See my thesis if you are keen: http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3419/.)Briefly,
- each even numbered harmonic is less significant than each odd numbered harmonic
- each odd numbered harmonic is less significant than each prime numbered harmonic
- each prime numbered harmonic establishes a pitch limit. (Just intonation deals with pitches observed as ratios and have been considered such for millennia, whereas the understanding of harmonics has only been known for a few hundred years.)