saxoxlese- can you touch on harmonicity, etc. with the flute the way you did saxophone and also related to brass please?I have learned by reading Benade and other saxophone research that the "harmonicity" of an instrument due to its internal geometry makes a difference in how the instrument feels to the player. For those not familiar with the term, "harmonicity" has to do with how close to whole number multiples the frequencies of the harmonics are to the frequency of the fundamental. When these harmonics are well aligned, they share energy with the fundamental and the player gets more volume and intensity for the amount of energy put into the instrument. When there is not good "harmonicity" on a note, the harmonics are moved away from their peak energy in order to lock in with the fundamental in what Benade calls the "regime of oscillation". The result is that energy is lost in the process which means the player has to create more input energy (blow harder) to get the same volume and intensity of sound.
An instrument with good "harmonicity" is called free blowing. An instrument with less than ideal "harmonicity" or leaks is termed resistant. The vibrations of the reed control the amount of air that goes into an instrument. Once you reach about mezzo forte, the reed starts to "beat" which means that it actually closes the aperture once each cycle. Once this happens, the volume of air going into the mouthpiece is as large as it can get. Trying to blow more air will simply close the reed off. Some may argue with this, but when we say one sax takes more air than another, what we really mean is it takes more air "pressure" to get the same volume or intensity.
We hear a lot about bore size from brass players. It is commonly understood that large bore instruments take more air than ones with smaller bores. The main difference between the brass instruments and a saxophone is that the saxophone "bore" is chock full of holes, making the actual diameter inside less critical. The other main difference is that the sound of a brass instrument is produced by the vibrations of the "lip reed", which understandably the player has more control over than the saxophone player does over his "cane reed". Brass players talk about "back pressure" which is another way to say "resistance". The long narrow tube of a brass instrument actually does create a resistance of its own, even without the effects of "inharmonicity". Just putting one's lips over a trumpet leadpipe and blowing confirms this "back pressure". When sax players put their lips over the end of the neck and blow the result is quite different.