00:00-23 – valve taps
00:24-end – valve taps activated through breath

Standard valve taps

Valve taps are a direct corollary to key clicks on a woodwind instrument. One depresses (and releases) a valve, and a percussive clunk sound is produced. There is no great, observable difference in the sound of different valves, unless one is in a close-miked situation. Even then, differences are extremely subtle.

Dynamic range. Niente to mf.

Valve oil. Valve oil is used to prevent friction. While it reduces various noise artifacts (e.g., squeaks) produced along the sides of the valve hardware, it actually allows for greater volume of the valve tap itself. The use or nonuse of valve oil can be specified according to the composer’s wishes, though it should be noted that, with or without, the sounds are fairly understated.

Aspirated valve taps

Breathing through the instrument as with Breath Sounds, but with fingering of valves, creates percussive articulation of the breath with every valve tap, producing a flapping sound similar to a flag in the wind.

Rhythmic control and articulation (through breath) are easily achieved with this technique. As with ordinary valve taps, there is little perceptible difference in the sound of different valves. And as with other, non-buzzed breath sounds, the lungs empty quickly at higher volumes.

Dynamic range. Niente to mf; flapping sound is drowned out by breath at higher volumes.