The Physiology of the Tongue

Did you know that the tongue is really 8 muscles?  How often do you think of your tongue placement in your mouth?  How it moves as you articulate?  Or when adjusting for pitch or tone color?

Sarah Willis, a professional french horn musician, went into an MRI with a copper instrument to get a good picture of what really happens inside a wind musician’s mouth as they play.  The result is fascinating!

If you are not familiar with Sara Willis, she is most commonly known as the first woman  member of the Berlin Philharmonic’s brass section, you can find her bio here.

In the video below, Sarah has a delightful interview session with Albrecht Mayer, one of my all time favorite oboists.  They discuss food, Albrecht’s instrument, life in the Berlin Phil, and he even does a circular breathing demonstration.  Quite entertaining.