Flutes have been named the very first known musical instrument ever in creation. Found in Germany, flutes as old as 40,000 years demonstrate that during the earliest period of modern human existence in Europe, a musical tradition had also been developed.
A member of the woodwind family, the flute is a reedless instrument that produces sound from the stream of air across the opening. Flautists change the pitch of the sound by opening and closing holes in the body of the flute, also effecting the duration of the resonator and its resonant frequency. Changing up the air pressure, a flautist can change the note’s pitch by causing the air in the flute to resonate at a harmonic frequency without closing or opening any holes.
Flutes are made a couple different ways. Some can be blown into like a bottle and have an open tube. However, most flutes are used by blowing right across the edge of the mouthpiece. There are side-blown flutes and end-blown flutes.
Flutes can be open at one or both ends. Flutes that are open-ended like the concert flute and recorded create more harmonics and make the player more flexible. More often than not, flutes are blown with the mouth, however in some cultures; people have been known to play the flute using their nose.
Famous flautists include Julius Baker, Lori Bell, Jeanne Baxtresser, Mary Karen Clandy.
Flute Care Tips
- Always use clean, dry hands when handling your flute.
- When assembling your flute, hold the edge of the parts of the flute, never where the keys are.
- When not using the flute, disassemble it and put it back in its case.
- To avoid deterioration of the pads, try and clean your flute after every use. Do not use the same cloth to clean the outside of the flute that you use to clean the inside.
- Never use metal polish on your flute.
- Lubricating your flute is not necessary.
- Your flute should always be kept at room temperature.