Different Kinds of Flutes

The flute is among the oldest man-made instruments of melody still in existence. In 1995, Archaeologists discovered a flute constructed with bone in Southern Germany that dates back by 35,000 years. Flutes are reedless wind instruments that generate sound from the movement of air through an opening. They fall into two major categories: an end-blown flute and a side-blown flute. The side-blown flute is the most popular form used nowadays. The ancient varieties of flutes that have been discovered through excavation are types of end-blown flutes. Keep reading to know the different kinds of flutes available in the market today.


  1. Side-Blown Flutes

Popularly called transverse flute, a side-blown flute is usually held sideways or horizontally to play. Keyless wooden side-blown flutes that resemble modern fifes were the predecessors of the modern fifes. They are still used in folk music, especially Irish traditional music. They were used during the Baroque era and earlier. Here are examples of side-blown flutes:


  • Bass Flute in C: It is the largest side-blown flute in the world. It evolved as an alternative for the saxophone in Jazz music in the 1920s. The bass flute in C is pitched one octave below the ordinary concert flute in C. It has a longer tube that helps it generate the lower tone. It consists of a J-shaped head joint that brings the blowhole near the player.


  • Tenor Flute in B: This type of flute is also called Flute d’amore, meaning “flute of love” since it has a rich tone that is purported to raise the emotion of love. This musical instrument has existed since the medieval times.


  • Concert Flute in C: This standard flute is also known as the Western concert flute. It is a popular musical instrument in many bands such as concert bands, military bands, jazz bands, orchestras, big bands, marching bands, and concert bands. Its pitch lies in C, and it has a range of over three octaves, beginning from middle C.


  1. End-Blown Flutes


End-blown tubes produce sound once air is blown at the end of a pipe or tube. They fall into two sub-groups: rim-blown flutes and duct flutes. Rim-blown flutes produce sound when the air is blown through the top of a tube. Pan flute is a type of Rim-blown flute. A duct file is commonly called a fipple flute. It produces sound once air is blown into a channel. The air flows across a sharp edge. Popular examples of duct flutes include:


  • The Ocarina: This musical apparatus is simple and unique, yet it sounds marvelous in its capacity. It may have been available across the globe, but it was more popular and extensively used in Japan.


  • The Recorder: This type of duct flute is among the oldest flutes that are still in existence. It created a buzz in the music industry and became more popular than the Ocarina. Its popularity grew massively during the Renaissance. Of all the woodwind instruments, the recorder is the easiest to play.


  • Irish Tin Whistle: Commonly called Scottish Penny Whistle or tin whistle, this music apparatus is used in Celtic folk music. It is inexpensive and easy to master.


Flutes are the easiest woodwind instruments to master. Adding different kinds of flutes to your collection of musical instruments is the ideal strategy for expanding your flute capabilities and opening yourself up to the fresh genre of music. You will also enjoy the beautiful, unique features of each music apparatus in the modern flute family. 

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