Are you a flute enthusiast and are perhaps thinking about getting yourself or your kid a flute? Then you may want to learn a bit more about this fascinating musical instrument. Flutes are simple instruments that have been around for centuries, but before making any investments, get to know different types of flutes.
A flute can come in many different sizes, shapes, and types, but they all have one thing in common; the rich and graceful sound they produce. These are played by holding it with both fingers while blowing across the hole. So if you wish to expand your musical skills, this instrument is an attractive choice.
If you consider yourself a flutist in the making, to help you in the right direction, find below everything you need to know about different flutes, which is the best for beginners, their history, and more interesting facts about flutes.
Brief Flute History
Flutes are one of the earliest known instruments, with flutes dating back to the ancient Stone Age period.
In military and folk music, simple wooden flutes with six holes were used throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods. However, their problematic intonation and complicated cross fingerings meant they were not heavily featured in musical works. Flute makers up until the 19th century tinkered with flute design and construction.
However, a goldsmith and musician called Theobald Boehm revolutionized flute design from the early 1800s. The flutes we play today are based on the Boehm model. Only slight changes have been made during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Types of Flutes FAQ’s
What is a flute instrument?
The flute is a beautiful sounding instrument that is a woodwind instrument. Most woodwind instruments include reeds, but the flute is different. It is known as a reedless wind instrument as it produces its sound when you blow across the opening, and then the flow of air oscillates, creating the sound.
How is the flute played?
It is played by being held sideways, holding the flute with both hands, and blowing across the hole. The pitch is altered by using your fingers to open and close the keys/holes.
What is a long flute called?
Concert flute is the longest flute family you should know. It comes in 26 inches in length, and it’s pitched in the key of C.
What is the smallest flute?
The piccolo is the smallest flute you can encounter available.
What is the biggest flute called?
The biggest flute is the double contrabass flute. It’s also called the octobass. It comprises metal. That’s why it’s bigger than hyper bass despite having the lowest pitch. This huge instrument measures 8 feet tall and has a tubing of up to 22 feet as it weighs about 30 pounds.
What flute is mostly used for beginners?
The plastic flute is great and allows younger children to get involved and learn this great instrument. It’s suitable for all levels, although most commonly used for beginners due to its “first note” mouthpiece. This allows the player to get a good sound when they first play.
The interchangeable parts mean the instrument can be used at different levels- from beginner to advanced. Meaning it’s adaptable and can last a bit longer as the player improves.
What are the four main types of western concert flutes?
A concert flute (also called a C flute) is an edge-tone instrument that has gained enormous popularity in western cultures.
As its name implies, the C flute features the C key, and although most flutes are played vertically, the C flute is played horizontally.
It consists of two parts instead of three; the head joint with the mouth hole and the middle joint with the holes and the key work. The piccolo became an integral part of the romantic orchestra after Beethoven gave it a prominent passage in his Sixth and Ninth symphony.
The piccolo has a very high range, which is why it also has its origins in military music.
The alto flute is the only commonly played flute that isn’t in the key of C but is in the key of G. The sound produced by an alto flute is relatively lower than a concert flute, which means a D on an alto flute is going to sound like an A on a concert flute.
In terms of design, you will find most bass flutes quite similar to each other—with silver-plated bodies and J-shaped head joints. However, some of the older forms of bass flutes also feature an S-shaped bend in the neck. The bass flute gives out a very earthy sound, which will enhance the depth of the music.
What are other known types of flutes?
Native American Flute
These flutes are made out of tree branches and milled lumber. Native American flutes do not have separate head, foot, and body components. Instead, these flutes come as a single unit and have open holes for the player to put their fingers on. The sound produced by Native American flutes is known as “the warble” because these flutes produce a constantly changing pitch.
The Bansuri or Indian Bamboo Flute has one blowing hole alongside six finger holes, and it is not composed of separate components for the head and the foot piece. The bansuri is used both in concerts and solo performances, and it provides a soft yet heroic sound.
Almost all Irish flutes are made out of wood, and there are three main components of the flute. These components include the head joint, body, and foot joint.
They are available in the range of D, and most players use them to produce high-pitched sounds.
Also known as the Fue flute. Unlike most flutes, the Fue is not limited to a single kind of flute. In fact, a wide range of flutes falls under the Fue category, including shakuhachi, hichiriki, hotchiku, komabue, and many more.
The daegeum is a large bamboo flute that was introduced back in the 7th century. Typically, the daegeum has six finger holes on the body and one blowing hole on the headpiece. However, it does not feature separate components. Apart from the holes we mentioned above, you will also find another hole on the body where the cheong is applied.
Dizi is commonly used in Chinese traditional music; the dizi is made out of bamboo. It doesn’t have a separate mouthpiece, head joint, and foot joint components, and it comes as a single unit. Typically, a dizi features six finger holes that a player covers with their fingers to produce different notes.
Types of Flutes
The body is made of Bitter bamboo. Dried for two years, the bamboo pattern is fine and straight. The flute is flat and smooth without cracks.
The joint is made of high polished brass. Head and tail are made of synthetic horns. The voice is melodious and euphemistic, and the tunes played are beautiful, delicate, and gorgeous.
- 75 Grams
- Professional Dizi box
This kit includes our Mendini flutes with a closed hole C flute and offset G key & split E key has 16 keys altogether.
The flute features a flawless finish, closed hole, undercut beveled embouchure with high-quality double bladder pads.
It comes with a durable case, joint grease, cleaning cloth and rod, as well as a pair of gloves.
The metal flute set also includes a foldable stand to hold the instrument and a pocketbook with basic technique instructions like holding the flute, maintaining it, and other guidance.
- 2 Pounds
- Elegant Design
This professional flute is made of quality rosewood. It is fully playable, and it can be adjusted in four different parts. Comes with an excellent natural finish.
- Quality rosewood
- Natural Finish
This Cupronickel C 16 Closed Holes Concert Band Flute is made of high-quality cupronickel material, with a beautiful appearance and firm structure.
It features a C tone and 16 closed holes. What is more, beautiful and stylish design makes it appealing to customers.
Due to its exquisite craftsmanship and mature technology, this flute emits melodious sound. Additionally, it can be used in many fields, such as private lessons, concert band, orchestra, etc.
- C tone
- 16 closed holes
This flute features a flawless finish, undercut beveled embouchure, high-quality double bladder pads, and an ergonomic finger brace.
This piccolo package includes a deluxe plush-lined durable hardshell case, a soft cleaning cloth, a cleaning rod, joint grease, and a pair of white gloves.
- Key of C
- Closed Hole