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Curious

This section is for those who are curious to know more, but don't have a background in accoustics, musical instrument making, etc.

What is a flute, or, isn't a flute silver?

The silver flute is a modern instrument invented in .... by Theodore Bohem, and is called the Bohem Flute, or is often referred to as the orchestral flute. But it is only one instence of an entire class of instruments called flutes. Flutes are all instuments produced by breath split by an edge., like blowing over the mouth of a bottle. saxophones and oboes are not flutes becausealthough the breath is used , so is a reed, which is a vibratin thing that the air is presed through. flutes are mearly air, and thus they can also be called an air reed. flutes are almost as ubiquitous the world over as drums. Theories of where flutes originated include that theu started in asia, and spread from there. but it seems impossible to me that flutes would not have been invented again and again in many places seems impossible to me. Wind blown over cut bamboo or bone or reed (another kind of large grass found in ...what parts of the world) can result in the first sounds which give inspiration to make the sound with breath, leading to deliberate creation of instruments to chance and expeimental noticing that different features give difrnt results to the development of techniquew, styles and further refinements. what I can blieve is that a devloped nstument could travel and change between regions and cultures, being adapted to suit musical styles and tastes, vut in the eary invention the instrument, it sems only likely that basic flutes , being so basic,would have simply come from all of humanity, much in the way of drums. Then there is the issue of fipple flutes. fipples are basically aids in playing. It is a structur that guides the air to the edge that splits the air to make the sound. An instrument such as the recorder or Irish whistles are examples, as well as whistles. To play such an instrument masterfully can be as difficult as any, but they are much, much easier for the beginner. apart from that, flutes can be straight or round, have bores that are conical or ylindrical or be a roundish vessel. They can even be a stone carved by nature. There are incredible varieties of flutes, making use of different elements of sound wave behaviour. If you are interested in some of these incredible examples of human genious, I have a list of a few of them here:

[List of flutes]

[End List of Flutes]

Isn't a flute just a tube with some holes?

Yes, and no. Making a simple flute is quite easy, povided hat you have a tube. Putting in a hole as a mouthpiece and a fw finer hole s really quite easy. But making a refined instrument is a different matter. This is a beautiful thing abouit flutes .. evn a crudely made one can be used to producelovely music. But the simple exteiour is dceptive when it comes to creating a fine instument.

Is it the player or the instument?

People are often confused about how a great tone, great music is made. Is it the result of a great instrument or a great player. The answer is: both. The magic ingredient is echnique. But I dont meantechnique just in the sense of being skilled, but the playing styles itself. Someone a fine player who is accustome to playing fluts that require a certain set of techniques might judge an excellent flute to be bad if she doesnt know the techniques rquird for this insumnt that i new to her.

easy to pla

T use pretty much the same distance as on my D flutes, around 23mm from the face of the stopper to the center of Embouchurehe pictures of the flute are mostly of the mechanisms that make up my flute. However, what is most important to the flute is the voicing. Inside the flute are dimensions that have a geat effect on the playability and tuning of the instrument. Getting all these things in balance has been the most time-consuming element of the creation of the flute. The embouchure hole is a very important part of these elements. The angle of the strike wall, the degree and shape of the undercutting at the sides and even the back wall, and the corners, all have different effects. What they effect is things like the volume, the tone, the tuning, and the playability - meaning, the way in which the emakers are aware of the different ways the embouchure hole can be created. I have learned a great deal from these masters and am greatful for the books they have written and the questions they have answered. endI.


The features on either end of the flute is to serve as a reinforcement of the resonator box at the end points. The hole to allow the flute to pass through the resonator created very thin and weak spots. So, these pieces were added as reinforcements The strings pass through the little windows.




The pictures of the flute are mostly of the mechanisms that make up my flute. However, what is most important to the flute is the voicing. Inside the flute are dimensions that have a geat effect on the playability and tuning of the instrument. Getting all these things in balance has been the most time-consuming element of the creation of the flute. The embouchure hole is a very important part of these elements. The angle of the strike wall, the degree and shape of the undercutting at the sides and even the back wall, and the corners, all have different effects. What they effect is things like the volume, the tone, the tuning, and the playability - meaning, the way in which the flute responds to the different ways that the player manipulates the air stream. Other physical structures of concern are the position of the cork from the embouchure hole, and a narrowing of the bore towards the mouthpiece which tunes the higher notes, and also effects the other said elements. Getting all these perameters in balance is the great difficulty of making an excellent flute.

Creating the embouchure hole required an enormous amount of experimentation. Inspiration was taken from the Bohem (silver orchestral) flutes, Irish flutes, Japanese shakuhachi, South American quena/quenacho, and African Tambin. In each of these types of flutes, skilled flutemakers are aware of the different ways the embouchure hole can be created. I have learned a great deal from these masters and am greatful for the books they have written and the questions they have answered.

I had many ideas about how I would make the Aurora flute. I wanted it to be low-pitched, have an earthy tone quality and yet tonal flexibility. I also wondered if I could attach a couple of strings on the side, and maybe use a little altoids can as a resonator, something like a diddly-bow, made and used by musicians in the southern U.S. when they couldn't afford a guitar - a suprisingly good sounding instrument. With experimentation, the idea grew and became six strings - three on the front and three on the back of the flute. The far end of the flute passes through a resonator box. Because I am most interested in tonal variety, the resonator box is two sided. One side is wood and the other is skin. Technically this is like a banjo but it doesn't sound like one. The wood resonating plate gives a tone somewhat reminiscent of a dulcimer. The strings are tuned with moveable nuts, so the notes are set before I begin to play. This gives me the option to reach a few notes to give variation in my playing, a few simple chords, and even the strings can ring in sympathy with the flute playing, giving a lovely little halo of sound after a note or phrase on the flute.

The features on either end of the flute is to serve as a reinforcement of the resonator box at the end points. The hole to allow the flute to pass through the resonator created very thin and weak spots. So, these pieces were added as reinforcements The strings pass through the little windows.