The flute

The flute is one of the oldest musical instruments used by humans. The oldest one that has been documented is over 40,000 years old!   The flute family belongs to the woodwind family although the flute does not use a reed.  Our modern classical flute also has a few relatives like the piccolo (one octave higher than the flute), alto flute, and bass flute.  Early flutes were made out of bone, bamboo, or reeds, while the modern classical flute is made out of silver, or sometimes even gold.  On the transverse flute (meaning side-blown) sound is made by blowing a direct air stream across a tone-hole which creates a vibration of air.  The sound of the flute has been described as “pure,” “with brilliance,” “clear and expressive,” or “bright.”  Depending on the materials and style of flute, the sound can vary quite a bit.  To change notes, tone-holes are closed by pressing down keys that cover the tone-holes, or in some cases open tone-holes are covered with the fingers directly.  There are a variety of styles and types of flutes that exist all over the world in many forms of music.  The flute can be found in orchestras and small chamber ensembles, concert bands and marching bands, Irish and Celtic music, and folk music from every corner of the world.


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Fundamental Warm-Ups and Exercises

Articulation Warm-Up    Exercises