Flute

The Flute is a very popular, easy to learn instrument and suitable for children aged six and upwards.
Some Flutes have a special curved head joint for younger children. The Flute benefits from its close similarity to the Recorder and its a natural transition from that instrument. It's also easy to transport.

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More information about the Flute

The flute is the oldest known woodwind instrument. Unlike other woodwind instruments, a flute is a reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening.

A musician who plays the flute is referred to as a flautist.

History

The "flute family" is the oldest in the category of woodwind instruments. It has humble beginnings as a simple piece of carved wood with holes for changing the pitch of the instrument. Its earliest probable history dates back to approximately 900 B.C. This early flute, which was found in China, is called a Ch'ie.
Advances in the Western art led to the Boehm key system and the transition from wood to silver and gold.
Throughout history the size of the tube along the flutes length has evolved in respect to its bore shape. In the Renaissance the flute was a simple cylindrical wooden tube with embouchure hole and finger holes, stopped at the end above the embouchure hole. It became much better-known all over Europe in the 14th century as Swiss mercenaries used it for marching and signalling. To achieve a greater range, the bore of the baroque flute was modified to a slightly tapered conical shape with the larger radius at the embouchure hole and the smaller radius at the bell end.
By the early 17th century flutes more frequently appeared in mixed consort music along with bowed and plucked string instruments. German and Italian sacred music used flutes in various ways. Solo instrumental music became common at about the same time. It is not clear whether it was played on the same type of instrument used for consort music.
The nineteenth century marked several additional modifications for the flute. In 1830 Theobald Boehm, a German watchmaker and goldsmith and an amateur flautist, developed the modern flute. The modern flute reverted back to a cylindrical bore and achieved the desired range and acceptable intonation by elongating the end section above the embouchure hole and modifying the sizes and positions of the finger holes. Boehm also designed the Boehm fingering system, which was a most important improvement in the flute.
In the 1960s flute maker Albert Cooper and a group of English players re-scaled the French-style metal Boehm flutes to fit a standard pitch that had come into worldwide use by about 1950. At the same time Cooper introduced new styles of cutting the flute's embouchure hole, further altering its sound-ideals. Cooper's innovations were adopted by manufacturers in America and Japan, now the only countries with viable flute-making industries.
Despite the dominant position of the Boehm-Lot-Cooper metal flute, modifications in flute design since 1970 have helped the instrument adapt to new musical styles.


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Types of Flute

The Western concert Flutes

The Western concert Flute, a descendant of the 19th-century German flute, is a transverse flute that is closed at the top. With some refinements, Western concert flutes typically conform to Boehm's design, known as the Boehm system.
Beginner flutes are normally made of nickled copper, and sometimes silver plated, while professionals use solid silver, gold, and sometimes platinum instruments.
The standard concert flute is pitched in the key of C and has a range of three octaves starting from middle C. This means that the concert flute is one of the highest common orchestral instruments, with the exception of the piccolo, which plays an octave higher. G alto and C bass flutes are used occasionally, and are pitched at a perfect fourth and an octave below the concert flute, respectively. The contrabass, double contrabass, and hyperbass are other rare forms of the flute pitched two, three, and four octaves below middle C respectively.
A rarer instrument of the modern pitching system is the treble G flute.
Instruments made according to an older pitch standard, used principally in wind-band music, include D♭ piccolo, E♭ soprano flute, F alto flute, and Bb bass flute.

The Indian bamboo Flute

The bamboo flute is an important instrument in Indian classical music, and developed independently of the Western flute. The Indian flutes are very simple compared to the Western counterparts; they are made of bamboo and are keyless.
Pannalal Ghosh, a legendary Indian flautist, was the first to transform a tiny folk instrument to a bamboo flute (32 inches long with seven finger holes) suitable for playing traditional Indian classical music, and also to bring to it the stature of other classical music instruments.
Pandit Raghunath Prasanna developed various techniques in the realm of flute playing to reproduce the subtleties and nuances of the Indian classical music.
Two main varieties of Indian flutes are currently used. The first, the Bansuri, has six finger holes and one embouchure hole, and is used predominantly in the Hindustani music of Northern India. The second, the Venu or Pullanguzhal, has eight finger holes, and is played predominantly in the Carnatic music of Southern India. Presently, the eight-holed flute with cross-fingering technique is common among many Carnatic flautists.
The quality of the flute's sound depends somewhat on the specific bamboo used to make it, and it is generally agreed that the best bamboo grows in the Nagercoil area in South India

Chinese Flute

Chinese flute are called Dizi. There are many varieties of Dizi with different sizes, structures (with or without resonance membrane). The number of holes on a Dizi ranges from 6 to 11 and intonations (playing in different keys) in China. Most are made of bamboo, but can come in wood, jade, bone, and iron. One peculiar feature about Chinese flute is the use of a resonance cover mounted on one of the holes which vibrates with the air column inside the tube; this gives the flute a bright sound. Commonly seen flutes in modern Chinese orchestra are The Bangdi, Qudi, Xindi and Dadi. The bamboo flute playing vertically is called Xiao which is a different category of wind instrument in China.

Japanese Flute

The Japanese flute is called the Fue; it encompasses a large number of musical flutes from Japan, both of the end-blown and transverse varieties.

Persian Flute

Flute is an important part of Persian folk music and is largely performed by Kurds and Baluch people. The art of performing with double-flutes is also present in these regions.

Sring

The Sring (also called Blul) is a relatively small, end-blown flute with a nasal tone quality and the pitch of a piccolo found in the Caucasus region of Eastern Armenia. It is made of wood or cane, usually with seven finger holes and one thumb hole, producing a diatonic scale. The Sring is used by shepherds to play various signals and tunes connected with their work, lyrical love songs as well as programmatic pieces. The sring is also used in combination with other Armenian instruments (the def and the dohl) to provide music for dancing.
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