Showing posts with label Flutes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flutes. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


High-A Flute
Photo  by wplynn 
Native Americans are eager to share their ancestry with their families and friends. One of the ways they do this is through their music, particularly through the music of the Native American flute They want to ensure that their children have a strong link with their ancient culture, and music is an excellent way to teach non-Native Americans about this culture as well.

Mothers of small children often find that Native American flute music is very soothing for their babies. It seems to have a tranquil and calming effect on children. Songs played on the Native American flute can be introduced during naptime and before bedtime to calm children down. The music often puts children to sleep within just a few minutes. Experts have also recommended Native American flute music to families with small babies that have a hard time getting to sleep.

This music also represents an excellent tool for calming down a baby in situations where there may be difficult transitions for such young children, such as when many visitors come to the home. It is often difficult for small babies to adjust to the confusion and noise created by a large number of people at special occasions, and playing Native American flute music can help to calm a baby down in these circumstances.

The music of the Native American flute is very soft, and it creates a wonderful, soothing background for many situations. It is just the sound of keeping babies calm when there are a lot of people in the environment. Babies seem to focus on the flute sounds instead of on the loud noises generated by crowds. Having flute music playing in a room makes it easier for them to adjust to visitors.

Of course, adults will also enjoy the music of the Native American flute. It is easy to find interesting and unique Native American flute music on the Internet since many online stores offer selections of alternative music. It is also possible to purchase Native American flutes and sheet music. Several vendors offer musical compositions for the flute, and they sell Native American flutes as well.

Native American flute music is an excellent way to learn about and enjoy the special features of Native American culture. And since songs are often linked to memories, this music offers a good way to preserve the memory of special times.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Shakuhachi player (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
These days Japanese bamboo flutes or Shakuhachi flutes are used by a lot of practitioners of Zen Buddhism and meditation as well as for playing Jazz, Classical, Japanese folk music and improvisation. The soothing sound of the Japanese bamboo flute or Shakuhachi helps guide us, breath by breath, into a more relaxed and peaceful state of being, while gifting ourselves and others with the beauty of the unique sound.

The Shakuhachi bamboo flute is made from the very bottom of a bamboo tree, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods. The name shakuhachi is derived from the term "isshaku hassun" meaning one shaku and eight sun (1.8 Japanese feet). Generally, the term shakuhachi refers to the standard size instrument, which is 54.5 cm in length, but it can also refer to many different sizes ranging from 1.3 - 2.5 shaku (39.4 - 75.7 cm) and longer. The shakuhachi is frequently made from the root portion of a thick-walled bamboo (known as madake in Japanese).

If you see a Japanese bamboo flute you can see that it looks simple in appearance. But, did you know that it is very difficult to play? If played by a master this bamboo flute can create amazing, subtle, sensual music - prized as being perfect for meditation and relaxation. It's beautiful, soulful sound is wonderful to listen to when you are taking a good rest or are relaxing or getting ready for sleep. If you are into Zen then having a Japanese bamboo flute can help you with your focus. The soothing sounds that the bamboo flute make create a calm feeling. Did you know that The Zen flute came from China to Japan sometime in the 6th century? The instrument was then adopted by a sect of Zen Buddhist monks around the 15th century. This fact definitely explains the bamboo flutes long relationship with martial arts.

If you are looking for an instrument for your energetic child to learn, look no further. The Shakuhachi will help calm your child's soul and give them focus and concentration. Imagine if your child took up the bamboo flute as one of their hobbies. Not only it is safe but at the same time your children will be musically inclined and be calmer and more focused because of their daily practice.
Another good thing about bamboo flutes is that you can buy them cheaply or you can make them at home. If you are going to make a homemade bamboo flute just make sure to have the right guidelines and information. You need to know the proper measurements, the holes and the exact length and weight of a good bamboo flute which you can find online. Get yourself a bamboo flute and have soothing and relaxing sounds anytime you want in your own home!

Friday, November 17, 2017


Northern Constabulary Pipe Band at Remembrance Parade 2011 Dingwall Ross-shire Scotland
Photo  by conner395 
Bag pipes date back from the period of the Celts who marched into conflict to the sound of horns being blown. At the battle of Flodden it is said, is one of the earliest mentions of the bagpipes, that the town piper played his pipes. From the 1700's onwards bagpipes were mentioned more frequently.

In the early 17th century pipers were not given an official role in the regiment - even when the role of piper and drummer and bugle player were recognized - indeed sometimes the piper was sometimes listed as a 'drummer' on any military records. The first official recognition of the piper was in 1679, and they played an integral part of the regiment greatly boosting the morale of the troops.

Following the battle of Culloden, the victorious Hanoverians banned bagpipes, this was at the same time that the wearing of tartan was always banned.

Playing military pipes was seen as on a par with any the role of any other member of the regiment - highlighted by the sentencing to death of a piper in the regiment captured during the 1745 uprising.
'A Highland regiment never marched without a piper... therefore his bagpipe, in the eye of the law, was an instrument of war'

So what music did military pipers play - there were three types of 'pibrochs' (tunes) - as well as tunes for marching to and well as laments for playing at funerals. Many of the pibrochs were inspired by famous battles, in particular, the Jacobite Rebellion. As such some tunes are linked to certain regiments.

In 1840, the popularity of military pipe bands was given a boost - Queen Victoria's enthusiasm for all things Highland was behind the War Office's decision to provide each of the Highland Regiments five pipers and a Pipe Major. Pipe bands grew in reputation both at home and abroad a positive image of Scotland. While pipers were forbidden from playing in trenches many pipers disobeyed this order and many were killed alongside their comrades, with some pipers receiving the Victorian Cross for their bravery. Military pipers were also present in more recent conflict including the Gulf War. Today pipers in the army are also required to take on a secondary role in the army, such as a medic.

Today military pipe bands, also referred to as 'pipe and drums' have expanded and are common outside of the military and thousands of civilian pipe bands have sprung up all over the world
Pipe band proficiency is typically measured in grades from 1-4. With grade 1 the highest level and grade 4 the most basic or training level. Traditional Pipe bands are made up of a section of pipers, a section of snare drummers, several tenor drummers and a single bass drummer.

Countries that have strong cultural links to Scotland such as America, Canada, and Australia also have a 1000s of pipe bands which celebrate their shared Celtic heritage.

At the annual World Pipe Band Championships pipe bands from around the world come together to perform. The Edinburgh Tattoo is also a key fixture for pipe bands - military bands from around the world play together to create a magnificent sound and spectacle.

An important part of playing in a pipe band is the specific dress that is worm, this allows members to feel part of Scottish Heritage and the impressive look of the uniform adds to the spectacle.

Monday, November 13, 2017

RECORDER - Music-Instruments of the World

Recorder - Music-Instruments of the World

Friday, November 3, 2017

Band Instrument Repair - FLUTE - The Foot Joint

Flute keys (Yamaha concert flute)
Flute keys (Yamaha concert flute) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The foot joint of the flute consists of 3 keys on a C flute and 4 keys if there is a low B on the foot. The foot joint keys are the property of the baby finger of the right hand. The keys are made in such a way as to be pushed in different combinations by the baby finger.

One of the weakest points on the flute is where the foot joint joins the body. This is called the lower tenon and can be easily damaged. The foot joint can become loose and cause air leakage and loss of sound or become too tight and be very difficult to remove or put on. This can lead to numerous problems. The fact is that the foot joint is long, almost 6 inches in some cases, and the tenon that supports its weight is only half an inch long. Supporting that much weight and length as well as being constantly put under the pressure of the keys being pushed down can tend to take it's toll if not maintained.

Like the body of the flute, the foot joint keys, springs and pads have to be maintained. Replacing, levelling, and seating all have to be done in order to have the keys seal correctly and thus allow the lower notes to play.

Almost all of the keys of the flute work in conjunction with one or more other keys. This means that when you press down on one key it may also cause one or more other keys to be pressed down at the same time. These keys have to be regulated so that when it is required that two or more keys close at the same time, it has to be the same time or you will have loss of sound and the flute won't play. Regulating the keys so that they work in this fashion is probably the most vital repair of the instrument. It requires a delicate balance of bending and levelling the keys as well as seating the pads better and adjusting spring tensions.

The final result of all of this should be a flute that is solid feeling, with no rattles or excessive key noise. No sticky pads or loose feeling keys. When you press the keys it should be very light pressure with a big sound and minimal effort. The last thing you want when you are playing the flute or any instrument really is to be fighting with the physicalness of it instead of just enjoying the artistic and creative nature of it.

To sum it up, you need to have respect for the instrument you are playing and give it the attention it needs. Care and maintenance mean that it will always perform the way it is intended to play and you will enjoy your creativity uninterrupted by physical glitches.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Playing the BAGPIPES: What to Know and What It Takes?

Mr Bagpipes
Photo  by Silly Little Man 
BAGPIPES are ancient and enchantingly beautiful sounding instruments in the world. They arouse feelings of honour, loss and profound respect. Maybe you have wondered what it takes to play the bagpipes. With that bag and all those pipes, it may be a little daunting to know how to even begin. However, if you take the steps listed below, that big goal to play the bagpipes suddenly seems manageable.

Playing of the bagpipes is rapidly becoming something of a lost art, but those who choose to take up the instrument will find a world of pleasure. Learning to play the instrument itself is somewhat difficult, and hinges on a trio of important opening steps: the purchase and playing of a practice chanter, the use of an instruction book and lessons from a teacher.

A practice chanter looks something like a recorder that many of us played for a time in elementary school. The practice chanter should be used well in advance of picking up a full instrument in order for the student become acquainted with the method behind playing the bagpipes. Later the practice chanter will become a way to practice songs, learn highly complex fingering sequences and to take to places where pulling out the entire instrument is just not feasible. Look for a practice chanter of a good design, featuring a good reed. Quality is highly important at this stage because a student learning to play needs to learn on a reliable instrument.

At this point, the student needs to incorporate both a practice book published by a reputable source and, if at all possible, lessons with an instructor. This is important because the student needs to know fingerings of notes and technique well in advance of picking up an actual bagpipe. Search hard for a formal instructor, or even just an accomplished player, to help with hands-on, real-life experience.

After the practice chanter is mastered, the student can move on to the actual bagpipe. The first step in picking up the entire instrument is basically to pick it up in parts. At first, students need to use a "goose," which is a bagpipe without its three drones. The drones are simple tubes, each usually featuring a single reed, which lay over the shoulder or across the arm opposite the bag. Players change the pitch of the tune by manipulating the drones. Using the "goose" lets the student begin to play while concentrating on developing adequate breathing techniques and learning bag control.

The process of setting up a pipe, its reeds and the tuning process can be highly complicated and can take years for a beginning player to learn and fully master. This is yet another reason why some instruction from an experienced player or professional tutor is essential. Care of the instrument includes the ability to put it together and take it apart correctly from the beginning, and these are skills more easily learned from an experienced individual than from a book or a tutorial video.

With some work, a player wanting to learn to play the bagpipe can begin to master the craft. All it takes is the proper equipment and adequate instruction, and a would-be player can be belting out tunes in seemingly no time at all. Find a reputable provider of the necessary equipment, along with a teacher to help along the way, and the ability to play the bagpipes is well within grasp.

    Joshua Perry Joshua Perry - ArticleSource: GoArticles

Saturday, October 28, 2017

BAGPIPE - Music-Instruments of the World

Bagpipe - Music-Instruments of the World

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

CELTIC MUSIC - The Tin Whistle

Photo  by chidorian 
The Tin Whistle (sometimes called a pennywhistle) is a simple and cheap instrument. It's simply a metal tube with six fingerholes and a mouthpiece (much like a recorder); it has a range of about two octaves. Costs range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars -- although some of the best players play only the cheaper brands.

The tin whistle is a simple instrument -- and it's simple to play, and simple to play easy tunes. But -- it's not simple to master! The instrument may be cheap, but you'll have to pay for mastery ... by practicing! The haunting whistle tunes from the movie "Titanic" illustrate the deep soul found in this instrument.

This instrument is commonly made from metal (usually brass) with a molded whistle mouthpiece. By playing it open (not covering any of the six fingerholes), then by covering each fingerhole in turn, you can play the 7 notes in a diatonic (a simple Do-Re-Mi scale -- essentially the white keys on a piano) scale. Blow a little bit harder and you'll play the same note, but an octave higher. While it is a diatonic instrument, you can achieve sharps and flats by half-covering fingerholes.

Since there are essentially only two open notes -- a note, then the note an octave higher when you blow harder -- each tin whistle is said to represent a certain Key signature. For instance, if the open note sounds a "D", then the whistle is considered to be in the key of D. Many players carry a small set of whistles in the most commonly used keys.

Some people don't realize you can actually tune a tin whistle! You do so by sliding the metal barrel of the whistle in and out of the mouthpiece head. Some whistles have the head glues securely to the barrel. You can usually loosen the glue by holding the joined portion under hot running water. Don't use boiling water -- this may melt the plastic whistle head!

Key signatures commonly found in Celtic Music are "D Major" and "G Major". By default, all tin whistles are in a Major key (since they play a diatonic scale). However, if you begin your scale with all the fingerholes covered (instead of all fingerholes open), then you're beginning one step higher than a diatonic scale -- which results in a minor key signature! For instance, a tin whistle in "D" can play in E Minor if you begin your scale by covering all the fingerholes. Interestingly enough, the chord sequence "E Minor" and "D Major" is commonly found in Celtic Music. (This is the same chord sequence used in "What Would You Do with A Drunken Sailor".) A whistle in "G Major" could easily play in A Minor (A Minor and G being another commonly found chord sequence).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

How to Buy a FLUTE

So you've decided to play the flute.  Terrific decision!

Now you need an instrument.  If you're completely new to the flute world, this may be a hard decision, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.

First, develop a budget.  Just like any major purchase, your wallet should guide you.  The more money you have to spend, the higher quality instrument you can acquire.

romantic 14 keys flute
Romantic 14 keys flute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The biggest factor in determining the price is the metal your flute is made from.

Student flutes are made from plated silver, where higher end flutes are built out of solid silver.

It is also possible to "split the difference" and get a flute with a plated silver body and a solid silver head joint.  This is a good option for those on a limited budget because the head joint contributes more to the tone quality of the flute.

If money is no object, you can buy flutes made from gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and even platinum.

There are a number of features that can drive up the price of a flute.

The traditional flute extends down to a low C, or middle C.  With a B-foot joint, you can play the B below that C.

Is this a necessary option?

No, not at all.  It's kind of a status symbol among flutists and some argue that the increased length of tubing improves the tone.  This is highly subjective, however, and that low B is hardly ever played!  You can do just fine without the low B-foot joint.

Another popular flute upgrade is the "open hole" flute.  On this type of flute, the keys look like little donuts; that is, there are holes in the middle of the keys.

The benefit of this?  Proper finger placement is one.  The fingers must cover these holes in order for the notes to sound, so sloppy fingering can't be tolerated.

Improved tone quality is also a purported benefit.

For those flutists that are into "extended techniques," lots of cool effects can be obtained with open-hole keys, such as sliding the fingers off the keys for "smeary" sounds, playing half tones, or even playing Irish-style or penny-whistle style music.

Are open holes necessary?  Not at all.

The lip plate on head joints can be engraved with a floral or scroll pattern.  This not only makes the flute more beautiful but prevents slippage of the flute against the chin.  Necessary?  No.  Fun?  Of course!  I have this option on my flute and I really love it.

So where to buy your flute?

A music store is the obvious answer.  In addition to purchasing outright, stores usually have a very reasonable rental program available to students who aren't sure if they will stick with the band program.  Ask the store if this is available to adults as well.

Flutes that come back from the rental program can be a good deal for purchase.  The store's repairman will overhaul the flute and then it is offered at a reduced price from new.

You can also find a flute for sale in the classified ads in the newspaper or just by asking around.  Stop over at a local university and you will probably find notices of flutes for sale on bulletin boards in the music department.

In these instances, have a professional look at the flute first and give you an opinion.

You can find flutes for sale on eBay, too.  Be sure that you have the option of trying the flute out first and sending it back if you aren't happy with it.

There are many instrument sellers online, probably the largest is The Woodwind and Brasswind,  You can get a great deal from this company and they will send the instrument out to you to try first, even more than one at a time.

Take your time, decide carefully, and get lots of opinions.  Your flute will become a friend to you and if you buy it right the first time, it will last a lifetime.

    Kathy Ferneau has been a passionate flutist for 40 years! Her web site contains the most extensive collection of flute figurines on the Internet. Check them out!

    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Saturday, August 12, 2017

NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE - Music-Instruments of the World

Native American Flute

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Medieval Sounds of the RECORDER

Soprano Recorder
Soprano Recorder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The recorder is a type of flute that belongs to the woodwind musical instrument family, and is more specifically a fipple flute. The recorder is a long tube with a wide mouth piece that the musician blows directly into. It has seven holes for fingers, one hole on the back of the instrument for a thumb and the tube tapers a little near the end of the recorder. This particular instrument has not changed much since it was popular in medieval times, which is when it was fairly popular until people appeared to lose interest in it during the 1700s.

During the 1700s, when interest in the recorder started to decline, people were beginning to favor other woodwind instruments like the flute, clarinet and the oboe. The reason for this change of interest could be that the recorder was a fairly simple instrument that was not overly complex and did not have a wide range of sounds. The other instruments offered a wider range of sounds that were quite possibly more appealing to people at the time. It could also be that people did not have much use for recorders anymore. The sound of the recorder was often associated with the sounds of birds, funerals, marriages and even shepherds when played. In fact, Vivaldi and Bach, too noted musicians, often used the recorder in their music. 

Even though the recorder may have lost popularity at one time, it was still being used. The use of the recorder would also become a little more popular during the 1900s. The biggest reason for this could be that this woodwind instrument is fairly easy to learn how to play. It is also inexpensive and easy to supply to students in schools. For this reason, many elementary schools will introduce the children in a certain grade to the recorder. For most, this will be the first instrument they will have learned how to play. It will also be the first time that many of them will see and learn how to read simple sheet music.

The instrument may not have a large range or variety of different sounds, but it is simple to play and its sound can be fairly calming and soothing. Some people don't like the sound of it, but when played right the sound can actually be quite nice. Many will not choose to play the recorder for the rest of their lives. Many would prefer to choose more complicated instruments that offer more variety in the different sounds they can make.

The recorder, however, can be the perfect first instrument for anyone who has never played an instrument before or ever seen sheet music; it is a great instrument to play when trying to learn simple sheet music. When people get comfortable with the basics, changing to a more complex instrument will be a lot easier. In the end, it may not be the instrument to choose when looking for something to play throughout your musical career, but it could be a good backup instrument that could add to the song. It may be simple, and it might not be very dynamic, but it does have a sound that is unique to its own.

    By Victor Epand
    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Mythical Sounds of the PAN FLUTE

The pan flute is an instrument that consists of ten or more pipes, which differ in length, that are closed tube. The tubes are placed in a row, from the longest tube to the shortest. Each length will then produce a different note, depending on its length. It is most often viewed as an old folk instrument and it is what preceded the harmonica and the pipe organ. It is believed that the different lengths of the tubes in the pan flute were the inspiration for the pipe organ. While original pan flutes were generally made from reed or bamboo, most pan flutes today are made out of metal, plastic and wood.

Brown pan flute standing upright
Pan Flute - Photo  by      Horia Varlan 

As the ends of the pan flute are stopped, the flute is not played by the musician blowing air directly into the tubes. Instead, the pan flute is played by the musician blowing air across the opening, much the same way as other flutes are played. While the instrument appears fairly simple in its design and limited in the sounds it can play, the musician playing the pan flute can actually play a wide range of musical notes that can make some pleasant music.

In fact, an experienced player can play both sharp and flat notes by tilting the flute a certain way and by how they blow the air across the mouth of each tube. Even more experienced musicians can have such a good handle on the pan flute that they can play a scale in any key and creating vibratos is little trouble for them as well.

While the pan flute has been around for a very long time, and it didn't appear to be overly popular in modern times, the pan flute really began to come back in the late 1900s, especially after a Gheorghe Zamfir, a Romanian musician, recorded many albums, toured and became well-known for his pan flute music.

Today, many people have chosen to play the pan flute and have continued to play for their love and enjoyment of the music and the instrument. In fact, there are other very well-known musicians who have used the pan flute in some of their music, including Aerosmith and The Beatles. It has also become quite popular in New Age music, perhaps for its light and soothing tone.

It might not be the first instrument that many will immediately choose when deciding on an instrument to play, though many who have heard the pan flute, and enjoy the genre it is typically played in, will choose the instrument. It can be a rewarding instrument to play and one that does not create a lot of noise when trying to practice at home. It is a quieter instrument, though its sound can attract attention because of its clear and soothing tone. It is a pleasant instrument to play, even if not for a career in music. There are many people out there who have chosen to learn the pan flute as a hobby because they enjoy the sound and they like to play on their free time for fun.

    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments.
    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Revolutionary Sound of the FIFE

Edouard Manet: Young Flautist, or The Fifer, 1866
Edouard Manet: Young Flautist, or The Fifer, 1866
(Photo credit: 
The fife is a type of flute that is fairly similar to the piccolo. It is a transverse flute that emits a high pitched sound that is louder than the piccolo because of its design. It has a narrower bore that causes the higher pitch. This flute was most often used in marching bands and the military, possibly because of its loud and distinguishing sound. It was not often used in musical orchestras in the past, though it was used in some folk music, and it does not appear to be one of the more popular flutes in general, though it is still around for people who want to take up the fife as their musical instrument of choice.

The fife is an older type of flute that appeared to have first been developed in Switzerland, during the 1300s. When it was first created, it was used in the traditional folk music of the time and was a common instrument used to accompany dancing. Its use was not limited to the upper class; it appears that all social classes were able to enjoy the music as well as play the instrument. In modern music, the fife is still used in different forms of folk music, as well as in the blues music, Celtic music and folk rock.

Like most flutes, the fife is fairly simple in design. The fife is made out of a narrow tube that has six holes in it that are covered by the musician's fingers to play different notes. There are some fifes that have more than six holes, but these are usually added for chromatics. Unlike some of the other flutes made today, the fife is often made out of wood, such as rosewood and mopane, though it is occasionally made out of plastic or metal. The fife is made in a particular key; either in B flat, C or D. Fifes made in the key of C and D are more common than the ones made in B flat.

Fife-wooden, civil war era.jpeg From http://ww...
Fife-wooden, civil war era
(Photo credit: 
The fife is a small instrument that is very easy to carry just about anywhere. Fifes made out of different material and are made in different keys have unique sounds, and can sometimes make it difficult for someone to pick out the fife of their choice when they decide it is the instrument they would like to adopt. Most people looking for the right fife will focus on the sound that each type makes and will pick the one that has the sound that is most attractive to them.

This instrument is also fairly inexpensive to purchase and the music is relatively easy to acquire. When first learning how to play an instrument, this is probably one of the best ones to start with. It takes some time and practice, but it allows a new musician to learn how to read and follow sheet music, as well as learn how to control their breathing so that they can create the sound that they want. The fife might not be the first instrument that comes to mind when a person is thinking about what they would like to play, but it is certainly a good choice for someone new to music.

    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments.
    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Thursday, May 11, 2017


English: Authentic Native American FLute by Ja...
Authentic Native American FLute by James Starkey, aka Wanbli WiWohpe

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The current popularity of the replicas of the ancient Anasazi flute among members of the Native American flute community present some interesting challenges for the Native American flute (NAF) enthusiast. The main difference comes from the nature of sound production of the different flutes. Traditional NAFs owe their mouthpiece structure to the European recorder or penny whistle due to the fipple which splits the air column creating the sound. 

As the NAF developed, a two-chamber system with a small air channel directing the airflow became the standard. The Anasazi flute replicas are examples of a much earlier, less technical system of using a mouth-guided airflow, or embouchure, as the means of sound production.

The early NAFs scale and tuning systems varied. There was a biometric method based upon boring holes corresponding to distances of various points of the player's hands, as well some tunings much like the major scale of recorders and penny whistles. Sometime in the 1950s-70s the standardization of the pentatonic scale became the familiar sound that has attracted people to the flute. The relative ease of sound production and pleasing sound of the pentatonic scale ensures quick success for the musician and non-musician alike. In contrast, the Anasazi-style flutes require that a tone be created by training the mouth muscles to direct the sound across the front edge of the top of the flute. This difference is at first difficult for many people since sound is not automatically produced by simple blowing, but is produced much like blowing across a soda bottle. A bit of muscle memory and trial and error (and a significant amount of practice) is necessary before a consistent sound can be obtained.

The other difference between the two flutes is that the basic scale pattern of the Anasazi flute is a pentatonic major scale. That is somewhat of a simplification because by utilizing other fingerings a more plaintive, minor sound can also be produced, but the main harmonic basis of the flute is a pentatonic major. Although the two flutes are different in construction and playing technique, the two can indeed be played together as will be discussed in a future article.

    Mark Purtill is an educator, artist, composer, performer and author and maker of anasazi flute replicas as well as other rim blown flutes.

    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Reed-Like Sound Of The BASS FLUTE

English: A bass flute.
A bass flute.
(Photo credit: 
Often in a pitch lower than the concert flute by about one octave and in the key of C, the bass flute is one of the largest instruments in the flute family with a curved end. This type of flute has keys that the musician uses in order to plug different combinations of holes to create the different notes. While this flute has a low sound, its drawback is that it can easily be lost when played with a number of other instruments as a result of its low pitch. The instrument has a decent range, though it could be considered relatively limited.

The bass flute is not a very old instrument, when comparing it to other types of flutes in the family. There are some difficulties in designing the bass flute, such as how to keep tapering the flute through the curve at the end of the instrument. This curve results in the musician having to use alternative ways to reach some of the notes they require, because of how the curve gets in the way of producing the right notes.

There is still some work being done to improve the design, but it is a decent enough instrument for now. It could also be a combination of the lack of music available that includes the bass flute as well as the unfortunate drawback that other instruments can easily drown it out that is the reason for this particular instrument not being too popular.

As time goes on and more improvements are made on the bass flute it might become more popular, especially if it becomes a little easier to play. It might not be the choice for people who are new to learning a wind instrument. It is often suggested that a person new to playing a wind instrument first learns how to play a simpler flute and become familiar with how to read sheet music.

This is not to say that if someone chose to learn how to play the bass flute without any previous experience that they would necessarily have a difficult time in learning how to play it. Some people can pick up the basics fairly quickly, especially if they have a mind to practice and be serious about learning how to play it as well as improve their skills. It is not normally an instrument that is offered in school bands, so many who choose to learn how to play the bass flute might have to do so on their own time.

Bass flutes are not exceptionally cheap, but one can save money by purchasing a used bass flute. Purchasing a used instrument when first starting out with any instrument is often suggested so that the new musician can have a chance to decide if it is really the instrument they want to play, especially if the instrument they have chosen to try is in a more expensive price range. The bass flute is going to cost a little more because it has a more complex design than the simpler flutes, such as the recorder.

    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments.
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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Band Instrument Repair - FLUTES

So you want to be a flute player. Well the best way to get the maximum results out of your learning and playing, is to keep the flute well maintained. I am a band instrument repair tech and I can tell you that some of the instruments I see are in pretty bad shape.

Drawing of a flute.
Drawing of a flute. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dents, dents and more dents. Flutes are a fairly sturdy instrument but the should not be used for play sword fighting or propping doors open or jamming in doors! I have taken a lot of dents out of flutes and straightened them out so their keys will fit over the holes again. However, dent removal is quite expensive and time consuming.

The head joint should be kept in good shape. The head joint tenon needs to be kept clean and free from dents and dirt so it will keep a good seal when fitted into the body. The head cork should be changed yearly to insure a tight seal also. This will insure the flute plays in key. The crown should fit snug but able to be used to adjust the head cork up and down for tuning purposes. Also, the lip plate needs to be kept in good shape and free from dents as well as cleaned very frequently. After all, this is where you put your mouth to play the flute.

A word on cleanliness of the head joint. In these times of Swine flu and contagious viruses and germs it is vital that you keep the mouthpiece clean. I use a spray 9 and isopropanol alcohol combination to insure the head joint is clean both before and after I play test an instrument I'm working on. I suggest you carry 2 small spray bottles with your instrument and keep it clean and sanitized at all times.

Next we talk about the body of the flute.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Learn to Play the FLUTE While Not Playing the FLUTE

Flute listening can help you become a fine flutist nearly as much as the practicing you do on the flute yourself.


Flute listening helps you...

One of our meeting participants, playing flute...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Learn the flute repertoire.  The more familiar you are with what has been composed for the flute, the broader your flute knowledge becomes.
  2. Learn pieces faster. Knowing how a piece sound should makes the learning process go faster. Get those rhythms correct the first time, play ornaments correctly, and incorporate dynamics from the beginning.
  3. Incorporate flute techniques into your own playing, including developing a good tone, vibrato, breathing, and phrasing.
  4. Learn to play various styles appropriately.  Mozart is played differently than Prokofiev, and sometimes just listening is easier to absorb the style than having a teacher talk to you about it for an hour.
Flute listening is inspirational! Just imagine yourself playing that fabulous piece you've fallen in love with and you're halfway toward being able to actually play it! Even if you never play anywhere but your living room, it makes it much more fun!

There is so much wasted time in our days that we could turn into valuable listening time...
  • Driving
  • Standing in line
  • Waiting in the doctor's office or for other appointments

Using an iPod or other MP3 player allows you to listen to flute music anywhere, anytime.  Every flutist needs to have one of these devices as part of their equipment, along with a metronome, digital tuner, and music stand.  An iPod is so compact that you can easily pack it in a flute bag or purse. It's even more convenient than a small CD player.

Start listening and become a better flutist!