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.
|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.
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