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What is a Flute?

A flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an reedless wind instrument.  A flute produces sound when a stream of air directed across a hole in the instrument creates a vibration of air at the hole.  The air stream across this hole creates a siphon.  This excites the air contained in the usually cylindrical resonant cavity within the flute. The player changes the pitch of the sound produced by opening and closing holes in the body of the instrument, thus changing the effective length of the resonator and its corresponding resonant frequency. By varying the air pressure, a flute player can also change the pitch of a note by causing the air in the flute to resonate at a harmonic other than the fundamental frequency without opening or closing any holes.

Flutes are the earliest known musical instruments, known to date back to about 40,000 to 35,000 years ago. These flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe.  The size and placement of tone holes, the key mechanism, and the fingering system used to produce the notes in the flute’s range were evolved from 1832 to 1847 by Theobald Boehm, and greatly improved the instrument’s dynamic range and intonation over its predecessors. 

The standard concert flute is pitched in the key of C and has a range of three octaves starting from middle C. The concert flute is one of the highest common orchestral instruments, with the exception of the piccolo, which plays an octave higher.  Although the main use of the flute is in classical music and the symphony orchestra and woodwind ensembles, the flute is also found in jazz and rock music.  Famous flautists are Jean-Pierre Rampal, Julius Baker,  Herbie Mann, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull and Peter Gabriel. 

Source: “Flute.Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Flute Teachers

Below is a list of teachers that teach the Flute at the Fabulous School of Music. Click on a profile to learn more.

Daniel Nichols

Instruments: Brass, Woodwinds, Strings, Piano and Rock Ensemble