What is it?
The flute is a french instrument designed in 1820 by Theobald Boehm when he added keys to the flute.
Not to be confused with
You may hear about it with other names like western concert flute, or just flute since it is considered by a lot of people the default flute. Pronounced /fluːt/, from the Latin meaning “blow” or “inflate” and called flauta in Spanish, flûte in French, and flauta in Portuguese. A person that plays the flute it’s called a flutist, flutist, fluter, and even flutenist.
The instrument is from the Wind family meaning the sound comes by blowing air in a mouthpiece into a tube(resonator).
The types of flute are determined by range:
- Piccolo: C or Db an octave below the concert flute.
- Treble: G
- Soprano: Eb.
- Concert: C.
- Flûte d’amour or tenor: B♭, A, or A♭
- Alto: G
- Bass: C
- Contra-alto: G
- Contrabass / Octobass: C
- Subcontrabass: G
- Double contrabass: C
This can be confusing, just know that the most common variant is the concert, thus the name, western concert flute with a range from C4 to B6.
In terms of materials, the options are usually wood and metals like brass. This particular one is commonly made of nickel or brass with some silver or gold lacquer. The material has no effect on the sound (our article here) but it does in price and durability.
Before you buy
Getting a flute for sale? as a gift? If you do, here’s all you need to know.
The price of the instrument is around $80 USD – $12,200 USD, the cheapest we found was a Glory nickel C concert flute and the most expensive was a PEARL Silver contrabass flute. In the middle, we have something like the Jupiter silver-plated bass flute for $4,200 USD.
The size goes around 16 x 5 x 4 In (41 x 13 x 10 Cm) – 34 x 4 x 4 In (86 x 10 x 10 Cm) and has a weight from 2 Lbs (1 Kgs) to 30 Lbs (14 Kgs).
Now that you know, you can check on eBay here.
There are a lot of accessories for example:
- Bag & Case: Bag for transportation and case for safety and transportation. If you don’t get one with your instrument check the sizes section to get a perfect one.
- Stand: there are generic stands that work for a variety of instruments so you don’t necessarily need the specific one
- Cleaning kit: a complete one should have brushes (short and extremely long), oil, microfiber, and germicide.
To learn to play each note you need a finger chart (or position chart).
We recommend learning to read sheet music to get the basics. We review resources to help you choose how you want to learn. Now that you know how to read them, you need to get some.
Sheets come in different notations so we recommend checking various versions of the same sheets, searching for “scores” to get all instruments, and even the “song name for western flute to save on translations.
Remember, the flute is easy to learn and hard to master, you can play songs in a couple of hours but you won’t be playing in the biggest operas any time soon. It’s also similar to all the other flutes bansuri, clarinet, danso, dizi, flageolet kaval, ney, oboe, recorder, shakuhachi, tin whistle, venu & xiao so you can combine those resources to help you learn.