The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. Although we don’t know who actually invented the first Flute, A number of flutes dating to about 43,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Jura region of present-day Germany.
Flutes are the earliest known identifiable musical instruments. Flutes made of bone and ivory, represent the earliest known musical instruments and provide unmistakable evidence of prehistoric music. These flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe.
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 flutist changes the pitch of the sound produced by opening and closing holes in the body of the instrument.
In its most basic form, a flute is an open tube which is blown into. There are plenty different flute types, some of which you might not have known were part of the flute family. Notable instruments that are part of the flute family include the piccolo, recorder, pan flute, flue pipes of organs and even whistles.
However, the shiny metal flute that we often see is referred to as the western concert flute. This type of flute is used in many ensembles, including concert bands, military bands, marching bands, orchestras, flute ensembles, and occasionally jazz bands and big bands. The design and the introduction of the key system of the modern western concert flute are attributed to the great flautist, composer and silversmith Theobald Boehm.
Concert flutes have three parts: the headjoint, body, and foot joint. Less expensive flutes are usually constructed of brass, polished and then silver-plated and lacquered to prevent corrosion. Flutes that are more expensive are usually made of more precious metals, most commonly solid sterling silver, and other alloys including French silver, "coin silver", or Britannia silver. Tone holes are stopped by pads constructed of fish skin (gold-beater's skin) over felt or silicone rubber on some very low-cost flutes.
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