Folk & Acoustic Musical Instrument Specialists

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Flutes Information and FAQs



INTRODUCTION


Side blown flutes are traditional all round the world, though the first were in Asia. The Concert Flute, used for Irish traditional music, was the standard orchestral instrument until the introduction of the Boehm system. The D Flute has 6 open holes, and up to 8 keys which are often not used, as the notes can be found by cross fingering. A slide head is useful for fine tuning. This kind of flute produces an earthier sound than modern metal instruments, playing easily in D and G.

SOME TYPES OF FLUTES


Fife | Simple System D Flute

Fife

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Definition: A small transverse flute used by the military since the 16th century. Plays an octave higher than a flute,
Introduction: The fife is a simple 6 hole flute pitched usually in high Eb, D, Bb and sometimes as low as G or F. Early examples were unkeyed, many have between one and five keys to facilitate the chromatic scale. It was used traditionally by the army where fife and drum were often played together.

Simple System D Flute

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Definition: Flutes with 6 holes of the type made in Western Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. May have up to 8 or more keys.
Introduction: The D Flute has 6 open holes, and up to 8 keys, but these are often not used, as the notes can be found by cross fingering. A slide head is useful to tune in with other players. The open hole wooden type produces a much more earthy sound than modern metal instruments, and plays easily in the keys of D, and G.
Read the full Simple System D Flute FAQ Page.

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CITTERN

   
Definition: small flat backed wire-strung plucked instrument; played with a plectrum; popular from renaissance to baroque times. Modern citterns are much bigger, and more like mandolins in shape. Usually with 10 strings in 5 courses. Related to Portuguese Guitarra.
Read the full Citterns FAQ Page.