Chinese Instrument – Flute

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The flute is the main high-pitched melody instrument in modern orchestral and chamber music. Its appearance is a cylindrical long pipe with several sound holes. The early flutes were ebony or coconut wood. Modern metal materials are mostly used, such as relatively low-grade brass, cupronickel, ordinary nickel- silver alloys to professional silver alloys, 9K, 14K, 18K, 20K, 24K gold and platinum Flute, etc.

The sound quality is dynamic and beautiful, and the sound is soft and melodious.

The flute is a test of the breath control of the player, and it is necessary to find a suitable entry point to produce a near-perfect rhythm.



Instrument characteristics

Instrument name: Flute

The key of the instrument: C key.

Application clef: treble clef, not transpose notation.

Practical range: small character group b-small character four groups (B tailpipe), small character group c-small character four groups f (standard C tailpipe

Structure composition: mouthpiece, body, and tail.

The material used: ordinary type: seamless nickel-silver tube, professional type: hard real silver.

Musical instrument features: fresh, thorough, and cold tones. The treble is lively and bright, and the bass is beautiful and pleasant. It is widely used in pipe bands, orchestras, and military bands.

The flute is the main high-pitched melody instrument in modern orchestral and chamber music, belonging to woodwind. The appearance is a cylindrical long tube with several sound holes. The early flutes were ebony or coconut wood. Modern metals are mostly used, such as ordinary nickel-silver alloys or professional silver alloys, 9K and 14K gold and precious metal platinum, etc. Sometimes performers use special plastic steel flutes. The timbre of the traditional wooden flute is round, warm, and delicate, and the volume is small, while the timbre of the metal flute is brighter and wider. The flute of different materials is selected completely according to the player’s hobby. However, a flute should be used uniformly in the band to get the most harmonious and full sound effect. Among Western musical instruments, the flute belongs to the woodwind. The flute’s pronunciation principle is more special than other instruments. It is produced by the continuous positive and negative pressure changes at the blowing hole that excites the air spring to produce sound. Therefore, the curvature of the air inlet end is equivalent to the angle between the inner edge of the mouthpiece hole. The effect is just like the difference between a thin wire and a thick wire when the wind blows. The smaller the angle, the easier it is to play and the more high frequencies. The larger the angle, the more laborious and low-frequency playing is. This will also affect the three-octave sound effect. The smaller the angle, the brighter the sound, the bass is less vigorous due to less low frequency, and the treble is easy to get out of control and blow into overtones or a sharper or thinner tone. If the angle is large, the sound will have a dull feeling, and the bass sound quality will be thicker, but it is also easy to have the feeling that the sound cannot be played.

Chinese girl playing the flute



In 2012, researchers confirmed what they said was the oldest known musical instrument in the world. They found these flutes made of bird bones and mammoth tusks in the Hohle-Fels Cave in Germany. Scientists use carbon dating methods to confirm that these flutes are 42,000 to 43,000 years old. At the beginning of the 19th century, with the button device invented by Theobald Bohm (later also used for clarinet, oboe, and bassoon, etc.), the flute was finalized.

According to records, the flute originated in Europe and was first named the flute. Early flutes were made from stems of arborous plants and played vertically, and later they were made of wood and played horizontally. At the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, with the continuous development of industry, metal flutes began to come out. In 1847, the German Pom developed a flute with a mechanical transmission device that is more scientifically in line with scientific principles. It has a revolutionary development than the old flute in terms of pitch, timbre, volume, and range. Greatly enriched flute playing skills. In the Haydn period (1732-1809), the flute has become a fixed instrument in the symphony orchestra. In the orchestration of a symphony orchestra, the flute is generally composed of two pipes, and in larger orchestras, there are three pipes. In modern works, the four-pipe system gradually appeared.


In the classical period, different people refurbished the flute. The tube body was changed from a cylindrical shape to a conical shape, and many novel buttons were pressed (many buttons were also carried on the clarinet, so they can still be seen on modern clarinets). The famous flute reformer Pom (1794-1881) was a famous inventor who perfected the structure of the flute. He started by reforming the fingering and tone of the flute, changing the flute tube from conical shape to cylindrical shape, and stipulating the thickness of the flute tube and the position of the soundhole, and installing a mechanical linkage device for the key (for example, the A sound hole is connected to the bB soundhole) To adjust the pitch, timbre, expand the range, and enhance the expressiveness of the instrument. In 1847, Bohm stipulated that the length of the flute was 66 cm as about 33 times the inner diameter of 2 cm, which standardized the instrument. These improvements have made the flute increasingly perfect, with rich, soft, and bright timbre, and a wide range. This flute is known as the “Bohm-style flute” and has been passed down to this day. The flute has been circulating for centuries, and its history can even be traced back to the ancient Egyptian era when it was just a clay tube with a hole on it that was blown vertically. By the time Haydn was (1732-1809), the flute had become a fixed instrument in the symphony orchestra. In 1847, Pom used a silver tube for his flute and attached it to the bB thumb lever. In the 21st century, the flute has been recognized as a complete shape, but some factories moved the buttons on the right-hand part to the other side of the flute in order to make it easier for beginners to play.


Type of use

Alto flute

G-tuned flute created by Bohm in 1854. The basic form is to enlarge and lengthen the C flute, with the fingering unchanged. The G flute has a length of 82.75 cm, an inner diameter of 2.6 cm, and a range of g~c3. The pronunciation is rich and mellow, loud and powerful, consistent from pp to ff, and it sounds like a French horn. It occupies an important position in chamber music, ensemble, and symphony.

Bass flute

The key of C is one octave lower than the standard flute. The tube at the bottom of the mouthpiece turns two turns and goes straight down. In modern works, its status is becoming more and more important, especially in flute ensemble, which can make the sound become one, comparable to a string ensemble.

type of use

Pronunciation principle

The flute is a wooden or metal tubular body with a total length of 62 cm. The mouthpiece is closed, the plug is about 5 cm away from the tube end, and the tail is open. To facilitate portability and tuning, it is composed of 2 or 3 segments. The flute body is cylindrical with an inner diameter of 1.9 cm. From the point where it is inserted into the flute body, its inner diameter tapers to 1.71 cm from the plug. Centered at 1.7 centimeters away from the plug head, open an elliptical blowhole, cover the blowhole cover, and open the same elliptical hole, which is connected with the blowhole, so that the cover surface and the hole will form an acute angle, and the airflow hits this edge, and the edge is pronounced. There are several keyholes on the wall of the tube. Use your fingertips to control the opening and closing of the keys to change the length of the tube and produce different pitches.

Each sound hole has a fixed sound, and a different beautiful melody is blown out according to the fingering when playing.

The flute is a Western wind instrument. It was originally made of bamboo, similar to our country’s flute, but later it was made of wood. In the mid-nineteenth century, German musical instrument reformer Pom (1794-1881) reformed the flute, increasing the number of sound holes to 16, and installing linkage keys, making the flute a twelve equal temperament instrument, making it easy to play. The flutes are mostly made of metal, but they are still called wooden and bamboo musical instruments.

When playing flute, we can use wave sound naturally, which is a bit like the human voice, and the sound is very beautiful. The flute has a wide range and is very dexterous. It can not only play lyrical and slow melody but also can play fast, bounce up and down sound patterns, as well as colorful melodies such as decorative sounds and voicing sounds without difficulty. So it has always been valued in orchestras, military bands, ensemble bands, and light music teams.


The structure of the musical instrument

The flute can be divided into three parts: head, body, and tail.

The mouthpiece is the first section of the instrument, with blowing holes on it, which are used to produce sound. The top of the mouthpiece is a fluted cap, and the flute cap has a screw connected to the cork inside the mouthpiece. Rotate the flute cap to adjust the position of the cork in the flute head. Please note that the position of the cork inside the mouthpiece has been adjusted when the instrument leaves the factory. If there are no special circumstances, students should not turn the mouthpiece at will.

The flute body is the second section, and the fluted tail is the third section, with sound holes and linkage buttons on it. Opening or closing the soundhole will change the height of the pronunciation.



In terms of performance, the flute is a blow-hole qi-ming instrument with a variety of playing methods and rich expressiveness. It has a strong affinity with string, woodwind, and brass instruments.

When playing the flute, the player can hold the flute in both hands, sit or stand, and adopt the chest-abdominal breathing method. The lips form a certain basic mouth shape, and the airflow concentrates on the 75-degree angle formed by the mouthpiece cover and the hole wall.

Hold the flute with both hands, sit or stand, adopt the chest and abdomen breathing method, the lips form a certain basic mouth shape, and the airflow concentrates on the 75° angle formed by the mouthpiece cover and the hole wall. The special techniques are ①Overtone: use a relaxed mouth to blow octave or twelfth, fifteenth to produce a clear sound effect similar to a stringed instrument; ②Glide: slide and close the finger on the keyhole gradually, and you can get the upside and Sliding tone effect; ③simultaneous humming: humming while playing the flute; ④simulated percussion: slap the key quickly, and at the same time make a “click” sound in the mouth, which can produce the sound effect of simulated percussion; ⑤whistling method: The mouth contains all the mouthpieces, blow a lot of air quickly, and move your fingers quickly according to the music score to create a howling effect; ⑥Imitation of a brass instrument: the lips are close to the mouthpiece, and the air is blown with small holes, which sounds like a trumpet. The above-mentioned various playing methods can have special effects, which are often used in avant-garde music.

international girl playing Flute


Application track

The flute is a high musical instrument in the woodwind group of the orchestra. It has a beautiful tone, a wide range, a wide range of playing methods, and rich expressiveness. It has a strong affinity with string, woodwind, and brass instruments. Generally, a symphony orchestra uses at least three, the third is also a piccolo, and the larger one will add an alto flute. As a solo instrument, the flute can be played without accompaniment, such as JS Bach’s “A minor Sonata”. There are also many repertoires such as solo and concerto with piano, harp, guitar, or band accompaniment. In chamber music, the flute plus oboe, clarinet, and bassoon form a wind quartet; plus a horn to form a wind quintet. In addition, there are various combinations. For example, WA Moza wrote 3 flute quartets, replacing the first violin with the flute, and adding small, medium, and cellos. The flute family also has a variety of combinations. Modern works have even added piccolo, high, medium, and bass flutes with quintets, sextets to deceits, and so on.

Major composers of the past have created clarinet repertoires, such as Bach’s 6 sonatas, 3 “Brandenburg Concerto”, “Suite in B minor”; L.van Beethoven’s “B major Sonata”; Mozart’s 3 First concerto; A. Vivaldi’s 13 concertos; GP Taylorman’s 12 fantasias; GF Del’s 7 sonatas; J. Haydn’s concertos and 3 sonatas. Later, the flute appeared and slowly began to replace the clarinet.

(Note: Don’t think that this recorder can only be used as a teaching instrument. In fact, the recorder is an important solo instrument in the history of European music. The recorder has a long history, and the oldest recorder still preserved was made in the 14th century. Older There is similar flutes in Western paintings, but when they first appeared has not yet been determined. Throughout the Baroque era, the recorder was usually given a solo status similar to that of the violin due to its perfect timbre and sophisticated technique. Any of the Baroque period. Important composers have written countless sonatas and concertos for the recorder. Among them, Bach, Handel, Telemann, and Vivaldi are the most famous. Bach loves this instrument especially, in his ” Brandenburg In ” Concertos “, he uses the recorder more frequently than the flute. Especially in the second movement of the Second Brandenburg Concerto, he wrote a three-part fugue for the recorder, oboe, and violin, which is a classic.

After the classical period, because the flute surpassed the recorder in volume, this instrument was eliminated by modern symphony orchestras. Will gradually be forgotten, their fate and viola da gamba this ancient cello similar are no longer used as a standard classical music instrument. After entering the modern era in the 20th century, with the rise of the retro style, the recorder regained the favor of people. Many contemporary composers have rewritten solo, sonata, and a concerto for the recorder. In any country in Europe, the recorder is a formal major of music academies, and its status is the same as that of violin and oboe. The recorder major is not affiliated with the orchestral department but generally belongs to the Baroque music department. But its musical charm is obviously not limited to Baroque music. Modern excellent recorder players can perfectly and completely play Tartini’s ” Devil’s Trill ” or many other famous violin techniques with an 8-hole recorder. )

The flute repertoires of Chinese composers mainly include He Luting’s ” Thinking “, ” Shepherd Boy Piccolo “, Tian Paulo’s small sonata ” Early Morning ” and Huang Huwei’s “Sunshine in Tianshan”


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