The flute is a delicate, standard orchestral instrument. It is in treble clef or ‘G’ clef (as it’s sometimes called) and has a range from a middle C onward. If you purchase the right attachment, you can also reach the B and A below. It is easy to learn once you can get a sound out of it.
There is a definite technique to sounding the flute; however, once you achieve a noise, you will always be able to! A tip that I learnt is to try blowing over the neck of a drinks bottle and making a noise off that. This is the same technique, so normally if you can do this you can sound a flute. This principle is particularly good for young children who are thinking that they can’t play it. Once the sound is there, learning the fingerings is a piece of cake.
For the younger player, a curved necked flute is a good place to start as the curve in the neck shortens the overall length making it easier to reach, consequently, playing it is easier altogether. From here you can move up to a full size flute.
Flutes are made of many metals, all of which vary in price and affect the sound quality of the instrument. The better the metal the warmer and more mellow the sound. For example, a flute with a sterling silver lip plate gives you a warm and hearty sound, however this can be improved with a flute that has a completely sterling silver head joint, giving a bright warm tone, especially in the middle range of the instrument. For further tonality improvement a sterling silver flute is beautiful: sweet, warm and mellow across all octaves. The metal quality also dramatically affects the price range of the instrument, understandably-the more precious the metal, the more expensive the instrument.
If you are upgrading from your first flute and know you will carry on with it for a long, long time, it is worth looking into a better quality instrument, as long term u should end up spending less on its maintenance costs. Personally, I started on a Buffet Crampon flute with a standard neck at the age of 6. At age 13, I then upgraded to a Trevor James 31VF-EA, a completely solid silver model. This was an investment, however, the improvement in sound quality and ease to play the instrument was worth it. In my opinion, trying flutes one after the other when thinking of purchase is the best way to gauge what one sounds and suits you best.
So to conclude: the flute is a beautiful, sweet sounding and easy to learn instrument. We have a great range of lovely flutes in store….come in store and give them a go!
Katie Smith (Yr 10 Copleston High School) Work Experience at Music World 12th-17th June 2017