20 Fun Facts About the Flute

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  1. A flute is technically any open tube that you blow into to produce sound (even an empty bottle of Coke).
  2. The earliest usage of the word “flute” was found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Hous of Fame (c. 1380).
  3. A flute-playing musician is called a flute player, a flutist, a flautist, a fluter, or a flutenist.
  4. The flute was one of the first musical instruments ever invented and has been used for thousands of years.
  5. Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, Chinese, and Japanese all used early versions of today’s flutes. Many different cultures have their own take on the flute, and many of them developed independently from one another.
  6. The major Hindu deity Krishna holds a bamboo flute. It has been said that Krishna created the world through the beautiful sound of the flute and that the flute preaches love and freedom.
  7. The standard concert flute has a range of about 3 octaves (roughly between C4 and C7).
  8. The flute is one of the highest-pitched instruments. Consequently, flute music is written in treble clef.
  9. The piccolo is basically a mini-flute and sounds one octave higher than the standard concert flute. When piccolo players play flute music, the notes sound one octave higher.
  10. Throughout history, flutes have been made of bone, ivory, wood, jade, glass, plastic, brass, nickel, silver, gold, or even platinum.flute
  11. Most modern flutes are made of metal. The pads that cover the keyholes are made of felt and cork.
  12. Every flute has a unique sound. Whether a flute is made of wood or metal will drastically change its sound. The thickness of the metal also changes the sound.
  13. Some flutes produce sound by blowing air against the edge of a hole (such as the modern Western flute/concert flute). Others produce sound by blowing air directly into a mouthpiece, which directs the airflow against the edge of a different hole (such as the recorder or ocarina).
  14. The sound of a flute is made by a steady stream of air vibrating through it. The air stream across the hole excites the air inside the resonant cavity of the flute, causing it to vibrate and make a sound. By opening and closing the holes on the flute, the length of this resonant cavity changes, causing the pitch to change. Using more or less air pressure can make the flute produce different harmonics without opening or closing any holes.
  15. Some flutes are held vertically (such as the pan-pipe or Japanese bamboo flute) while others are held horizontally (such as the concert flute). Flutes held horizontally are called transverse flutes.
  16. Jacques Hotteterre has been credited with redesigning the transverse flute in the 1600s to include a head joint (mouthpiece), a body, and a foot joint. Modern day flutes are still made up of these three parts.
  17. The modern Western flute typically used in bands and orchestras today is largely credited to German instrument maker Theobald Böhm, who improved its design and fingering system in the mid-1800s. He changed the size of the holes, their positions, and added new mechanisms to allow the holes to be covered or uncovered.
  18. The flute has been popularly used in many types of music and today is used in film, orchestral, band, classical, jazz, rock, folk, experimental music, and various other settings and genres.
  19. The flute is considered a woodwind instrument, despite being made of metal and despite the fact that it is the only woodwind instrument that doesn’t use a reed.
  20. The flute requires more air than any other instrument, including the tuba.


From toddler tinkering at the keys to university music student and beyond, Brianne's whole life has revolved around music lessons, competitions, performances, and more. Now she is professionally involved in teaching, composing, orchestrating, and performing in a variety of contexts. Bri's desire is to help individuals of all ages come to enjoy the beautiful and fun nature of creating music through developing their musical talents.

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Elenna

    Very goodd xxI usee it for my hw and is very useful xx thanks

    1. Lani

      Yeah I need it for my oral presentation

  2. chloe

    i love the flute i wana play it 🙂

    1. Annabeth

      I actually play the flute. 🙂

  3. Brianna

    I love my flute and it’s so fun to play. I didn’t know some of these facts, and I enjoyed reading this for a school project I am doing over my flute and Saxophone. It was very useful. Thank you!

  4. Emma

    Cool tips

  5. Juni

    I’m thinking of playing the flute. I also want to play percussion so I’m making a pros and cons list of each. This article helped a ton. Thanks!

  6. Mary

    These are snaztastic facts.

  7. Neil

    I did not know some of these facts

  8. Maleeya

    Thanks I’m gonna learn flute in sixth grade band this year

  9. Torah

    These are good facts! Thanks!

  10. sophie

    this website saved my woodwind presentation!!
    thanks i actually play the oboe but the flute sounds great!

  11. Big Beth

    Very nice

  12. Jossh

    This was really cool man (:

  13. Kate

    I have been playing the flute for 2 years now and I love it so much

  14. molly

    love it!

  15. molly

    its so interesting

  16. kairi

    these facts are really cool

  17. Jadah

    The flute actually sounds very cool and looks very cool I have a instrument called the recorder it is basically like a flute but it just has like the holes that you have to put your fingers over and I’m kind of good at it and I really want to play the recorder and beginning band but they don’t have that and I really really want to play the clarinet you know Squidward was crazy when he played it and I really want to play the flute to in the oboe but they don’t have that in beginning band either. the old instrument sounds very cool

  18. Myles

    So interesting very very interesting

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