The history of the flute is definitely interesting. It is probably the oldest known instrument of them all aside from a percussion instrument like beating on something (drum) with a stick.
I found an article where historians found a carved bone in a cave in Northern France. This instrument appeared to be an ancient flute. It had a few numbers of holes carved into it, and was actually in quite good condition for its thousands of years old age.
These early flutes were possibly made ‘recorder’ or ‘whistle’ style in that the tone came from blowing directly into the hole instead of across it like a modern day flute.
Most flutes in the earliest days were made from hollowed out bones, but we have evidence that wooden flutes are almost as old. There are many wooden flutes still in use today. They are beautifully crafted and play very well. There are still very good recordings being made of artists performing on wooden flutes. Many of them are called “Baroque flutes” since the style of music very well known and loved during the 1500’s was all played on wooden flutes with a few keys only.
The flutes now days have more range than they did many years ago.
The Chinese are attributed to creating the first flute that was held sideways and blown most ‘across’ rather than ‘into’.
It wasn’t until the 1900’s that the first flutes were made with metals and silver. And the smaller flute, the piccolo came along even after that.
The silver flutes are known as several different names depending on where you are located or what you have learned so far: western, modern, transversal, silver, classical, concert, etc.
The flutes now days have more range than they did many years ago, and the mechanism is only getting better and better with technology and creativity.
We live in a great time to be able to take flute-playing to new heights. Using your knowledge and excitement for this instrument can be transferred to other types of whistles and flutes as well. Since this is just a very brief history of the flute, let’s continue this discussion and see what other types of flute you know of!