LFP 054 | Discovering the Origin of the Flute

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LFP 054 | Discovering the Origin of the Flute

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, you will be discovering the origin of the flute with me.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 054.


You’ll learn:

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • What the first flutes were made out of
  • When the first silver flute was created
  • Where you can see the biggest collection of flutes in the world
  • What you can look forward to learning from listening

Learn Flute Podcast 054

Press the Play Button to Listen Now:

Hey Y’all! It’s me, Rebecca here for another awesome episode of the Learn Flute podcast. Today in this episode number fifty four, we are going to talk about interesting tidbits and insights all having to do with discovering the origin of the flute.

Well, welcome back to another great audio today. I’m especially excited because as I think of the different subjects to present here for you, I come up with hundreds of ideas- and then, I wonder which ones to talk about first. Haha, there’s just a really large flute world out there.. You probably could find some things you never even knew before. It’s kinda fun!

I love to read the comments and questions I get from all of you, and … I thank you for those. I really do try to present interesting subjects and information that can enhance your flute life even more, and just make the journey even more amazing to you. It’ll never ever get boring at Learn Flute Online. I promise!

Today, we’re going to take a little walk back in time.. which will be fun! I don’t think I’ve talked about this before at all with you, and that is the subject of – what and where and when did all this flute stuff start anyway? Basically, what is the origin of the flute, and why does it matter to us today?

I’m excited to talk about this today because in doing some research, I was just captivated by the things I found. I spent probably way too much time looking up pictures and different articles written by smart historians who have spent a lot of time researching this, and I thank them for it because I found a lot of great stuff all packaged neatly on a few different resources. And today, you’re going to benefit from this as well.

Well, let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? I don’t know how many Bible Buffs are out there in this Learn Flute Online audio-land, but I think you may all find it interesting that flutes are mentioned in the Bible a few times,… and I’d like to point out one scripture in Ezekiel chapter twenty eight verse thirteen which is talking about Adam and Eve having everything they need in the Garden including all of the precious stones and quote: “the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created”. Unquote.

The workmanship of thy tabrets – those are tambourines or types of drums from what I understand, and then it mentions the pipes – which we know are wind instruments especially flutes, and then it says that the workmanship was prepared in thee in the day thou wast created.

Now, honestly I think this is kind of cool because this is telling us that we had music IN us before we were even born here. Neat! And, what I really like about this is that it specifically mentions musical instruments. Whew- I’ve often wondered if I’m going to have a good flute in heaven. I figure I’ve spent all this time here on earth learning and teaching how to play the flute, that it would just be so sad if I didn’t get to continue when I get to heaven. 

I have worried I’m going to have to be in the choir – haha, singing and choirs are all great and everything, but I really do prefer to be the soloist to the side of the choir. It’s like the – what do they say? The icing on the cake, the cherry on the top, or… I’m not sure what other sayings we can add to this. Perhaps you have sayings in your country (if you’re not from the U.S.) that mean you are like the shining star that makes the whole sky sparkle.

Haha, well I don’t mean to say that everything revolves around being the flute player, but if you’ve ever heard a choir perform  that has a really good flutist soloing alongside, then you know it really does make a huge difference, … and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

So, before I make this too long, let’s get to discovering more about the origin of the flute. You know there are quite a few prehistoric flutes in museums across the world. From what I’ve seen, the earliest were holes carved in the bones of like a bird wing. 

Also, flutes carved from the leg bones of even bears. That’s what I found online for bone flutes and there are a lot of really cool pictures and articles to read about that – then there are reed flutes or flutes made from hollowed out plants or wood. 

These are cool, and I know they’re fun to use as well because when I have taken my boys hiking, they always sit down as we rest and they find something to make a flute out of.. Like a blade of grass or a reed, or tuber of some sort. My two oldest boys especially can do some pretty good performances from even just a plastic straw as well!

So, as we’ve discovered so far, there were a lot of different types of flutes around the world in even the earliest days. You can look up pictures online of some of these. They’re kind of cool looking, and pretty easy to guess what they may have sounded like since there are still many traditional flutes in all countries that are very similar in make, size, shape, and material.

My parents like to travel, and one fun thing they’ve been doing for me since I was a younger girl is that they’ve been gathering flutes and instruments from around the world. What fun! I have real quenas from South America, as well as russian spoons and different instruments from around the world – which by the way have all debuted on different performance CD’s I’ve been a part of. Different materials make varying sounds, and it’s just another part of the spice of life! 

I have ocarinas from different lands, and had fun discovering beautifully artistic ocarinas when I was at the National Flute Convention this year. I’ll actually show you a video of those in an upcoming mailer for the premium levels in the membership areas of Gold and Intermediate on Learn Flute Online. So, watch for that if you haven’t seen it already.

Let’s see… moving on now-

Now, we didn’t get into the more modern flutes until the about eighteen hundreds when Theobald Boehm dazzled audiences with his invention of the silver flute with keys on it. For hundreds and thousands of years, the flutes were made of wood, bamboo, and other materials of nature- so this was really quite something. And, everyone really took to it quite well.

Since that time flutes have evolved technically, and they’re still improving year after year believe it or not. I’ve actually had fun witnessing that myself with my own eyes over my own lifetime. So, if you’re still playing a flute from the sixties or seventies, believe me that you should invest in a new higher quality instrument now. You’d really be surprised how well you can do now days with all the new precision cutting and even a few new keys. It’s really quite remarkable.

One thing I’ll mention here is that if any of you get a chance to visit the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.  you might take note that there has been the largest flute collection on display there for quite a few years. It’s actually a donated collection of almost two thousand flutes that physicist and amateur flutist Dayton C. Miller gave to be put on display after his death. 

He had flutes of ALL kinds and over many generations of time! Amongst these are flutes of gold, silver, ivory even, and glass – or crystal. As far as I know this display is still going- but I’d love to hear from any of you who have had the privilege of attending and seeing with your own eyes.

So, as usual let’s keep the conversation going – what interesting flutes have you seen in your lifetime? Have you ever gone to youtube and checked out the carrot flute? Haha, I mean- this could go on forever and ever. Let’s keep this alive. It’s definitely interesting, and I know you history buffs out there have got to have something to say.

Well, I’m Rebecca Fuller, the expert of all things flute learning and the flute lesson programs and membership area at Learn Flute Online dot com. I hope you join us all in a lesson this week. I’ll see you all next time!!


Thank you for Tuning In!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute as we go on our journey of discovering the origin of the flute. Join us for the next episode.

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

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