About FLUTES by the maker

Here is some useful flute terminology, specific to my flutes and Native American Indian flutes in general.

Woodland style flute: The Native American Indian flutes I craft are in the woodland configuration, which means that the flu or fipple (i.e.. airway from the primary chamber to the secondary chamber) is crafted into the body of the flute versus crafted into the block of the flute which would be a Plains style.  Both designs perform slightly different.  I choose the Woodland design because it came from the area that my tribe is located.

Solid bore body: means that the flute's body if  is made out of a solid piece of wood (not from 2 parts glued together like most of the Native American Indian flutes are made still today). This is how I generally make all my flutes, including my doubles.  I turn them on a wood lathe. I can also make them in a split or half hollow method, but I think a solid bore flute will has a better resonance.  The other aspects of this was being able to achieve a level of precision with a solid bore, as well as not having to worry about a glue joint opening over time as wood contracts and expands with temperature and humidity over it's lifetime. 

Mouthpiece: the end part on a wind instrument where you blow,  Sometimes this is crafted with a separate contrasting wood for esthetics and sometimes it is not.  At times it is desirable to apply a mouthpiece of a hardwood for durability or when a wood is known to have medicinal properties or if it is known to have some allergic properties.  

End cap: when a different wood or contrasting wood is used at the lower end or foot of the flute.  Many times when the term "end caps" is used it can generally refer to having a  Mouthpiece and the End Cap.

Sound Board:  Although every single aspect of a flute impacts the sound of a flute, the most critical area of a flute is what I call the Sound Board.  The Sound Board is the area directly under the Block.  It is the area that channels the air through the flute and is where the sound is created. 

Block: is the object above the Sound Board.  It is used to divert the air from the primary chamber through the fipple or airway to the secondary chamber.  Without the Block the flute would not play.  Most blocks are crafted in wood, although sometimes I make mine in antler, bone, stone, silver, Mammoth ivory, etc..  Although I have crafted many elaborate blocks, I choose to mostly craft low sitting blocks I call adobe style.   They sit low like an abobe block.  This is mostly with the performer in mind which has to travel with flutes and is constantly pulling flutes in and out of their protective cases. 

Fipple: or Flue is the airway passage crafted in the Sound Board.

Double flute: a flute that has two bores or secondary chambers.  Usually is consists of a single chamber without finger holes, which drones the fundamental key and if crafted properly can easily shift between two octaves of the fundamental.  The second chamber would resemble a normal chambered flute with finger holes.  A Double flute can be played exactly like a single flute or as a double, to add to the sound with complimenting harmonics.  

Authentic Native American Indian flute vs Native American Indian style flute: The "Native American Indian style flute" appellation refer to a flute made by a non-native maker which cannot legally call his flute "Native American Indian" because they are in the style of but not made by a member of a Native American Indian tribe. These term differences used by sellers and makers should tell you if your flute is an authentic Native American Indian made flute or not.

Thank You,

dg Hatch

Chippewa Flute Maker



» Share:


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To help us prevent spam, please prove you're human by typing the words you see here.