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The modern Flute is a reed based instrument, commonly made of Silver, which consists of a pipe with a modifiable length, based on either movable buttons, or simple holes that are covered with the fingers. Care should be taken not to confuse the modern flute with the recorder, a similar instrument that operates on the same fundamental principles of sound vibrating within a pipe.
How to Play:
The modern Flute is played with the mouth by blowing gently over the opening at the top of the pipe, mounted on the side of the pipe. The flute is held at right angles to the body, and the player gently caresses the sound from the instrument, avoiding squealing or other sharp noises common to the amateur player. The flute makes its sound as a result of airflow vibrating a reed that reverberates its sound down the pipe at a frequency that corresponds to the length of the pipe. To change the note, the player alters their breathing, and presses a key. This opens up the pipe, changing the length of the pipe and thus the frequency that is native to the pipe. By executing a series of changes rapidly, songs and scales can be played. This is the same basic principle that operates for Woodwind and Brass instruments. By altering the length of the pipe, a different frequency of sound is achieved.
The flute was developed in the sands of time, predating modern civilization by almost forty thousand years. The simplest flutes were made from bone, modified with holes, so that they were able to produce more than one note. Simpler flutes include the pan flute, which is a series of individually tuned pipes that are connected together and played by varying which tube has a sound being made through it. This is the style that is used to produce songs on the Harmonica, though the flute does not have the ability to play in a draw style.
Western concert Flute:
The modern flute, as recognized in the west, is also known as the Western concert flute. It was developed as a modification of the German flutes of the 19th century, and much of this evolution was performed by Theobald Boehm, through the 1830's. The common pitch for these instruments is C, with a range of three octaves, starting at middle C. In an orchestral setting, this is one of the instruments with the highest range, adjacent to that of the Violin and the Triangle, and just below the piccolo. This entails that there are numerous solo pieces written for the flute. There are other pitch ranges of the flute available, but they tend to be less commonly seen and composed for.
While Debussy was a composer that prevailed on the flutes graces during its revival period in the later years of the 19th century, its true prominence in music came to be when Jethro Tull, a pirate gypsy folk band began using the flute, and classical techniques to play rock music during the age of power that is associated with Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and the Rolling Stones. With this evolution of recorded flute music, there began a redesign process of the flute, to incorporate many elements of music and sound into the flute to enhance its record ability and playability. Aqualung, by Jethro Tull incorporates many elements of classical flute playing, with use of trills exceptionally notable.
Care of Instrument:
The correct mastery of the flute includes knowing the correct maintenance techniques. Most flutes come with a stick attached to a soft polishing cloth that is used to wipe out the interior of the instrument after play. Occasional oiling also helps preserve the integrity of the musical instrument.