An introduction to the history of the flute

Repertoire Concert flute - History The flute is one of the oldest musical instruments of all and is regarded as the first ever wind instrument. It has been in use at least since the Stone Age. Flute playing has a particularly long tradition in the Orient.

An introduction to the history of the flute

Curtis before Confronting The Term 'Anasazi' If you are considering purchasing an Anasazi flute, it is relevant to understand that this term is something of a misnomer. The word 'Anasazi' is a Dine Navajo word meaning something along the lines of 'ancient enemy' - not a flattering term, in other words, and certainly not the name used by these ancestral Four Corners people to describe themselves.

The 'disappearance' of the Anasazi culture from their elaborate townsites was long termed one of the greatest mysteries of the archaeological world, but many modern Southwestern tribes assert that they are the direct descendents of these lost people who simply moved away from the big towns into smaller settlements.

Happily, this view, long held by Indigenous Peoples, is beginning to be better understood by non-Indigenous researchers. Native flute makers like Marlon Magdalena suggest that a more appropriate term for the Anasazi flute would be the Ancestral Pueblo Flute and Native Flutes Walking recommends reading Mr.

Magdalena's forthright article on the difficulties with the term 'Anasazi'.

An introduction to the history of the flute

We would applaud seeing 'Ancestral Pueblo Flute' being used more regularly to describe this type of ancient instrument, but for the most part, convention dictates that the Internet searchers will find these woodwinds listed as 'Anasazi Flutes'.

Here, we will use the terms co-jointly. The arid climate of the Southwest has uniquely preserved both large structures and small, intimate artifacts. Archaeologists are consistently placing earlier and earlier dates for the very first inhabitation of this special region - no one really knows how long people have lived here, but is has certainly been for many thousands of years.

Everything from small ancient farming communities to tremendous cities with vast systems of roads and waterways are hallmarks of the Southwest, and the historic and modern Peoples of this region include: Whether you have deep Indigenous roots in the Southwest, or none at all, Native Flutes Walking encourages you to learn all you can about the original inhabitants of this part of the continent.

From the heartbreaking Long Walk of the Dine to Bosque Redondo, to the breathtaking art of the Zuni, to the spiritual guidance of the Hopi, here are cultures of immense richness and value that deserve to be honored and preserved.

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Morris was one of the foremost Southwestern archaeologists of his time, with his most famous work being conducted at the Great Kiva near Aztec, Arizona.

Of most interest to musicians is Morris' excavation of 16 caves in North-Eastern Arizona and the finding of some truly ancient flutes. The illustration of the black flute, above, is one of the six flutes found during this dig.

Two of the flutes were tied together with yucca fiber, one was stuffed with a corn cob, and others with yucca fiber.

All of the flutes were made of box elder.

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Though two of the flutes were broken, the others could still be played and their notes were subsequently determined by researchers. Each of the flutes had six holes and were rim blown.

By blowing air across the rim of the flute, a tone is created. In a very small room at Pueblo Bonito, designated room 33, a discovery was made of several beautiful end-blown flutes, one of which was magnificently decorated with an orange and green design, and another suggesting the squash blossom design so typical of Southwestern Indigenous art.

Two other flutes bore animal fetishes, possibly a bear and a lizard. Read George Pepper's complete field notes on his findings. The Prayer Rock district, site of Broken Flute Cave Pueblo Bonito is the largest dwelling in the Chaco Complex and, from tree ring dating and other forms of research, archaeologists conclude that this amazing abode was inhabited between AD and These dates help us to estimate the antiquity of the flutes found in room Aerial view of Pueblo Bonito, Bob Adams, Albuquerque, NM It is from flutes like those found at Pueblo Bonito and Broken Flute Cave that many modern Native American-style flute makers draw their inspiration today, and it is important to reiterate here that many Indigenous People of the region continue to make flutes in the styles of their ancestors such as the Hopi 5 hole flute and the Jemez 4 hole flute.

While archaeological findings have much to teach the public, more is still to be learned from the stories and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples, themselves. Unfortunately, these documents frequently display the ignorance and prejudice of their writers and their times.

Nonetheless, these accounts are important to researchers looking for earliest mentions of the use of the flute. Researchers may run into confusion in the erratic terminology used to describe Native American Flutes in the earliest written documentation of them.

Europeans use the terms flute, flageolet, fife, pipes and whistle interchangeably in these reports.

Flutes, Fifes and Piccolos Visit Website The young Plato became a devoted follower of Socrates—indeed, he was one of the youths Socrates was condemned for allegedly corrupting.
Flute - Wikipedia Her vibrato is subtle and her sense of timing spontaneous. Listening to this album, one has the feeling of being out in nature hearing a bird song, or watching the flight of a swallow

Pedro de Castanada, chronicler of the violent Coronado expedition, made these two observations while traveling in the Southwest in the 's:The Healy Flute Company offers and quickly delivers the finest keyed and unkeyed wooden flutes, fifes, and piccolos.

Choose from a variety of woods, keys, and customizatons. Latin America has produced a variety of genres born at the crossroads of European folk music, African music and native traditions.


While not as popular as the popular music of the USA (also born out of the integration of European music and African music), Latin American genres shares the same characters that made it a universal koine'. One of the easiest instruments to manufacture, the bansuri or flute has been a part of many cultures worldwide.

The Indian version used extensively consists one hole which is the mouthpiece and 6 other holes to position the fingers so as to produce the swar. The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening.

According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. [not in citation given] A musician who plays the flute. The flute has also always been an essential part of Indian culture and mythology, and the cross flute believed by several accounts to originate in India as Indian literature from BCE has made vague references to the cross flute.

Brief Flute History Prehistoric Flutes The earliest known handcrafted musical instrument has recently () been found in the Hohle Fels cave, located in southwestern Germany .