Flutes come in a wide variety of makes, models, and types, ranging from simple student flutes to complex professional flutes. This woodwind instrument is known for its light, rich sound, which makes it a popular choice for student musicians. To get the desired intonation while playing in low, middle, and upper registers, players need to find the right flute.
What are the main parts of the flute?
There are three primary components to any flute:
- The headjoint: The top of the flute is referred to as the headjoint. The headjoint is where the embouchure hole, lip plate, and cork are located. The cork is an especially delicate aspect of the flute, and it needs to be handled with care when the instrument is being cleaned. It is responsible for sealing the flute, which prevents air from escaping through the wrong end of this woodwind instrument. This ensures that the flute produces the bright, mellifluous music that it's famous for.
- The footjoint: There are two primary types of footjoints: the B footjoint and the C footjoint. Traditional C foots are found on student flutes, and they have the C key, the C# key, and the Eb key. B foots are found on intermediate and professional flutes, and they have an extra key which enables players to achieve a wider range of notes. New flutists traditionally purchase instruments with the C foot.
- The body: The body, or the midsection of the instrument, is where the flute's main music mechanisms are located. This includes the key springs, which are finely adjusted and delicate.
What types of flutes are available?
There are many models of flutes, including:
- Beginner: Beginner flutes are designed for students whose hands aren't yet large enough to play standard sized woodwind instruments. These instruments often have curved head joints, which helps elongate the player's reach.
- Student: The student flute is characterized by closed holes on the keys. This makes the instrument easier to play but affects the sound quality of the music. These flutes are usually constructed from silver alloy and nickel.
- Intermediate: Intermediate flutes differ from student models because they have open hole keys, which allow the instrument to resonate fully. These flutes also have the "gizmo" key, the addition to the foot that allows musicians to hit the high C while playing music.
- Professional: Professional flutes are made of high-quality materials, and they have extremely precise pointed key arms. These instruments also have several tone hole options.
What brands manufacture flutes for students, intermediate players, and professionals?
Popular brands of flutes and piccolos include:
- Brannen Brothers