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How To Make A Flute

26 May 2016
Avery Taylor
Avery Taylor

A flute is an ancient musical instrument. It was usually created by shepherds who needed an entertainment during their monotonous work. The reedpipe (reed) was usually made of reed, cane or any other hollow material. In order to create such a reedpipe you’ll need a hollow tube. The tube should be 30 cm in length and its inner diameter should be 1 cm. You may take either a reed stem (it usually grows on the banks of rivers and swamps) or a PVC tube. You’ll also need a tuner or any musical instrument to tune the sound in. You also need to take a hacksaw, a poker-work instrument, a sharp knife, an instant glue, emery paper, a needle file and a piece of wood to make a whistle.

A Step-By-Step Instruction “How To Make A Reedpipe (reed) Out Of Reed”

You start by sawing off a tube of a required length. We took a tube of 27 cm. You need to smooth the edges and remove all the inner partitions (if there are any) with the help of a knife.

Then, we clean the inner space of the tube with the help of an emery paper wrapped around a stick.

Now we need to cut off a hole for a whistle on the distance of 2 cm from the edge of the tube. The hole should be rectangular. The hole should be 0.7 cm wide and 0.5 cm long. Keep in mind that the size is approximate. you can define the final size whe tuning in the reedpipe. We mark the hole with a knife and cut it off.

With the help of the needle file, we form the edge of the whistle hole (on the side where the entrance of the pipe is closer). The edge should be 45o. The edge is extremely important because it takes part in the way the sound is produced by dissecting a stream of air.

Now we need to make a wad out of a piece of wood and align it to the diameter of the inner channel (you can see the scheme of the wad below). The wad should get to the closer whistle hole face.

You may constrict the edge of the reedpipe with a thread. This way the reed won’t crack.

We insert the wad into the reedpipe. Before that, we need to align its size.

We cut off the excess and align the edge.

We apply glue to the wad and insert it into the reedpipe. When it dries thoroughly, we form the chamfer of the reedpipe edge. This way it will be more convenient to play the redpipe.

Now we check the tonality (the first sound) of our flute. In our case it was Re. Then, we need to burn out the first hole. We start by burning out a hole of a small diameter. Then, we check it with the help of a tuner and align the hole by making it wider. The wider and higher the hole to the whistle, the higher is the note you’ll get. The tune of the reedpipe is diatonic. It means that the scale is either major or minor. If all the holes were closed and you got “Re”, it means that the first hole will be “Mi”, the second “F-sharp”, the third “Sol”, the fourth “La”, the fifth “Si”, the sixth “C-sharp” and the lowest one is “Re”. This is major scale. I’ll also provide you with a scheme with the examples of the holes on it and the construction of the whistle. You can see it below.

Having tuned in the holes on the upper part of the flute, it is necessary to clean the inner space of it from what’s left after we burned out the holes. We do it with the help of an emery paper.

The last stage is the burning out of a hole on the lower part of the flute.

The scheme of the whistle and examples of the holes on it.