Types of Flutes

You may not know that there are many types of flutes. It may be the backbone of the woodwind family, but it comes in many shapes and sizes.

The traditional flute you are accustomed to seeing played by "The Pops" is called the "side-blown" flute, also known as the "transverse" flute. The side-blown flute is held sideways to play.

Another type of flute is the end-blown flute that is played by blowing into one end of the instrument. There are two types of end-blown flutes: rim-blown and duct flutes. The rim-blown flute is played the same way you might play a soda bottle. As with the bottle, you blow across the top of the rim rather than blowing directly into it. To play a duct flute, the flutist blows air into a channel or duct. Duct flutes can be further divided into categories such as vessel and globular flutes.

The bass flute is a flute that emerged during the 1920s in jazz music. As the name suggests, the bass flute makes a low sound, one octave lower than the ordinary flute. The alto flute is also a low-sounding flute. The soprano flute is much higher and can cover three octaves.

The tenor flute is a flute that has been around since Medieval times. The treble flute is a melodic flute, one with a wide range in octaves. 

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