Origin of the flute
The Flute which is also referred to as “Recorder” is a woodwind musical instrument.
The history of the Flute
The Flute dates back almost to the origins of mankind. The first flute-like instruments were created in prehistoric times using everyday materials such as wood, bones, ceramics, among others.
Throughout history, it has been present in many cultures and ethnic groups. For example, the indigenous peoples of the American continent used bamboo flutes with five or seven holes to produce tonal changes.
However, the origin of the Flute, as we know it today, begins in the Middle Ages, when the first versions were manufactured with a dividing bevel on the mouthpiece, which is the peculiar feature that separates the recorder from other similar instruments.
They were popular during the Renaissance as background music to voices and in conjunction with melodic instruments such as the lute and transverse flute, among others. It was used extensively in baroque orchestral music by the most famous composers of the time, including Bach and Vivaldi.
In later centuries the Flute fell into disuse and was replaced by more complex instruments such as the clarinet. The revival of enthusiasm for the Flute began in the late 19th century, although it would be decades before it became the popular instrument we know and love today.
Parts of the Flute
The most basic version consists of these fundamental parts:
- Head: upper part of the flute where the embouchure is located.
- Embouchure: Orifice through which the air column is blown so that the air column can pass through the body and the sound can be produced.
- Body: Longest extension where the orifices or holes are located. This part is joined to the head by a joint, although there are many flutes that are in one piece.
- Holes: The recorder has eight holes, seven in the front and one in the back.
However, it has undergone numerous changes in modern times, and thus these other parts of the flute appear:
- Keys: They are used to facilitate or increase the extension of the tones and only professional flutes (with some exceptions) have them incorporated.
- Double holes: They can be included in the flutes for all levels and are used to facilitate the execution of the sustained sounds and, therefore, to perform the chromatic scale.
Types of Flutes
The types of recorder are mainly classified according to the key:
The types of recorders are mainly classified according to the key:
- Piccolo: The highest pitched of all recorders. It produces sounds within the range of C6 to D8.
- Sopranino: Its tessitura ranges from F5 to G7.
- Soprano: The range of the soprano flute is from F5 to D7. The soprano recorder is the most popular and the one generally used to teach music to children.
- Alto or contra alto: The tessitura of the alto recorder is between F4 and G6.
- Tenor: His tessitura ranges from C4 to D6.
- Bass: It is a large flute, one of the largest in existence. Its tessitura ranges from F3 to G5.
- Great Bass: It is the largest of all the flutes and one of the least used because of its price. Its range of sounds goes from C3 to D5.
When we talk about Flute positions, we refer to the way the fingers press the holes of the recorder to produce the different tones. In this sense, it is important to distinguish between two types of flute fingering:
- Baroque fingering: It is that fingering that seeks a more ergonomic position and therefore has the holes that correspond to the ring and little fingers closer to the fingers.
- German fingering: is less flexible, with more linear holes and a lower angle of inclination.
It is also worth mentioning that most flutes are made up of two or three pieces. The interpreter can then adjust the inclination of the holes to his or her liking. Another way to tell the difference between the two types of fingering is the size of one of their holes. While it is smaller in German, it is larger in Baroque.
Musical scale of the flute
There are seven major natural scales: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si; while there are seven minor natural scales and each one has its representative in sharp.
This is the reference guide for all major scales:
- D major: D – E – F# – G – A – B – C# – D.
- E major: E – F# – G# – G# – A – B – C# – D# – E.
- F major: F – G – G – A – Bb – C – D – E – F.
- G major: G – A – B – B – C – D – E – E – F# – G.
- A major: A – B – C# – D – E – F – F# – G# – A.
- B major: B – C# – D# – E – F# – G# – A# – B.
The best Flute brands
- Yamaha: is a great company that has created a wide range of musical instruments. One of its strong points is its flute, which is one of the best priced on the market.
- Thomann: In its dedication to offering the most flexible proposals with the best quality/price ratio, this German house has designed some impressive flutes.
- Adler: The now-defunct Adler company produced many flutes, many of which still exist and can be found in the best music stores.
- Gewa: It is significant for its beginner instruments and for striking a balance between tradition and technology.
- Meinel: Another company focusing on the entry-level instrument market. It has designed one of the highest-rated soprano flutes in the music world in order to satisfy users.
- Moeck: On numerous occasions, it has made impressive proposals, such as the Moeck 1020 Plus, which has some of the best features available.
- Mollenhauer: The 2466 series tenor flute is an example of the high quality that this German company offers in its products, and it should be a goal for students of all levels of learning.
The best soprano flutes
The soprano flute is recognized by its ability to produce stable, high-pitched sounds that allow the player to hit the note accurately and within the instrument's range. It is the most common type of flute and is also the most commonly used for teaching music to children.
Moeck 1020 Flauto 1 Plus
Excellent price-quality ratio, stable sound, a beautiful blend of tradition and technology.
Keep something weak flowing
- Materials: Wood and ABS plastic.
- Tuning: C “C
- Sound: Bright, with little sustain but balanced.
- Weight: 200 gr.
Moeck is a well-known name in the wind instrument industry. Each flute developed by the company demonstrates the company's full potential and expertise.
The Moeck 1020 Plus is an example of the quality that this family provides for those looking to get started in the world of music, as it has all of the characteristics that make it one of the best options for beginners.
This beginner soprano flute is made of two materials that are very common nowadays, but not all instruments work well together. We're talking about ABS plastic and wood. Flutes were traditionally made of wood, but due to the high cost, this material has been replaced by plastic. However, the Moeck family has successfully combined both elements, generating an excellent result.
ABS plastic is highly resistant to fracture and expansion, which suggests it can withstand heat as well as shocks. Furthermore, it has excellent acoustic properties, so the material has little effect on the final sound.
This flute also has maple wood, which is one of the cheapest on the market, but this does not take the focus away from the instrument's quality. In fact, it has a bending strength of 1100 kg per square centimeter, which means you'll have an almost indestructible instrument that will only be seriously impacted if you throw it in a fire or subject it to a hydraulic press.
The Moeck 1020 Flauto 1 Plus is a very beautiful flute due to the materials used, which give it a stunning aesthetic beauty. The mouthpiece is made of ABS plastic that has been coloured mahogany, while the rest of the body is natural tone maple that looks fantastic.
As a soprano flute, it covers the notes from F5 to D7. The double holes have not been incorporated, which will require the flutist to be more dexterous, because hitting sustained sounds under these conditions requires good breathing and a musical ear.
We give this flute an 8/10 for sound quality. Why? First and foremost, the treble sounds are excellent and accurately hit the notes, which is great news for students. The same is true for displacements: the sound is preserved, and when playing a scale, all of the notes are audible. However, the sustain is poor, and in order to get a good reverb, the performer must be demanding; otherwise, he will not get good results. The volume, on the other hand, saves the day because it is powerful and has an appealing warm sound. Classical compositions, in our opinion, suit him best, but Irish music also complements him very well.
This is a flute that combines the quality of tradition with the innovation of modern technology to provide the best of both worlds to all beginning players looking for a low-cost instrument.
Mid-level musicians will be pleased with this proposal as well if they want to buy a basic recorder of good quality at a low cost.
Find the best price at Thomann.
Excellent sound and the best quality/price ratio.
- Materials: ABS plastic.
- Tuning: C“C”.
- Sound: Excellent for its price, with good sustain.
- Weight: 113 gr.
Yamaha's catalogue contains the most searched and most expensive flues on the market, and this proposal is a symbol of the Japanese company. It sells well, and when a student or teacher discusses flutes, the YRS-23 is a must-have reference. Continue reading to learn why it is the most desired and recommended recorder.
The Yamaha YRS-23 is made of high-quality ABS plastic and at 113 grams, it is considered a heavy flute. This indicates that the company has opted for high-density ABS, with an excellent resistance that makes it ideal for students who are not only learning music but also taking care of the instrument
This Yamaha flute has an elongated duct for moving air inside, giving the apprentice more control over breathing. The fingering is German because of its intended audience: it is an instrument for beginners, and these positions on the flute facilitate fingering the holes.
You may be wondering which fingering technique is best. According to Moeck's recorder experts, German fingering is recommended for beginners, but if the student wants to play the concert flute, he should look for a recorder with Baroque fingering.
We can define the sound of the Yamaha YRS-23 flute as a pleasant surprise because it has a clear tone for a flute in this price range. When the musical scale is played on the flute, each note can be distinguished and has sufficient volume.
The sustain is rich, with nice nuances, and the harmonics are great for playing Irish music, but not so much for classical or baroque music. However, once you reach a professional level, there are no limits because the response is fantastic.
Overall, this is possibly the best-value flute on the market. It's fantastic, with an impressive sonority for the price. Because it has a pleasant and powerful sound, we recommend it for children, young people, and adults who want to get started in the world of music with an inexpensive but not disappointing instrument. If you're a beginner or intermediate musician, you've probably already got one. But if you don't have one, now is the time to get one to serve as your workhorse at the lowest possible cost. Find the best Thomann price on this link.
Gewa Natura Recorder
It is made of wood
- Materials: Maple wood.
- Tuning: C “C”.
- Sound: Good, balanced.
- Weight: 198.4 gr.
Gewa has been manufacturing high-quality wind instruments since 1925, and the Natura flute soprano recorder is a prime example of this, with the essence of the Gewa tradition embodied in each of its parts.
This manufacturer's flute models stand out for their high quality and innovative use of tradition and technology. Learn why we think this flute is so good in this review.
The Gewa Natura flute is entirely built of German maple wood. It has a compressive strength of 450 kg per square centimeter, ensuring long-term durability. Furthermore, it is resistant to any range of vibration or sound frequency.
Because this flute is made of wood from Germany, where average temperatures are often quite low, heat plays an important role in its resistance. As a result, the trees' parenchymatic tissue is compressed and gains resistance. When the temperature changes, however, the wood molecules expand, limiting their resistance capacity. This is something to remember. When instruments made from these woods are transported to hotter climates, their performance will never be the same. In short, the Gewa Natura flute will be more elastic in Spain, resulting in better acoustic properties at the expense of strength. Furthermore, if it is filled with saliva, it will be more fragile, but not to the point of easily breaking
We like this flute's design because we like the traditional, and we found a wood finish with natural colour. It's simply fantastic. It has two parts, as is the traditional shape, but the mouthpiece perforation is curved to allow for better control of the air column.
Because the fingering is in the German style, the recorder positions are simpler for beginners. However, this does not detract from the quality; rather, there is a preference for baroque fingering in some professional circles.
Because double holes have not been included, performing sharps and thus chromatic scales will be more difficult. However, this does not disqualify you from playing a musical scale on this recorder; it simply means that you simply need to develop a technique.
The sound is intriguing. Depending on the circumstances, it may sound a little dry, with little sustain. At times, it is rich in harmonics, with good sustain and reverb. The dry, punchy sound is fantastic from a German perspective.
We, on the other hand (who enjoy Joaqu Rodrigo, Francisco Tárrega, Manuel de Falla, and others), prefer sounds that respond with a richness of vibrations, with reverb that covers everything in its path. In other words, the temperature in Spain enhances the sound of the Gewa Natura Recorder and perfectly matches our personality.
What about the harmonics? are a pleasure, the fast notes are completely comprehended, and the groups will delight you and make you feel exquisite, it is such an instrument that you will love.
The Gewa flute is the crown jewel for beginners and intermediates looking for a touch of tradition at a reasonable price. It is suitable for all styles: you can play whatever you want and it will sound great. All you need to do is perfect your technique.
If you are a professional, this is one of the types of recorders you will appreciate because it can rival the quality of your high-end recorder at times. It is the best recorder for the money. Interested? Check it out at Thomann for the best price. Interested? Check it out at the best price at Thomann.
Meinel 200-1 C-Soprano
It has the quality of the Gewa flutes, but with a better quality/price ratio.
- Materials: Maple wood.
- Tuning: C “C”.
- Sound: excellent, we love it.
- Weight: 198.4 gr.
Since 1914, the Meinel company has been producing high-quality beginner instruments. This is a family-owned company that understands the needs of students in their academies in a variety of ways, and each of their instruments has been tested in their classrooms to pass the acid test in the hands of trainees and teachers. It has all of the features of the best entry-level flute types but costs a fraction of the price, making it an excellent choice for you as a musician on a budget.
The Meinel 200-1 C-Soprano is made of German maple wood and therefore has the same characteristics as the Gewa Flute. Its fracture resistance is 450 kg per square centimeter, so it will last for several generations.
The modulus of elasticity is over 110 thousand kilograms per square centimeter. Its response to sound vibrations is equal to that of the Gewa soprano recorder: very good, and stable, with the bonus of durability.
The temperature difference between Spain and Germany has an equal influence on durability, which means more resistance in cold climates and less resistance in hot climates. However, its elasticity is better in Spain and that makes the sound richer.
The resemblance between this flute and the Gewa proposal is striking. This soprano flute is distinguished by its wood finish, natural colour, and distinctive woody sound. It is constructed traditionally, in two parts, except for a curved perforation in the mouthpiece to improve the response of the air column.
This makes it easier for beginners to control, and the German finding does not detract from the quality of the flute. Because it lacks double holes, you'll need to improve your technique if you want to make chromatic scales.
The reduced second notes will necessitate more practice, time, and commitment, but this is a good thing because it will encourage you to become a better player.
In cold regions, the sound is dry, direct, and linear, as with the Gewa soprano flute. That is the sound sought by the Germans, but we prefer sounds reminiscent of the Concierto de Aranjuez, the Capricho rabe.
We like La Vida Breve because we like sounds that respond with rich vibes and good reverb. Spain's climatic diversity contributes to a sound that is more authentic to our culture. Harmonics become a delight in this climatic context, and a phenomenal echo can be obtained.
We can confidently state that we have a flute that is similar to the proposed Gewa but costs half the price. It has a rich sound and we recommend it to all students and intermediates who want to invest little but gain a lot.
It is also an excellent choice for music teachers, as it is in the same price range as the Yamaha YRS-23. Interested? Check it out at the best price at Thomann.
We are faced with a difficult decision because we have four outstanding recorders that are the best on the market, the most well-known, and the highest rated. But if we had to choose, we'd go with the Meinel 200-1 C-Soprano. It combines the best features of the Yamaha YRS-23 recorder and the Gewa Natura Recorder, but with better sound and for the same price in the case of the Yamaha and significantly better in the case of the Gewa.
The best alto flutes
Thomann TRA-21G Alto
It has double holes, an impressive design and superior sound.
- Materials: ABS plastic.
- Tuning: F “F
- Sound: High quality.
- Weight: 230 gr.
Thomann's catalogue is the catalog that covers a wide range of musical instruments, particularly wind instruments such as saxophones, transverse flutes, harmonicas, and others. They are also very good at meeting the needs of students in a comprehensive manner, as evidenced by this dulcimer.
This alto flute is entirely constructed of ABS plastic. This flute is significantly denser than any Yamaha flute. We believe it is made of ABS reinforced with metal to achieve a higher density and better acoustic qualities, though this is not stated in the instrument's specifications.
The Thomann TRA-21G Alto has German fingering, which makes the flute positions easier for beginners and intermediates, and it is suitable for use by teachers. One feature we like is that it is made in three pieces, allowing you to adjust it to make it more comfortable for little finger-find flute types with double holes in this price range, giving it the characteristics of a mid-range instrument.
The sound is fantastic news for flute enthusiasts, as it is full of nuance and harmonics that few if any, other flutes in this price range have. Similarly, we found the sustain to be very good, with body and a rough sound that we enjoy.
The sustained notes have a roughness to them, whereas the fast notes have agility in the movements and each of the sound transitions. Scales will be no problem because the double holes allow for sharps or, failing that, flats. The double holes give the Thomann flute great versatility, allowing you to play baroque, classical, and modern pieces without the usual sonic limitations.
The Thomann TRA-21G Alto is very complete because it is built in three pieces that can be adjusted to facilitate fingering, the richness of the sound brings great versatility, and the quality of the ABS gives it greater resistance than most proposals on the market.
We recommend it for beginners and intermediate players looking for a flute with impressive features at a low price. Interested? Find the best price at Thomann.
Adler Heinrich Alto
High quality and totally traditional manufacture.
It is expensive.
- Materials: Maple wood.
- Tuning: F.
- Sound: Excellent in every sense.
- Weight: 198 gr.
The Adler Heinrich company was one of the great firms in the manufacture of musical instruments considered medium-high range because their best proposals used top quality materials combined with handmade tradition.
However, due to financial difficulties, the company was forced to close its doors in 2006, and we will discuss both the design and price aspects of this alto flute, as it is an example of quality combined with a low-cost concept.
The Adler Heinrich Alto is entirely made of German maple wood, which is synonymous with durability: this is a flute you will be able to pass down to your grandchildren. This German wood may have a better response to vibrations depending on the climate zone.
In Spain or areas with average temperatures ranging from 19o to 25o, you will have a flute with excellent acoustics but less resistance. You shouldn't expect it to break; it will simply sound better. It remains a highly resistant instrument in any environment.
This flute is made of three pieces and has a German fingering design. Because the foot can be moved, it is possible to modify it to make achieving the toe positions even easier. It is made of maple wood. It has a curved perforation in the mouthpiece, which improves response and makes the air column easier to control for beginners.
Due to its low price, it lacks double holes, which is a disappointment. This is due to the flute's intended use: it is intended for beginners. As previously stated, if you want to do chromatic scales or diminished seconds, you will need to improve your technique which will need dedication and practice.
But this is not necessarily a bad thing as you will feel obliged to be an excellent performer, with an increasingly refined technique.
The tones are distinct, and the sound is powerful but stable, with lovely harmonics. Furthermore, the sound quality on this flute is excellent, and the sustain is just right.
When played slowly, the sound is enveloping and warm, but when played quickly, the sound is aggressive and snappy. The classical and modern repertoires suit him best, except for baroque, which he does not like at all. However, if you develop a strong technique, baroque will be no problem.
Although there are no double holes, sharps and diminished notes are not difficult to make. Because they sound fantastic, your skin will slither. We rate the sound as a 10/10.
The Adler Heinrich Alto is excellent, but our issue with it is the price: nothing about it justifies such a high price. However, if you're looking for a traditional instrument with excellent craftsmanship and sound quality, this flute is for you. Have you sharpened your teeth? Find the best price at Thomann.
The best alto baroque flute
Teachers prefer alto flutes of the baroque style, and many of them request instruments with this type of fingering. We have chosen what we believe to be the best value for money on the market for teachers and professionals. Let's take a look at what it has to offer.
Aulos 509B “Symphony
Impressive design and double holes.
- Materials: ABS plastic, ivory.
- Tuning: F “F”.
- Sound: Excellent.
- Weight: 272 gr.
Aulos is a brand of Toyama Musical Instruments, which was founded in 1950 by Nobuo Toyama. This company prefers student instruments with baroque tuning because they believe they are of higher quality and add prestige to their designs.
The quality of its sound is difficult to find, and this is due to the careful selection and care that the company has taken in each stage of manufacturing.
This flute is made of ABS resin plastic, which is currently the most widely used material for making wind instruments, particularly flutes, as Toyama's speciality. The Aulos 509B “Symphony” flute is quite large: it weighs 272 grams, which is quite a lot for a recorder.
It is also 2 mm thick, indicating a sturdier and stronger flute than any other. Furthermore, the company has used ivory in the beak and head joint, which is normally reserved for high-end flutes.
The Toyama Symphony flute family includes six different tunings of flutes. However, according to the designers, this alto flute has the best response and most closely emulates all of the design and sound quality characteristics of the original baroque flutes.
This sound quality is due to the response of the 2 mm thick ABS, which cannot be done with other types of flutes such as the soprano because it is small, heavy, and produces dull sound. To provide this response, the tenor flute should be thicker, let alone the bass recorder, which should be at least 5 mm thick to compare.
In other words, the superior design of this flute is entirely coincidental. The other five in the series cannot have the same qualities because they are either too heavy or too opaque in sound. The fingering is baroque because the goal was to create a flute that resembled the old ones.
Furthermore, double holes have been included to allow you greater access to the sustained tones and their respective scales. The Aulos 509B “Symphony” is divided into three sections, allowing you to adjust the head joint to make note positions on the flute easier to achieve.
As previously stated, this proposal achieves a truly baroque sound: its tone is fine and it has an aesthetic that no other flute for beginners has. The warmth is caused by the thickness of the ABS plastic, which provides excellent stability at all sound frequencies.
Furthermore, the small pieces of ivory on the beak and head make a noticeable difference. The sustain and reverb are lovely; they give an impressive sense of antiquity, and the sound colour is enveloping and creamy, as is typical of baroque music. The sound response to the third and fifth intervals is excellent: each note is distinct and responds to the column of air emitted by the musician.
Because its material configuration and design feature only work on it, this flute is unlike any other, resulting in a gift that every student, intermediate, and advanced musician should appreciate and take advantage of. Its sound is clear, powerful, and responsive to different air columns, with a flavour that transports us to the 15th century. Do you love it? Thomann has the best prices. Do you like it? Find the best price at Thomann.
The best tenor flute
Tenor recorders are the most popular today because of their adaptability for almost any type of performance. To achieve this, materials and design must come together to create a great instrument with certain characteristics that bring flexibility to the sound.
Traditionally manufactured in pear wood.
It is expensive.
- Materials: Pear wood.
- Tuning: C “C”.
- Sound: Excellent.
- Weight: 540 gr.
With the rise of the Mollenhauer house, which would leave a trail of illustrious craftsmen, the 19th century saw the birth of a history rich in musical richness. This particular tenor flute is a delight because of its many qualities, including quality, a warm, sensitive, and emotional sound, among others. Learn everything there is to know about it by reading on.
This tenor recorder is made of German pear wood, which has a breaking strength of 700 kg per cubic centimeter. That is, it is very resistant, more so than most woods used in wind instruments.
The Mollenhauer artisans went with tradition, using pear wood with a natural tone, reminiscent of the old flutes used by German masters since the 16th century. Fingering is a German characteristic that is well-accepted in the circles of great musicians.
It has double holes, which will make it easier to execute sharps and flats, as well as the flute's respective scales. It has a curved mouthpiece on the inside to help with the displacement of the air column and sound control.
The sound of the Mollenhauer 2466 is the result of all of the above: it is powerful, but also warm and sensitive, which is difficult to find in tenor recorders.
Pear wood has a balanced response to low frequencies and an excellent transition from these to high frequencies, delegating responsibility to the interpreting musician's technical mastery.
This flute's versatility is evident not only in the transitions between sound frequencies but also in the quality of the sustain, which provides a high-quality sound cushion. The reverb has a noticeable balance for great resonance.
Mollenhauer has put all of its experience and expertise into this flute, ensuring that its users have a high-quality instrument in their hands. Its sound is versatile, balanced, and has a sonority that we can recognize in culturasonora. This is why we recommend it for learners of all levels, as it is a tool that both beginners and professionals should have. Thomann has the best prices.
Remember that you can find the best reviews and comparisons of sound equipment and headphones, as well as all types of wind, string, and percussion musical instruments, such as an accordion, didgeridoo, bassoon, trumpet, guitar, bass, and so on, on culturasonora's homepage.
Technical characteristics of the Flute
|Moeck 1020 Flauto 1 Plus||Madera y plástico ABS||do “C”||200 gr||Brillante, con poco sustain pero equilibrado|
|Yamaha YRS-23||Plástico ABS||do “C”||113 gr||Excelente para su precio, con buen sustain|
|Gewa Natura Recorder||Madera de arce||do “C”||198,4 gr||Bueno, equilibrado|
|Meinel 200-1 C-Soprano||Madera de arce||do “C”||198,4 gr||Excelente, nos encanta|
|Thomann TRA-21G Alto||Plástico ABS||fa "F"||230 gr||De gran calidad, 9 de 10|
|Adler Heinrich Alto||Madera de arce||fa "F"||198 gr||Excelente en todo sentido 10 de 10|
|Aulos 509B “Symphony”||Plastico ABS, marfil||fa "F"||272 gr||Excelente, 10 de 10|
|Mollenhauer 2466||Madera de peral||do “C”||540 gr||Excelente|