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MUE 237

August 23, 2005:


Sections to be covered for each instrument:

• body Alignment and Balance
• Hand Position
• Breathing,
• Anatomy,
• Articulation,
• Double and single tonguing ,
• Vibrato,
• Fingerings and Alternate Fingerings,
• Practicing techniques.
• trouble shooting


Body alignment and Balance:

Body alignment and balance fundamentals for the flute are similar to most other wind
instruments. The players breathing passages should always be open and free of any
tension and constrictions.

Have the student stand with feet shoulder width apart, shoulders relaxed, with your hands
by their sides. Have them attempt to raise themselves on their toes by pushing down.
Instruct the students not to do this without moving or leaning with any other parts of their
body. Note: this exercise can be used with any instrument.

Specific items to check:

• Are shoulders relaxed
• Is back slouched
• Forward lean
• Backward lean
• Side lean

Repeat the preceding exercise then have the students sit in their seats without changing
their upper bodies. Note: this exercise can be used with any instrument.

• Slouched in chair
• Leaning back in char

Flute Family:

• C Flute – most common concert flute

• Piccolo Flute – keyed to C one octave higher than standard C – flute. Commonly
used in marching bands and military stile bands because their sound tends to
• Alto Flute – keyed to G – longer and larger bore tan the concert flute
• Base Flute – keyed to C sound one octave lower than the concert flute. Noted for
their curved head joint.
• Contra Alto Flute and Contra Base Flute – Both very rare
• E flay soprano flute and B flat piccolo flute are common in older arraignments of

The current arrangement of the flute was invented by Boehm. He switched the flute from
a conical shape to a cylindrical shape. (Look up more details on the interne)

• Top piece is called the head joint
• Middle piece is called the body
• Bottom pice s called the foot
• The crown is the cap on the head joint and contains a cork.
o The cork position can effect intonation and tone quality
• Lip plate is a separate piece satered onto the head joint. Always hold the flute by
the barrel
• Three foot pieces are possible.
o D has one key
o C has 2 keys – most common for beginning models
o B has 3 keys
o The names come from the bottom note that the foot allows the flute to
• Plateau models have closed holes
• French models have open holes
• Most student models have offset g keys
• Most advanced models tend to have inline g keys

Student models can range from $350 to $600. These models should be white brass
with silver plate. Renting for beginner students is recommended. A student can
upgrade their instrument by purchasing silver head joint, body, and foot. Professional
models can range from $10k to $11k.

• Case should open flat
• Hold head joint an the base
• The body at the barrel
• Twist the head away from your body until the blow hole lines up with the first
• Twist the base away from your body until the rod lines up with keys
• Always use the flute with clean hands and mouth
• Always swab when done playing or when you notice condensation
• Make sure the swab cloth cover the swab stick
• Use leaning paper to clean sticky pads
• Brushes are available to clean the springs and rods if necessary.