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The Evolving Flute

The prehistoric flute is often described mixing mythology with empiricism. While many divergent theories plausibly explain the flute’s beginnings, most exclude the underlying practical issues driving its metamorphosis. Knowing that the flute’s development is intimately interwoven with the principles of physics helps explain its changes throughout time. When we studied this evolutionary process, it was far more important to learn the why, rather than where, when and how.

Historically, the flute’s evolution appears to be driven by a quest for improved sound and musical range. Until recently the general credo was if it sounds better, physical comfort not withstanding, it is better. While the transverse flute’s principle of sound production is superior to its early vertical predecessors, arguably it is less ergonomic. The concept of ergonomics or more simply put, player friendly instruments is a relatively new approach to flute design. Drelinger believes that player-friendly technology
only makes sense if it doesn’t compromise
sound quality. As it turned out, our vertical
design heartily equals the sound of its
transverse counterpart, as beautifully
demonstrated by world class flutists
on recordings from the
HomeCookedCD.comTM label.

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