8. The Flute

The next three instruments are all part of the woodwind family of orchestral instruments. The flute is the mostly frequently played of woodwind instruments, and the transverse flute is the standard orchestral design, so-named because it is held perpendicular to the body and air is blown across the mouthpiece rather than into it. It is usually made from precious metals like nickel or silver, or sometimes hardwoods like Grenadilla. As a result of how it is played, the tone is much breathier and softer than the recorder, but it does need a lot more puff, so for younger children there are smaller flutes available. These are approximately 7cm shorter than the normal flute allowing fingers to easily reach all the holes and pads. In addition to this they weigh less (approx. 325g) and are easier to play, requiring less breath than standard flutes. Because of the special breathing, sound generation and fingering techniques required, it is best to get professional tuition and guidance from the outset, as is the case with all woodwind instruments.

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