Have you ever thought of why the flute is included in the woodwind family? Of course, there is a history of flutes made partially with wood. The real answer though is much more interesting: the woodwind family is actually classed by the way sound is produced an excerpt from WWBW “the way they produce their sound which is by splitting the player’s air stream on a sharp edge, such as a reed”. When looking at flute specs – especially for younger students – often you are dealing with a cheaper silver – usually nickel. Here is a comprehensive list of both flute specs and flutes for students:
There are so many variables with it comes to manufacturing a flute, this is no way a fully complete list (since there are a vast amount of custom variables), I have divided these specs into 6 common
C foot v.
Open holed v.
Inline G key v.
Offset G key
- Gizmo key (foot)
- Bb side key (body)
- C# trill (body)
- Split E (body)
- C# roller (foot)
- D# roller (foot)
- Brossa F# (body)
- Nickel silver – sometimes with silver plating on the exterior
- Coin silver OR Sterling silver
- Gold – How many karats?
- Wood (uncommon)
- Combination of metals
- ie. a sterling silver body with gold keys; OR a coin silver body with gold interior wall.
The riser is part of the embouchure hole and can be any metal (ie. silver, gold).
The wall thickness can impact the color of the tone (and the weight of the instrument).
Also as mentioned, the inner wall of the flute can be made of a different metal than the outer
The thickness of the tube is important because flute players will often upgrade their headjoint
(since it is less expensive than buying a whole flute) and the diameter of the tubing MUST
match the body of the flute.
FLUTES – General Names to be aware of
Beginning Brands (can also be used for outdoor playing/marching band)
- Trevor James
Conservatory Brands (get through Undergrad)
- Azumi (by Altus)
- Powell Sonare
- Amadeus (by Haynes)
- Di Zhao
More specific – general specs and pricing
Beginner (Grades 4-6)
- Selmer – FL711 Prelude
- Gemeinhardt – 2SP
Intermediate (Grades 6-12)
- Pearl – PF 500
- Yamaha – YFL 222
- Pearl – PF 505 RBE
- Yamaha – YFL 262
Conservatory (Grade 10 upwards)
- Yamaha – YFL 577(H)
- Powell Sonare – PS 601
- Muramatsu – EX
- Azumi – AZ series (1, 2, or 3)
- Trevor James – Cantabile OR Virtuoso Voce
What are your favorite student flutes and specs? Let me know in the comments below!