Native American Flutes

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  2. January 13, 2018 1:47 am

Native American Flutes

Native American flutes are among the most interesting instruments on earth. Although flutes are found on every continent, few are as distinctive in look and sound as the traditional Native American woodwind.

In terms of appearance, a Native American flute has a decorative block near the mouthpiece that is often carved into shapes. The block is often be carved into a bird or a totem. The blocks are also painted in decorative colors as well. These unique blocks give the flutes a recognizable design and also contribute to the timbre of the flutes incredible tone.

The unique design of these flutes actually make them some of the first to have two chambers that influence the sound generated. They are separated by the block, thus giving the airflow passing through the flute a chance to resonate and create a beautiful tone. The choice of wood also dictates the tone the flute will emit. The hardness or softness of the wood determines how warm or sharp the sound is.

It is believed that the Native American flute was derived from flutes native to Central America. The oldest traditional flute was found by the Ancient Pueblo people who lived in the Four Corners region of the United States. The flute had many variations all over what is now North America.

Native American flutes had a resurgence of popularity in the 1960s. Many Native American flutists became popular and some even won Grammys. Part of the popularity of Native American flute music was due to the blossoming spiritual movement of the time. For the same reason, the music is now very popular for meditation and yoga practices.

It is easy to see why the Native American flute is possibly the most widely used indigenous flute on earth.

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