Flute family

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The Flute belongs to the Woodwind section, concretely to the instruments which no need a reed in order to make them sound. They are made of nickel silver or combine some metals, although it can be made completely of wood, silver, gold or platinum. Despite nowadays it is made of metal or precious metal, it belongs to the Woodwind family because originally it was made of wood. The cylindrical body contains most of the tone holes and the keywork.

The flute player produce the sound by blowing into the embouchure hole. It is pitched in the key of C notated in treble clef and its playing range goes from C4 to C7, although nowadays they can play the B3 when a B foot is attached to the instruments. In the low register the notes can sound dull, dry and hollow, which gives them a melancholy character, whilst the middle register is mellow, light, bright and rich. The upper register is brilliant and can be penetrating and shrill.


The Piccolo is a member of the transverse flute family and is the highest-pitched wind instrument in the orchestra. It is can be made of wood (grenadilla or cocus wood) or metal (silver or nickel silver).

The way the Piccolo player produce the sound is the same as in the Flute. Its range is one octave higher than the flute range. As well as the Flute, the low register is dull, hollow and barely audible. The middle register can be delicate and graceful, whereas the upper register is piercing and conspicuous.

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