“When the cook makes a mistake, it is the flute player who receives the blows” – Ancient Greek Proverb.
A flute is a lightweight instrument (compared to other musical instruments) but equally hard to play. It would not be wrong to say that flutes are like a “Chota packet bada dhamaka” in the world of vadya yantras (urf musical instruments)!
1. ‘Flute’ is one of the oldest instruments in the world. The world’s oldest flute was the bone of a bear made about 45,000 years ago and found in Germany.
2. Throughout history, flutes have been made from several different materials like wood, bone, ivory, glass, silver, gold, and platinum. Today, flutes are made out of silver-plated nickel, gold, or platinum.
3. Like the violin is the leader of the string section, the flutes spearheads the woodwind. A flute produces its sound from airflow across an opening and an aerophone or reedless wind instrument.
4. In Greek myths, it was believed that the goddess Athena invented the flutes. When Athena played the flute with all her might, her face contorted and ruined. So she threw away the flute she had made, and so it was invented. Quite interesting!!
5. And on the other hand, in Hindus, it is believed that the flutes had spiritual powers and compared them to the deity. Krishna frequently depicted playing the flute in Hindu culture and that the sound of his flutes brought all the young ladies out to dance with him!
6. Flutes have a very different and wide variety of sounds. In the flute family, the piccolo flutes can play exceptionally high. The contrabass flutes can hit the lowest pitch heard by a human ear.
7. The flute is also a versatile instrument that can play a broad range of styles and moods. They are the soprano voices in many orchestral and concert band pieces. Modern orchestras usually use the ‘flute’ to convey many cheerful and sad emotions.
8. Many cultures were quite impressed and inspired by the existence of this instrument. So, they decided to make their own. An example of a foreign flute is the Japanese flutes named “The Shakuhachi”.
9. Flutes are featured everywhere, making Bollywood melodious tunes to Western Jazz, Pop, Folk and more, both as a solo instrument and part of small/large groups.
10. It is truly versatile, equally wing above the orchestra in a romantic symphony. Unlike many instruments, it can also be packed into a compact case and easily transported.
11. There are also a couple of world records related to the ‘flute’ in the world. Two of them are:
- In December 2014, Jay Bhayani, Charu Sudan Atri, and Bharat Sinh Parmar created the largest ever flute! The instrument is 3.63m large and was used in a public event to play the Indian National Anthem.
- And in 2017, Katherine Brookes set a record, playing the ‘flute’ without stopping for a staggering 27 hours, 32 minutes, and 32 seconds, beating her previous record by nearly two hours.
So, is there any other that old, amazing, beautiful, unique, and even a record-breaker musical instrument??
Pranjal is highly jovial by heart, full of bright ideas and leading a colorful life person. She is currently pursuing her graduation from lakshmibai college, University of Delhi and a keen learner who have a constant desire to learn more and more.