Best 16 hole flute

by katinka on May 5, 2011

The standard western concert flute which are reviewed on this site have 16 holes. This helps it cover three octaves and all the half notes in there. The most common kind is the C-flute, so called because the lowest note is the Middle C.

The system of the Western 16 hole flute was designed halfway through the 19th century by Theobald Boehm. Flutes made today usually conform to this ‘Boehm system’ with only minor refinements.

The Western concert flute is a 16 hole side-blown or transverse flute that makes a sound when one blows OVER (instead of IN) the hole. The player blows “across” the embouchure hole, in a direction perpendicular to the flute’s body length.

Compare this to the recorder: the flute most of us learn to play as kids. I did too and loved the sound, honestly. However, later on I learned that the plastic variety mostly used in cheaper music lessons truly sounds awful. So do invest in a wooden recorder if you expect your child to have any musical sense at all. An aunt of mine plays the recorder professionally – it is a larger bass flute. Recorders can have up to 9 holes and usually cover only two octaves, though recorders with a range of 3 octaves have been produced.

This article would not be complete without mentioning the piccolo: a 16 holed flute that starts an octave higher than the standard concert flute. It is a half-sized flute with the same fingering as the standard transverse flute.

Piccolo’s are not recommended for a beginner player, due to the difficulty in fingering as compared to the ordinary flute.

See also: silver plated flutes vs nickel plated flutes, Hisonic 16 hole flute and the Suzuki 16 hole flute

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A silver plated flute is better than a nickel flute

by katinka on November 17, 2010

Since nickel allergies are a real issue, it’s obvious that a silver plated flute is better than a nickel one. However, both are in use as the basic material for student level flutes. The consensus is that silver plated flutes sound better, and of course they look better. Unlike nickel, silver can be polished, which makes for a better look at recitals and things like that. Not unimportant as even the most basic player wants to perform in front of an audience without making a fool of themselves. They’re likely nervous enough.

Here’s the rundown from cheap to expensive

  1. Nickel flutes are the most affordable and the cheapest. They’re used as beginner flutes only,  but they will last a long time. The sound can be reasonable, if the flute is well made. The cost starts at about $100.-
  2. Silver plated flutes are also made for beginners, the material underneath is nickel too. Aside from the good looks, silver is also a bit less slippery. These flutes are generally better made and a bit higher quality. They start at about $200.-
  3. Silver flutes (silver alloy) are for professional players. The more expensive ones have gold worked into them for extra effect. They’re lighter and also more fragile. However, the sound is what matters here of course: the sound of silver flutes are generally better.

On this blog I’ve reviewed one silver plated flute, and one nickel flute (so far).

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Hisonic Signature Series 2810N Closed 16-hole Flute

November 17, 2010
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The Hisonic flute is one of the most affordable flutes out there. The reviews are generally positive, though a few people complain of loose cork stops, but replacements are included. The main advantage of this flute is the price, but you won’t be selling yourself short on sound either. The tone is generally beautiful. I […]

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Suzuki FL-SC flute review

November 11, 2010
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I’m partial to Suzuki flutes, because I played one when I was a teen. I played it for years. Sounded great and helped me develop my breathing. However, I have to be frank with you all: their online reviews suck. So, are Suzuki flutes good? What seems to happen is that you either get a […]

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