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Best 16 hole flute

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

Choosing your beginner flute

When buying a flute, take into account that on the one hand a quality instrument increases the pleasure of the player. Your child has more chance of staying with it if the sound is good and the keys have the right tension (not too loose, but also not hard to control).

On the other hand, it’s quite normal for kids to simply quit within the year, or after only a few years, however great the flute you bought.

It’s best to buy a flute that, when necessary, can be resold. That way the musical development of your child need not cost you too much in the long run. One way to ensure that is to contact the music teacher at your school and ask them about brands and things like that.