Flutes and Whistles

(Click on any picture to see an enlargement.)

Ceramic flutes and whistles have been made by many cultures for thousands of years. The Native South and Central American peoples developed this craft to such a high degree that even todays musical acousticians have a difficult time explaining some of the complex acoustical designs of their vessel flutes. My designs for clay ocarinas and flutes bring nothing new to this tradition, as far as I know. However, I have had a good time creating unusually shaped flutes, pursuing a goal of shaping the flute in such a way that the finger holes fall more naturally under the player's fingers. Most of these instruments are in some sort of a modified "S" shape.

Shown above is also a vessel flute, styled after a Chines "xun". This is a predecessor of the more modern ocarina.

Sound files (available in au, wav and RealAudio formats):

Hear a ceramic flute played in the Burnt Earth Ensemble (RealAudio)

Hear a pentatonic curved ceramic flute

Hear another pentatonic curved ceramic flute

Hear a curved ceramic flute with a Middle-eastern scale

Hear a ceramic piccolo

Hear another ceramic piccolo

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