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):
a ceramic flute played in the Burnt Earth Ensemble
Hear a pentatonic
curved ceramic flute
another pentatonic curved ceramic flute
a curved ceramic flute with a Middle-eastern scale
a ceramic piccolo