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Native American flute

No, you will enjoy unlimited free shipping whenever you meet the above order value threshold. Flute makers may use calculators to design their instruments, [45] or use dimensions provided by other flute makers. Native American flutes were traditionally crafted of a wide range of materials, including wood cedar , juniper , walnut , cherry , and redwood are common , bamboo , and river cane. Flute makers from indigenous cultures would often use anything that could be converted or made into a long hollow barrel, such as old gun barrels. Poetic imagery regarding the covenant between flute maker and player was provided by Kevin Locke in the Songkeepers video: The flute maker has to take that cedar, split it open, and remove that beautiful, straight-grained, aromatic, sweet, soft, deep-red heart of the cedar.

And then they will re-attach both halves and put the holes in. And so the covenant or reciprocal agreement is that the flute player will instill the heart back into the wood — put their heart back in there.

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Contemporary Native American flutes continue to use these materials, as well as plastics , ceramic , glass , and more exotic hardwoods such as ebony , padauk , and teak. Various materials are chosen for their aromatic qualities, workability, strength and weight, and compatibility with construction materials such as glue and various finishes. Although little objective research has been undertaken, there are many subjective opinions expressed by flute makers and players about the sound qualities associated with the various materials used in Native American flutes. One study that surveyed the physiological effects of playing Native American flutes found a significant positive effect on heart rate variability , a metric that is indicative of resilience to stress.

Native American Flute: A Comprehensive Guide ~ History & Craft

The Native American flute is still used today in Music Therapy settings. Known as Ojibwe music, usage of the flute is extremely beneficial for hospice, cancer, and cardiac patients to assist in managing anxiety, restlessness, fear, and pain. Flutes can provide a source of rehabilitation and encourage a sense of accomplishment. It guides patients in taking a deep breath and using controlled exhalations to blow through the flute, helping with exercising the lungs.

Retrieved 9 February Contemporary Native American flutes can take ergonomic considerations into account, even to the point of custom flute designs for individual flute players.


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The predominant scale for Native American flutes crafted since the mids often called "contemporary Native American flutes" is the pentatonic minor scale. The notes of the primary scale comprise the root , minor third , perfect fourth , perfect fifth , minor seventh , and the octave. Recently some flute makers have begun experimenting with different scales, giving players new melodic options. The pitch standard used by many Native American flutes before the mids was arbitrary.

However, contemporary Native American flutes are often tuned to a concert pitch standard so that they can be easily played with other instruments. The root keys of contemporary Native American flutes span a range of about three and a half octaves, from C 2 to A 5. Early recordings of Native American flutes are available from several sources. Native American flutes typically have either five or six finger holes, but any particular instrument may have from zero to seven finger holes.

The instrument may include a finger hole covered by the thumb. The fingerings for various pitches are not standardized across all Native American flutes.

Native American Flute Craft: Ancient to Modern by C. S. Fuqua - Paperback | Souq - UAE

However, many contemporary Native American flutes will play the primary scale using the fingering shown in the adjacent diagram. While the pentatonic minor scale is the primary scale on most contemporary Native American flutes, many flutes can play notes of the chromatic scale using cross-fingerings. Native American flutes are available in a wide variety of keys and musical temperaments — far more than typically available for other woodwind instruments. Instruments tuned to equal temperament are typically available in all keys within the range of the instrument.

A distinctive sound of some Native American flutes, particularly traditional flutes, is called the "warble" or "warbling".


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The warble sounds as if the flute is vacillating back and forth between distinct pitches. However, it is actually the sound of different harmonic components of same sound coming into dominance at different times. Coltman, in a detailed analysis of flute acoustics, describes two types of warbles in Native American flutes: One "of the order of 20 Hz" caused by a "nonlinearity in the jet current", and a second type "in which amplitude modulation occurs in all partials but with different phases".

The first type is analyzed by Coltman in a controlled setting, but he concluded that analysis of the second type of warble "is yet to be explained".

NA Flute: Myth, History, Craft

The warble can be approximated by use of vibrato techniques. The phase shift that occurs between different harmonics can be observed on a spectrograph of the sound of a warbling flute. Written music for the Native American flutes is often in the key of F-sharp minor , although some music is scored in other keys. However, the convention for music written in F-sharp minor is to use a key signature of four sharps. This convention is known as "Nakai tablature". Note that the use of finger diagrams below the notes that is part a high percentage of written music for the Native American flutes is not necessarily part of Nakai tablature.

The use of a standard key signature for written music that can be used across Native American flutes in a variety of keys classifies the instrument as a transposing instrument. A small portion of these recordings included Native American flute playing.

WindPoem III ~ Native American Flute Meditations

One catalog lists ethnographic recordings made prior to These recordings capture traditional styles of playing the instrument in a sampling of indigenous cultures and settings in which the instrument was used. However, the legal and ethical issues surrounding access to these early recordings are complex. Because of incidents of misappropriation of ethnographic materials recorded within their territories, Indigenous communities today claim a say over whether, how and on what terms elements of their intangible cultural heritage are studied, recorded, re-used and represented by researchers, museums, commercial interests and others.

During the period —, few people were playing the Native American flute. However, a few recordings of flute playing during this period are commercially available. One such recording is by Belo Cozad, a Kiowa flute player who made recordings for the U. Library of Congress in The music of R. Carlos Nakai became popular in the s, in particular with the release of the album "Canyon Trilogy" in His music was representative of a shift in style from a traditional approach to playing the instrument to incorporate the New-age genre.

She remains the only Native American flutist to be distinguished in this way, as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences retired the category in Today, Native American flutes are being played and recognized by many different peoples and cultures around the world. The Native American flute has inspired hundreds of informal community music groups which meet periodically to play music and further their interest in the instrument. These groups are known as flute circles. The chart below depicts the activity in publicly accessible social media groups specific to the Native American flute.

Three domains are shown:. However, note that these statistics do not take into account the change over this period in accessibility to the Internet, use of social media vs. Despite these limitations, the chart does indicate a substantial rate of growth in activity and interest. For additional statistics, see the flute circle article.

The Native American flute has gained popularity among flute players, in large part because of its simplicity. According to a thesis by Mary Jane Jones: The flute's cathartic appeal probably lies in its simplicity. In their quest to build instruments that could play several chromatic octaves with perfect intonation, Europeans produced mechanically complex instruments that require a great deal of technical skill on the part of the musician.

As most music teachers will attest, many beginners take so long to master the necessary skills and are so focused on the technical aspects of their instruments that they must eventually be taught how to play with feeling. Struggling with the demands of their instruments over time causes them to lose the emotional connection to music that they may have felt when singing as young children. Since beginners can play melodies on the Native American flute with ease, it is possible for them to play expressively from the outset.

As flute players become better acquainted with their instruments, their improvisations tend to become longer, have more complex melodies and forms, and contain more embellishments. However, the ability to express emotion through improvisation on the flute seems as easy for the beginner as it is for the advanced student.

Notable and award-winning Native American flutists include: In the United States, wrongfully claiming that an artifact is crafted by "an Indian" is a felony offense. The US Department of the Interior explicitly states on its informational website about the Act that, "Under the Act, an Indian is defined as a member of any federally or State recognized Indian Tribe , or an individual certified as an Indian artisan by an Indian Tribe.


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Based on this statue, only a flute fashioned by a person who qualifies as an Indian under the terms of the statue can legally be sold as a "Native American flute" or "American Indian flute". However, although there is no official public ruling on alternative terms that are acceptable, it is general practice that any manufacturer or vendor may legally label their work-product by other terms such as "Native American style flute" or "North American flute".

Labels such as "in the style of", or "in the spirit of", or "replica" may also be used. However, while the Act applies to offering handmade arts and crafts offered to the public for sale, it does not apply to the use of Native American flutes in situations such as performance, workshops, or recording. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of makes it unlawful without a waiver to use materials from species protected by the Act in a musical instrument.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Native American flute six holes. Performed on a flute crafted by Chief Arthur Two-crows. Native-American-style flute five holes G. Performed on a flute crafted by Rick Heller. Flutes and whistles portal. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology. United States Government Printing Office. Dakota Grammar, Texts, and Ethnography. Contributions to North American Ethnology, Volume 9.

United States Government Printing Office part 1: Teton Sioux Music and Culture. Volume 3 — Myths and Languages. United States Government Printing Office: Creating and Using Grandfather's Flute. Box 88, Garden Valley, CA Native North American Flutes. North American Indian Music: The Chicago Manual of Style 15th ed. University of Chicago Press. An Archaeology of the Soul: North American Indian Belief and Ritual. University of Illinois Press. Volume 3 of The Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments. Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society.

The Native American Plains Flute. Toubat Trails Publishing Co. Retrieved 25 Jan