Ancient Stone flutes

These flutes go way back to some of the earliest designs of NA flute, where the air-splitting fipple edge was believed to be made of stone. These flutes, while made of traditional cedar wood, certainly sound different to others. The timbre to the notes is noticeably sharper, and blowing with a "pah" breath gives a very accented note. Because the stone fipple is inlaid into the leading edge of the sound hole, it can be sunk ever so slightly to refine the sound produced even further. These flutes require slight adjustments to the playing style but they are undoubtedly worth it and are a step back to a very ancient type of flute.

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Ancient stone (opal) yellow cedar flute with accents

One of the key points in designing and making these flutes is that the stone must be able to be worked to a very small but smooth chip. For most types of stone, once a critical size is reached, the fipple edge can easily chip. I tend to use opal as main choice because it can be worked and smoothed relatively easily, but I have also had success with turquoise, quartz, marble and slate. Not surprisingly, the most common request is for "Birthstone" flutes, and these can often be accommodated with a little time and effort.

Detail on opal fipple edge

These flutes are usually tuned to the normal pentatonic mid-ranges. Experience so far suggests they play less well when the key goes below E. The bore and wall thickness is also adjusted for optimum performance.

Please feel free to call or email if you would like any more details on the above flute range. And remember, this range can be customised to your own requirements.

 The Owlhouse • Milford • Surrey • UK •

© Second Voice Flutes 2005