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Flute Facts

20 Interesting Facts About The Flute

The flute is likely one of the most iconic and recognisable instruments in history. And it also has a certain allure, shall we speak: every time you see a flautist playing, you’re put into some sort of trance. It’s like the flute’s music itself is calling to you, beckoning you to come closer. That’s why it seems like the instrument of choice for fantasy characters such as elves! At the end of the day though, the flute’s status as an icon is only overshadowed only by its rich history. So sit back and learn some interesting facts about this wonderful instrument!

Flute Facts

1. The flute is among the oldest of all musical instruments.

Flute Facts

And by “old,” we mean old. The very first flutes were originally made from stone, wood, or clay, and the oldest ones date back to at least 30,000 years ago! That’s way older than the oldest civilisations in history. Even before the Ancient Egyptians started talking about gods, the flute has already been invented!

2. The earliest written script referring to the flute was made between 2700-2600 BC.

Now, we know numbers and dates aren’t that interesting to most people. So here’s a quick primer: the dates 2600-2700 BC mean that the oldest scripts referring to the flute were written at least 2,700 years before the common era, which starts literally at Year 1 CE, or Common Era. If you do the math, that’s almost 5,000 years! 

Flute Facts

3. Leonardo Da Vinci played the flute.

If you’re looking for inspiration during your flute lessons to keep you interested, how about this: Leonardo Da Vinci played the flute! Yes, the ultimate Renaissance Man most people only knew as a painter because of the Mona Lisa was an accomplished flautist. He even wrote original music for it, though copies of these never survived. 

4. You can consider almost anything as a flute

Flute Facts

If you don’t understand, here’s an explanation. The classification of the flute is so simple, that literally any hollow tube you blow air into to produce sound is a flute. Bottle of Coke? Flute. A PVC pipe? Flute. An empty Pringles can? Also a flute. 

5. The word “flute” was first used in Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem, The Hous (House of Fame), in 1380.

This poem might not seem like it’s interesting, but as a well-known poet of his time, Chaucer had the option to write it in French (the dominant literary language of the time). But he chose to write in Middle English. So you can say that you owe this 14th Century poet for what you call your beloved flute.

6. Hindus believe that music from a flute created the world.

Flute music is already pleasant to the ears. But to the Hindus, that music was good enough to create the world! In Hindu scripture, the god Krishna used a bamboo flute to bring the world to life, while also using its beautiful music to preach love and harmony. 

7. The sound a flute makes is from vibrating air.

“Vibrating air” sounds a bit unbelievable, but that’s exactly how the instrument works! When you blow air across the hole, the air inside the flute’s hollow body vibrates and produces a sound. And you know that in science, anything that vibrates produces sound.