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The flute is a woodwind instrument that has its origins in many different cultures and therefore is available in a variety of forms and types. Flutes were already known in prehistoric times and were made of different materials like e.g. animal bones. Generally the term “flute” mostly refers to recorder or transverse flutes.

Basically flutes can be differed in instruments with or without windways. In case of flutes without windway (non-fipple flutes) the air stream is shaped and directed by the player’s lips over a ramp edge, which generates the tone inside the instrument. The most common representatives of this family are the transverse/end-blown flutes and the panpipes. In case of flutes with a precisely formed and placed windway (fipple or ducted flutes) the air stream is blown over an angular ramp edge (labium) across the open window. This is where the sound is generated. This group of flutes also includes e.g. the recorder, flageolet and the pipes of an organ.

The recorder had its revival at the beginning of the 20th century after it was displaced in the 18th century from classical orchestras and ensembles by transverse flutes.

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