Choosing a Flute
Choosing on the basis of the quality of the material
Resonance and timbre vary with the thickness of the tube and the quality of the material used
Flutes are made of substances such as copper-nickel, silver, gold, and grenadilla (a type of wood). Each of these materials produce different sound characteristics. Even among flutes made of the same material, sound quality and timbre vary according to the thickness of the material. The combination of the quality of the material and the thickness of the body is an important factor in determining the character of the instrument.
- Standard sheet thickness(0.4mm)
- Copper-nickel (an alloy of copper and nickel) is durable and gives a clean response. Copper-nickel flutes are characterized by their well-balanced sound quality and clear timbre in any register.
Theobald Boehm, who refined the flute in the nineteenth century, selected silver as his material of choice and adopted it for flute manufacture. Silver is said to produce the "most flute-like" timbre.
- Standard sheet thickness(0.38mm)
- Characterized by a rich and warm timbre that carries well, the sound of these instruments will spread to every corner of a concert hall.
- Lightweight models sheet thickness(0.35mm)
- Retain the rich timbre that characterizes silver flutes, have excellent resonance, and allow unrestricted variation in timbre.
- Heavyweight models sheet thickness(0.43mm)
- Are characterized by their deep, dark timbre, and by the fact that the instrument's resonance faithfully reflects the strength of the instrumentalist.
Gold lends a special glitter to a flute, and the lustrous timbre of a gold flute has an unerring, far-reaching carry, even when the instrument is played pianissimo. Its allure probably makes it the last word in flutes.
- Standard sheet thickness(0.3mm)
- This thickness produces the most balanced resonance. The incredibly lustrous and sparkling timbre gives free reign to the imagination of the flautist.
- Heavyweight models sheet thickness(0.35mm)
- Offer greater resistance, are responsive to the strength of the performer, and produce strong resonance with even greater carry.
- Bijou-merveille weight sheet thickness(0.28mm)
- This sheet thickness was specially developed for the bijou-merveille flute. The slightly thinner tube expands the timbre palette, producing a rich and colorful resonance.
Grenadilla is an extremely solid wood, which is heavy enough to sink in water and which has long been used in the manufacture of musical instruments.
- Standard sheet thickness(3mm)
- The soft, warm timbre due to the wood is both captivating for the listener and satisfying for the instrumentalist. Using a thin tube made of wood, Yamaha has succeeded in obtaining the same expressive power that is evident in the contemporary flute.