THE ORCHESTRA: A USER'S MANUAL

Introduction Orchestration Orchestration Resources Historical Andrew Hugill
  Philharmonia

FLUTES


Section: Woodwind
Transposing? Picc, Alto and Bass: Yes
C Flute: No

Construction
Range
Articulations
Effects
Extended
Player's Tips and Tricks

Links

 

Construction

First, a panshot along the three types of flute - C flute (held), alto and bass:

Now, the piccolo:
differences with the flute

construction of the instrument
the registers of the piccolo

The flute has three joints: footjoint, body and head joint
How the sound is produced
How tuning is adjusted
The first and second octave on the flute
The third octave

The alto flute:
construction of the instrument
sound production
the low register
the high register

The bass flute:
construction
dynamic range
the low register
the middle and high registers
playing the bass flute

For comparison, here is the opening of Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune played on bass, alto and C flute in succession:

And finally, Ken Smith plays part of Mendelssohn's Scherzo on the bass flute, demonstrating the difficulties of breathing and articulation on the instrument: