For over 40,000 years, there have been flute players. They started off using femur bones of animals (usually bears), and through the years they graduated to mammoth tusks, bamboo, and eventually metal. In today’s age, our flutes are made out of materials such as nickel, silver, brass, even gold, and as a result, we’re now able to create much higher quality flutes than our predecessors 40,000 years ago. We’re also able to create an unlimited number of different makes and brands, a bit of a double-edge sword when beginners are looking for a flute for their son, daughter, or themselves. With such an overwhelming selection, it can be difficult to choose the right flute. However, there are ways to make your search easier, namely by focusing on a few key, high-quality brands:
You may recognize the Yamaha name for their organs and pianos, but they also manufacture flutes. These flutes are first-class, offering rich tones and a wide range. Their student flutes have a lip plate specifically designed to help a beginner learn proper breath techniques, and their keys are positioned carefully for optimum balance and playability.
Founded by Kurt Gemeinhardt in the 1940s, Gemeinhardt Co. manufactures quality flutes and piccolos. Their flutes offer excellent sound for a relatively low price—a good option for parents who don’t want to shell out a lot of money in the beginning stages of their child’s flute career. The tone and sound are even, steady, and reliable, and they require generally little maintenance and upkeep.
Unlike Yamaha and Gemeinhardt, Emerson Flutes is an American manufacturer. They were founded by Emerson DeFord, a renowned flute maker who created instruments for symphonic orchestras and The Lawrence Welk Show. The flutes manufactured by Emerson are known for their excellent intonation and rich tone.
William Teasdale Armstrong was a highly respected craftsman, and in 1931 he opened a small flute repair shop. It has since grown into Conn-Selmer Inc., a company that still manufactures Armstrong flutes. It’s a reputable brand that offers a range of models for students and professionals. Their student models offer a crisp sound with an easy playing style made possible by the offset G key that follows the natural shape of our hands.
Jupiter Band Instruments Inc. is originally a Taiwanese company, although they have an office in Austin, Texas. Their slogan, “A world of quality goes into each musical instrument,” reflects the kind of flutes they produce. A full, warm sound and easy intonation will help your child produce clean, accurate, and in-tune music.
Pearl Musical Instruments was founded in post-World War II Japan and has grown into one of the most renown flute manufacturers in the world. Their student model is meant specifically for younger flutists who struggle to hold a full-sized flute. By installing a curved headjoint, the distance between the keys are reduced, making it so that students don’t have to stretch their arms in order to reach the proper key.
Founded by Shuichi Tanaka, Altus flutes have been around for over 25 years. In 2006, they came out with the Azumi line, a model of flutes meant specifically for beginners and intermediates. While more affordable than Altus’ professional flutes, they nevertheless maintain their quality. As such, Altus flutes are great for beginning flutists as well as more serious students. Your first flute will be something that sticks with you for a long time. It’ll be beside you as you learn each key and when you go up on stage for your first performance. As a result, you want to make sure that you’re selecting the right flute in order to start your musical career on the right foot. If you or your child is an aspiring flutist, then be sure to check out our selection of flutes here at The Music Den. And if you’re in the Randolph, NJ area, feel free to stop by for a helping hand in selecting the right flute for you.