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Finger Diagram Orientation    Intermediate

Finger diagrams that show which finger holes to cover and uncover have become popular. A lot of music is scored with finger diagrams below each note, and there are free fonts available for typesetting music and finger diagram images available for use of web pages.

Unfortunately, there is no universal convention for which end of the flute is shown at the top of the diagram.

Some people like to see diagrams like this: Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open and some like them like this: Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open. Sometimes the two camps are called the “foot-end down folks” and the “foot-end up folks”. The “foot-end down folks” seem to be the larger group, but nobody's done a census (as far as I know). Engage in a debate on the relative merits of each convention and you're likely to experience the rabbit-hole syndrome.

One compromise is to use a horizontal orientation: Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open where the “head-end left” convention seems to be the norm (probably because most people in the Native American flute community read left-to-write languages). However, this isn't practical for space and layout considerations in a lot of situations, such as sheet music.

On this web site, I mostly use the Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open “foot-end down” convention. Maybe, in the future, I'll work on some system where you can switch orientations on the web page, but that'll take a bit of work!

 

 
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