Flutopedia - an Encyclopedia for the Native American Flute

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Map of Native American Flute Tunings

This page provides a map of various tunings for flutes. They are divided into three tables:

Notes

The tables show only those fingerings that are relatively standard for that tuning. Half-hole fingerings in the low register as well as cross-fingered notes (that typically vary from maker to maker and from flute to flute) are not shown. For a more complete coverage of alternate fingerings and cross-fingering for contemporary Native American flutes, see Native American Flute Fingering Charts.

Note that, in cases where the octave note is overblown, the best fingering might be Finger diagram second octave closed closed closed closed closed closed or it might be Finger diagram second octave open closed closed closed closed closed or something in between such as Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed (i.e. with the top hole partically open or slightly open (“cracked”)). I show such situations as Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed on this page.

This page shows only tunings that fit into (i.e. are a subset of) the 12-tone chromatic scale, with the exception of one scale that uses two quarter tones. They could be equal tempered tuning system (12TET) or some other 12-tone tuning.

The names of some of the tunings are linked to locations on Flutopedia with more information.

Browser Compatibility Note: Because of the large tables, I have had reports that this page does function properly on all browsers. It has been tested on these browsers:

  • OK - Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0.8112.16421, tested 2/15/2012, on Win7 64-bit.
  • FAIL - Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.1872, tested 2/14/2012, on Windows XP SP3 — the layout of the finger diagrams is not rendered properly.
  • OK - Google Chrome 16.0.912.75 m, tested 2/15/2012, on Win7 64-bit.
  • OK - Mozilla Firefox 9.0.1, tested 2/15/2012 on Win7 64-bit.
  • OK - Opera 11.60, Build 1185, tested 2/15/2012 on Win7 64-bit.
  • OK - Apple Safari 5.1.2 (7534.52.7), tested 2/15/2012 on Win7 64-bit.
  • OK - Apple The New iPad (third Generation), iOS 5.1, tested 3/18/2012.
  • OK - Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.0.9600.18230, tested 4/3/2016, on Win7 64-bit.
  • OK - Google Chrome 49.0.2623.110 m, tested 4/3/2016, on Win7 64-bit.

Observed Tunings

Tunings for flutes in my collection, or that I have observed, or that have been reliably reported to me.

This first chart shows tunings where the first register goes no further than the octave note.

Observed Flute Tunings
Tuning Fundamental Minor Second Major Second Minor Third Major Third Perfect Fourth Aug.
Fourth
Perfect Fifth Minor Sixth Major Sixth Minor Seventh Major Seventh Octave Details
Dim.
Fifth1
Six-hole
Pentatonic Minor
(Mode 1/4)
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed     Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open Finger diagram closed closed open closed open open   Finger diagram closed open closed open open open   Finger diagram open open closed open open open The most common tuning for present-day Native American flutes. The tuning of contemporary Native American flutes (with posible alternate fingerings on the octave note).
Five-hole
Pentatonic Minor
Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed     Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open   Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open   Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open     Five hole finger diagram closed open open open open   Five hole finger diagram open open open open open A common arrangement for flutes that are often called “Lakota-tuned”.
Five-hole
“DRB Tuning”
Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed     Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open   Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open   Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open     Five hole finger diagram open closed open open open   Five hole finger diagram second octave cracked open open open open “DRB” ≡ “Dan Red Buffalo”. See the section below on Dan Red Buffalo Tuning.
Six-hole
Pentatonic Minor Extended
Thumb plus five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed     Thumb plus five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Thumb plus five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Thumb plus five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open     Thumb plus five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Thumb plus five hole finger diagram closed open open open open open A rare but versitile tuning for Native American flutes. I have one flute, the Swiss-made Forest Flute, that uses this tuning, made by Alf Jetzer. The Thumb plus five hole finger diagram open open open open open open fingering produces two semitones above the octave note.
Six-hole
Pentatonic Major
Mode 2/5
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open closed open   Finger diagram closed closed open open closed open   Finger diagram closed open open closed open open   Finger diagram open closed open closed open open Finger diagram open open open closed open open  
Six-hole
Diatonic
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed Common fingerings for Irish Whistles, East Indian bansuris, diatonic Native American flutes, and other flutes playing the diatonic scale.
Rainer
Seven-hole
Diatonic
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open closed open Seven hole finger diagram open closed open open open closed open “Ranier” ≡ “John Ranier”. See the section below on John Ranier Tuning.
Rainer
Seven-hole
Celtic Pentatonic
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open     Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open closed open     Seven hole finger diagram open closed open open open closed open “Ranier” ≡ “John Ranier”. See the section below on John Ranier Tuning.
Blues
Six-hole
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed     Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open Finger diagram closed closed open open open open     Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open One of the High Spirits “Spirit Flutes” alternate tunings.2
East Indian
Six-hole
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed One of the High Spirits “Spirit Flutes” alternate tunings.2
Spanish
Six-hole
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed One of the High Spirits “Spirit Flutes” alternate tunings.2
Japanese
Five-hole
Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed   Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open     Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open   Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open     Five hole finger diagram closed open open open open   Five hole finger diagram open open open open open One of the High Spirits “Spirit Flutes” alternate tunings.2
Suspended Pentatonic Extended
Six-hole
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open     Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open     Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open From a flute of Michael Graham Allen that he used on his Floating on Evening album (1998) and House Made of Dawn. The Finger diagram open open open open open open fingering produces two semitones above the octave note. Jon Norris crafts flutes with this alternate fingering as of 2016 (personal communication from Jon Norris 4/2/2016).
Middle Eastern
Five-hole
Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open     Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open   Five hole finger diagram closed open open open open Five hole finger diagram open open open open open       Five hole finger diagram open closed closed closed closed One of the High Spirits “Spirit Flutes” alternate tunings.2
Six-hole
Anasazi
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open     Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed  
Mojave-6
Tuning
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open closed open open open Finger diagram open open closed open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed Introduced by Geoffrey Ellis of Earth Tone Flutes in 2009 as an alternate tuning for Anasazi-style flutes.
Reference: [August-S 2009] The Mojave-6 Flute
Six-hole
“Lost Tuning”
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open Finger diagram closed open closed closed open open Finger diagram closed open open open open open Finger diagram open closed open open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed Introduced by Geoffrey Ellis of Earth Tone Flutes in 2010 as an alternate tuning for Anasazi-style flutes.
Reference: [August-S 2010] 2010 Scott August Signature Anasazi Flute — The Lost Tuning and personal communication from Geoffrey 12/1/2011.
Four-hole
Minor
Yuma four hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed     Yuma four hole finger diagram closed closed closed open   Yuma four hole finger diagram closed closed open open   Yuma four hole finger diagram closed open open open     Yuma four hole finger diagram open open open open   Yuma four hole finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed

An arrangement used by Romy Benton on his very low minor-tuned bansuri flutes, to assist in reachability of the finger holes.

Four-hole
“Mayan Long Count” Tuning
Yuma four hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed       Yuma four hole finger diagram closed closed closed open   Yuma four hole finger diagram closed closed open open Yuma four hole finger diagram closed open open open     Yuma four hole finger diagram open open open open   Yuma four hole finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed

Introduced by Geoffrey Ellis of Earth Tone Flutes in 2011 as an alternate tuning for Anasazi-style flutes.
See Mayan Long Count.

Anasazi-7
Tuning
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open     Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram second octave half-closed closed closed closed closed closed closed Introduced by Stephen DeRuby in 2009 on the EZ Anasazi. It is unusual among major tunings in that it does not have the perfect fourth. See the transcription of an Eskimo melody on page 130 of [Rink 1889] Eskimo Tales and Songs for a melody of less than an octave that fits this scale nicely. See also a general discussion of Asiatic influences in Eskimo songs in [Barbeau 1934] Asiatic Survivals in Indian Songs and [Barbeau 1942] Asiatic Survivals in Indian Songs
Seven-hole
Minor
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram second octave half-closed closed closed closed closed closed closed An arrangement used by Romy Benton on his minor-tuned bansuri flutes.
Six-hole
Spanish Gypsy
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open     Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed aka Mela Vakulabharanam, Raga Jogiya, Ahiri, Vativasantabhairavi, Ahava Rabba or Ahavah Rabbah, Freygish: Jewish, Maqam Hijaz-Nahawand, Humayun, Dorico Flamenco: Spain, Hitzaz: Greece, Harmonic Major inverse, Phrygian Dominant, Phrygian Major. Leonard McGann 2004–2005 and Jon Norris (personal communication from Jon Norris 4/2/2016). Fingering on the seven-hole version is typically 1234-124, and the two pinky holes are ofset for reachability.
Seven-hole
Spanish Gypsy
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open     Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open
Magen Abot
Tuning
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open note 4 Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram second octave half-closed closed closed closed closed closed closed Also spelled Magein Avot. An exotic alternate tuning made by a several makers including Russ Venable, Brad Young, and Leonard McGann.5
Kiva
Seven-hole
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open 3   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open       Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram second octave half-closed closed closed closed closed closed closed Seven hole finger diagram second octave half-closed closed closed closed closed closed open An alternate tuning of Stephen DeRuby on his Kiva FluteTM.3
See Kiva Flute.
Akebono + Major Seventh Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed   Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open       Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open Five hole finger diagram closed open open open open     Five hole finger diagram open open open open open Five hole finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed An alternate tuning by Jon Norris (personal communication from Jon Norris 4/2/2016).
Bawu
Seven-hole
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open     Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open Standard fingering for a Chinese Bawu. The all-holes-open Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open fingering gets you the major ninth, two half-steps above the octave note.
Maqam Rast /
Arabic Diatonic
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open Finger diagram open open open open open open Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed A quarter-tone scale with notes between the chromatic notes of Equal Temperament.
Recorder
Tuning
Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed closed Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed half-closed Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed open Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed half-closed open Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open open Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open closed closed Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed closed open closed closed open Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open open Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed open closed closed half-closed open Recorder finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open open Recorder finger diagram closed closed open closed closed open open open Recorder finger diagram closed closed open open open open open open Recorder finger diagram closed open closed open open open open open Fingerings for Baroque / English recorders.
Reference: [Dolmetsch 2001] Baroque / English Recorder Fingering Chart
Four-hole
Mojave
Mojave four hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed   Mojave four hole finger diagram closed closed closed open Mojave four hole finger diagram closed closed open open   Mojave four hole finger diagram closed open open open   Mojave four hole finger diagram open open open open         Mojave four hole finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed  
Three-hole
Papago
Papago three hole finger diagram closed closed closed     Papago three hole finger diagram closed closed open   Papago three hole finger diagram closed open open   Papago three hole finger diagram open open open         Papago three hole finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed  
Four-hole
Papago
Papago four hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed     Papago four hole finger diagram closed closed closed open   Papago four hole finger diagram closed closed open open   Papago four hole finger diagram closed open open open Papago four hole finger diagram open open open open       Papago four hole finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed  
  Fundamental Minor Second Major Second Minor Third Major Third Perfect Fourth Aug. Fourth Perfect Fifth Minor Sixth Major Sixth Minor Seventh Major Seventh Octave  
Dim.
Fifth1
C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C
C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D
D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E
F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F
F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G
G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A
A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B
C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C

 

Dan Red Buffalo Tuning

The chart above shows what I call the “DRB” or “Dan Red Buffalo” tuning. This comes from a flute in my collection that Ken Light crafted in 1987 based on studying a flute played by Tony Shearer. According to Ken Light ([Light 2013]):

The 5-hole Lakota-style courting flute that I created from study of Tony Shearer's old flute was made by Daniel Red Buffalo and passed to him by his grandfather, Harry Flying Horse. Tony called his flute, “My Lady”.

More information was provided by Ken Light (personal communication, February 18, 2016):

What I know about the old Lakota flute that Tony Shearer carried is this: When I asked him about his flute and maker, he told me that to his knowledge it had been made by a man named Left Hand Bull. My next source of information about it came unexpectedly when I was visiting the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning, Montana. In their collection and on display were two old Lakota flutes. The small placard shown with them read that they had been made by Daniel Red Buffalo circa 1890.

My next hands-on observation occurred in South Dakota when I met Kevin Locke. I was familiar with his writings and music. He showed me a Daniel Red Buffalo flute that he has. This one was smaller and tuned of course higher than the larger 5-hole flutes I had seen, but had the unmistakeable look and style of this maker. Since then, I have had a theory that Left Hand Bull and Daniel Red Buffalo were the same person, but it may have been that Left Hand Bull was Dan Red Buffalo’s father.

The story that Tony told me about Left Hand Bull was that due to his left-handedness and his ability to place his arrows during the hunt that he was famous among his people as a buffalo hunter. Then as the buffalo were slaughtered and disappeared, he had taken to flutemaking in the tradition of his family with the making of what we now call the Lakota Five Hole cedar flute.

From some geneaology research I did in March 2013 and April 2016, it does not appear that Left Hand Bull (1843–)1 and Daniel Red Buffalo (1882–1966)2 are related. However, they both resided in Rosebud, South Dakota and could well have had a flute maker-apprentice relationship.

A photo of Left Hand Bull taken by Jon A. Anderson circa 1911 is available at the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Also according to Jon Norris (personal communication, April 16, 2016), the DRB tuning was used by Ted Ceplina in the 2012–2014 timeframe when crafting his replicas of Richard (Dick) Foolbull flutes. This tuning was probably authentic to at least one flute crafted by Richard Foolbull, but was not representative of all flutes that Richard Foolbull crafted. Richard W. Payne states that Richard Foolbull experimented with other scales, and had in his collection a Richard Foolbull flute of very different tuning ([Payne 1999], page 28).

----

1Date of birth estimated from records of the United States Census, 1910 (“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MPXY-9CD, accessed 20 April 2016, Left Hand Bull, Rosebud Indian Reservation, Todd, South Dakota, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 125, sheet 40B, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,375,488).

2On the draft registration card filled out by Daniel Red Buffalo in Rosebud, South Dakota on September 12, 1918, he provides his date of birth as April 29, 1882 (United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, index and images, FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K6Z1-R8P, accessed 21 Mar 2013, Daniel Red Buffalo). Jimmy Sweet provided his date of death as August 22, 1966 based on headstone information in the Calvary Cemetery, Okreek, Todd County, South Dakota (Record date: May 4, 2008, Find A Grave Memorial #26592591, accessed March 21, 2014).

John Ranier Tuning

The chart above shows what Robert Gatliff has termed the “Ranier” or “John Ranier” tuning (personal communication, July 25, 2015). This is based on Robert's research on two John Ranier flutes in 2001:

The interesting thing about this fingering is hole #2 from the bottom is always closed. I noticed Rainer was playing that way in Taos and I also noticed Peter Phippen playing that way on some North African instruments.

Diatonic Tunings

Here are tunings for the seven diatonic scales. Each of these scales is given in six-hole and seven-hole variants. All of these scales are modes, or rotations of each other. Their names have been changed over the millennia (and got rather confounded in the Middle Ages), so I am noting all the names by which they have been known:

  • (M) Medieval scale name and also Modern scale name. This is also called the “Ecclesiastical” name or “Church Modes”, from which we have obtained our modern scale names.
  • (G) Greek mode.
  • (B) Babylonian scale name, based on tuning instructions from ancient Mesopotamia found on a set of cuneiform tablets know as the tuning texts (assuming the “string 1 highest” interpretation that is accepted by most Archaeomusicologists). See Flutes of Gilgamesh and Ancient Mespoptamia.

In addition, all the other scale names shown in the Scala software ([Coul 2010] Scala) are shown, as well as other namings for the scale that I have encountered. The scale steps for each scale are also shown, along with the intervals from the root (for example: “3” means a major third and “b3” means a minor third; “#4” means an augmented fourth). A well-known song that uses the scale is also shown.

Since these scales have seven notes within the octave the fingering for the octave note on six-hole flutes is shown as Finger diagram second octave closed closed closed closed closed closed (a better fingering might be Finger diagram second octave open closed closed closed closed closed or something in between (i.e. with the top hole partically open or slightly open (“cracked”)).

Diatonic Flute Tunings
Tuning Fundamental Minor Second Major Second Minor Third Major Third Perfect Fourth Aug.
Fourth
Perfect Fifth Minor Sixth Major Sixth Minor Seventh Major Seventh Octave Notes
Dim.
Fifth1

(M) Ionian, Hypolydian; (G) Lydian; (B) embūbum (literally “reed pipe”);
(Scala) Major, Bilaval That, Mela Shankarabharanam, Ghana Heptatonic, Peruvian Major, 4th plagal Byzantine, Ararai: Ethiopia, Makam Cargah, Ajam Ashiran, Dastgah-e Mahur, Dastgah-e Rast Panjgah, Xin: China, DS2; Diatonic Major
Scale steps: 2-2-1-2-2-2-1; 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8; Piano white keys starting from C; “Do-Re-Mi” aka “Doe a Deer” from The Sound of Music.
Six-hole Ionian Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed  
Seven-hole Ionian Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open  

(M) Aeolian, Hypodorian; (G) Aeolian, Hypodorian, Hyperphrygian; (B) nīš tuḫri / nīš gabrîm;
(Scala) Natural Minor, Asavari That, Mela Natabhairavi, Raga Jaunpuri, Adana, Dhanyasi, Jingla, Gregorian nr.2, Makam Buselik, Nihavend, Peruvian Minor, Se, Chiao: China, Geez, Ezel: Ethiopia, Kiourdi descending: Greece
Scale steps: 2-1-2-2-1-2-2; 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 8; Piano white keys starting from A;
Six-hole Aeolian Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed  
Seven-hole Aeolian Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open  

(M) Dorian, Hypomixolydian; (G) Phrygian; (B) nīd qablim;
(Scala) Kafi That, Mela Kharaharapriya, Raga Bageshri, Bhimpalasi, Nayaki Kanada, Sriraga, Ritigaula, Huseni, Mischung 5, Gregorian nr. 8, Eskimo Heptatonic, Yu: China, Hyojo, Oshikicho, Banshikicho: Japan; Russian Minor
Scale steps: 2-1-2-2-2-1-2; 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 8; Piano white keys starting from D;
Scarborough Fair, "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot, "Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles
Six-hole Dorian Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open Finger diagram open open open open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed  
Seven-hole Dorian Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open  

(M) Mixolydian, Hypolydian; (G) Hypophrygian, Ionian, Iastian, Hypoionian; (B) pītum;
(Scala) Khamaj That, Mela Harikambhoji, Raga Harini, Janjhuti, Khambhavati, Surati, Balahamsa, Devamanohari, Mischung 3, Gregorian nr. 7, Ching, Shang: China
Scale steps: 2-2-1-2-2-1-2; 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 8; Piano white keys starting from G;
Six-hole Mixolydian Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open Finger diagram open open open open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed  
Seven-hole Mixolydian Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open  

(M) Lydian; (G) Hypolydian; (B) kitmum;
(Scala) Kalyan That (Yaman), Mela Mecakalyani, Raga Shuddh Kalyan, Ping, Kung, Gu: China
Scale steps: 2-2-2-1-2-2-1; 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 8; Piano white keys starting from F;
The Simpsons Main Title Theme by Danny Elfman
Six-hole Lydian Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed  
Seven-hole Lydian Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open  

(M) Phrygian, Hypoaeolian; (G) Dorian, Hypoaeolian; (B) qablītum;
(Scala) Bhairavi That, Mela Hanumatodi, Raga Asavari (Asaveri), Bilashkhani Todi, Ghanta, Makam Kurd, Gregorian nr.3, In, Zokuso: Japan, Ousak: Greece, Major inverse
Scale steps: 1-2-2-2-1-2-2; 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 8; Piano white keys starting from E;
Six-hole Phrygian Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed  
Seven-hole Phrygian Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open  

(M) Locrian, Hypophrygian; (G) Mixolydian, Hyperdorian; (B) išartum;
(Scala) Pien chih: China, Makam Lami, Yishtabach: Jewish
Scale steps: 1-2-2-1-2-2-2; 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 8; Piano white keys starting from B;
Six-hole Locrian Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open   Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed  
Seven-hole Locrian Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open  
  Fundamental Minor Second Major Second Minor Third Major Third Perfect Fourth Aug. Fourth Perfect Fifth Minor Sixth Major Sixth Minor Seventh Major Seventh Octave  
Dim.
Fifth1
C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C
C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D
D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E
F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F
F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G
G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A
A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B
C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C

Potential Tunings

These tunings are proposals, based on some of the interesting scales listed in the Scala software ([Coul 2010] Scala).

Note that two additional columns above the octave are shown, but fingerings are only indicated for these notes if they are in the first register (i.e. not overblown).

Potential Flute Tunings
Tuning Fundamental Minor Second Major Second Minor Third Major Third Perfect Fourth Aug.
Fourth
Perfect Fifth Minor Sixth Major Sixth Minor Seventh Major Seventh Octave Minor Ninth Major Ninth Details
Dim.
Fifth1
Three-hole
Ute Tritonic
Papago three hole finger diagram closed closed closed     Papago three hole finger diagram closed closed open       Papago three hole finger diagram closed open open         Papago three hole finger diagram open open open     Note that the hole spacing in these finger diagrams is not representative of how the actual finger holes would be laid out.
Five-hole
Balinese Pelog
Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open   Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open       Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open Five hole finger diagram closed open open open open       Five hole finger diagram open open open open open     aka Madenda Modern, Phrygian Pentatonic, Raga Bhupalam, Bhupala Todi, Bibhas, Tezeta Minor: Ethiopia.
Six-hole
Balinese Pelog
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open       Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open Finger diagram closed closed open open open open       Finger diagram closed open open open open open Finger diagram open open open open open open  
Five-hole
Hirajoshi
Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed   Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open       Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open Five hole finger diagram closed open open open open       Five hole finger diagram open open open open open     aka Kata-kumoi, Yona Nuki Minor: Japan, Aeolian Pentatonic.
Six-hole
Hirajoshi
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open       Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open Finger diagram closed closed open open open open       Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open
Five-hole
Iwato
Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open       Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open       Five hole finger diagram closed open open open open   Five hole finger diagram open open open open open      
Six-hole
Iwato
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open       Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open       Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open Finger diagram open open open open open open    
Five-hole
Ryukyu
Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed       Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open Five hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open   Five hole finger diagram closed closed open open open       Five hole finger diagram closed open open open open Five hole finger diagram open open open open open     aka Raga Gambhiranata, Ionian Pentatonic, Pelog Degung Modern. In the six-hole version, the Finger diagram open open open open open open fingering produces four semitones above the octave note.
Six-hole
Ryukyu
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed       Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open       Finger diagram closed closed open open open open Finger diagram closed open open open open open    
Six-hole
Whole-tone
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open   Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open     aka Messiaen mode 1, Raga Gopriya, Anhemitonic Hexatonic. I have heard of Native American flutes made with whole-tone scales, but I have not current reference to these instruments.
Six-hole
Hawaiian
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open       Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open   Finger diagram closed open open open open open Finger diagram open open open open open open      
Six-hole
Byzantine
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open     Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open Finger diagram closed open open open open open     Finger diagram open open open open open open Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed     aka Major Gypsy, Double Harmonic Major, Bhairav That, Mela Mayamalavagaula, Raga Paraj, Kalingada, Gaulipantu, Lalitapancamam, Byzantine Liturgical Chromatic, Hitzazkiar: Greece, Maqam Zengule, Hijaz Kar, Suzidil
Seven-hole
Byzantine
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open     Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open     Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open    
Six-hole
Nohkan
Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed   Finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open     Finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open Finger diagram closed closed closed open open open   Finger diagram closed closed open open open open Finger diagram closed open open open open open   Finger diagram open open open open open open Finger diagram second octave cracked closed closed closed closed closed     The Nohkan (能管?) is a high pitched, Japanese bamboo transverse flute, commonly used in traditional Imperial Noh and Kabuki theatre. The nohkan flute was created by Kan'ami and his son Zeami in the 15th century, for use in Noh theatre.
Seven-hole
Nohkan
Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open     Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed open open open open Seven hole finger diagram closed closed open open open open open   Seven hole finger diagram closed open open open open open open Seven hole finger diagram open open open open open open open    
  Fundamental Minor Second Major Second Minor Third Major Third Perfect Fourth Aug. Fourth Perfect Fifth Minor Sixth Major Sixth Minor Seventh Major Seventh Octave Minor Ninth Major Ninth  
Dim.
Fifth1
C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D
C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E
D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G
F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A
G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B
A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C
B C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C C#
Db
D

Footnotes

1 Augmented Fourth / Diminished Fifth, also called the “Flat Five” and the “Blue Note”.

2 Information on High Spirits “Spirit Flutes” with alternate tunings courtesy of Frank Henninger.

3 Note that the primary scale for the Kiva Seven-hole begins on Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed open, with the fundamental of the flute Seven hole finger diagram closed closed closed closed closed closed closed sounding one semitone lower.

4 These scales are very unusual in that they are missing the interval of a perfect fifth.

5 Notes of these scales as listed in the Scala software ([Coul 2010] Scala).

 
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To cite this page on Wikipedia: <ref name="Goss_2016_naf_tunings_map"> {{cite web |last=Goss |first=Clint |title=Native American Flute - Map of Native American Flute Tunings |url=http://www.Flutopedia.com/naf_tunings_map.htm |date=20 December 2016 |website=Flutopedia |access-date=<YOUR RETRIEVAL DATE> }}</ref>