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Plans for Making Native American Flutes

This page provides some plans for making Native American flutes.

Walter Ben Hunt's Plans

These two pages provided the starting point for many flute makers of the early 1970s. They were published by Walter Ben Hunt (1888-1970) in [Hunt 1954] and later in [Hunt 1973].

Ben Hunt PlansBen Hunt Plans

Walter Ben Hunt's plans More information

Roura Native American flute

In March 2002 Vera and I saw the amazing jazz flutist Jirí Stivín perform in Prague, and things haven't been quite the same since! One of the outgrowths of that was a design for a flute based on Jirí's flute that he made from PVC and a pocket knife.

Those plans were posted on the original Flutekey.com (the predecessor web site to Flutopedia.com) in January 2003, and are available on the Flutopedia Roura Native American flute page.

Screaming G Plans

In October 2004, John Suttles (aka Ozark Guru) of Fallen Branch Flutes and Crafts posted a set of plans to the Native Flute Woodworking Yahoo Group. I've been told that they have been used by many people.

The plans are on a single sheet, distributed originally in PDF. Together with the plans were these comments by John:

Please understand the name does not do the flute justice. It will be mellow and smooth for its size. Everyone I have given a flute to, like this, has really enjoyed it. … I am an engineer, and describe things in a way that engineers express themselves.

In June 2010, John graciously gave me permission to post his plans here on Flutopedia [Suttles 2004] Screaming G Flute Plans. In addition to the PDF file, they are available as an image (click the image for a larger version):

Screaming G Flute Plans, by John Suttles

Screaming G Flute Plans, by John Suttles More information

Toubat Flute Plans

Here are the AutoCad drawing that Dr. Richard Payne published for his Toubat flute in [Payne 1999]:

Toubat Flute Plans

Toubat Flute Plans - page 54 of [Payne 1999]  Larger Image

Pinkillu Flute Constorts of the Andes

Henry Stobart published a scale-diagram for a set of flutes that he researched in the Andes in 1996 ([Stobart 1996]). Here are pictures of the pinkillu flute group and the layout of those flutes:

Pinkillu consort

Pinkillu consort - Figure 3 [Stobart 1996]  Larger Image

Pinkillu flute diagram

Pinkillu consort - Figure 6 [Stobart 1996]  Larger Image

Baroque Flutes

Four Baroque style flutes in the Dayton C. Miller collection housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. have detailed plans done by Jean François Beaudin in October 2003. These flutes are shown below, along with the information from the Library of Congress and from the plans themselves. Click on each of the images for a larger version.

Baroque Flute in C by Johann Joachim Quantz, Berlin, ±1740

Baroque Flute Plans Baroque Flute Plans
Baroque Flute Plans
Baroque Flute Plans

Baroque Flute by Johann Joachim Quantz, DCM 916 Larger image Larger image Larger image Larger image

DCM number: 916

Maker Name: Johann Joachim Quantz

Maker Place: Berlin

Maker Date: ca. 1740

Materials: Ebony, silver keys, ivory ferrule, ivory and metal ferrule, and silver/ivory/wood/brass foot joint ferrule.

Keys Holes System: 2 keys (E-flat, D#), square flaps. The current key springs are of tempered steel and attached with roundhead steel screws. A=385.

Physical Description: 4 sections, conical, tuning slide in head, plus 5 extra corps de rechange.

Measurement: 66.1 cm., 66.6 cm., 67.6 cm., 68.5 cm., 68.9 cm., 69.8 cm.

Notes: The head joint contains the Quantz model wooden tuning slide which incorporates a brass socket liner. Great degree of undercutting on the embouchure. On foot, the thick inner brass ring is not visible when flute is assembled, and is found under the ivory mount. See Mary Oleskiewicz, "A Museum, a World War, and a Rediscovery: Flutes by Quantz and Others from the Hohenzollern Museum," Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society 24 (1998): 107-145; and, Mary Oleskiewicz, "The Flutes of Quantz: Their Construction and Performing Practice," The Galpin Society Journal 53 (April 2000): 201-220.

Case: Case, decorated porcelain casket with gilded hardware.

Condition: Brass lining for tuning slide missing, but evidence of glue and threads remain. Two cracks in upper head section. Ebony chips missing from inside of foot joint socket. Foot joint ivory ferrule cracked in 3 places, small crack inside lower body socket.

Provenance: This flute belonged to Frederick the Great; after his death it was presented by his successor King Frederick William II to his minister, Johann Christoph von Wöllner (Woellner). It was then in the possession of the Itzenplitz family and it was preserved at Cunersdorf Castle from ca. 1801-1929. In 1929, Marie Waleska von Arnim (née von Oppen) inherited the flute and it was sold to Miller by her husband, Dr. Achim von Arnim, through Jacques Rosenthal, Munich, 1 Mar. 1930.

Baroque Flute in C by Joannes Hyacinthus Rottenburgh, Brussels, ±1730

Baroque Flute Plans Baroque Flute Plans
Baroque Flute Plans

Baroque Flute by Joannes Hyacinthus Rottenburgh,
DCM 507 Larger image Larger image Larger image

DCM number: 507

Maker Name: Joannes Hyacinthus Rottenburgh

Maker Place: Brussels

Maker Date: ca. 1700-ca. 1775 (the plans indicate ±1740)

Materials: Figured boxwood, stained reddish brown, ivory cap and ferrules, brass key. Extra head of boxwood.

Keys Holes System: 1 key, square flap. Key not original.

Physical Description: 4 sections, with corps de rechange, and performance head joint.

Measurement: 61.8 cm., 64.65 cm.

Notes: A boxwood performance head joint with an approximated proper embouchure hole was made for the instrument by C. E. Folkers, former Curator of the Dayton C. Miller Collection. See DCM 1495. Scanned separately with DCM 1495, with DCM 1495 on left, and DCM 507 on right.

Condition: Embouchure hole has been crudely altered, to an oval shape at the exterior with crude undercutting, not compatible with the exterior shape.

Provenance: Jean Mignolet, Denver, Colorado, 1 Oct. 1925, who purchased it from C. Fontaine, Brussels

Baroque Flute in C by Thomas Lot III, Paris, ±1740

Baroque Flute Plans Baroque Flute Plans

Baroque Flute by Thomas Lot III, DCM 615 Larger image Larger image

DCM number: 615

Maker Name: Thomas Lot III

Maker Place: Paris

Maker Date: 1734-p1787 (the plans indicate ±1740)

Materials: Boxwood, stained medium brown, ivory cap and ferrules, silver key.

Keys Holes System: 1 key, square flap, pin in block.

Physical Description: 4 sections.

Measurement: 63 cm.

Condition: Head joint crack at socket (not ferrule). Embouchure hole has been crudely enlarged and, roughly equidistant between it and the socket end (lower), another hole has been bored where the maker's mark may have been stamped, purpose unknown. Foot joint has 3 cracks in socket and 3 cracks (different locations) in the upper ferrule, plus another at the key pin line.

Provenance: André Rossignol, Paris, 28 July 1926.

Baroque Flute in C by Thomas Stanesby, Jr., Paris, 1713-1754

Baroque Flute Plans Baroque Flute Plans

Baroque Flute by Thomas Stanesby, Jr., DCM 1125 Larger image Larger image

DCM number: 1125

Maker Name: Thomas Stanesby, junior

Maker Place: London

Maker Date: p1713-ca. 1754

Materials: Ivory, flat disk silver cap joined to a wooden plug, and silver key.

Keys Holes System: 1 key, square flap, pin in block.

Physical Description: 4 sections, with head joint carrying the tenon as in the English style.

Measurement: 60.85 cm.

Notes: Embouchure hole appears to be unaltered.

Condition: Head joint, crack near tenon. Foot joint cracked at socket, and below E-flat tonehole.

Provenance: W. Howard Head, London, 13 Feb. 1932.

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