Many student flutes are made of a silver-plated metal like brass, and professional flutes are typically made from solid silver. Brass flutes are made from brass that is 70 percent copper and 30 percent zinc, and solid silver flutes are around 92.5 percent silver.
Flutes are the earliest known musical instruments, having been around for at least 43,000 years. Flutes were once made from animal bones and had two to four holes drilled into them to produce different musical notes. Back then, flutes could be made from various bones or tusks that came from animals such as woolly mammoths, vultures or bears.