A flute works by blowing air across the mouthpiece, which creates vibrations that make the sound. The musician makes different notes by covering the holes in the flute.
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.
A small flute is called a piccolo. A piccolo is one octave higher than a regular concert flute and can be used anywhere from a full orchestra to a military band.
While it is not known when the flute was invented, in the Western culture, depictions of the flute date as far as the 10th century, according to FluteHistory.com. Theobald Boehm developed a modern version of the flute.
The number of holes in a flute varies from one type to another, with popular types having six, eight, and 11 holes. The standard Western concert flute has eight holes, one of them being located near the top of the instrument.
Most flutes have 16 key openings to cover an equal-tempered octave. Many modern flutes can reach a range of three octaves with anywhere from 16 to 20 openings to play.
A homemade flute can be made out of a two-foot section of PVC pipe that is about 3/4 inches in diameter and a tapered rubber stopper of the same diameter. Essentially, the steps involve drilling holes in the pipe and adding the stopper.