Playing the Native American Style Flute can be a richly satisfying experience. Its sound has a haunting, spiritual quality that brings one into the moment, opens the heart and connects the player and listener to the Earth. At the same time, it is a musical instrument that can be used to play blues, jazz or even rock and roll.
The oldest flutes known at present, found in a cave in what is now southwestern Germany in 2008, have been dated to be over 35,000 years old, placing their origin well into the last ice age. They were made from the hollow wing bones of the Griffon vulture. Flutes found in a cave nearby were made from mammoth tusk ivory and the bones of mute swans.
Early flutes in the Americas were rim-blown; the sound was made by blowing air into the rim of a tube as the man in the picture is doing.
The Native American Flute developed in the 1800's after contact with Europeans. It is thought that it may have been developed by native people who built organ pipes, or developed perhaps by similarity to the European recorder since the method of making a sound is similar in both cases. Others think it grew out of a natural progression in making reed or bamboo flutes. The Native American Flute is commonly referred to as a courting flute as legend has it that it was used by young men to woo. With the suppression of all native culture in the early 1900's native music including the flute was nearly lost. After 1940 there was a resurgence of interest in the instrument and researchers began making replicas. In the 1980's Michael Graham Allen began making flutes with the standard minor pentatonic scale that we now associate with the Native American Flute.
We are extremely grateful to all of those who came before us for bringing us the music and such great joy.
News from the circle
Posted May 3, 2013, 2:50 PM by Alice Reinheimer
Mark Holland and Scott Robinson in concert! Save the date: May 30, 2013
.... This just in! The fantastic duo are coming to the Central Coast with concerts in Santa Barbara, Sunburst and beautiful Arroyo Grande! More later....
Posted Mar 4, 2013, 8:34 PM by Alice Reinheimer
Flute Workshop at Sunburst Feb 9th 2013
The date for the next Native American flute workshop (number 8) at the Sunburst Sanctuary is Saturday, February 9th. If you are planning on coming and haven’t yet notified ...
Posted Jan 11, 2013, 11:28 AM by Alice Reinheimer