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Flute/Flute Musical Instrument Construction Modification.


QUESTION: Dear Nathan

Can the Flute Musical Instrument Modified in Construction produce sound if you hold the flute from both sides ?.
i.e. if Symmetrical Geometrical flute is constructed on both the sides then it can produce sound ?.

i.e. Currently if you hold the flute in one side, it can produce sound, but if you hold the flute from the other side, it will not produce sound.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Hello,

Thank you for your question.  I believe you are asking if you can turn the the flute around and play from the opposite side.   I have experimented with this myself.  On my flutes, if you try to play the headjoint from the opposite direction, sound is produced.  However, the head joint back-wall is constructed in a manner so the best sound is obtained from one side.

There are 'left-handed' flutes out there, though rare.  The Doppler brothers, both composers and flutists, were a famous duo where one played a right handed flute and the other a left handed flute.

I do not know of an instrument constructed that is interchangeable.

Best Wishes,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Nathan

Thank you.

Can we derive some Flute Musical Instrument Laws for the same ?.

Law 1 : Flute can generate sound only from one direction because of the following reason .......

Law 2 : Flute cannot generate sound from the other direction because of the following reason ......

Law 3 : Sound generation is possible from both the sides if we redesign a symmetrical flute because of the following reason .....

The Advantage of this Symmetrical Flute design would be the Single Flute can be shared between two persons. For example : Father and Son. i.e. A Single Musical instrument shared between two persons.

The Flute length is extended say to 7 feet long. The Flute is hold by Father from one side and son is holding from the other side.

When the father generates sound from one flute side, the son from the other flute side will keep the flute away from his mouth and when the son generates sound from one flute side, the father from the other flute side will keep the flute away from his mouth.

Similar to Flute Musical Instrument, there can be many other musical instruments which can be re engineered to be created a Symmetrical shape.

For example : Trumpet can be made symmetrical shape so that from both ends
sound can be generated ?.

Can the Trumpet re engineered to have a Symmetrical design where the sound can be generated from both sides ?.

A Single Trumpet instrument being shared by two people.

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

I see what you are trying to do now.

A very complicated engineering problem.  

Part of the issue will be the cylindrical or conical properties of the instrument.

I suggest you share your thoughts with Trevor Wye, who has made several experimental flutes.


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Nathan Muehl


I feel very comfortable answering questions regarding classical music. This includes performance of music on woodwind instruments, theory, history, etc. I am happy to answer questions about careers in music and collegiate study. I am also able to answer simple questions in the field of Audio Engineering.


I have played the flute for 25 years. I am very active in professional music organizations, and I have had several students go on to successful careers.

I am currently a member of the Conductor's Guild, the National Flute Association, the American String Teachers Association, West Virginia Music Educators Association, and Ohio Music Educators Association.

I hold a bachelor of music education degree from The Ohio State University along with a business minor. I have a Master of Music degree from the same institution. I am currently a professor at a college in Florida.

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