Native American Flute hole placement tool

The simpified estimatation of hole placement for typical Native American flutes developed in method-tuning-native-american-flutes-pt-1 enabled the development of a Flash based GUI that allow for quick comparison of the hole placement for flutes of different modes and even custom scale flutes.   It shows combinations of notes that are impractical to make (without cross fingering).  It also provides a graphical view of what the hole placement will look like.

For example, on longer flutes the space between playing hole D and E is not an issue.  But for short flutes, the holes can become closer than is comfortable.  An optional 7/8″ “finger pad” gives an idea of the space between fingers to make decisions about the trade off between moving the holes closer together or accepting a slightly smaller E hole that would be closer to the TSH.

Once the length of a barrel is known, then the length can be put into the tool and starting points for placement of playing holes are easily calculated.  They are based upon flutes that typically had about 0.3″ playing holes, with the E hole closest to the TSH typically a bit smaller. The tool easily calculates the hole placement for different key flutes.  It also quickly calculates the difference in placement for Mode 1, Mode 4, and Mode 5 minor pentatonic scales.  Depending on the particular details used by a flute maker, the estimate may be high or low.  Input for improvement of the tool is welcome.  Send comments to WalkingRidge.

The GUI is avalailable on this static page for convenient access.

       - the Muse


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