Welcome to Experience CANEX Flute & Piccolo

Flutes & Piccolos We Make

An ancient Chinese flute, the "tsche," played in about 2637 BC, is believed to be the earliest transverse flute (an instrument held horizontally). Made of bamboo, both sides were closed, with a mouth-hole in the middle. Flutes have been made of glass, wood, ceramic, brass, and even human and animal bones. Gradually, improvements over the crude designs were made, keys were added, and attempts were made to improve the pitch and sound of the instrument. It is to the genius of Theobald Boehm of Munich (1794-1881), a flutist, composer, and inventor that we owe credit for the modern flute used today.

The flute as we now know it was conceived in 1846. After many experiments with the tube itself, and the size and position of the toneholes in relation to it, Boehm produced the modern flute. It had a parabolic, or tapered headjoint, a cylindrical body, and large toneholes covered by keys. He experimented with almost every material available. In 1847, he introduced his first flutes made of silver and German silver (a white alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel.) At this time, the wooden flute was still preferred by players over metal instruments, and remained so until the early 20th century. It is interesting to note that, although the flute is thousands of years old, the instrument we know today was developed within a period of approximately 50 years. Today, the flute is a part of the highest-pitch woodwind section of the modern orchestra and is one of the solo instruments most utilized by composers.