Larry Krantz Flute Pages: Flute Making Bibliography
Flute Making Bibliography
by Joseph S. Wisniewski

This is not intended as a complete, field spanning bibliography. Rather, it is the resources that I personally find most usefull. I'm hardly the final authority on flute books, I'm sure I've missed many good information sources. On the other hand, in my personal opinion, you won't go wrong with the ones I've listed.

If I had to say which ones were the "must haves" it would be the Robinson book and the Edfors and Goembel articles.

I've also skipped books such as Fletcher's "The Physics of Musical Instruments" since the math is on the graduate engineer level.

Harry A. Alden, Hardwoods of North America
1995, United States Department of Agriculture.

    Lists just about every North American hardwood, and has Sycamore and Maple info that even europeans might find useful.

    Harry Brown, Making the American Indian Flute
    The Woodwind Quarterly, Issue 7, November 1994, pp. 32-49

      This is a great beginner's article, including plans and pictures. It covers the native American flute, often called the "plains flute" or "love flute" which is built very, very differently from the European designs. The woods are soft, woods (ceder, redwood, walnut) and the wood is split, the bore carved or routed, and then glued back together. If you want instant gratification, you can go from raw wood to playable flute in a day with this technique.

    Gary Cook, Hand Tools for Recorder Making

      Good overview of the basics of reamer design. I would watch the instructions on making reamers from old files, this always struck me as a dangerously brittle source of tool steel. Then again, I'm in Detroit, and have about 100 sources of tool steel at my disposal.

    John Edfors, Shop Notes on the Baroque Flute
    The Woodwind Quarterly, Issue 14, pp. 32-46

      This is an excellent article. Not for beginners, but has lots of hints and tricks. Nine pages of detailed text (with photos) on the making of the flute, divided into 62 numbered steps, and seven pages of plans. If you build this one, you will need a reamer (the article includes 2 pages of reamer plans) which means metal shop work or having one made up for you.

    Luke Goembel, Making a Recorder
    The Woodwind Quarterly, Issue 8, February 1995, pp. 58-83

      Definatly a "can't live without" article. Beginner level, it will get you through a lot of details like sockets and tenons, tone holes, boring, reaming, and finishing. Even of you're not out to make a recorder, most of the info is applicable to any woodwind. No plans here, I'm afraid.

    Luke Goembel, Reaming Tapered Bores and Making Joint Mortises for the Recorder
    The Woodwind Quarterly, Issue 6, August 1994, pp. 66-70

      A bit of reamer how-to. This is nitty-gritty metal shop work, but it's also something you can show to your local machine shop as a sort of "how-to" if you don't want to cut your own.

    Scott Hirsch, Engraving With Rod Cameron
    The Woodwind Quarterly, Issue 6, August 1994, pp. 78-85

      Well, if you believe that every metal flute (or metal ring on a wooden flute) should be engraved, here's a quick guide.

    Scott Hirsch, Gundrills - A Buyers Guide
    The Woodwind Quarterly, Issue 8, February 1995, pp. 46-51

      Quite a bit on how to buy and use a gundrill, a great drill for straight bores, or so I'm told. Personally, I wouldn't track down this issue just for this article, but it's in the same issue as Goembel's recorder article.

    Scott Hirsch, Making a Renaissance Style Flute
    The Woodwind Quarterly, Issue 7, November 1994, pp. 99-103

      Very simple article, with a simple plan. The Renaissance flute is a good step for people who have already made a few plastic tubing (PVC flutes). This flute has a straight bore, and can be done with an inexpensive lamp drill (shell auger) and a spade bit, no tapered reamers are required, there are no tenons to cut, just bore and turn a wooden tube. Scott also posted the text of this to so you can get a taste from Deja News.

      Some flute making calculations that are not for the faint of heart.

    Alec V. Loretto, Recorder Bore Measuring
    The Woodwind Quarterly, Issue 9 May 1995, pp. 38-43

      This one is for beginners or experts, and it is just as applicable to baroque, renisance, or folk flutes as it is to recorders. A good basic article on the measurements you need to make to analyze or duplicate an existing instrument.

    The Musicians and Instrument Makers Forum

      The best online musical instrument making discussion board.

    Dan Noonan, A Homemade Gundrill
    The Woodwind Quarterly, Issue 9 May 1995, pp. 86-88

      This one requires metal shop skills, but can be used as a starting point for making drills for straight holes.

    Lew Paxton Price Secrets of the Flute: The Physics, Math and Design of the Non-Mechanical Folk Flute 1991.

      This is a good one. The math never gets nasty, if you survived trig, you'll get through this book. This covers fipple flutes and sideblown flutes, including calculations that will work for a rennisance flute.

    Lew Paxton Price The Oldest Magic

      Over 200 pages of folk flute history, measurements, and construction techniques. Like most Price books, the math doesn't get in the way. This one also covers a wide range of flutes, including fipple, sideblown, and end-blown flutes.

    Lew Paxton Price Creating & Using the North American Love Flute

      A nice how-to for making a native American fipple flute. You can do this one with minimal power tools or hand tools.

    Trevor Robinson, The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker
    University of Massachusetts Press

      It's the bible for beginners. Indespensible. The one book I wouldn't do without.

    Woodwind Quarterly
    Lars Kirmser, Editor
    26911 Maple Valley - Black Diamond Hwy.
    Maple Valley, WA 98038
    Phone: (425) 413-4343
    Fax: (425) 413-4338

    I'm only going to put one "avoid this source" item in here. There's an article in "Fine Woodworking on Spindle Turning" (Taunton Press) on the making of a "baroque" flute. In my opinion, this is purely a craft item. Follow these instructions and you will make a baroque looking flute, untuned, in a minimal amount of time, using easy to work woods such as cherry. Great item for the craft shows, but I wouldn't want to play one. I mention this here because it's the only article and plans availiable through conventional woodworking shops

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