The history of the Native American Flute

Gordon Keyler of the Joplin Native American Flute Circle stops in the studio to talk about the history and beauty of the instrument.

The flute is one of the oldest instruments in the world, originating thousands of years ago in South America and eventually working its way to North America. When compared to the flutes found from thousands of years ago, modern designs tend to stay true and unchanged to their original design.

The flutes generally work in pentatonic scale and differ in key depending on the size craft of the flute. The flute also only has five notes even though there are six holes. The sixth hole was added on more modern flutes to give the instrument a more dynamic range, but traditional flutes only had five holes.