Parts of the Flute

german flute on a music book
Hiob/Getty Images

The flute—often used in jazz and pop music, as well as more traditional pieces—has the highest voice in the woodwind family of instruments. The name might be a little confusing since not all flutes are made of wood, but the flute is designated as a woodwind instrument due to the way it produces sound.

The flute is also a very versatile musical instrument, it can play solo or be responsible for carrying the melody.

If you are thinking of taking up flute playing, learn about the three different parts of the flute and their specific functions.

Head Joint

This is the part of the flute that touches the mouth and has no keys. On the head joint, you will also find the tuning cork, which you can move to adjust the intonation of the flute.

The lip-plate, also called the embouchure plate, is likewise found on the head joint. The lip plate is where the musician rests his lower lip in order to play the flute. A curved lip-plate is easier to blow than a straight lip-plate.

The blowhole, also known as the mouth hole, is likewise located on the head joint. The blowhole is where the musician blows air into in order to produce sound. It can either be oval shaped or a rounded rectangle. A larger mouth hole favors low notes while a small mouth hole favors high notes.

Body Joint

This is the largest part of the flute. The body joint connects the head and foot joint and contains most of the keys.

The keys are pressed in order to produce a certain pitch. It is important that the keypads and springs are in good condition to produce the proper quality of sound.

Aside from the keys, on the body joint you will also find the tuning slide and tenons. These are used primarily to tune the flute.

Foot Joint

This is the shortest part of the flute. It also contains a few keys. The foot joint has a rod, which must be aligned with the center of the keys in the body of the flute.

  • Girl playing the flute

    Different Types of Flutes and Descriptions About Them

  • Students preparing to play musical instruments

    Can You Name the Parts of the Trumpet?

  • Young girl reading sheet music, playing the flute

    The 8 Best Flute Brands for Beginners in 2019

  • String quartet Cello

    How Are Instruments Categorized?

  • Students preparing to play musical instruments

    Learn the Parts of the Saxophone

  • Grunge saxophone on music

    Saxophones: Sopranino, Contrabass and More

  • A young man playing Great Highland Bagpipe during the summer Highland games at Tobermory

    Can You Name All the Different Kinds of Wind Instruments?

  • Upright Bass Jazz Instrument

    What Jazz Instruments Are in an Ensemble?

  • Marching band members in a parade

    Everything You Need to Know About Marching Band Instruments

  • closeup of hands playing flute

    Learn the Wonders of the Tin Whistle

  • USA, New Jersey, Woman sitting on sofa and playing acoustic guitar

    Parts of a Guitar for Beginners

  • Man playing bass guitar

    Parts of the Bass Guitar

  • Accordion

    Bluegrass and Folk Instruments Range From Professional to Homemade

  • Get the Low Down on the 7 Different Types of Bass Lines

  • A person who possesses perfect pitch has the ability to either sing or name any note without hearing a reference note. This rare cognitive ability can be a blessing and a curse.

    What is Perfect Pitch? Do You Have It?

  • Girl playing violin

    Summer Music Camp Programs Your Child Will Love