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 open hole flutes
Author: gbarton1955 ( - ISP in Redwood City, CA United States)
Date:   2006-12-11 17:16

Can someone please tell me the difference between an open hole flute and other kinds? What's the best kind for a beginner?


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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: sylvangale (166.137.30.---)
Date:   2006-12-11 18:53

There is no difference in sound between open and closed hole flutes.

Open holes are needed for advanced technique (Sound effects/tuning) that some composers want.

Open holes can be a difficulty for doublers or flutists accustomed to closed holes, they also hold a little more prestige for that reason (to some).

Most professinal flutes in the US are open holed though you can use plugs to close any open hole flute.


♫ Stephen K.

Post Edited (2006-12-11 18:55)

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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: gbarton1955 ( - ISP in Redwood City, CA United States)
Date:   2006-12-11 23:05

thanks....I can get a Rosetti C FLUTE 16 hole closed flute. Anyone know about it? it's just for messing around with....

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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: sylvangale ( - ISP in Los Angeles, CA United States)
Date:   2006-12-13 06:06

I'm afraid the Rosetti sounds like it may be a junk flute from Ebay. It would be best avoid any flute where the ad speaks of the number of holes. You'll never find known flute sellers listing flutes in such a fashion.

If you want to get away with a reliable flute on the cheap, the best way is to go used. There are some reliable re-sellers that overhaul instruments and sell them again, some off the top of my head:


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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: amhso ( - ISP in Pleasanton, CA United States)
Date:   2007-01-25 02:44

For any student, yamaha student model YFL-21 or soemthing like that, it's around $400-500 at most shops, but that's not the retail price. It's the most common flute for beginner flutists and has been successful with many many people.

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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: Jaysne ( - ISP in Wakefield, MA United States)
Date:   2007-02-11 21:00

Hm, I always thought that open-holed flutes were supposed to have a little nice sound than closed-holed, since the air was able to go through the holes in the pads, as opposed to being stopped by the pad.

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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: sylvangale ( - ISP in Los Angeles, CA United States)
Date:   2007-02-12 06:56

Nope, no sound difference at all. Closed hole flutes make up for the difference with raised key heights.

I play on an open hole flute because of peer pressure and after many years of being used to it I really do prefer the feel of open hole keywork to closed hole keywork. Many closed hole flutes are just plain FLAT and uncomfortable.

An open hole flute does allow for some advanced technique a closed hole flute cannot accomplish, but such technique is not usually called for in general wind bands or even often in professional settings, but it's there and modern composers are writing silly things in their music to keep flutists on their toes.

The bible of contemporary technique:
Robert Dick's: The Other Flute

I've read that there are also pieces that exist that call for extended technique only performable on a closed hole flute... and so there remains a use for plugs.


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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: Wendy ( - ISP in Buffalo, NY United States)
Date:   2007-02-13 14:56

"Nope, no sound difference at all. Closed hole flutes make up for the difference with raised key heights."

Then what about an open hole flute with plugs in? Do the keys have to be raised?

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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: sylvangale ( - ISP in Fountain Valley, CA United States)
Date:   2007-02-14 15:14

Some hear a difference when open hole flutes are plugged and some don't. I do hear a difference and can't stand playing a plugged open hole flute, it just sounds funny. The sound difference could be considered minute, it is like the difference you would get if you were to add fingers or open vents to add or remove colour to a note.

There was a thread here asking the same question because a flutists wife could hear a difference when he plugged his flute, but he could not hear a difference himself.

Key plugs


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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: Chris P ( - ISP in United States)
Date:   2007-02-14 22:24

For a beginner it's best to start with a closed hole flute, and no reason why you should continue with one throughout your playing career.

Though later on if you do choose to go for open holes, go for one with offset keys (the fingerplate for your left hand 3rd finger is slightly offset to all the other fingerplates, just as a closed hole flute has) as it's more ergonomic in design.

Playing open hole flutes does mean you have to be precise with finger placement on the holes in the fingerplates so you get a good seal - if you're sloppy with finger placement, then you'll have trouble if you're not closing the holes completely.


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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: crazyshivayogi ( - (Verizon Internet Services) Pardeeville, WI United States)
Date:   2010-05-30 08:15

I have a Rosetti and it is a fairly reasonable instrument, however, you should know that although the name is Italian sounding, the instrument is made in China. I have heard though that China is turning out a lot of musical instruments these days and really they are fairly good quality but should be "tweaked" by a reputable technician here in the States. It is actually worth your money to buy a used flute made in the US and you will at least probably undoubtedly will have to at least have it re-padded. I bought a Selmer Coin Silver flute (16 hole) used for less than my Rosetti 17 hole. ( <-about $180 with shipping) But the Rosetti sounds and plays good and has good silver content so it was ok for what it was worth. But the Rosetti played out of the box and the Selmer does need some work before it is useful.

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 Re: open hole flutes
Author: funkymusicgal (203.19.220.---)
Date:   2011-03-19 12:57

Get the closed hole - the open hole are suppose to have more warmth - but really unless you wnat to do particular effects - the closed hole is the way to go for you. The biggest difference in overall sound production will be the quality of the headjoint. ( I learnt on a closed hole and now have open hole).

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