Welcome to Flutopedia.com — an evolving encyclopedia and on-line book dedicated to the Native American flute. It provides information and resources for the Native American flute in particular, but also on aspects of flute music and world flutes in general.
Indian Courtship - about 1853
You can use the menu of topics at the top of each page, view the pages sequentially (like a book) with the buttons on the top-right, visit the Table of Contents, or check out What's New for recent updates. And you'll find a lot of information here at widely varying levels of detail:
- 688 web pages
- 13 NAF scales
- 32 flute-related patents
- 295 recorded music samples
- sheet music for 28 transcribed songs
- 2,483 images in .GIF, .PNG, and .JPG formats.
- 296 glossary terms
- 17 finger diagram fonts for use in scoring music, with 1,055 finger diagram images in .GIF format for use on web pages.
- 3,171 references by 2,699 authors in 22 languages, containing 5,233 transcribed and recorded songs and 312,408 pages.
Please realize that Flutopedia is an evolving resource. As I research new topics and find relevant information, content is added. This means that some corners of this site are still incomplete, and some topics are just placeholders at the moment.
Also realize that my main role in providing this site is to locate, organize and provide access to content that may be useful to your journey with this instrument. Only a small portion of the information here represents my original research and opinions. I have provided as much access as possible to the original sources, so please follow those links and references.
You will find some areas of Flutopedia that only have only a tangential relationship to the Native American flute. In particular, explorations into ancient music and the origins of music bear only in a distant and indirect way on the core topics of the Native American flute. These portions of the web site are an expression of my research interests from time to time — please just skip on by if these topics do not suit your interests.
This web site represents my current level of research and understanding, and it will gradually evolve over time. If you know of resources that you believe could improve this web site and be of benefit to the community, please contact me to point them out.
There are two public forums for discussions about this web site, one on Facebook and one on Yahoo. Please join at one (or both) to be notified of new content on this web site and participate in discussions about future directions.
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The Native American flute has a long tradition in North America, a tradition that has seen a renaissance in the last several decades. Flutopedia strives to bridge the traditional elements of the Native American flute (see Honoring the Tradition) as well as serving those who have come to play the instrument because it gives us a musical voice and encourages us to “play from the heart”.
The right information at the right time can open doors to understanding, but it's easy to get overloaded with information. If you're trying to “plow through” some section of this web site and start to get that “swamped / lost / I'll never get this” feeling, it's time to shut down the computer, pick up a flute, head to the back porch, and just play. In the words of the pioneering anthropologist, Alice C. Fletcher, “the emotions of the heart of man are more in common the world over than are his intellectual ideas” ([Fletcher 1894]).
I also hope that this web site can serve as a starting point for exploring the Native American flute and your musicality more deeply.
If you have feedback on the content of this web site, please Contact Me. In particular, I would love to hear about any errors (of any type) that you find, suggested topics, or pointers to more Native American flute resources. Please note the title of the page if you are reporting an error.
— Clint Goss, Ph. D.