Playing position for a overtone flute with an extra hole

Playing position for a flute with an extra hole

Overtone flute music

The speciality of the overtone flute is the characteristic scale, harmonic overtone scale. The scale can be played from low to high by growing the hardness of the blowing (like you were blowing “faster”) and alternately closing (closed tones) and opening (open tones) the flute end. With overtone scale it is somewhat difficult to transfer melodies from other instruments. The characteristic scale is the reason why the melodies played with overtone flute may not sound familiar at all in the beginning. It is often easier to make up your own melodies or to improvise, which is quite fluent way to play the overtone flute.

It is possible to play any tone between the closed and open note with same kind of airflow by closing the flute end only partly. To close the flute end partly you can use one or more fingers e.g. two fingers whereupon rising of one finger causes e.g. half-closed flute end.

Open tone with overtone flute

Open tone

Closed tone with overtone flute

Closed tone

Half-closed tone with overtone flute

Half-closed tone

3/4 closed tone with overtone flute

3/4 closed tone

Overtone flute players from the present and the past
Finland: Kristiina Ilmonen, Riitta-Liisa Joutsenlahti, Leena Joutsenlahti, Tapani Varis, Rauno Nieminen, Jarmo Romppanen, Kirsi Ojala, Juulia Salonen, Veera Voima, Janne Ojajärvi, Joonas Ojajärvi, Satu Lankinen, Senni Valtonen, Maija Karhinen-Ilo, Kurt Lindblad, Patrick Weckman, Nathan Riki Thomson ym.
Sweden: Jonas Simonson, Anders Norudde, Ale Möller.
Norway: Steinar Ofsdal, Styrbjörn Bergelt, Ånon Egeland, Eivind Groven.
Denmark: Mads Kjøller-Henningsen.
Estonia: Hann-Liis Lao, Sandra Vabarna, Cätling Mägi, Merike Paberits, Säde Tatar, Juhan Suits.
Romania: Silvestru Lungoci, Mihai Lăcătuşu, Constantin Sofian.
France: Max Brumberg.
Siberia: Vladiswar Nadishana.
South-Africa: Pedro Espi-Sanchis.
Chile: Nano Stern.


Leisiö, T. 1983.

Joutsenlahti, R-L. 2000.