Transverse Folk Flutes

The transverse flute is one of the most recognizable types of flutes in the world, and the silver, orchestral flute is the icon most people imagine when you say the word “flute”. However, transverse wooden “folk” flutes come in all shapes and sizes and they have their own wonderful character. Using wood instead of other materials (such as metal and bamboo) allows for a wide variety of visual styles.

I’ve spent the last seven years doing a lot of intensive research and development to perfect a deceptively simple looking one-piece flute that has the performance characteristics of a much more expensive instrument.  It has been quite a journey and I’ve made many dozens of prototypes in my quest for the perfect one-piece transverse flute, but at last I believe I have succeeded!  These flutes have a cylindrical body but the head of the flute has a parabolic taper of the type used for silver flutes.  This taper in the bore increases power and projection as well as balancing the tuning of the two octaves.

Transverse flutes are embouchure flutes, requiring the player to create the airstream with their lips and direct it over the tone hole to create a sound. If you are new to this kind of flute, you will need to be patient with the learning process. If you already play other embouchure flutes (Silver flute, Quena, Shakuhachi, Xiao, etc.) you will find these flutes very accessible.

The most common tuning that I use for these flutes is the diatonic major scale in the key of D (do-re-mi scale) which makes them an excellent choice for all types of World music, including traditional Irish music–a nice option for players who want a high performance flute without spending a lot.  I currently make them in the keys of D and Eflat (for players with smaller hands) and will be adding more options as I can.

NOTE: These flutes are ergonomically set up for right-handed players (meaning players who play with the foot of the flute pointing to the right).  Left-handed versions can be custom made upon request.


Listen to Blayne Chastain (owner of the Irish Flute Store and ITM player extraordinaire) demonstrate both the D and Eflat tunings in the sound samples below.




Shop the Store for Transverse Folk Flutes

Geoffrey Ellis Flutes

Contemporary World Flute Store

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