My journey with the flute began with a small bamboo flute gifted to me. And since then it has been my constant companion and comfort, through lifes' trials, tribulations and celebrations.
So many instruments claim to be ancient and the flute is one of them with fragments of flute made from vulture and mammoth bones found in Germany in 2012 dating back 42, 000 years! But wait there's more... in Slovenia a flute fragment has been found dating back 80, 000 years ago.
A professional musician has played the flute and remarkably it has four notes of the diatonic scale. One can only wonder how it was played, what melodies they listened to, or did they use it to create animal sounds and alarms? Regardless, the flute is as old as humanity itself and speaks to us all.
The Native American style flute is my particular passion, connecting with a culture I resonate with, and allowing my heart to sing through this beautiful instrument.
Comanche Flute Origin
The flute came to the Comanche people by way of a man who had suffered greatly. One by one, his four children and wife had died. In his sorrow he wept bitterly for many months. When the tribe moved camp, he would set his tipi away from the others, so as not to disturb them with his constant weepings.
One night, he had a dream. He was told that his spirit was in danger of breaking from his constant mourning. He was told that he could release his sorrow through music.
For many weeks, he thought about the meaning of the dream.
One day, as he was walking in the woods, he heard new sounds. He followed the sounds until he came upon a cedar grove. Some of the old cedars had dead branches in which the woodpeckers had drilled holes. Each time, as the wind blew, it created a sweet and soothing sound.
Remembering his dream about his sorrow and music, he took inspiration from the cedar branch with the holes and set forth to form an instrument.
Some time later, he had made a flute. The energy he had put into his tears and sorrow now went into his music, thus creating music of great beauty and love. In doing so, he let go of his grief and sorrow and preserved the wholeness of his spirit.
This legend is from the script of the DVD Toubat: A Journey of the Native American Flute ([Bee 2006]). Thanks to the Oregon Flute Store
This story resonates with me a lot as I lost my 14 yr son, Paul to an asthma attack in 2015. The flute has inspired me to play and heal my heart with music. - Renee