Flutes inspired by the prehistoric flutes of the southwest

This is a prototype of a songbook for the prehistoric 6-hole Ancestral Puebloan style flutes and the old 5-hole Hopi style flutes. Because these instruments are more challenging to play and and because the practice of their descendants playing them appears to have died out in the last 100 years, not many players and makers exist as compared to the more popular plains flute revival. Within the rimbloan revivalist, there is also a bit of debate between the 3 different embochures that could have been used to play them. There are those who want to be historically corrrect while others who just want to make beautiful muisc.

Because of photos of Hopi flute's from 100 years ago, their peculiar 5-hole finger layout is easy to connect to prehistoric examples that are dated to around 1253-1284 AD which were played by peoples who also played the 6-hole variety which has been dated back as far as 620-670 AD. So these flutes go back much further than the split carved, plains flutes of the 1820's.

From a design point of view, these instruments are basically a hollow cylinder with some finger holes. Recently, some flute makers have rediscovered these instruments, and begun to evolve them in similar ways that the plains courting flute has undergone since the 1980's. For instance, Michael Graham Allen, who led the revival, adjusted the finger holes of the flutes that he makes so they are tuned to modern pitches so they can be played along with other modern instruments. Enhanced the instrument with a Shakuhachi style mouthpiece for an easier blowing over the top embochure. Michael's contemporary reflections on this ancient instrument and beautiful playing, inspired a new generation of players and made this songbook possible. Hopefully this simple set of widely known melodies can be a starting point for learning to play such instruments. And it is a happy note that since the first version of this brief songbook appeared on the Internet, there seems to be a Puebloan revival with these instruments.

Melodies accessible to the 5-hole flutes from 700-100 years ago:

Melodies accessible to the 6-hole flutes from 1,300 years ago:

More melodies in the future; As of 2021, the software used to engrave the sheet music for the plains flute has been enhanced to support the rimblown instruments. Have plans to convert these melodies and add additional ones.