Native American Style Flutes

Native American Style Flutes

The language of the heart
Play your song - with nature - it will answer you.

The fine quality of the High Spirits flutes invites you to dream, to get in touch with the inner world, the elements, the being. They are intuitively easy to play. Played in nature many animals and of course the birds are inspired to sing along.

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In German they are called Indian flutes, in American they are called Native American Style Flutes (NASF) - translated: "Flutes after the style of the Native Americans". This style of flutes clearly comes from the tradition of the indigenous people of North America. In addition to excellent Indigenous makers, there are also excellent flutes made by non-Indigenous makers who are inspired by the beauty of these flutes. To distinguish the Cultural Property, by law flutes that are not produced by Indigenous people must be designated as Native American Style flutes.

I met flute maker Odell Borg of High Spirits at the American Music Fair NAMM Show in 2020 and was immediately enamored with these beautiful flutes. I bought several flutes, including a double flute, and then spent 5 days alone in "Death Valley" the lowest point (86m below sea level) in the western hemisphere. Here there are canyons of marble and almost no plants, but lots of salt and borax. I played with the rocks, the marble in grottos and against rock walls and experienced magical moments with nature. On the 5th night it rained and the salt breaks ran full of water - I heard the coyotes bathing in the water and howling with joy.

I took the flutes back to Germany, totally excited, and was the first to offer these flutes in Europe. Little by little more and more of my customers took the flutes into their program. In the meantime there are several lines of pitches and construction methods. There are:

  • Traditional flutes made of American cedar, Spanish cedar and walnut wood tuned in 440 Hz with the different bird heads after which the flutes are named.
  • Earth Tone flutes, in the same construction, but tuned in 432 Hz and with an Omega sign as fetish.
  • Spirit flutes, without fetish with a glued-on mouthpiece, these are simpler, shorter, more robust for traveling and very light due to the Spanish cedar. They are available in 440 and 432 Hz.
  • Double Nova are called the new double flutes. Unfortunately, the traditional double flutes are no longer available. Nevertheless, I was very positively surprised by these short, light and less vulnerable double flutes and their wonderful sound.

Indian flutes guide:

  • All flutes, except for the Double Nova flutes are tuned in minor and have 6 holes, with the 3rd hole covered by a leather strap. Thus the flute can be played as a 5 hole, as well as a 6 hole flute.
  • When playing, the flute must be held completely horizontal to the body. Take a very proud posture, so to speak, and hold the flute at a right angle to your body. This prevents moisture from the mouth from getting into the blowing area of the flute while playing.
  • The area you blow into is a blind hole and would fill up with saliva if the flute were held in a lowered position (see the area of yellow writing in the illustration below). If it is already clogged, the sound cannot be heard again until the moisture is removed. To do this, you can simply hold the flute with the mouthpiece down for a while so that the moisture runs out of the blowing area. Moisture may also have gotten under the rider/fetish, in which case it must also be removed. This can be done by blowing firmly through it. If necessary and as a last measure, the leather must be removed and cleaned underneath.
  • Before playing, check the position of the fetish. The throat of the bird's head, that is, the foremost edge of the fetish must sit directly and straight at the opening (labium), only then will the sound develop properly. If the bird's head covers the opening or is moved too far in the direction of the blowing hole, then no sound or only a smoky sound will develop.