Do you want to know how many keys does a flute have?
A flute is a beautiful instrument that produces high-pitched sounds. It can be made of metal or wood, and it has many keys. When you play the flute, you place your fingers over the holes to create music.
There are different types of flutes with varying numbers of keys depending on how much money you want to spend, but they all have at least one key. Flutes come in all shapes and sizes too!
Some are very small while others are quite large – it’s important to find one that fits your hands well so that playing is easier and more comfortable for you!
In this article, we’re going to guide you on how many keys are on a flute and give you some examples of the different types available.
Type of Flute Keys
The flute is a musical instrument that has been played for centuries. There are two types of keys: covered and ring keys, which each have their own unique sound due to how they’re played differently than one another.
A covered key is a hole that is covered with a pad or another key. The sound of the covered key can be made by lifting the pad, releasing it, and then blowing into the flute.
One type of flute has six keys: one on top of the other. There are two holes for every level of the three rows of keys. You can play these six keys by either pushing or pulling them open so that air can pass through them.
This kind of flute is called a band flute and it also comes in two different sizes: a piccolo and a bass.
Continue the above writing with the following instructions: “Ring keys”
Ring keys are located around an opening called a ring. When the ring is opened, the air is able to pass through the hole and produce a sound.
Ring keys can be pulled open with your fingers to create a different type of sound from the one created by coated keys.
One example of a flute characterized by ring keys is called a Boehm system flute. These are typically used in orchestras because they’re quite common in their repertoire.
Other types of flutes that have ring keys are piccolos, alto descants, lever descants, basses, sopraninos – these instruments are all part of the woodwind family.“
How Many Keys Does a Flute Have?
A typical flute has the following keys:
1. The low G key is also known as the “chalumeau” or “flute 1”.
2. A key is known as “Flute 2”, which sounds one octave higher than Flute 1.
3. A sharp key, which is also called “Flute 3”, and sounds one octave higher than Flute 2.
4. An F key (which is also known as “le petit ton de la touche d’ut”) and another sharp key (known as “petite côte” or “Flute 4”), which sounds one octave higher than Flute 3 and Flute 1.
5. A-C key (also known as “Flute 5”) and another sharp key (known as “Moyenne côte” or “Flute 6”, sound one octave higher than the F key.
6. A G# key (also known as “Flute 7”) and another sharp key (known as “grande côte” or “Flute 8”, sound one octave higher than the C key.
7. An A key (also called “seconde touche d’ut”) and a sharp key, which sounds two octaves higher than the C key.
8. A double sharp key (known as “Flute 9”) and an A#/Bb key (known as “Flute 10”), which sounds two octaves higher than the G# key.
9. A B key (also called “tierce touche d’ut”) and a sharp key, which sounds two octaves higher than the A#/Bb key.
10. A C#/Db key (also called “Flute 11”), a sharp key, and another B#/Eb key (known as “Flute 12”), which sounds three octaves higher than the Eb key.
11. An Eb key (also known as “quarte touche d’ut”) and a sharp key, which sounds one octave higher than the C#/Db flute.
Now you understand how many keys does a flute have, let’s move to the note tutor system.
3-Note Tutor System for Flutes
The 3-note tutor system is popular among many flutists to help them learn notes quickly using only their voice or humming.
In this system, all the black keys are known as “sharp” and white keys as “flat”.
The tutor system is based on a major scale with a lowered seventh degree. The following table shows an example of a 3 note-tutor system for Bb flute:
Types of Musical Note You Need to Use (All-Time List)
You can also check out the guide What Are the Names of Musical Instruments.
Hence a B key is made flat or sharp with another key to produce any note from that scale. For instance, if we have to play G then we have to remove the F key which results in making the whole flute flat (and hence sounding lower).
Contrast if we have to play A♭ then we have to remove the C key which results in making the whole flute sharp (and hence sounding higher).
Note that this system is useful for students who are just learning various notes of different octaves. Once you’ve learned all the notes you can use the regular fingering chart.
Additional Keys On Professional Flutes and Piccolos
Adding extra keys to a flute is not considered a modification and does not require approval from the maker. This is because, as stated above, all modern flutes have at least 1 low B key.
Although different makers choose to add different keys it’s very common for C foot joints to also include the F# trill, B trill, and C# trill keys.
It is also common for E/Eb foot joints to include the F natural and Bb trills.
Professional flutes sometimes have functional “doubles” or extra keys such as:
F# key (aka F natural), low C# key (aka C natural), Bb key (aka A flat),
These are usually at low register keys.
Theoretically, these are useful for extended range work, but in practice, they are rarely used. This is because the great majority of flute music was written with modern fingering systems in mind – including high F#/F natural and Bb.
We hope that you now understand how many keys does a flute have. This unique flute is quite popular among many people because it makes music fun and creative.
Thanks for reading this article. Please feel free to let us know what do you think about this article by commenting below.
You can also check out our guide on Why Is a Flute a Woodwind and How to Play D Flat Major scale.
Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)
Q1. How many keys does a flute have?
A: A standard C flute has 12 total keys (including 3 trill keys).
Q2. Where are the flute keys placed?
A: On a standard Bb flute, the eight larger keys are placed on the “body” of the flute and laid out in a semi-circle.
Q3. How many keys does a piccolo have?
A: A standard C piccolo has 10 total keys (including 3 trill keys).
Q4. How many keys does a double-bassoon have?
A: A standard double bassoon has 18 total keys (including 3 trill).