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  • Range of the Flute

    Hi there,

    Just to help me out with a discussion I had with a good friend: he claims (and teaches Composition at the Conservatory so I took his words seriously) that a Flute can play no lower than the Si.

    Yet the VSL Flute 1 goes to Bb. Is this a "special flute", or does my friend need an update regarding testiture?

    Thanks in advance!


  • "Most professional flutes made in America have a B-foot, meaning that they are able to play the low B natural. European flutists are opposed to a B-foot and feel that it takes away some of the brilliance from the instrument." Samuel Adler, The Study of Orchestration, second edition, page 168. 

    In VI Flute 1 goes to B flat, and Flute 2 to B natural. In EXS VSL, both flutes stop at B natural.... I need a life. 

    Now is the time to make a skillful wager with your friend, prove him wrong, and buy a VI library with the proceeds. 

  • Hi Plowman,

    Thanks for the enlightenment. However, we knew about the B natural, but still don't understand why the VI Flute 1 goes to Bb... I know, a lot of fuzz about a half tone, but we are maniacs...



  • It's always interested me too. 

    Here's a four page discussion on the topic that may hold some information. As you noted, a B natural is generally understood, but a B flat is more obscure.

  • Thanks plowman, though I must confess this 4-page discussion makes me rather dizzy...

    Could perhaps someone from VSL chime in on this one? They know for sure and I'd love to know!

    Thank you,