Bone flutes

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These instruments are great fun to play! Many have been found dating to before, during and after our time period. I have three in my collection:

• A red deer bone with six holes

Deer Bone Flute (Corwen Broch).jpg Deer Bone Flute (Corwen Broch)

• An eagle bone with four holes

• An Icelandic sheep bone with three holes.

Beeswax was commonly used for the fipple, heated and moulded, then tuned and sounded. Further notes are possible by fingering at the end of the flute as well as the given holes, and also by applying breath pressure for the highest notes.

Corwen Broch demonstrates a three-holed sheep bone flute here:

Credit: James Hulme