Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Basic Anasazi Flute Scale

The Anasazi flute, currently recreated by Michael Graham Allen, is starting to gain popularity among players of the modern "plains" style Native American flute. It's haunting tone and ability to maneuver through the overtones of the harmonic series creates a very seductive sound. Since more people are becoming interested in them let's take a closer look at how the basic scale is set up on this flute and how it differs from the modern NAF.

First here is a quick look at how a Anasazi flute is held. As you can see the lower half of the mouthpiece end of the flute is set in the middle of the jaw. The player blows across the top part of the rim with the flute held at a 45˚ angle. We'll take a closer look at this later. For now let's take a look at the basic scale.

The Anasazi flute, like the modern Native American flute, has a pentatonic scale as it's basic scale. However, it's not the NAF's minor version of the pentatonic but the major version. A pentatonic scale has five notes (from the Greek pente: five) plus the octave.

Let's listen to examples of both these scales starting on F#.


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