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There are few who can whistle real music through their noses. For the rest of us, there’s the nose flute – also called a nose whistle or a Humanatone. This single-piece instrument relies on rhythmic breathing through the nose while maintaining or fluctuating the opening of the mouth.
This simple, classic gem isn’t to be confused with the nose flute that’s common in Hawaii, Africa, the Phillipines and New Zealand, all of which resemble mouth flutes and are usually made of bamboo.
In the latter half of the 19th century, the nose flute was made out of wood, metal or ivory, and were produced under names like Magic Flute, Humantone and Humanaphone. In the late-1930s, plastic nose flutes were introduced as kids’ toys, and they became quite popular.
The nose flute – regardless of style – is easy to play, but does take practice to master. As David Gouthro, founder of the Vancouver Noseflute Ensemble, puts it, you only need two things to play well: You have to be able to breathe, and “you have to let go of any need to look good.” For serious fluters, practicing breath spurts, mouth control and trilling of the tongue takes priority.
These are small and light and easy to bring along for entertainment.
Trophy Music Co.
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