Lord Krishna Playing Flute It is rightly said - "Music is therapeutic, it can tame a tiger and soothe a burning soul!" - George Netterville. No wonder music is being used to cure patients of depression, sleeplessness etc. through the emission of brain waves that go to the brain through the music and favor relaxation. Which instrument other than the flute can give out such soothing relaxing music that makes you forget all your worries?
Imagine a beautiful, radiant cowherd child standing at the banks of a beautiful river, the water in the river flowing uninterrupted amongst peaceful valleys and forests, and sweet, enchanting tunes coming from the flute played by the cowherd. Trees basked in the light of the full moon with their branches swaying gracefully in the soft night breeze. In the Hindu mythology, the supreme Lord Krishna is described as a cowherd playing melodious tunes on his flute that would enchant all living beings - humans and animals alike and show them the light of spiritual joy and bliss. He is fondly called VenuGopal or MuraliDhar by his devotees, Venu/Murli meaning the flute. He is said to be almost inseparable from his flute, especially during his childhood.
The word 'flute' is derived from the Latin word 'flare'(to flow). Flute is one of the oldest musical instruments in the history of mankind. In prehistoric times, flutes were made from bone, horns, tusks etc. Later they were made from bamboo or wood. Flutes as old as 35,000 years have been found by archaeologists in the caves of Germany. Metal Flute Some flutes are held horizontally and played while the others are held vertically. Though most flutes are tubular in shape, there are varied other shapes too. Earlier, most flutes were made from bamboo and wood. These days, wooden flutes are still popular, but metallic flutes are more common among professionals. There are also mixed flutes - wooden flutes with metal keys. The more expensive ones are made from silver, gold or platinum alloys. Economical ones are made from alloys of other metals like nickel. Making a flute is unique work of art and is usually made keeping in the needs of the musician who is going to use it.
The sound produced from the flute mostly depends upon the material from which it is made. Wooden flutes produce a dark sound whereas silver flutes produce a bright sound. Some flutes are siver-plated, which gives the flute a softer, soothing sound.
A wooden flute is can be made so cheap that even the poorest ones can afford a basic flute - thus truly making music composition accessible to all. Mathematically also, the sound waves produced by the flute are closest to the most harmonic representation of sound - the sine wave.
Wooden Flute The appearance of a flute is particularly important for professional flutists. The flute may be intricately decorated as per the preferences of the flutist by skilled flute makers. Theobald Boehm (1794-1881), a German flutist and instrument maker is remembered as the inventor of modern flute.
No doubt flute has a remarkable way of making music. It has the power to take us away from this mundane world into another world of peace and tranquility. Even the supreme Lord chose this musical instrument among all others to express his love and create magic!