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World FluteloreFolktales, Myths, and Other Stories of Magical Flute Power$
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Dale A. Olsen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037887

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037887.001.0001

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Flute Origin Myths and Flute-Playing Heroes

Flute Origin Myths and Flute-Playing Heroes

(p.105) Chapter 8 Flute Origin Myths and Flute-Playing Heroes
World Flutelore

Dale A. Olsen

University of Illinois Press

Flutes get much of their power from the breath of their players, and that breath is transformed into whistle tones that are manipulated by the player's fingers or tongue to produce all sorts of patterns of sound, from bird imitations to beautiful melodies and more. In addition, flutes derive power from the “proper” culturally determined materials used in their construction, from animal bones or rustic bamboo to precious metals or stone, giving each instrument its desired tone quality or voice. Whether used for meditation, fertility, courting, protection, or just playing a melody, the sounds and music of flutes have the power to go beyond the mortal world into immortal realms. This spiritual nature of flutes is like a thread that weaves through the fabric of world flutelore and flute musical performance. This chapter explores more stories and narratives that bring out the spiritual connection of flutes and flute music, especially as it relates to origin myths and heroes.

Keywords:   flutes, flute music, supernatural heroes, flutelore, myths, flute players

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