An Augmented Flute for Beginners

Heller, Florian and Ruiz, Irene Meying Cheung and Borchers, Jan

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Learning to play the transverse flute is not an easy task, at least not for everyone. Since the flute does not have a reed to resonate, the player must provide a steady, focused stream of air that will cause the flute to resonate and thereby produce sound. In order to achieve this, the player has to be aware of the embouchure position to generate an adequate air jet. For a beginner, this can be a difficult task due to the lack of visual cues or indicators of the air jet and lips position. This paper attempts to address this problem by presenting an augmented flute that can make the gestures related to the embouchure visible and measurable. The augmented flute shows information about the area covered by the lower lip, estimates the lip hole shape based on noise analysis, and it shows graphically the air jet direction. Additionally, the augmented flute provides directional and continuous feedback in real time, based on data acquired by experienced flutists.