2016 The Wonder of the Nativity

What Is A Flute Choir?
A flute choir is an instrumental chamber ensemble consisting of the many members of the flute family. Although a flute quartet can, in some cases be considered a flute choir, most flute choirs extend the melodic range of the group in either direction with the addition of "melody" flutes. Most flute ensembles of five or more people can be considered a flute choir, although this is not a fixed number.

The following instruments, listed by descending range, can be included in a flute choir:

  • Piccolo (sounding an octave above the concert flute)
  • G Treble Flute (sounding a fifth above the concert flute)
  • E♭ Flute (sounding a minor third above the concert flute)Concert Flute
  • B♭ flute (sounding a major second lower than the concert flute)
  • Alto Flute (sounding a fourth below the concert flute)
  • Bass Flute (sounding an octave below the concert flute)
  • Contra-alto Flute (sounding an octave below the alto flute)
  • Contrabass Flute (sounding an octave below the bass flute and two octaves below the concert flute)
  • Subcontrabass flute (sounding two octaves below the alto flute)
  • Double contrabass flute (sounding an octave below the contrabass flute and three octaves below the concert flute)

The sheer cost and limited availability of contra-alto and contrabass flutes usually prevent most community-based flute choirs from owning these instruments, but many of the well-established community and professional-level ensembles have acquired at least one contrabass flute.

While most of the initial music arranged for flute choir included little more than transcriptions of classical pieces for orchestra and chamber ensembles, in recent years many new compositions have been created for flute choir. Although flute choirs are still a relatively new ensemble in the history of music, their popularity is growing internationally.