This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Nov 14, 2012

Historic Nose Flutes - Couchois' Whistle: Template

Some historic nose flutes have totally disappeared or haven't even been produced or commercialized. Our goal, here, is to reconstruct them, as close as possible to the original, with the help of the patent drawings and descriptions.

Couchois' Whistle: Drawing a template

Oct. 21, 1899, Garrett John Couchois filed a Design patent for a "Whistle". The very elegant shape is registered one monyh later, on 21st of November. Indeed, it is a nose flute, based on the same principle that the Nasalette, but with some improvements: the mouth tube has become circular, which is more ergonomic than a rectangular section, and the nose hood has been replaced by a simple nose shield.

Before building a template for the replica, I analysed the drawings and, as with the Nasalette patent, found some inconsistencies in the design:

- A. The base of the airway does not correspond on side and front views. Indeed, the mouth hole looks very high on the front view.

- B. The largest part of the nose shield is not as the same height on both views.

- C. The nose shield width does not match on front and top views.

However, these are not "fatal errors" and it is easy to correct them to reach a certain consistency.
Next step was to define the dimensions. I measured the distance between the middle of my open mouth and my nostrils, and was able to evaluate the total height of the Couchois' whistle to 7 cm. Then, it was easy to deduce the other dimensions.

On the original front view, the mouth hole was really too tall, so I chose to used its dimensions on the side view, and I corrected the other mistakes.

Then, as I did for the Nasalette, I designed many templates on cardboard until I reached the perfect one (the nose shield looks different on the first picture, but it is just a matter of folding and view angle). And the cardboard model worked as an instrument!

And I was then able to draw the template:

You can download the PDF full size template here.

To be continued!


On the same topic :

- Historic Nose Flutes - The Nasalette: Template
- Historic Nose Flutes - The Nasalette: Building
- Historic Nose Flutes - The Nasalette: Review
- Historic Nose Flutes - Couchois' Whistle: Template
- Historic Nose Flutes - Couchois' Whistle: Building
- Historic Nose Flutes - Couchois' Whistle: Review
- Historic Nose Flutes - Grierson's Whistle: Template
- Historic Nose Flutes - Grierson's Whistle: Building
- Historic Nose Flutes - Grierson's Whistle: Review



  1. Another breakthrough in bringing the nose flute back to life!

  2. Great work! I am impressed by the beauty and accuracy of this instrument. I might not be as enthusiastic about its musical abilities, but, man, this is history!!!