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.

Jul 3, 2013

FIUL 3 !

The Festival International d'Ukulélé de Lerrain took place this year in... Charmois-devant-Bruyères, a welcoming village in the Vosges region, France. Many ukulele playing, for sure, but also some nose flute, thanks to the Nosy Diva and yours truly.

Here is a short footage from Vosges Télévision (some nose flute in the middle)

And here a montage of the Nosy Diva on stage:

Jun 17, 2013

Frühling Konzert

Summer is almost here, so this "Frühling Konzert" (Spring concert) video, dating of April 28 is already a bit old... However, a nose flute footage shot in a church is rare enough to be noticed. The concert took place in Michaeliskirche, Hannover, Germany, with the Nosy Diva at the Bocarina.

Jun 14, 2013

Today is International Nose Flute Day!!

To the readers of this blog: I've been away from for a long time. In April, I had to face a lack of new info deserving publication and at the same time, I had to focus on the completion of my work for an art exhibition. Then I got longly sick. Finally I'm back, here, but the posting rhythm may slow a bit down, from now on. Thank you for your loyalty, and particularly to those of you who enquired about my "disappearance"


Today is the 2nd INFD - International Nose Flute Day. The 14th of June was chosen last year as an anniversary of the registration of William Carter's Nasalette patent. Have you planned something specific? Are you going to celebrate this day?


Here are some pictures of the exhibition « En Quête de l'Ange » ("In the Quest for the Angel"), set in Nancy, Lorraine, France, for which I built 3 composed pieces. One of those photographic compositions is called « Le Souffle des Anges »("The Angels' Breath") and is totally devoted to nose flute playing.

This collective exhibition - with great names! : Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Eric Poitevin, Dominique Petitgand ... — encounters a good success: 5,000 visitors so far, and in just more than a month. If you happen to pass by Nancy, pay us a visit!

En Quête de l'Ange
May 4 to August 4 — (Wednesday to Sunday - 10AM to 6PM)
Galerie Nancy-Thermal
Rue du Sergent Blandan - Nancy


- The official exhibition page : En Quête de l'Ange
- En Quête de l'Ange blog
- En Quête de l'Ange Facebook page

Apr 2, 2013

Cardboard nose flutes, by RON

Cardboard nose flutes seems to be very hip these days! Here is a series of tests made by RON (see here and here), with different airway cap lengths.

Apr 1, 2013

Piet Visser's Cello-Phone: The Making of

Last week, we showed the short video made by Mr. Piet Visser while testing his Cello-Phone replica. But on the footage, one can hardly see that Piet made a stunning work...
Here are some pictures of the making, sent by Mr. Visser via Mr. Mei.

It seems that the building needed some different attempts in order to get the right curve with the brass rod.

« These pictures are about bending the brass tube, which is the hardest part of the whole of the Cello-Phone. The trick is to keep a natural curve and a fluent line. It is essential to 'anneal' the brass tube first. This is a heat treatment, which alters the microstructure of the brass material and causes changes in its properties. That allows the material to be worked and bent. Annealing is required before the next step can be applied before it can be bent, which is filling the tube with shell lime. I continuously press this shell lime firmly into the tube, which is very important: only then will the tube be fully supported from the inside, so that it won't crack or disfigure. When the tube is fully filled and firmly pressed, I seal the end of the tube by means of a wooden plug. Now the bending process can begin, which needs to be done very carefully. If not, the tube will break, which has happened on my first tries in making the Celllo-Phone. »
[thanks to Maikel Mei for the translation]

And here the work with a blowtorch, sawing and drilling:

Mar 30, 2013

Review: Mosurin's new CD!

Sensei Mosurin just issued his new CD: Sound of the Nose Flute V (鼻笛の響 V), and let's immediately that this fifth volume is really the best one, a real piece of nose flute jewelry... 10 beautiful tunes, 8 of them being Mosurin's compositions.

If I had to describe this CD with just a few words, I would say unity, purity, sweetness, nostalgia and wide space. Unity, because the records share all a global "color", a real consistency. Only the last tune — The Turkish March — expresses another kind of energy, but it works as a final punctuation. Purity, because Mosurin's has the best nose flute sound in the world, clean, precise, crystal clear. And the master's playing has evolved again, with perfect tremolos and a huge breath... Sweetness and Nostalgia, because it's a kind of Mosurin's trademark in his musical choices, but also because of the arrangements, that have greatly improved in quality and subtlety, from the first CDs. And finally wide space, because all of the Mosurin's compositions (8 out of 10 tunes) could be panoramic movie soundtracks, some of them could come from Western movies. Any of those pieces opens a window on a wide landscape.

01 ありがとう - Thank You
02 山河 - The Natural Surroundings
03 風花 - Dancing Snow in the Wind
04 ハロウィーン・ダンス - Halloween Dance
05 ボン・ボヤージュ - Farewell
06 シエスタ - The Nap
07 流れ(情念) - The Flow (complaint)
08 風の歌が聞こえる - Hear the Song of the Wind
09 鳥の歌 - El Cant dels Ocells
10 トルコ行進曲(モーツァルト) - Turkish March (Mozart)

Mosurin: Nose flute and guitar
Mayumi Isumi: piano
Photo by Yutaka Matsubara

Thanks a lot to Mr. Mosurin, who authorized me to insert some musical excerpts in this review.

01 ありがとう - Thank You [2:13]
This opening tune is played over synth (DX7?) arpeggios. Then some synth strings.
Simple sweet melody, with powerful sharps.

02 山河 - The Natural Surroundings [3:18]
"Sanga"is the first "landscape" tune of the CD. Played with a piano, the nose flute is grogeous. Sensei Mosurin perfectly masters subtle tremolos. The tune ends with bells notes.

03 風花 - Dancing Snow in the Wind [3:32]
"Kazahana" is one a my prefered pieces. It is what a japanese garden in Winter could be when transposed into music. The nose flute sounds a bit more windy than usual, choice that is consistent with the title. Here are 2 excerpts of this piece, the beginning, and a part which shows the infinite breath of the master:

04 ハロウィーン・ダンス - Halloween Dance [2:42]
This tune shows another kind of rhythm and harmonics, but stays consistent with the whole selection. It makes me think of some Ennio Morricone productions. Beautifully written and played, with incredibly powerful and clean sharps! It certainly deserves to be listened to in full, but here is only a short excerpt:

05 ボン・ボヤージュ - Farewell [2:50]
An evolutive arrangement, with guitar and bass, then soft drums, and a hint of fiddle sounding like a pedal steel. The integration of drums is a bit surprising, and turns the tune to a slow dance.

06 シエスタ - The Nap [2:35]
Here the arrangement is produced by a bass, a synth set on glockenspiel and some light percussions. Some remarkable tremolo endings...

07 流れ(情念) - The Flow (pathetic) [3:01]
"Nagare" is a beautiful complaint that could really be a Japanese western movie soundtrack. Guitar and synth.

08 風の歌が聞こえる - Hear the Song of the Wind [3:02] Another "outdoor" piece, but painted this time in a autumnal dress. The bass string of the guitar is lightly but incredibly out of tune...

09 鳥の歌 - El Cant dels Ocells [2:25]
Traditional Christmas song from Catalonia, dating from the 13 c. The choice of a synth among the arrangement (with guitar) is a bit strange... Beautifully played, with a real controlled strength and presence of the flute.

10 トルコ行進曲(モーツァルト) - Turkish March (Mozart) [0:53]
Here it is! Mosurin's greatest hit! And it deserves it. We all know Mosurin's live versions (on YouTube) of this Mozart march, but here is finally a studio version. This tune closing the CD is a real master piece, with a unbelievable tongue technique. In the quickest part (sorry, not in the excerpt, you'll have to buy the CD!), Mosurin sounds like a bird. Really. A distinct tongue/glottis bird sound, jumping from one note to another as quickly as a nightingale. This recording is a milestone the nose flute history.


Well, you understand it, I *strongly* encourage you to get this great CD! Whether it is for the tunes themselves or even only the stunning techniques mastered by Mosurin, if you're a nose flute lover, this CD is a real must for you CDtheque.

Where and how to get this CD?

Go on Mosurin's website and click on the Paypal button at the end of the dedicated article.
It will cost you ¥1,500 (around US$16) plus shipping.

Mar 24, 2013

Cello-phone replica, by Piet Visser

Do you remember the Cello-phone? Piet Visser, the dutch whistle collector just built a replica of this incredibly baroque nose flute. It seems he totally made it in brass.

Mar 23, 2013

A new cardboard nose flute

Shuenping Chiou, our taiwanese friend and amateur nose flute builder, has just released a new cardboard nose flute template. It has a very nice and simple design (simple to build!) and might be printed "for real" and commercialized.

Chiou (YW) has also tested a duct tape version, which offers a better solidity (here, beside his "cat paw" home made flute.

Mar 19, 2013

Message from the CRAFAN

An hilarious video produced by Profglukoz. It is in French, so I have to sum up the topic for you:
This video is supposed to be a message from the CRAFAN (Comité Révolutionnaire Anti-Flûte à Nez = Revolutionary Committee Against Nose flutes) and the "anonymous" masked protagonist claims he has taken my black cat Patafix as an hostage. The CRAFAN demands any nose flute activity to be stopped right now (playing, building, modifying, etc.), otherwise, Patafix will be sold to the best-offering company to be transformed in... lasagna.

Note that Profglukoz calls our beloved instruments "tympanum massive destruction weapon"

It's a french speaking (with southern accent:) video, but the images are funny terrible and understandable.

Mar 9, 2013

The Death of the Swan

I think it was seriously made, but I find it very funny! (sorry)... Here is a cover of Another Brick in the Wall by the Pink Floyd, recorded by MrJogiMar with a uke, a bass, and a nose flute distorted by a synth. Well, ... also distorted by the player himself. The Nasenflöte sounds like a swan slowly dying and deeply suffering.

Mar 5, 2013

Lady Gaga :)

Energic video by Miss Ayano and two friends of hers, playing Born This Way by Lady Gaga. I do not know the original version, but I know I prefer this cover.

Mar 3, 2013

News from Chiou!

A little video (well, a recording with a still image) by Shuenping Chiou (YW), the Taiwanese nose flutist who builds his own flutes [see this post]. The sound is very unusual for a nose flute, near a bamboo flute. But I assume that YW has transformed it a little by an electronic mean [indeed, the nose flute played is the one shown below, and it was recorded with a home made microphone, that distorted a bit the sound].

Here is Chiou's last creation, with a braided design:

Mar 1, 2013

Lullaby by Kato Hideo

A sweet and nostalgic lullaby by Takeda Shujiro (ひでじろう 竹田) interpretated by Mister Kato Hideo at the nose flute.

Feb 27, 2013

Tribute to FloydBlue

« Kenny and Capt. CheezWhiz pay tribute to a noseflute legend », as described on the Youtube page. Indeed, Jas Ingram (AKA Captainukehandles/CheezWhiz holds the nose flute, wearing a mask, while Mister Kenny plays uke and dog. Great video!

Feb 26, 2013

Getting serious about nose flute playing - Part II is very glad and lucky to welcome Miss Birdy K. as an essayist. This text of thoughts about nose flute playing is the second part of an article initiated here. Thanks to her!

Sequel of the post Getting serious about nose flute playing - Part I

Getting serious about nose flute playing - Part II
Playing the nose-flute hands-free with other instruments

One of the great advantages of the nose flute is that since you do not use your fingers for playing you can play another instrument when you have the nose flute firmly attached with a rubber band or another similar device.

Noseflute - harmony instrument

The most commonly used combination for the noseflute is with a ukulele or guitar.
There are lots of examples on youtube, the attentive reader of this wonderful blog gets links to many great and inspired videos (like by Nosefluter, Master Mosurin, etc.)
Besides adding harmonies and a nice sound to the melodies of the nose flute it also helps, especially in the beginning, to keep trace of the intonation. For any other harmony instrument it works rather similarly, the piano, the accordion, the harpsichord, organ...
When you do a simple accompaniment with chords it is the same thing like singing along with a guitar or ukulele – you just get started. I do not know what else to say about this, it works like most noseflute tasks, mainly by intuition.

Noseflute – melody instrument

However, the nose flute certainly can also be combined with melody instruments, like any string instruments (violin, viola, etc.) or uke, lute or guitar, as well as the piano or keyboard if you play melodies and not harmonies on them.
Since I am a violin and viola player I have spent some time with that and would like to share my experiences with you – personal and individual as usual, just what I have found out works best for my playing.

Playing two parallel melodies independently

Playing two melodies synchronous and independently is a rather special task and may not interest very many of our dear readers, but who knows how many fiddle (piano,whatever) playing nose flutists hang out on this planet??

To get started it is useful to be able to play both instruments fairly well. In fact, the secret of playing two independent melodies at once is to automatize the playing of one instrument.
For a start you can try to play the same melody with both instruments in unison (I do not say this is easy so do not be frustrated if you do not succeed well when beginning :o).
When playing independent melodies I generally start with the violin because there is orientation where to put the fingers and I keep on repeating the melody until not having to think about it any more. If capable of reading music it can be easier to put sheet music and just play until you do not have to think any more.
For playing a canon, it is a bit hard to explain but I think I listen to myself playing the melody and then I imitate it with the noseflute. It requires some mental discipline but surely is a good kind of brainjogging! I practised this already with a canon singing and playing violin before knowing the noseflute, it is the same principle.

In the following video you get a little practical demonstration.

It is probably a bit easier when you play the piano or a keyboard because you do not have to worry about your intonation there.
Then – even if you succeed playing the melodies together the result might not to be as good as two people playing together, so it is more a kind of training your musical abilities and something to impress people :o))
Since we noseflute players are used to being limited in looking good and sounding great who cares?

In the end to show you what is possible with some training (yes, it took a while) we have a recording of the beginning of the 1st movement of the Bach double concerto for two violins. I did this a while ago to practice my independent playing. It is a synchronous recording.

Well, dearest reader, I hope not to have bored you too much with this rather specific task, thanks for your patience!

The incomparable Nosy Diva

Feb 25, 2013

The Bear Necessities (Jungle Book)

The incomparable Nosy Diva back on our screens, with a beautiful Maccaferri ukulele!

Feb 24, 2013

Les Champs-Elysées, by Mosurin

A great interpretation of the Champs-Elysées (Joe Dassin), by Mosurin, recorded at Monkey Forest, Shibuya, Tokyo.

Feb 21, 2013

Hong Kongese video

It's rather rare to find nose flute videos coming from China. Here is one by Armoredcorelok, a singer from Hong Kong. Humanatone at the beginning and at the end.

Feb 20, 2013

7 Hanabue in Mie Prefecture

A short article from the Asahi Shimbun Digital introducing the nose flute. There is an embedded video with 7 players blowing their hanabue, in Uneme Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, Japan. All the flutes look to be made by Mr. Takuma Ikeyama, and I guess I can recognize Misses Sanae Maekawa and Emiko Sato (President of the Ise Association), Mr. Kanetoshi Nakaya and other fellows that I don't recognize.

Here is the original article and here the Google-translate version.

Feb 19, 2013

A Great Picture of Dr. B. B. Bumstead!

Do you remember the photo expert Mark Osterman, AKA the Dr. Barnabus Barnabus Bumstead, performer of a vintage medecine show, selling his "Celebrated Lenape Liquid Show" and also the "Dr. B. B. Bumstead's Humanatone Musical Respirator". Check this post if you don't!

Here is another archive from Mark Osterman: a great picture showing the Dr. Bumstead and the "genuine faux indian" Screaming Weasel (Bill Enos), taken at Kutztown Folk festival in the early 1990's. Upper left, you can see an advertisement flag (kakemono) for the "musical Respirator".

Feb 18, 2013

Mr. Swing again!

Another great video by Hans Christian Klüver. This time, it's a crooner performance, with a gorgeous jazz nasenflöte solo in the middle (0'58"). The video is brodcast by the Weser Kurier TV channel

Feb 17, 2013

British archives

I didn't find much with the British newspaper research tools, but interesting facts and evidences for nose flute history.

The first mention I found is a classified ad recruiting two men for Humanatone demonstrations. Yes, Humanatones were apparently imported to Great Britain as soon as 1913!:

Liverpool Echo, Jan. 31, 1913:

In 1927, the Humanaphone, "all british make", was sold for 4 (old) pence and a half, as a Jazz instruent:

Hull Daily Mail, Oct. 3, 1927:

Was the Humanaphone a metal Humanatone copy, or a real Humanatone manufactured in Great Britain under license? What is sure is that it was the european nose flute the most similar to the american instrument. The differences with an early Humanatone look very tiny. Even the rivets and shape of the flap in which they are soldered are similar. Only the nose saddle edge looks a bit wider on the Humanaphone.


The North Devon Journal (05/25/1933) reported a Salvation Army musical festival, at the end of which the Captain Montgomery played his "Humanotone".

And finally, a 1938 Cheltenham advertisement selling nose flutes for an (old) sixpence the piece:

4½d in 1927 and 6d in 1938 represents a 33% increment in the price. We were surprised to notice a 25% augmentation between 1927 and 1936 in the price of the french Ocariflute (3FF to 4FF) [check the end of this post], but finally, the rise was comparable on the other side of the Channel.

Feb 16, 2013

A Czech talented nose flute hope!

A new video from Czech origin, by Kamila Uherkova, in which she plays Mozart Adagio as a duet piano/nose flute (is it a Swan?). It's a work-in-progress recording and all is not perfect yet, but this difficult performance is very promising and full of potentiality. Our greatest encouragements!

Feb 15, 2013

Humanatones in the U.S. Navy during WWII

We were already aware of American soldiers playing nose flute during the WWII. Indeed, one of the first Humanatone box was especially dedicated to the Boys.

Even the famous harmonicist Larry Adler had taken the opportunity of a radio broadcast to ask for sending harmonicas and nose flutes to the fighting forces (check this post).

I just found a simple testimony that these nose flutes were really played! Indeed, in the Fighting Squadron VF-9 history report, we can read that nose flute was played during free time

Fortunately, the file was declassified :)

Feb 14, 2013

Another gravel in the wall

Just a little ad published in the Washington Post (1912/11/5), proving there was a Humanatone store in this city.

Love Flute, by Takamura

Today is Valentine, and Mr. Akio Takamura has especially shaped a pair of nose flutes for lovers!

Feb 13, 2013

Brent Ritter, singer, comedian and nose flutist

Last month, published a video shot at the Damon Runyon Repertory theater in Pueblo (CO), featuring Susy Bogguss and her band, plus a nice fellow nose flutist: Mr. Brent Ritter (please check this post).

Brent Ritter is a serious nose flute player, and a funny fellow. I wanted to know more about him and his playing, and with the help of people from the Pueblo Municipal Band and the Damon Runyon Repertory theater, I was able to reach Brent (he has no internet access). Thanks to the anonymous people who helped us getting in touch.

Brent sent me a long hand written letter (PDF:) with pictures, and answered all my questions.

- Please could you tell us who you are, what is your musical background?

« I am primarily a vocalist, but I derive great pleasure from playing my "vintage metal Humanatone". I was trained as an operatic baritone at the University of Texas at Dallas, in 1978 thru 1979, in Richardson, Texas. In 1979, I was accepted to study in Graz, Austria under the auspices of the American Institute of Musical Studies, based in Dallas. Having been unsuccessful in my quest to secure a position in a German or Austrian opera house, I returned to America, settling in Pueblo, Colorado.

- How and when did you discover the nose flute existence? When did you begin to play it? What is your instrument ? (on the video I guess it is a vintage metal Humanatone, but cannot see well...)

« I was shopping at a local antique store in late 1985, when I spied my Humanatone. I am afraid I took advantage of the proprietor and paid just over $5.00, as he had no idea what it was. I, however knew exactly what it was, having had a plastic one I bought at a music store.

- What do you especially appreciate in nosefluting?

« The main thing I appreciate about nose fluting is the fact that any tune one can whistle, one can play on the flute. Your repertoire is limited only by your knowledge of music. It is also easy to improvise if you have a knowledge of Jazz or Dixieland styles.

- Could you tell more about the Pueblo Municipal Band?

« I have performed on my flute with the Pueblo Municipal Band in my capacity as their vocalist. The band is enjoying its 100th year of existence this year. We perform an 8-week season each summer of free concerts at a local community college. Attendance at these concerts is very good. If you should find yourself in Pueblo on a Sunday evening during June, please come and hear us.

- Do you perform regularly ?

« I perform plays and musicals with the Damon Runyon Repertory Theater. I also am Music Director at the Wesley United Methodist Church; and I am called upon frequently to sing funeral services for local mortuaries.

- Could you tell us some anecdote that happened to you with your nose flute?

« When I first purchased my flute, the coating was worn off and I was getting a rash from the bare tin, so I took it to a music store in Denver that features instrument repair and had it re-plated with silver. Next door was an antique shop. That is where I found another vintage metal flute. I have opted to keep it in its original worn condition, but rest assured, it plays just as sweetly as its mate.

- Do you have some recordings and/or videos of your nose fluting?

« Unfortunately, I have no recordings to speak of, but would try to make one for you if you wish.

- Any fact, remark, story, or archive element you would add to this little interview would be welcome.

« I was a member of the U.S. Air Force from 1967 to 1974, working first as a baritone horn player with the Lackland AFB Band in San Antonio, TX, then 2 years as an aircraft mechanic at McChord AFB, Tacoma, Washington. WHile at McChrod, I entered the 1971 Air force Annual Talent Contest as a pop vocalist, winning the base-level, command-level, and worldwide contests. I repeated my worldwide win in 1972 and finished my Air Force career as the vocalist with the 539th AF Band at McChord. While at the 1971 contest at Norton AFB in San Bernardino, California, I was chosen to represent the Air Force on The Merv Griffin show in Los Angeles, singing the tune I won with: "What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life".

« My favorite roles are as "Tevye" in "Fiddler on the Roof", "Tony Esposito" in "The Most Happy Fella", and Charlie Anderson" in "Shenandoah".

« Thank you again for your interest in my story. I am extremely flattered and very surprised that someone from so far away is aware of the joys of nosefluting. I had no idea that anyone else in the world knew about this very obscure instrument. »

Warmest regards,


Thanks a lot to you, Brent! And be sure you're not alone in the world, enjoying nosefluting...

Feb 12, 2013

Welcome to!

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this QR Code! is a non-commercial blog totally dedicated to an unfairly undervalued instrument. 

Here, we publish, almost daily, news and videos from all the world, instrument reviews and technical or historic researches. All dedicated to nose flutes.

OK, but what is a nose flute? The best answer lays in these videos:

As you can see, the nose flute is a versatile instrument, able to play complex rhythms and melodies, according to the player's talent.

It's a funny, easy to begin with, pocket size and cheaply priced companion. You can find them at online resellers, at auction bays, etc.

Since the 1900's, many models were produced, in metal, wood, plastic, clay, ...
Please, check our side menu to discover the nose flute world. 
Any questions?
Don't hesitate to send us a mail!