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.

Aug 2, 2016

Objects of the Forest, by Andrea Bandoni

Spotted by Mirko Stagnaro on designboom, a PDF book by the Brazilian designer Andrea Bandoni de Oliveira, published in 2012. Objetos Da Floresta/Objects of the Forest is « an ebook that presents a selection of useful items found in the amazon ». This book is downloadable for free in English or in Portuguese from that page.

Paper copies are also available from this page.

In the book, seven pages are dedicated to Amazonian forest whistles, and for sure, the nose flute has not been forgotten, it even feature on the 'apitos' section cover:

The last page also provides a link to a demo video, and the nose flute part starts at 3'02"


  1. Another great find. What I love about these instruments is that they are all made from natural materials and are basically "simple" and honest above anything else. I love the shrill resonating wooden flute that starts at 1.46. I wish I could perform those types of sounds on the nose flute. I also love the clay bird sound that starts at 2.09. I also would love to have this type of ceramic quality of tone in my arsenal. The nose flute that starts at 2.09 sounds different from what I have heard before: is it the (quality of the) recording or the technique of playing? Always great to find out new stuff!

  2. The one at 1:46 is a wood samba whistle, There are modern versions in plastic and metal ( I have a plastic one.

    The shrill is made by rolling the tongue in the same way as in some calls with a boatswain pipe ('s_call).

    1. I have to make a correction about the shrill on the samba whistle, I think they actually have a small ball inside that makes the shrill. I thought only the modern versions had it.

      In a pealess whistle a shrill can be made by rolling the tongue. But I have not been able to do it in a nose flute.

  3. Thank you Luis, I once did hear an ornithologist perform it, but no matter how hard I tried I also couldn't pull it off. I feel the only way to make the nose flute sound really seriously professional, is to also have a whole range of resonating timbres available. To me, that is what makes flute play truly appealing.