The Zebra Flute

By Thomas

         The instrument I choose was the Shepherd’s flute.  My Dad and I went to Gilroy’s Hardware to get our supplies one Saturday morning.  My Dad bought one foot of ” CPVC pipe and two corks that were just a little bigger than the hole in the end of the pipe.

            My Dad and I started to work on my flute two Saturdays later.  First, I measured one inch from the end of the pipe by using a ruler.  I then put a mark at that spot with a marker.  My Dad got a vertical cut started because the pipe is slippery at the start of a cut.  I then cut halfway through the pipe.

            Next, I made a mark ” from our cut.  My Dad showed me what 45 degrees looks like.  I then cut while my Dad held the saw at the 45 degree angle until we met the other cut.

            Next, I cut the cork.  I cut the cork into a wedge shape so that it was ” from the top of the pipe on the big end.  I pushed the cork into the pipe with a pencil until it was even with the vertical cut my Dad and I made.
            Next, my Dad had to drill six holes.  First, my Dad and I Goggled “Shepherd’s Flute” to get the spacing and sizes of the holes.  I am going to draw a picture with the sizes and spaces on it.

            It was hard to get a sound at first.  My Dad thought it was the cork, so he used a grinder to make the slope steeper.  The flute still didn’t work, so I used a pencil to move the cork in and out further in the pipe.  Still no sound.

            My Dad asked me what I had done so far to the pipe.  I said, “cut it to one foot”.  He asked me what else.  I said, “cut a piece out of the pipe.”  He said maybe that was the problem.  He gave me two pieces of tape to put on the sides to make the cut not so deep.  I finally got a good sound after covering the first three holes.

            Making the flute was easy and hard.  The hard part was getting it to make a sound.  It only took about ten minutes to make, but about thirty to get a sound.  I had to put tape on the sides and cover the first three holes.

            I get sound out of my flute by blowing in the end.  Blowing hard gives a loud dynamic and a higher pitch.  Blowing more softly gives soft dynamics and a lower pitch.

            I can change the pitches.  With the holes open, the pitch is higher.  The pitch gets lower the more holes I close.  The timbre of my flute is like the sound of a whistle.