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Guide to Nose Flutes

Nose Flute : What is it?

Nose Flutes

A nose flute is a windpipe instrument usually made of bamboo that is blown using the nose instead of the mouth. It is a popular instrument played in Africa, China, India, Polynesia, and the Pacific Rim countries. 

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Types of Nose Flutes

Nose FlutesNose Flutes

Kinds of Nose Flutes include the following:

Hawaiian nose flute

  • The Hawaiian nose flute is called the “Ohe Hano Ihu,” which literally means “bamboo flute of the nose.”
  • It has sharp-edged holes that split the air stream into two fluctuating streams.
  • This action makes it vibrate and produce sound.

Tonga nose flute

  • The Tonga flute is also called the “Fangufangu” nose flute.
  • It is made with intact node walls on both ends of the bamboo tube.
  • The nostril hole is on the side and in front of the nodes.
  • A vent hole is located in the middle of the tube.

Philippine nose flute


  • The Philippine nose flute is also called the “pitung eelong” or “Kalelong.”
  • It is played using the extreme forward edge of the nostril.
  • It is a long tube with a narrow internal diameter.
  • It can play different harmonics through overblowing.

New Zealand nose flute


  • The New Zealand nose flute is also called the Māori.
  • It is carved from a soft stone similar to soapstone.
  • The nose hole is a cut with a small diameter.
  • Side finger holes are drilled into the bowl of the gourd.

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Choosing Nose Flutes (Buying tips)

Sound:  Choose a nose flute that produces quality sound even with little force for lesser strain.  

Holes:  Choose a nose flute with more holes for producing a wider range of sounds.

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