The flute has several names like bansi, bansari, venu, vamshi, kuzhal, murli etc.It is one of the earliest instruments of the Sushira(wind) variety.The origin of the flute is traced to the vedic-period.The flute consists of a simple cylindrical tube of uniform bore closed at one end. The mouth-hole called the mukha randhra is pierced at a distance of about three fourth of an inch from the closed end.
There are six to nine finger-holes which are uniform in size.The mouth-hole is slightly bigger than the finger-holes. Mostly flute is made of bamboo. The cheap bamboo flute has been preferred to all these on account of the excellent quality of its tone and its fine resonating properties.
The length of a flute can be from eight inches to two and a half feet. Long flutes have a rich,deep and mellow one and small flutes have a bright and high-pitched tone. It is usually played by holding it horizontally across the mouth, but is also played in a vertical position when it hasbeen so constructed. The two thumbs are used to hold the flute in position. The three finger ( for finger, middle finger and the ring finger ) excluding the little finger of the left hand and the four fingers of the right hand ( excluding the thumb) are used to manipulate the finger holes.
The player blows air into the mouth hole.Then to produce the notes of the mamdra-saptaka are produced,the player alters finger. The notes of the madhya-saptaka are producecd in the same way but with increased wind pressure and the notes of the tara-saptaka are produced in a more complicated way by cross-fingerings.