How to Make an Anasazi Flute from PVC

sheet music image by Charles Taylor from

An Anasazi or Pueblo flute is a Native American instrument that is growing in contemporary popularity. Anasazi flutes do not have mouth pieces, which makes it easy to create one with PVC pipe. In 1931 many flutes where found in Broken Flute Cave in Arizona. Most modern Anasazi flutes use the designs of these flutes. They are 24 to 30 inches long and have a 3/4-inch diameter.

Hold the PVC pipe up to your mouth and angle it away from your body. Hold the flute as if you were playing it and mark 5 inches from the bottom of your lowest hand. This is normally about 14 to 30 inches. The length will depend on the reach of your arms.

Measure 5 inches from the bottom of the pipe and mark the spot for the first finger hole. Measure 1 1/2 inches from the mark and place the next finger hole mark. Move up the pipe another 1 1/2 inches and place the mark for the third finger hole. Leave a 4-inch gap between the third and the fourth finger holes. Place two more marks for the last finger holes in 1 1/2-inch intervals from the fourth mark.

Drill 1/2-inch holes at all the marks you've made on the pipe. Remove any slivers of PVC left over from the drill. Blow into all the holes to release any debris and shake the pipe so the debris falls out of the end.

Sand the pipe's edge around the top. The top of the pipe has a 1/4-inch tapered edge. The tapered edge is at approximately a 45-degree angle and creates what looks like a small ramp around the mouthpiece of the flute.

Paint the PVC pipe. If you get paint in the holes of the pipe, use the handle of the paint brush or a pencil to clear the hold and remove the paint. Decoration and designs can be painted on the pipe if desired.

Wrap the leather cord around the flute three times about one inch from the mouthpiece. Knot the cord to hold it in place and let the leather cord hang down the flute. The length of the cord will depend on the player's preference.

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