As far as you know ,what is the size of the smallest flute ? ( You might have come across different sized flutes)

  • Would you include instruments like piccolo?
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 16:11
  • Interesting question. I would include the piccolo but I would be curious whether there are piccolos even smaller than the standard ones. I have heard of a Db piccolo which would qualify but only just.
    – badjohn
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 18:03
  • 1
    Have a look at this article. A flute pitched an octave above the standard piccolo. jennifercluff.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/…
    – badjohn
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 18:08
  • @Tim , Yes,I include your instrument,music lovers are broadminded,they do not look /consider anything or any person as inferior.
    – user48608
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 10:59

2 Answers 2


Once upon a time, the term flute (flauto) properly referred to what is today called a recorder (also known as a type of fipple flute). If you'll accept a recorder as a possible answer, the smallest recorder I know of is the Garklein (German for "quite small"), which is only 16-18 cm.

  • That explains why the French for flute proper is 'flute traversiere'. Which I thought was pretty daft, as all flutes are sideways - aren't they? I learned something new again today. Thanks! +1
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 18:15
  • @ Caleb Hines , I am thrilled by reading about 16 cm size
    – user48608
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 11:01
  • as far as I know, the recorder is still referred to as a flauto dolce
    – psosuna
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 16:24
  • @user48608 if a recorder is an acceptable solution the 'tin whistle' aka 'penny whistle' should be too, and it's smaller too. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_whistle
    – user34288
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 3:18

If you are not interested in recorders and are looking just for transverse flutes, the smallest common flutes available are either the piccolo or the fife with both being about 30cm in length.

There are a number of other transverse flutes including the bansuri, venu, dizi, fue, daegeum, junggeum and sogeum but given that these are traditional flutes not from the west, information online on their dimensions seems to be lacking. However, from looking at pictures none of these appear to be noticeably shorter than the piccolo or fife.

Given that a transverse flute is essentially a pipe with holes drilled into it, I can imagine many people have made smaller transverse flutes for the fun of it. Here's an example, it sounds terrible but with some effort and a slightly longer pipe something workable surely could be created.

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