I like to experiment on plastic flutes. Is there a mathematical formula for placing holes in a flute? Is it same for all kinds of flutes for example western flute,6 hole flute or 8 hole flute?

  • Yes there is - what scale, or intervals, do you want to be able to generate? Do you want to be able to generate pitches in the overtone series? Jan 20, 2020 at 14:30
  • Let's say I want to make an E scale 6 hole or eight hole flute. I know for present that an eight hole Indian flute can generate about 2 and a half octaves.
    – User
    Jan 20, 2020 at 15:24
  • Two and a half octaves is a lot and requires overblowing. I'm somewhat sceptical, whether a non-expert player on a home-made instrument can achieve that.
    – guidot
    Jan 20, 2020 at 16:46
  • I'm sorry I meant 1 and a half octave.
    – User
    Jan 21, 2020 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


There are mathematical formulas for placing flute holes. You will need different ones for each different style of flute. A Google search for "flute hole calculator" turns up about ten sites that provide the calculations. Several good ones:

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