My preference in making branch flutes is to leave the bark on when I can, it being an important aspect of the natural beauty and spirit of the tree, as in this unsplit Poplar (Populus) branch flute. Measuring 18" in length, with a 3/4" diameter sound chamber, it is tuned to a bright and sweet Am pentatonic, modes 1 & 4, playing 3 upper register notes. Deer lacing with turquoise and gold-plated brass beads secures the bird to its nest, the bird fitted with a redwood heartwood shoe to aid against wet-out. The branch for this flute was gathered green from the ground within the San Marcos Creek watershed, after a winter storm toppled a Poplar tree there.
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