How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

I have found a flute teacher!
I think I’ll attend some lessons and see what I think,

I would be intending to play with a choir in a church (big tall irish church with wonderful acoustics),
-if I play flute as high harmony and play fill ins between verses and between vocal lines, will I be heard clearly above the singers and few instruments?

I play violin fill ins/ harmony and the acoustics mean I never need an amp, but would a flute be different?

Are there student flute types that are louder than others?

Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

It depends how you play it, how big the choir is, how loud the singers are, and on the particular acoustics of the church. But if you already do it on violin, it should be possible on flute.

Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

Approx 10 children and 7 adults sing, with 2 guitars, keyboard, (no pipe organ, and only one male singer with a tenor voice, mainly folk hymns, -the choir sing nice (they don’t belt out the songs operatically, or sing classically, but in a speaking voice sort of way that suits modern hymns. (They are not an overempowering diehard national-anthem type singers)
Flute have a chance of being heard?
Can flutes be drowned out? (I never have that problem on the fiddle, if others use amps I never need to as the fiddles loud enough always)

And often a soloist sings from the pulpit for slower hymns and I would be heard then

Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

How loud is a flute?

Depends on the player, and also the flute.

A player with a very good embouchure, on a flute designed for maximum volume (Pratten or Boehm to give two examples) and it can be very loud.

I think the loudest fluteplayer I ever heard in person was Seamus Egan. He was playing a vintage big-bore flute (Pratten or that style anyhow) with a new Patrick Olwell headjoint.

Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

If you want to go for loudness you might want to try an Irish Piccolo instead? But then again that’d be quite similar to a whistle in sound.

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Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

It is hard to beat the acoustics of a church for any sort of music. The larger & more ancient the better. The effect enhances all types of music, though I would discourage thrash metal…

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Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

"Can flutes be drowned out?"

Anything *can* be drowned out. But if, as you say, you will be playing *between* the verses and vocal lines, then that shouldn’t be an issue. As for playing harmonies during the singing, it is better that the flute is a little bit far back in the mix than right out front, obscuring the melody.

One thing to take into account is that the register of the flute is in a similar region to that of the alto and soprano singers. A whistle, on the other hand, would mostly be above the range of the singers, so it might have a better chance of standing out (if that is what you want). You might struggle a bit w ith something like a Generation or Feadóg, but Dave Shaw whistles are loud and fairly cheap (~£20).

Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

Any sound clips or youtube clips of the instruments recomended?

Flute vs whistle (similar yet different instruments)

Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

The loudest player I have ever heard in person was Leo MacNamara. I swore he was amplified. Reminded me of the historic fluteplayer Nicholson, who they called ‘iron-lip’.

Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

I played flute for 17 years with a similar church line up as yours. It was a large-holed improve Pratten flute by Henry Wylde (ca 1875) - so loud on its own. We had microphones into a nearby mixer for different sound levels. If you don’t have amplification you should be fine in church acoustics.
Flute is ideal for intros and also harmonies in occasional verses. Do tune up 10 minutes before starting since all wooden instruments tuning varies after being brought indoors.

Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

Well, you can hear a flute in an orchestra.
All this stuff about amplifiers, and mixers, and things, in churches.
I remember when churches were acoustic ( okay Grandpa, settle down and take your pills )…….

Re: How loud is a flute? Would it be heard in a church choir?

It being a soprano acoustic instrument, it should be very capable of "singing over" the choir. But I don’t play flute, I’m just going by acoustics.