PVC overtone flutes – 16, 20 and 25 mm

Here you will find all the dimensions and measurements to make PVC overtone flutes in every tone.

This article is the following of the Homemade Instruments video from the youtube channel, so if you have not seen it:

The measurements and tones in the video are examples, wich each diameter you can build different tones with different fundamental notes, by changing the length of the flute.

The examples in the video are balanced tones to equally access to low and high notes.

This balance depends on the ratio between diameter, length and shape of the window and bevel.

If the flute is short compared to the diameter, it favors the fundamental and has difficulty accessing harmonics. If the flute is long compared to the diameter, it favors more high notes but the bass will sound more muffled, and maybe not at all.


The small diameter, the sopranino, powerful flutes a little strident!

All lengths are measured between the bottom of the bevel and the end of the flute (the vibrating length of the air column). All measurements are in mm. The model of the video is in A, 370 mm.

A 370 E 505
G# 394 D# 537
G 417 D 561
F# 445 C# 599
F 475 C 631



The soprano, not too long and perfect for children, for the shorter ones.

For the long 20 mm flutes, the arms length will be insuffisant, it will be necessary to use the extension.

For this, I often use the electrical sheath 20 mm diameter, a sleeve, a piece of pipe, some tape and some clamps.

It is essential to avoid using the existing pieces for electric sheath, these connections are not regular shape (unlike those used for plumbing, which will be used for larger diameters), the air column will lose its perfectly cylindrical shape, which means a false flute with detuned harmonics, and for an overtone flute, it’s sad!

F# 434 A 748
F 461 G# 797
E 494 G 848
D# 524 F# 900
D 554 F 954
C# 592 E 1014
C 627 D# 1072
B 669 D 1133
A# 702







The alto, rounder and less aggressive. We need pretty quick an extension for these flutes, depending on the length of your arms!

C 608 F 932
B 647 E 989
A# 691 D# 1053
A 731 D 1119
G# 777 C# 1181
G 827 C 1257
F# 882 B 1339




For larger diameters, it will be the next article, not yet finished but it comes,

do not hesitate to leave your comments, measures and prototypes, this article will evolve with the continuation of my works and your contributions, and subscribe to follow the next articles!

A propos Nicolas Bras 12 Articles
Homemade Instrument maker, rare and strange instrument seeker / Bricoleur d'instruments, chercheur d'instruments rares

3 Commentaires

  1. I love playing your videos for my Music Exploratory 5th and 6th grade students, Winchester, Virginia, USA. Keep them coming! Merci beaucoup! PS Do you have any measurements for really simple pipes that my students could build?

  2. Thank you for sharing your work. I am currently interested in tuned resonator piping for Stringed instruments. So, it is great to see your information.

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