'Flute' is the name of a family of woodwind musical instruments. Flutes don't employ reeds as other
woodwinds do, instead producing their sound from the flow of air across its mouthpiece. They are the earliest known musical instruments.
The instrument most commonly associated with the term 'flute' is the Western Concert Flute, a metallic transverse treble flute closed at the top. These derive from the old German flute, and were at first made of wood and employed simple mechanisms. The current form of the flute employs a key mechanism, size and placement of holes, and fingering system devised by Theobald Boehm in the 19th century. The modern concert flute is pitched in the key of C and has a range of three octaves. It is used not only in orchestral music but also in jazz, and folk-influenced genres.