Around Matariki and Puaka, I often get asked to talk about taonga pūoro so I thought I would share a little bit about flutes from here in the south. The flute most often heard these days is the kōauau, a short tube with (usually) three finger holes and played in a cross blown way across the open end. This method gives the player a great range of sliding scale very similar to whistling. Therefore it can actually be played quite well without the need to use the finger holes once the skill has been mastered. As most of the chants of old had a range of only three or four notes, three finger holes were ample. [Read more…]