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Leaf Trading Post

Bone flutes Helen LeafBone flutes Helen Leaf

Medieval bone flutes

Bone flutes seem to have been a common instrument in medieval times, made from both animal and bird bones. The most common bones that were used, were sheep tibia and goose ulna.

The documents and illustrations of the time don't give us any information at all, but through archaeology we know of well over 100 examples in Britain.

I've studied these for my PhD, and they're really interesting!





You can download a copy of my Galpin Society Journal article about bone flutes from here. Or you can contact me and I can send you the pdf as an email attachment.

You can download my PhD thesis from UCL Discovery here.

I have given talks about medieval bone flutes at many conferences, historical society meetings and medieval music events. I also make bone flutes for sale. These are mainly sheep bone flutes, similar to the one on the right of the above photo.

You can contact me for any bone flute enquiries


Other instruments

My background includes a degree in musical instrument making, and I continue to make things to this day. I make drums, and am particularly keen on making drum sticks with antler ended handles, and using red ochre in both the drums and the sticks. 

I've also written about the Basque Txalaparta, which you can read about in the Galpin Society Journal article here. I have txalaparta sticks available for sale which you can contact me about.

Txalaparta sticks, Leaf Trading PostTxalaparta sticks, Leaf Trading Post

Helen Leaf drumsHelen Leaf drums