Multiphonics are two or more notes sounding simultaneously. These can be achieved by using special fingerings and a precise embouchure. There are two basic types: Mutliphonics using the harmonic series and multiphonics cominbing unrelated pitches. Multiphonics within the harmonic series are the result of overblowing into the harmonics above a fundamental pitch. Multiphonics with unrelated pitches involve special fingerings. Multiphonics are not really harmonies or chords but rather color effects on a note. They are more of a cluster-like structure/sound. 


Below are resources with extensive and complete lists of fingerings for Multiphonics: 

  • Flouble: a complete list of multiphonics with sound samples recorded by flutist Gergely Ittzés

  • Carine Levine, The Techniques of Playing the FLute, Vol 1 und 2, Verlag Bärenreiter, ISBN 3-7618-1595-6

  • Robert Dick, Tone Development Through Extended Techniques, Multiple Breath Music Company NY, ISBN 0-939407-00-0

  • Pierre-Yves artaud ”flutes au présent“, Èdition Jobert, paris, (USA: Theodore Presser)


Production Tips

Multiphonics can be achieved by using special fingerings and a precise embouchure. To produce a Multiphonic, first extract each pitch of a Multiphonic fingering and the corresponding dynamic range of each note. Second, tune your throat and the support to the lowest note. Finally, move the lips slightly forward with a relaxed embouchure to bring in the higher pitches. This is a "bottom-up" approach to producing a Multiphonic.


Multiphonics within the harmonic series are usually easier with a "top-down" approach. Play the upper Harmonic with the minimal possible support and lips forward and relaxed, until the bottom note(s) come into the sound. 


To play a diminuendo of a Multiphonic, the highest or lowest note of the "chord" should be the reference tone and played to the end of the diminuendo. 


Extended Variations



Notation Examples
Video Examples

Flute 1

Harmonic Multiphonic with notes extracted and combined


Multiphonics: pitches extraced and combined

Flute 2

Multiphonics with pitches separated and then combined


Multiphonics in succession

Flute 3

Accented Harmonic Multiphonics (also known as Cuivré)


Multiphonics in succession

FluteXpansions has been created  in collaboration with the generous support of the Zurich University of the Arts.


FluteXpansions entstand in Zusammenarbeit mit der Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK).

© FluteXpansions. All rights reserved.

Images from this site may not be reproduced without prior written permission. Featured trademarks, brands, videos, and images are the intellectual property of their respective owners. 


© FluteXpansions. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Bilder diese Website dürfen nicht reproduziert werden, ohne schriftliche Erlaubnis. Aufgeführte Marken, Videos, und Bilder sind Eigentum der jeweiligen Besitzer.