Parts and Assembly
The flute is made up of three parts: the head joint, body joint, and foot joint. The head joints main parts are the crown, the lip plate, the tone hole, and tenon (usually slightly discolored) to the body joint. The crown, at the very top of your flute, has the ability to be adjusted to help with intonation and tone. This should only be adjusted by students of at least intermediate experience, or by an instructor. The lip plate, which will be rested on top of your chin, is the heaviest part of the head joint. Flutes may have a silver or a gold lip plate although it should be noted that neither affect tone color, and gold lip plates are usually reserved for those who are allergic to silver or nickel. The tenon of the head joint goes into the barrel of the body joint.
The body joint, is where most of the keys are placed, as well as most of the flute’s mechanism (rods, trill keys, pins, etc.). These mechanisms are very easily bent, so it is very careful to only hold the flute by the keys are by the tube of the flute, as to avoid misaligning the keys, which is VERY expensive to fix. The tenon at the bottom of the body joint is very fragile so it is best to take care while inserting it into the foot joint.
The foot joint consists of merely 3-4 keys (depending on the flute). These notes (other than the D# key) are to provide the lowest of the notes on the flutes. These notes are fairly rare, and are often used in solo works due to its inability to project well on most flutes.
When assembling the flute, it is VERY important to only hold the flute by the tube (anything but the mechanism, keys, tenons, etc.). For the most part, you can hold the head joint from anywhere without causing any damage, the body is best held at the barrel, and the foot joint is best held at the very bottom end past the keys.
When putting the flute together, never force the joints together. It is usually best to rotate each part back and forth slowly together. Make sure you have a steady grip.
The body joint tenon should go all the way into the foot joint. The head joint tenon however should go about 2/3 way into the barrel, so the slightly discolored part of the head joint should still show slightly.
The rod on the foot joint should align with the middle of the keys on the body, and the outside edge of the tone hole on the head joint should align with the middle of the keys on the body.