A beautiful sound, timbrically rich, capable of infinite dynamic variety ... This is the dream and goal of every flutist. Do you agree? Let's stop for a moment to reflect: what does the "quality" of the sound depend on, what factors is it determined by? We are always looking for a better flute, a quality headjoint, in 14K, 18K, 22K gold, with a platinum riser. And this is also right. But let's think...
At least 80% of our sound is determined by ourselves, that is, by the use of our physiology: posture, support, breathing, mouth, and much more. The proof is given by the fact that if we listen to a flutist (the one we prefer) playing on different instruments, we will always be able to recognize "his/her" sound. Or the fact that the different flute players whom we know have the same flute model still have a different sound. So... Let's talk about the flute: 80-90% of the sound quality in a flute is made by the headjoint: material, measurements, internal shape and - above all - the size and the shape of the embouchure hole. The riser also has its great importance, undoubtedly. The remaining 10-20% derives from our body and the instrument body: from its material, the thickness of the tube, open or closed holes, riser welded or not, from the type of the pads, etc.
Well: it is therefore deduced that the main research of each flutist must be directed towards his/her own "physiology". For example: what headjoint do you use? what is the degree of tone / tension / relaxation of our lips? how is the internal cavity of the mouth modified, which is important for the amplitude and color of the sound? how and where is the tongue positioned? how do you use the cheekbones, which is necessary for the notes in the third octave, for the lighter color, for the "spun" sounds? what is the action of the jaw? what is the attitude of the throat - very important - when we play? what difference in sound do you get when you "blow" or when you "breathe" into the instrument? how should the rib cage be maintained when we play? what is the exact point where we "support", that is, "support" the sound? And so on... Then, a superior model of the flute or headboard will make the difference. But it will be a far less difference than we can do with a "scientific" work on our physiology and on the intelligent use of each part in our body involved in the production of sound.
Let us remember that Marcel Moyse played on a silver plated nickel flute and that the great Leonardo De Lorenzo (in a photo from 1913) refused a golden flute, which was generously offered to him, to continue playing on his wooden Rudall & Carte .
What we need is a reliable flute in mechanics that has a good intonation, even if only silverplated; a quality headjoint (in silver, gold, grenadilla, boxwood - according to a personal taste) and then ... an incessant work on ourselves. The real difference is all here.