many contemporary flute-makers place as much care into ...
native american style flutes
... what their flutes look like, as they do with the voice of each instrument. A flute’s visual appeal, including the block design (the functional little wood piece on top of the flute), is determined by symbols that are reminders about matters of deep spirituality. A dragonfly burned into a flute or shaped into the block might be a symbol for those things which facilitate relationship between God and humans. Ravens might be a reminder of a musician’s call to be God’s messenger of light and grace through the playing of the flute. Simple drawings of Cedar and Salmon moving up the side of the flute become a reminder that God calls each person to live life as a steward, in balance with the rest of creation.
Many flute-makers say the building of each instrument is a practice of prayer, a time of mindfully centering one’s-self in divinely-given potential for creativity, a time to hear what Spirit is saying to the builder -- whose task is to give the best-possible-voice AND appearance to a flute, so a message is received by whoever plays the flute, as well as those who listen to the mystical music.