Knochenflöte Willisau Collection

In 1991, during excavation works in Luzern, a medieval archeological layer was unearthed. This layer was dated to a period comprised between the second halve of the 14th and the first halve of the 15th centuries. Numerous objects were found in it, including a very well preserved bone flute („Knochenflöte“ in german) now preserved at the Willisau Instrument Collection (

This instrument was carefully measured and photographed by 3D Music Instruments and transformed into a 3D-model.

The flute was presumably a recorder, which wooden block was not preserved the way the bone was. By using 3D-modeling and 3D-printing we have reconstructed an hypothetical block in order to make the recorder playable again.

Alternative versions of the flute were also modeled, once without a labium (which allows for it to be played as a primitive whistle), once with a more delicate recorder-style labium and once with a traverse-style embouchure (which allows it to be played like a traverse).

The following gallery presents the original flute alongside its replica. 

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