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Flutist or Flautist??

What is the argument all about?

What flute players call themselves has been up for debate since about when the English language was conceived. In the English language, we call a clarinet player a clarinetist, a trumpet player a trumpetist, and even a bass player a bassist. So why the whole big debate over what we are called? Well, when English was first formed, flautist was the norm. This came from flautista (Italian) and then the English -ist.

When did it start to change to flutist?

Like many word variations in the English language, it all starts with one writer or person to start using the term, and if it better conceived it is used more often. This is the same as slang words. 30 years ago, “diss” was not a word. If you were to claim it back then with the same definition as it is now, people would say you were crazy. But only some time ago people began usin the word to use in place of “putting down” or “insulting.” It’s just how a language works.

What do you call yourself?

I call myself a flutist. Most other flutists I know will use the term flutist. Many are stubborn and insist on using flautist, but I have found that many of these using flautist only do so to be different and not conform. I find this to be an absolutely ridiculous way to decide what to be called, but what can you expect?

Putting it simply…

James Galway says, “I am a flute player not a flautist. I don’t have a flaut and I’ve never flauted.”

I think I’ll go with one of the most famous and skilled flutists in the world.

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