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May 8, 2022

Fipple / noun / fipple

In the English language, we use the word “fipple” as a noun to describe a component of musical woodwind instruments. A “fipple” cut into the mouthpiece of wind instruments like recorders can make all the difference in the sound an instrument makes. “Fipples” work by creating a channel with an airstream in the mouthpieces of whistles, flutes, and organ pipes. These specialized cuts and grooves are partially responsible for the distinct sounds each wood or wind instrument makes. Blowing into the “fipple” creates the wide variety of sounds that come from musical wind instruments.

In a Sentence

Fipples are responsible for some sounds made by wind instruments like whistles. 

Covering the “fipple” of your flute will impede the sound coming from your instrument.

Most wind instruments like whistles, flutes, and organ pipes have “fipples” built in to regulate the sound.


While the exact origin and date “fipple” entered the language are unknown, etymologists speculate where the word originated. We see the word used in the early 16th-century by musician Francis Bacon who wrote a comparison between the recorder and flute wind instruments. The first popularized instance of “fipple” was around the early 17th-century. They believe the term to be of Icelandic origin and possibly related to existing words of the time like flipi, which was an Icelandic reference for a “horse’s lip.”


Flute, Stopper




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