You may have heard some folks talk about flutes made of softwood having a different sound than those made of hardwood. Softwood is a type of wood that comes from a coniferous tree, such as cedar, redwood, or pine. Hardwoods come from a deciduous tree, such as an oak or maple. The softwoods are less dense than the hardwoods. You may have also heard that a medium-toned flute made of a softwood, such as cedar pine or redwood, will have a softer more mellow tone than a hardwood flute.The placement of the sound hole, the location of the finger holes, and the wall thickness will probably have more influence on the tone than the type of wood used.
An additional factor is whether the flute is tuned to 440 Hz or 432 Hz. A flute tuned in a 432 Hz will have a softer and more relaxing sound than a flute tuned in a 440 Hz. The 432 Hz flute will make the “Sound of Nature.” Even flutes made with the same specifications and the same wood can have a significant variation in tone. There may be subtle differences between different woods in respect to their tones, but the biggest influence is in how the flute is made. There are a number of natural stocks that have hollow centers, that are used to make flutes. Bamboo, sawgrass, elderberry, sunflower stalks, corn stocks are used to make beautiful natural flutes. Many of the past flutes were made of these materials. These flutes vary in texture and hardness.
If you want to play your flute with another instrument, the flute tuned in 440 Hz would probably be the flute of choice. If you want a flute that will play with the sounds of nature then the 432 Hz-tuned flute would be your best choice. All of the animals and birds seem to gravitate to the 432 Hz flute.