Beginner flutes usually range in cost from $500 to $1000. Intermediate, or step-up flutes usually cost $1,400 to $2,500 and entry level pro flutes (still largely played by advanced students) around $2500 and up.
There are several things that determine the overall cost of a flute:
- Material - Most student flutes are made of nickel and then plated with silver. Intermediate flutes will have either the headjoint or the entire head, body and foot made of solid silver.
- Condition - New or used, as well as any needed maintenance can determine the cost of a flute.
- Brand/Manufacturer - Not all flutes are built the same. Unfortunately, some flute manufacturers use low quality metals, which most of the time results in an instrument that cannot be fixed.
- Case - Quality flute cases and case cover combinations can range from $40 to $300 and should be considered when looking at the whole cost of the instrument.
- Features - Low B-foot, open holes, split e-mechanism, C# trill key, gold material are features found on many intermediate flutes that can determine the cost.
- Service - Some organizations offer service after the sale, including maintenance of the instrument, school delivery and support of the school and community.
In most cases, saying "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is" can be applied to musical instruments. In other words, "you get what you pay for". While there are many deals available to musicians of all levels, there are instruments that are poorly manufactured and not appropriate for making music or bringing to a band class. It is wise to ask from a private instructor, music educator or reputable music store for guidance in selecting the best instrument for your musical needs.