Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Instrumental Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Trudy Kane

Second Committee Member

Robert Weiner

Third Committee Member

Timothy Conner

Fourth Committee Member

Nancy Zavac

Fifth Committee Member

Raul Murciano, Jr.


A historical background of the Cuban charanga dance genres and the Cuban flute tradition of the wooden five-key flute are explored, including musical terminology, instrumentation, and prominent charanga flutists. The structural differences between the nineteenth-century wooden five-key flute and the Boehm metal system flute are examined using specific measurements and diagrams. The stylistic and idiomatic consequences of these structural differences were considered. It was considered that the Boehm system flute provides more musical resources through its ease of use and mechanical facility. Professional flutists from different generations with years of experience in the style were consulted; multiple recordings were analyzed, and the author’s experience performing the style also influenced this writing. A methodology for learning to play in the charanga style was provided with specific exercises and musical examples. It was concluded that the musical possibilities in charanga are similar with either flute, and that the flutist’s abilities make a bigger impact in the style than the instrument used. A recommendation for further study is enclosed.


flute; charanga; Cuba; Boehm; five-key flute; methodology