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Welcome to Howard Music the Home of Quality Musical Instruments.



Please scoll down as some old news is good news and, please see below, there is also

some not so welcome news.

Nov 7th 2011

Brian has been working on a new staple design. The research has been worth the effort and the cost as the reeds are sounding great. The main differances between the new and old staples are: 1. The material. This is stainless steel. 2. Method of production. The staples are machined all over giving greater accuracy and reproductability. 3. The bore shape of the staple has been extensivley researched to give optimum tone and tuning. 4. Special tooling has been produced to shape the difficult to machine stainless steel. 5. Unfortunately they cost more to produce. As with previous designs of reed we keep reeds in stock and can usually be dispached on receiving a PayPal order. Other methods of payment are, of course available. Howard reeds are designed to work in many makes of chanter and according to our customers they do work well. So if you want a good strong back D a good hard and soft D as well in tune second octave why not try one.


Feb 1st 2010

Once again it has been a long time since this news page was updated. The reasons have been mainly associated with new design projects, a new chanter design pitched in D and an auxiluary key for G sharp on the existing Concert D chanter. There have been a few design changes to the bore design of the D chanter and the D reed has been changed in the design of the staple and cane geometry. The chanter bore changes are able to be applied as an upgrade to Howard chanters going back to the 1980's.

The "BagPiper Case" is proving very popular with our customers.

November 11Th 2008

It has been a long time since this news page was updated. This has been in no small part due to the time spent solving the problems outlined below.


In February 2008 we had enquiries from some of our customers about a “Howard Flute” and would it be better to buy one directly from Howard Music than from an Internet company based in York. After making enquires we discovered this company was advertising “Howard” branded instruments that would be available from April/May 2008. We informed the company that the Howard name had been in use for more than 30 years and in law they would be “Passing Off” their instruments as Howard.

In phone conversations we were told that Howard “ONLY made folk instruments” so there was no conflict. This would possibly have made it impossible for Howard Music to venture into the world of orchestral instruments in the future. So we decided to commission a good quality metal flute ourselves and this gave birth to the “Howard Flute” range. These were on the market in March well before the company in York had any Howard Instruments on the market.

We received complaints about the quality of the “passed off” Howard instruments after they went on sale in May. It was after this that the UK trading standards became involved as not only was the trade name of Howard Music being used but one of the instruments was claimed to be of “Solid Silver”. This was not Hallmarked as required by UK law. The Sheffield Assay Punch Master holds a punch under the name of Brian Howard of Howard music. This could have made things difficult for Howard Music if complaints had been made directly to the Assay Office.

Howard Music could have claimed compensation for the use of the Howard name but the professional advice was to register the name and trade mark with the UK Intellectual Property Office as this would strengthen any claims to the ownership of the name. This was done and the mark became finally registered in June 2008. There was a 3-month period that the mark could be objected to but once registered the exclusive use of the mark is retrospective. After a visit from the Trading Standards people from York the company then stopped using the word “silver”in the description of the Howard flute. However they continued to describe the flute and whole range of instruments as “Howard” until the final day that objections could be made to the Howard Trade Mark registration.They then re-described the range of instruments under another name.

This caused a great deal of expenditure of time and resources for Howard Music that could have been spent on supplying quality instruments to our many customers. The one good thing to come from this is that we are proud to be now supplying a range of flutes bearing the Howard mark of quality.

There are “Howard” instruments out here that may not be genuine. The test is that the Howard Logo or the name B. L. Howard is marked on all genuine Howard instruments or instruments legally licensed to use the Howard name. For example Remo / Howard Bodhráns.

Our thanks to the many individuals who helped us in these trying times and the people at Trading Standards Office and Assay Office in Sheffield.

July 1st 2008


The funeral took place yesterday of the father of the low whistle, Bernard Overton. He was a friend of many years standing. He did not only develop the low whistle as an instument that gives that unique sound but he also created an entire industry and all other makers of low whistles owe him a great debt of gratitutde.

The funeral was very moving with with many great tributes paid and the music was mighty.


June 2008 Stick at Top

You can read this page in different languages care of Google®. This is bound to lead to some hilarious translations where pipes are concerned. Please let us share the laughs.

Just click on the language bar at the top of the page, this page and the rest of the site will be displayed in your language of choice. (Then you will know what this is about) :)

June 2008


We are happy to announce the arrival of the range of Howard flutes. They are Bohem system flutes (not the conical bore flutes used in Irish traditional music). They are suitable for the "Improving Flautist" and are to be found on this site, here, and should be available from other sites and shops. We are sure that the build quality and performance of these instruments is that of a more expensive instrument. Note that only genuine Howard flutes carry the "Little Harper" trade mark of Howard music.


April 2008 Roving Tiónol Tutor
  See/hear here and here,Patrick Óhare, the new tutor for the tiónol. It is a pity that Dermot Hyde can not make it this year due to a clash with his American tour with Pipeline. Our thanks to him for last year's great craic.
  New Instruments

Two bits of news regarding additions to the Howard range of instruments.

The first is that the solid silver low D is available for the first time on the web. The second is that the first of the range of Howard metal flutes is now available.

Roving Tiónol

March 2008 The tiónol is to be held at Cold Keld in Cumbria. Dates 13 to 18 July. We have a new tutor this year,along with Brian, Patrick Óhare. For more details contact Dorothy.
Review of Howard Low D
March 2008

The Low D has been reviewed on a well respected site that usually reviews saxophones and other classical instruments. It can be found here http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Flutes/howard_low_whistle.htm

This site is a great resource and Stephen Howard (no relation) is to be congratulated.

New Voicing of Low Whistle head
Feb 2008 The head for the Howard low whistle has had a small change made to the final hand voicing. This has produced a smoother sound, less "swishy" New version heads are available separately on this site and from the many shops that sell Howard Whistles.
New Low D Tunable Whistle Head
Jan 2007 The Howard Tunable Low Whistle has been retooled to produce a much better sound. There is more "back pressure" and the top of the second octave is much clearer. The design gives more dynamics in both octaves and you can vary the volume without compromising tuning. Boxed spare heads can be obtained from good whistle shops or direct from Howard Music. Click here to order.
New Reed Design
Jan 2007 After many experiments with both the staple and slips Brian has produced a new reed design. It is more stable on the back D and bottom D and The overall tuning is good. It seems to work well with other makers chanters. Click to go to reed page
Updated 06 2008
©B.L.Howard 2002 - 2008 Please report broken liks and any other problems to by Email