Overture - Jungle Book and PotC

Steve T

New Member
I like the Overture songs from "The Jungle Book" soundtrack and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I think both are done by George Bruns. Does anyone know what the wind instrument is that is used in those songs? It gives them such a distinct sound. Also, are there any other tracks similar in sound to these out there that I have missed?

I believe that the instrument that you are referring to is a Bass Flute. Mr. Bruns used it in several of the score tracks on "The Jungle Book," but never as prominently as he used it in "The Pirate Overture" for "Pirates of the Caribbean." As for more recordings with a similar sound, Mr. Bruns composed several pieces for the Magic Skyway (Ford Pavilion) at the 1964 World's Fair. As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly, the track "Jungle Beat" from "The Jungle Book" originally appeared (albeit a different recording) in the "International Gardens" cue from the exhibit — a good 2 years before "The Jungle Book" was released.

There may be others, but these are what I remember off the top of my head at the moment. Hope it helps.


X-S Tech

Active Member
This is all well and good, but has Bruce Broughton ever used this instrument to any great degree?


Playlist Author
Good question X-S Tech. I'm not sure what the answer is without consulting WDWGuy08. However, I do hear that Broughton plays a mean duduk and krumhorn.
The pirates and jb overtures are two of my favorite tracks in all of Disneyana. The bass flute adds such an air of mystery and adventure, but in a laid-back, low key way. Perfect instrument for both of those songs.

I don't think I heard the bass flute anywhere in the JB2 soundtrack. Perhaps it's use in that stinker might have made it a bit more endearing. And I had kinda hoped the composers of the Pirates trilogy would have used it a bit in their soundtracks too.

Does anybody know if the "International Gardens" version of "Jungle Beat" is available anywhere for purchase?
I think you're right, Bill (or at least that's what my file's ID3 tag says). I remember first hearing it and thinking how similar they were to one another.
Yep, Randy, that is a bass flute. George Bruns and his orchestrator, Walter Sheets, brought that sound to life on Jungle Book and Pirates.


New Member
When I saw the topic I knew what the question must be. The only thing it could be was "What is that instrument?" I 'm glad I read this because I had convinced myself that this was actually a sub-tone clarinet. I have several recordings by the Paul Whiteman Band with Chet Hazlett playing this instrument. These instruments sound incredibly alike with almost the exact same tone. The main difference I can hear is that the sub-tone clarinet seems to be often used with a sliding technique almost like a slide whistle. I played one of the overtures for my sister, a flautist, years ago and she suggested it was bass flute. However, when I heard what I thought was the same instrument on some Whiteman songs from various Bing Crosby cd's I own, I was convinced this was the same instrument and the liner notes credit Hazlett on the sub-tone. So when I read this I was planning on telling you guys you were wrong and I just wanted to do a side by side comparison before I did. I first found a youtube vid of someone playing the bass flute. Then I listened to the two overtures and the Whiteman songs and now I'm guessing its bass flute, but boy they sound similar. What decided it for me was the lack of sliding in the overtures. Check out youtube vids of. I'm a Dreamer Aren't We All, Little Pal, and Waiting at the End of the Road if you're curious about the sub-tone clarinet.