Saturday, 26 January 2013

Something for the weekend...

So...camera is back, and so hopefully I'll be able to start posting some photos re classic old makers. I'm restoring a wonderful flute by Monzani which I'm going to use as the first example.
But for the moment, until I get my self organised, here's link to a YouTube video which Conor Byrne sent me a few weeks ago. He's playing an eight keyed mopane flute that I made for him a couple of years ago.

4 comments:

  1. While you're on the subject of eight-keys, I have a wonderful one with block-mounted keys. I notice that almost all players twist the foot joint so that the keys face forward. I realize this gets them out of the way so the little finger can rest on the body of the flute (I rest mine on the block that supports the C and C# keys), but I'm surprised that virtually no one does as I do. As a maker and player, I would value your comments.

    Cheers,
    Alan

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    Replies
    1. Alan... a very good observation. It's surprising the number of players who do this. I think it's partly a case of old habits die hard, in that on very many old flutes ( and on a lot of new ones) the lower C and C# keys don't work, so people have gotten used to turning them out of the way. Even where they do work however, you'll find this is often the case. Personally, when playing an eight keyed flute I do as you do and rest my pinkie on the block.
      The whole issue of foot joint keys is a fraught issue, and something which is worth a whole post to itself.
      Many players who order eight keyed flutes do so on the basis that that's how many keys old flutes have and they want to have the full monty as it were. What they then discover is that, and we're talking traditional Irish tunes here, that being able to play down to C is not a huge advantage. Many tunes that go lower than D also go lower than C, so you're still in the same situation of having to vary the tune in someway to play it. Remember the fiddle goes down to G.
      So when people ask me for the lower keys, they have to satisfy me that they know exactly what they want them to do. I don't think it's a good idea to encourage people to buy a lot of expensive keywork that they then won't use.

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    2. Thanks, Hammy. I'm inspired to know you follow the same practice and keep the keys where they belong. What's good enough for the master is good enough for the man, sez I. My footjoint keys work very well and are in tune, so I use them fairly often. On songs, I like to go up from D# to E or C# to D on tunes that end on E and D respectively. I also find the low C handy when playing with harpers and on songs like "Witch of the West-Mer-Lands" by Archie Fischer. I appreciate your time in answering and look forward to your upcoming posts.

      Alan

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  2. And what do you think of mopane? How can it compare to blackwood in terms of making process? Is there any difference?

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