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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:18 am 
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Though this is about an instrument, this seems like the best place to post about this.

It has been a little surprising to me to see people post clarinets on eBay and call them flutes.

That is all I really wanted to say.


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-Wood ... 0012.m1985


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:06 am 
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AaronFW wrote:
It has been a little surprising to me to see people post clarinets on eBay and call them flutes.


I once saw an item in a flea market labelled as a "dartboard".

It was a chessboard.

:boggle:

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:51 am 
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Brus wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
It has been a little surprising to me to see people post clarinets on eBay and call them flutes.


I once saw an item in a flea market labelled as a "dartboard".

It was a chessboard.

:boggle:


Amazing.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:35 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
It has been a little surprising to me to see people post clarinets on eBay and call them flutes.

On the flipside, I've had lots of people ask if my flute was a clarinet. They see blackwood, and that throws all otherwise evident flute-ness out the window, apparently.

OTOH, I was quite pleased when I was asked if it was an oboe, because then it wasn't about appearances, but about the tone I was getting out of it. Embrace your more discerning punters, and never let them go. :)

I don't hang out on eBay, really, so I'm sure I've missed some doozies. But I do remember a case where antique weaving bobbins...

Image

...were presented as wind instruments of some kind, or as the parts to one; the details are hazy. These bobbins are tubular, not just solid cylinders. It's particularly understandable when you look at the one third from right, with its holes in addition to its shape.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:41 pm 
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How and why one could mistake a chessboard for a dartboard is beyond me. Mistaking a clarinet for a flute is a little more understandable. The seller likely is not a musician, or does not play woodwind instruments.

I agree that a little research can go a long way...and to be completely honest, I had to do a little research before typing up this post. But sometimes a buyer can get a good deal when a seller is uninformed!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:55 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
It has been a little surprising to me to see people post clarinets on eBay and call them flutes.

On the flipside, I've had lots of people ask if my flute was a clarinet. They see blackwood, and that throws all otherwise evident flute-ness out the window, apparently.

OTOH, I was quite pleased when I was asked if it was an oboe, because then it wasn't about appearances, but about the tone I was getting out of it. Embrace your more discerning punters, and never let them go. :)

I don't hang out on eBay, really, so I'm sure I've missed some doozies. But I do remember a case where antique weaving bobbins...

Image

...were presented as wind instruments of some kind, or as the parts to one; the details are hazy. These bobbins are tubular, not just solid cylinders. It's particularly understandable when you look at the one third from right, with its holes in addition to its shape.


The tone makes sense. I also think that it is fairly reasonable for people to ask since people are more used to seeing and hearing the metal Boehm flute instead of a black flute with a reedy tone.

Regarding eBay, I think a few things stand out to me. If I were trying to sell an instrument, I would at the least look for what similar instruments went for. At which point I would think someone would conclude "my flute is not like these flutes; perhaps my flute is not a flute." Or, after they posted the post and they reviewed the posting and saw the related items at the top and the bottom of the page, related items which did not look like their item. - (Note: I saw at the least 2 listings of clarinets listed as flutes; so it isn't bulletproof; but I suspect based on the keywords that some of the related items were actually flutes.)


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Odds are that a lot of these errors are being made by dealers why buy up job lots of goods at estate sales, etc., and then post items individually on ebay. They don't have time to individually research each item they post, and frankly, have little need to do so. The buyer can figure it out. The auction process means that provided enough people see the listing the final price won't be a whole lot lower than if the vendor had spent an hour researching each piece.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:40 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
Odds are that a lot of these errors are being made by dealers why buy up job lots of goods at estate sales, etc., and then post items individually on ebay. They don't have time to individually research each item they post, and frankly, have little need to do so. The buyer can figure it out. The auction process means that provided enough people see the listing the final price won't be a whole lot lower than if the vendor had spent an hour researching each piece.


Fair enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:44 am 
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Dan A. wrote:
How and why one could mistake a chessboard for a dartboard is beyond me.


Seems suspiciously like rogue spell-checking software to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:34 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
I also think that it is fairly reasonable for people to ask since people are more used to seeing and hearing the metal Boehm flute instead of a black flute with a reedy tone.

Oh, sure. A player of older-design instruments shouldn't be too surprised, and I welcome curiosity. What surprises me is that these people obviously know what a clarinet is, but such people are then also more than likely to know what a flute is too, at least from its being played in the transverse fashion that we all recognize as the main identifier of flutes. And yet a black color alone negates all that in their mind and turns the world upside-down. And they say it's because it's black. One shouldn't be contemptuous of that out of hand, yet at the same time I think that anyone seeing a keyless bamboo flute would have no such difficulty in figuring out what it is. I think old-style keys especially enhance the blackwood confusion, too. Out of curiosity, does anyone know of a transverse clarinet?

We seem to have lost a certain intuitive sense of how material history progresses. When I tell them, "The flute didn't always look like the modern all-metal thingum," they're sometimes surprised, which surprises me in turn; after all, what would a shepherd of yore have played? A silver Yamaha? I would have bought a town with it and abandoned smelly shepherding for the better job of being someone else's boss, and bought another (Yamaha?) flute later on. So anyway, I just say, "Don't let outer details throw you. If it's a tube like a flute and is played sideways like a flute, in every case you can easily bet it's going to be a flute." (sticklers find themselves wanting to say "probably" because of critters like the Bawu. Otherwise, I'd prefer not to even bother)

Assure them as you might, there is always that scintilla of doubt in there. Our sideways flutes must be the supreme Terra Incognita of instruments. We are seen through a glass, darkly.

AaronFW wrote:
s1m0n wrote:
Odds are that a lot of these errors are being made by dealers why buy up job lots of goods at estate sales, etc., and then post items individually on ebay. They don't have time to individually research each item they post, and frankly, have little need to do so. The buyer can figure it out. The auction process means that provided enough people see the listing the final price won't be a whole lot lower than if the vendor had spent an hour researching each piece.

Fair enough.

Pfft. Fair enough? And what about the joys of a good kvetch?

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:10 pm 
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We're musicians. We pay attention to the instruments we see, and notice them in more detail than people who aren't very interested in instruments.

I'm not interested in, say, guns. If I see one, I pay only enough attention to ID it as a gun. I'd have only a vague chance of telling you if it was a rifle or a carbine, and no chance of identifying caliber larger than .22. But to people who like guns, I'm sure all those details would be immediately obvious.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:31 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
We're musicians. We pay attention to the instruments we see, and notice them in more detail than people who aren't very interested in instruments.

Of course, but that wasn't my point. And I want to preface with the fact that more than one of my curious have said they were in high school band or the like. In fact, I suspect that a musician's more likely to ask such a question than anyone else.

My point was how the familiar can be rendered unfamiliar beyond all logic because people don't trust their own judgment. It has nothing to do with details no outsider would notice. Generally speaking: A silver flute is very complex, but it's obviously a flute. A bamboo flute is as simple as it gets, but it's obviously a flute as well. The general idea holds, and everyone recognizes this without fail. But when it's premodern keyed blackwood, how is it, suddenly, that among all flutelike objects, this one alone might not be a flute? It's held like a flute and played like a flute, after all, by blowing across a hole in the side of the instrument. This should put everything to rest. The flute is the one and only Western wind instrument played in such a fashion. There is no other. None. Yet although it "looks like a duck, walks like a duck (etc.)", the mind still freezes over it. This is simple, generalized stuff, not a matter of missing fine details; when it comes to identifying flute-kind, detail of any sort is not seeing the forest for the trees. That's the point. Saying that one should know better is too easy. It doesn't hold water.

I'm not really seeking answers for myself as to why the confusion should be, because I'd venture that the mechanism of focusing on the misleading is itself the reason. It's not going to give anyone a magic wand, although it could be useful. I just think it's interesting that people can't believe their own eyes when, in the end, a flute is a flute is a flute. Whether you make it out of a parsnip or Unobtainium, whether it has no keys or a bazillion, what is it? Why, it's a flute. There's nothing complicated or esoteric about that much. It's really crystal clear, so it's not the flute that's standing on its head. The only right thing to do is approach it as a teaching moment. But keeping it reasonably brief also has its virtues.

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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:55 pm 
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This is good:

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:34 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
This is good

If the blow hole is on the end, how do you get your lips on that other spot?


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 Post subject: Re: Dumb Posts
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:40 pm 
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kkrell wrote:
If the blow hole is on the end, how do you get your lips on that other spot?

And I think I'm supposed to lay my thumb on top for 1. Very unorthodox in the West. One grips with one's teeth, presumably.

Zero being zero, it must not exist. I think the circle of dashes is supposed to tell me to imagine it instead. I wonder why it's there...

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