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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:27 am 
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I am looking at investing in a second flute (well, a 4th to be honest, but I don't count the Boehm, the off-pitch antique, or the tendon-busting Tipple Bb - although that one is fun). I am quite happy with my Baubet 4-key, but I wish some of those random G dor and Dm tunes were easier to play, even with the keys. That Boehm guy may have been on to something...

Given that either a C or F flute cover roughly the same key signatures (I don't plan to start playing Bb band tunes anytime soon), I was wondering if anyone has experience with both. And if so, when it comes time to play a tune that lends itself to the D alternative, which do you reach for more often? And is this because of playability, or is it pure timbre preference?

It doesn't help that everyone raves equally about Copley's delrin C and F flutes, which seem a great way to go for a second flute.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:48 am 
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Hello sjpete, I have not played a simple system flute in low C myself, but I do have a conical one in low Bb. I personally find that the timbre from the Bb is particularly haunting and pleasant, especially for slower tunes, such as airs. Conically bored flutes are easier to finger than cylindrical simple system flutes, as it allows for closer tone hole spacing. I have a couple of F flutes, (conical and cylindrical) but I do not tend to play them as frequently as the low Bb. The tempo of the tunes you play will probably play a large part in your final decision regarding pitch, as the F flutes make the playing of fast tunes nearly effortless.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:20 am 
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Bb flutes are great for playing traditional Irish tunes, especially in a setting with some slight echo and reverb. The tone is haunting and lovely at that pitch. Here are a couple of examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-9FzBIkKNI played by Conor O'Bryan - no echo or reverb
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtbKZ830yEE played by John Skelton - with just enough reverb to the room!

F flutes are lively, but not necessarily piccolo-like. American and British pattern ones have nice wide bores and pretty much sound like their lower pitched cousins in D. The European ones, especially the Galician Requinta, have narrower bores and work better in the 2nd octave and even a bit of the 3rd octave, as in the case of the Requinta that plays an octave above the pipes. Here is an example of the latter (in this case the flutes are somewhere between F and G. The range F to G sounds the same tone-wise). This is my favorite Galician group!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j1GM77oF9E A Requinta de Xián

Here is a F Flute in the wider-bored English pattern. Older versions such as this flute appear not infrequently on eBay. Older one keyed ones by Coyne, Firth (etc) or Riley are very nice and worth pursuing. The European ones come up for sale less commonly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzeKdo0yeFw Jemtheflute

Enjoy!
Casey

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:57 pm 
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I know its not what your asking but...I get so tempted to buy an Eb. I have an old flute that plays very sharp, between D and Eb and its so lively and fun to play it makes me wonder about an actual Eb flute. just thought id say...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:16 pm 
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FWIW, I have a boxwood C flute from Casey B, which has a lovely voice, deeper than the D, but without the finger stretching that tends to go
with a Bb flute. I prefer this to the F flute--I sold the one I owned--largely because of the beauty of the sound.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuU3eEIYhsA


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:13 pm 
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I have both a C (McGee keyless) and an F (Sweetheart). I play in a band and play the C a lot. Some of those Am tunes are so much easier on a C flute. We also have a singer who sings a lot of songs in C and F (which are easy on a C flute). It even works for the occasional Bb song.
The F I got cheaply and picked it up for fun and hardly ever play it. It is just too small and high. Not like a piccolo but I prefer a more sonorous timber.

Clark


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:58 am 
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I have played a Copley and Biogli F flute that was very lovely. You sort of have to decide if you like the higher pitch or are attracted to the lower, or alternatively, save you nickles and by both eventually if you like to experiment.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:56 am 
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I personally am an enormous fan of the F flute, given its use in Donegal tunes and Scottish border tunes, and the odd, steel-drum-like cadence it has. I really love the percussive style of the playing in these traditions. Plus, it's an easy fit under the fingers and exceptionally portable.

F Flutes:
https://youtu.be/frCr-H-qwtg
https://www.lafferty.ca/files/flute-geezers/packie2.mp3

Edit: as an addendum, I got my F flute from Tony Millyard, and I think he's really on to something good with his Fs. Highly recommended.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:10 am 
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Both keys are nice diversions from a D-flute.

The F is lively and fun, the highest pitch that still sounds like a flute to me. Grand for fast articulate playing. (Personally I am drawn to Bb, F & Eb pitches).

The C is sonorous and lovely sounding, good for slower evocative music. (The C pitch just doesn't appeal to me much).

I suffer from tendonitis and can only play a D-flute for about 20 min. But I can go an hour on a F-flute if I am careful.

Happy Hunting! :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:30 am 
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MadmanWithaWhistle wrote:
I personally am an enormous fan of the F flute, given its use in Donegal tunes and Scottish border tunes, and the odd, steel-drum-like cadence it has. I really love the percussive style of the playing in these traditions.

Don't know about Donegal, but I've never heard of the Scottish border F flute tradition. So could you elaborate further, or is that not what you meant?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:42 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
MadmanWithaWhistle wrote:
I personally am an enormous fan of the F flute, given its use in Donegal tunes and Scottish border tunes, and the odd, steel-drum-like cadence it has. I really love the percussive style of the playing in these traditions.

Don't know about Donegal, but I've never heard of the Scottish border F flute tradition. So could you elaborate further, or is that not what you meant?


My understanding is that the F flute came into northern Irish music from the ensemble flute bands. Lots of Gmin tunes in those areas (southern Scotland/northern Ireland) which fit really nicely on the F flute, so it was a convenient choice. I dunno if there's a 'tradition' there per se, but it's where I see them used. My comment, "I really love the percussive style of the playing in these traditions," referred to the northern Ireland/southern Scotland playing style in general.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:20 am 
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I agree that an F pitch flute is a wonderful thing to play – light and agile but not excessively chirpy.
A desire to play certain Playford tunes fluently in G minor – something I have to do quite often - led me to source a six-finger F bansuri from Punam Flutes – one of the most professional and efficient internet operations I have dealt with. The instrument reached the UK all the way from the Sub-Continent almost before the ink had dried on my email. And it is a great instrument to play for European music, suggesting that the bansuri is an easy and affordable (relatively – my instrument was not cheap, but of professional quality) way to experiment with different tonalities.
And then just recently, in a music shop in York, I came across an F pitch, six-keyed, ebonite band flute – in good condition and fairly priced. I can’t make out a manufacturer’s mark, although it reminded me that in my youth English music shops often had racks of band flutes marketed under the Premier brand. I bought a B flat one then and still have it, but for the past 40 years – near enough – I have regretted not stretching to an F flute when they were so readily available.
Now I have one and it is delightful to play – except for the fact that the two lowest notes (F and G in real money) are exceptionally sharp, the opposite problem to that which one usually encounters with old flutes. Is this a common problem with band flutes? Whatever, it is a shame, but I still like playing the instrument in the privacy of my own home. And I am still on the lookout for an F-pitch keyed band flute in decent nick. Anybody got one knocking around?


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