It is currently Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:48 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 
 Post subject: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:49 pm
Posts: 354
Location: Wooster, Ohio
As it turns out, I've become highly allergic to 3 seasons of the year (Summer, Fall, Spring). Right now, I am taking meds and I wear a face-mask. Even if I were to begin immunotherapy it will take 3 years before I would expect to see results. So I was wondering... since playing flute outside is out of the question for me right now has anyone ever seen someone play flute without having to breathe into it?

I somewhat imagine it would be a sort of bag and bellow similar to the uilleann pipes. However, as far as I can tell, that wouldn't allow you to play both octaves fully without modifying the flute further... and one may as well play the pipes instead at that point.

Has anyone seen an accessible flute like this? Or can anyone conceive of how it might be possible to do?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:06 pm
Posts: 134
I can't imagine your struggle with this. It is heartbreaking. As an adult learner of many instruments I can only suggest you take a step back from the flute and explore your interests in Irish Trad with another instrument. I have enjoyed the concertina for a while now, although good ones are really pricey and cheap ones sound like small accordions to my ear. That being said an accordion is supposedly quicker to pick up than a concertina and less expensive which you want to move up to a great one. Though the air movement with both these instruments might exacerbate the problem. Tenor banjo is a good melody instrument I've fooled around with and always wished I'd focused on.

Uilleann pipes don't use your air, but... There is no way a flute could be made to use a bellows since you are regularly making minute changes in your embouchure to play.

The deep inhaling on the flute might not be a good thing while you try to heal yourself. Though quiet whistling in a room with a good air cleaner could keep the tunes in your fingers while you work on the allergy front. As always, talk to your doctor about all of this. Bring a whistle to your next appointment since he or she will likely have no idea what air is required. Good Luck


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:44 pm
Posts: 543
Location: Washington State
I have a used uilleann practice set I might be willing to part with for a reasonable price (or even loan) if you want to go that direction. PM me if you like.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:57 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:49 pm
Posts: 354
Location: Wooster, Ohio
busterbill wrote:
I can't imagine your struggle with this. It is heartbreaking. As an adult learner of many instruments I can only suggest you take a step back from the flute and explore your interests in Irish Trad with another instrument. I have enjoyed the concertina for a while now, although good ones are really pricey and cheap ones sound like small accordions to my ear. That being said an accordion is supposedly quicker to pick up than a concertina and less expensive which you want to move up to a great one. Though the air movement with both these instruments might exacerbate the problem. Tenor banjo is a good melody instrument I've fooled around with and always wished I'd focused on.


Thankfully, I roll with punches pretty good, so overall, I've stayed in good spirits. I've can play at home OK and at my local session, but when or if I get invited to play at any outside events, it would just not be possible. Festivals would also be out of the question.

I've thought about other instruments too. Regarding your suggestion, I don't think the air-movement would be a problem because I could at the least continue wearing my face-mask. (Unless you are thinking about some other aspect of the air-movement than I am.)

busterbill wrote:
Uilleann pipes don't use your air, but... There is no way a flute could be made to use a bellows since you are regularly making minute changes in your embouchure to play.


That is a good point. I forgot about the minute changes.

busterbill wrote:
The deep inhaling on the flute might not be a good thing while you try to heal yourself. Though quiet whistling in a room with a good air cleaner could keep the tunes in your fingers while you work on the allergy front. As always, talk to your doctor about all of this. Bring a whistle to your next appointment since he or she will likely have no idea what air is required. Good Luck


Can you expand a little bit about why you think deep inhaling on the flute might not be a good thing? I simply hadn't thought about it before, but it seems like a decent point. (My allergies also aggravate my asthma, so I should at least keep an eye on it and also talk to my doctor.)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 3:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Posts: 1790
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
It's always been my understanding, Aaron, that playing flute was regarded as a good thing for people with breathing issues. Indeed, I think that line goes back at least as far as Boehm or a contemporary writer. But, yeah, check it out with the medical authorities - it might just be vintage wishful thinking! And do report back!

Wow, I just thought to Google the question. There's heaps of stuff on line!

Now, a uillean flute isn't a go for the reasons already mentioned - how could you redirect the embouchure to change octaves, etc. But I did invent and successfully demonstrate the uillean whistle, at the Boxwood flute festival, in Lunenberg, 2002. Perhaps not surprisingly, my invention and display doesn't seem to have made it into the scientific literature....

I had somehow acquired a "winecask" - perhaps the establishment was using them as a source of vin ordinaire. For the innocents among us, these are an Australian invention, designed to be a cheap way of selling bulk wine. The cask takes the form of a cardboard outer box, with company labelling etc, and holds inside it a plastic bladder. The usual capacity is 4 or 5 litres (a gallon, 6 bottles, is halfway between those), but there are larger catering packs available too. What's good about them is, as the wine level runs down, the bladder collapses, and so air is never admitted to turn the wine to vinegar. I reckon it would keep forever! (But not round here....)

I think it must have been after dinner, and I must have been in a mischievous mood. I made sure the cask was totally empty (perhaps that was why I was in a mischievous mood!), removed the bladder from the cask, and filled it up with air by blowing into it. Then stuck the beak of a whistle into the rubbery spout that forms the mouth of the bladder, popped the bladder under the arm, squeezed and started playing. I go through two A parts of the tune before the bladder was fully deflated.

As a party trick, it went down pretty well. As a serious musical instrument, it really could do with a blowpipe to refill the bag!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 10:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:49 pm
Posts: 354
Location: Wooster, Ohio
Terry McGee wrote:
[...]

Now, a uillean flute isn't a go for the reasons already mentioned - how could you redirect the embouchure to change octaves, etc. But I did invent and successfully demonstrate the uillean whistle, at the Boxwood flute festival, in Lunenberg, 2002. Perhaps not surprisingly, my invention and display doesn't seem to have made it into the scientific literature....

[...]

As a party trick, it went down pretty well. As a serious musical instrument, it really could do with a blowpipe to refill the bag!


But wait, were you able to play 2 octaves with the whistle and bladder? If so, then I could make an uilleann flute. I've known of the possibility to make fipples for playing a transverse flute, but the bag was the unknown part (i.e. playing 2 octaves using a bag). I'm going to have to try it now. I can rig up a fipple pretty easily with some bamboo or something, I will just need to get a wine cask (or the like). If that works, I could probably find a longer-term solution.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 1:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:44 pm
Posts: 543
Location: Washington State
Aaron, check your PMs.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 5:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:49 pm
Posts: 354
Location: Wooster, Ohio
awildman wrote:
Aaron, check your PMs.

Sorry that I'm a little slow, but you should have a PM now. :)
Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Posts: 1790
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
AaronFW wrote:
But wait, were you able to play 2 octaves with the whistle and bladder? If so, then I could make an uilleann flute. I've known of the possibility to make fipples for playing a transverse flute, but the bag was the unknown part (i.e. playing 2 octaves using a bag). I'm going to have to try it now. I can rig up a fipple pretty easily with some bamboo or something, I will just need to get a wine cask (or the like). If that works, I could probably find a longer-term solution.


It's a long time ago, but yes, I'm pretty sure I was able to play both octaves. I can try again next time I have an empty wine cask!

But, I don't really think it's a way forward. You're up against a pretty high flow rate, even with an air-frugal whistle. Pipes of course are pressure-driven, not flow, so much more economic of airflow.

Interesting question for any of our pipers: If you fully inflate the bag, then stop filling it, how much tune can you play before the bag runs out of air? More than two A-parts?

Incidentally, here's an image from the time:
Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: The breathless flute
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 1:33 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:49 pm
Posts: 354
Location: Wooster, Ohio
Terry McGee wrote:
But, I don't really think it's a way forward. You're up against a pretty high flow rate, even with an air-frugal whistle. Pipes of course are pressure-driven, not flow, so much more economic of airflow.


I don't think it is a way forward either. But it sounds fun to try anyway, especially if it only required some of my bamboo and a wine cask. Unless someone else speaks up with an even more brilliant solution, I am planning to borrow awildman's practice set as he offered to see how I get on with them, that way I have more options. That is, multi-instrumentalism has always been a valid solution too.

Thanks for the picture Terry. :)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.079s | 13 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)