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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:59 am 
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I’m very new to playing. In my on-line instruction it has been indicated the one should open the top hole (T1 or L1 depending on the instruction) when going up to the 2nd octave of “d”. My question is simply “why?”.

On other flutes that I’ve played, the octave shift was accomplished primarily by an embouchure change. I know that all holes closed except T1 can make it easier for some to shift octaves, but why is it standard? (Or isn’t it really standard playing?) For me it seems easier and has less finger confusion to make the octave shift only with the embouchure change. But, I’m also wanting to learn the correct way of playing. Are there other reasons for playing D (d’) with T1 open?

I detect a slight difference in tone from one method versus the other. My electronic tuner shows no change, but something is different (maybe volume or cleanliness?).

Many thanks.
Chris


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:23 pm 
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The top hole being left open for the second octave D is for venting and gives a cleaner tone much in the same way venting the Eb/D# key makes other notes cleaner.

If it is a quick run and the vented D note is problematic I leave it closed but it usually works well and I find that on my flute it is a more pleasing note.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:41 pm 
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It's the same pitch but cleaner (less "fluffy"?) and a little louder on my flute if I vent the T1. So I do that most of the time. There are exceptions, like when the 2nd octave D is part of a fast run where it's just easier to leave all fingers down.

I know that technically, I should vent the Eb key for the upper notes as well. I can hear the difference, but I'm fairly new to keyed flute and I haven't trained my fingers to do that yet. Might take a while. It's tempting to settle for "good enough" and not vent the Eb when the difference is subtle, and the affected notes don't stick around for very long at jig or reel tempos.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:41 pm 
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Learn to vent L1 for middle D and do it all the time. It quickly becomes habitual and no sort of problem. It has historically always been the standard fingering on flutes and whistles for reasons of physics. The vented hole at approximately the middle point of the tube length for the fundamental note is at a node in the wavelength of the second octave note. Venting it forces the wavelength to halve without other significant effort - it's much, much easier to overblow, and it speaks more strongly and purely with fewer undertones from the fundamental which persist if you just overblow with the holes all closed. We can't do it for other notes in the 2nd 8ve because we don't (normally) have any holes in suitable places. Because the venting reinforces the wavelength shift, using it actually makes fast transitions easier because you *will* get the correct note coming out clearly, however swiftly in passing. If you find the vented fingering a little tricky at speed to begin with, just stick at it and practice sensibly. Eventually you'll wonder what the fuss was.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:09 pm 
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From Brad Hurley's site:

'Jack (Coen) observed that most of us opened the topmost tonehole when we played the high D, but said that it’s not necessary and just makes for more work. You can use the same fingering for the high D as the low D: all fingers down. I personally find that my flute “sings” a touch more fully if I open the top hole on the high D, but it would only be noticeable in slow tunes or airs. For dance music it doesn’t matter.'

So there is some controversy here, at least within ITM. With the L1 hole vented, the second octave D
sings with a sweet and pure sound. Unvented, the note is edgy, a bit 'harder,' which some flooters find
more expressive when played well (practice). I would suggest that there are times when one or the other serves best, and generally I prefer the 'hard' second-octave D, at least in non-classical music. FWIW, I think there are expressive possibilities here worth exploring.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:40 pm 
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I have had the same question as the OP. I think Jem makes some good points.

Personally, I never vented the L1 for D on whistle or flute, and never thought twice about it until I noticed that I was "supposed" to do it. I survived happily, learning to push the breath to achieve the octave change.

I have discovered a couple situations where venting the L1 has made a practical difference for me.

(1) Fast passages that include the middle register D. I'm thinking of "Cup of Tea" in the third part, where I notice that venting helps me hit the D with less effort.

(2) Playing a quieter middle-register D. When venting L1 you can hardly NOT play the higher D note, which lets you play it more quietly.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:12 am 
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Venting clearly provides a better tone.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:54 am 
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Tone difference.

And once you practice-in playing the upper octave D with the top hole open it is really not awkward or 'uneconomic' in regard to finger movement.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:38 am 
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I normally vent when coming from the lower octave, except coming from OXOXXX C natural when it sometimes gives a brief crossing note.

And because I do both I sometimes do the wrong one. Recently I have been looking at my tuning more carefully (with Flutini) and I notice that if I don't vent I tend to start the note slightly sharp when going up. If in and going back to the second octave I often don't vent and think that maybe the tone matches better. Though to be honest I can't hear much difference between vented and unvented.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Thank you so much for the replies. When I’ve been practicing, I’ve been trying to consistently vent. I’ll continue to do so.
Again many thanks.
Chris


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:38 am 
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jim stone wrote:
From Brad Hurley's site:

'Jack (Coen) observed that most of us opened the topmost tonehole when we played the high D, but said that it’s not necessary and just makes for more work. You can use the same fingering for the high D as the low D: all fingers down. I personally find that my flute “sings” a touch more fully if I open the top hole on the high D, but it would only be noticeable in slow tunes or airs. For dance music it doesn’t matter.'

So there is some controversy here, at least within ITM. With the L1 hole vented, the second octave D
sings with a sweet and pure sound. Unvented, the note is edgy, a bit 'harder,' which some flooters find
more expressive when played well (practice). I would suggest that there are times when one or the other serves best, and generally I prefer the 'hard' second-octave D, at least in non-classical music. FWIW, I think there are expressive possibilities here worth exploring.

Just as a caveat: judges in fleadhs will mark a player down if they don't vent the middle D on every instance of that note. (I have that from more than one fluter who has acted as a judge at fleadhs.)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:29 pm 
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Here is Jack Coen himself. Scroll down to the video. Reminds me of Mike R.

http://www.mastersoftraditionalarts.org ... ed_facets=


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:28 am 
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Is it possible the player to get a clear view of the difference between vented and unvented without making a recording? Our two ears are different distances from the component of sound from the vented hole.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:32 am 
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It is in tunes that have a 'pedal' movement going to d' I found the difference most distinct. When I used to play say the second Matt Peoples on the flute : addf adbd adde fe e-- , an unvented d' would result in a honk like squawk where the vented one gave a 'proper' sounding d' . I opted for the vented d' but I can imagine some people would call it a stylistic choice and justify playing it unvented.

FWIW, I was watching the Matt Molloy documentary yesterday: he vented the d', playing this tune.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:03 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
... addf adbd adde fe e-- , an unvented d' would result in a honk like squawk where the vented one gave a 'proper' sounding d' ...

Just tried that and found a risk of the 'a' continuing as a harmonic rather than getting an immediate 'd' . Venting as you say prevents that.


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