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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:09 am 
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Prehaps a daft question. I usually turn my embouchure hole in, in order to get the sound I want, but when answering Terry's question about a Grinter left hand joint length, and the comparisons to other flutes I noticed something. I found by keeping the embouchure hole in line with the left and right hand joint's tone holes that the flutes, A Wilkes and a R&R, were very much easier to play in tune in both octaves. I was also able to find the "sweet spot" by slightly turning in the whole flute, and still get the sound I want.

Do flute makers generally tune their flutes with the embouchure hole and tone holes in line with each other, or do they turn the embouchure hole in or out to suit their own physical preferences when fine tuning a flute?

Does this make a difference to the tuning of notes in relation to each other if the embouchure hole is turned in or out?

We all have different lips, teeth, jaw lines and adjust our head joint embouchure positions accordingly to get the sound we want, but perhaps also unwittingly affect the overall tuning adversely


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:36 am 
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Great question...a topic I have also pondered....I turn it in but experiment rolling out and inline...all have a little different response I find....I am certainly looking forward to answers from the more experienced players here.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:41 am 
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Personally, I don't think it will make any difference to the note's tone, as the air column will still be travelling down the tube as it would, whether the embouchure hole is inline or offset.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:50 am 
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You can do the following experiment while you play, with your chin push the flute out and the pitch goes up, pull the flute in and the pitch goes down. This is what most players do to be in tune. So no matter how the flute was originally tuned to, you will need to adjust the pitch in respect to the way you play.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:57 am 
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I'm not sure if this answers the question you are asking, but if you turn the embouchure hole in towards yourself, it will have an overall flattening effect on all notes, but in my experience the effect is more pronounced on the left hand notes than the right hand ones. The reason is that you are reducing the effective size of the embouchure hole by covering slightly more of it, and an acoustically shorter flute is more sensitive to this than an acoustically longer one. For this reason, rolling the flute out also has more sharpening effect on the left hand notes than the right hand ones. Or stated yet another way, you can lip notes like B and A up or down over a wider range of pitches than notes like D or E. Maybe try this in front of a tuner to see if you experience the same effect too?

Turning the embouchure hole relative to the tone holes does not necessarily make any difference unless this causes you to change the angle of the embouchure hole relative to your lips. It will if you keep your arms, hands and fingers in the same position as normal, but not if you alter your hand position to accommodate for the changed embouchure position.

I can't speak for other makers, but I suspect that they tune their flutes according to their own personal preferences in terms of blowing style, embouchure alignment etc. So, this would cause a player to experience overall tuning differences among flutes from different makers that are all equally in tune according to their makers.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:53 am 
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I usually tune flutes with the embouchure slightly rolled in, usually so that the outer edge of the embouchure is about 2mm towards the player compared with the outer edge of the 1st finger hole. Matt Molloy once showed me that this is where he plays. I have observed other players do the same plus or minus.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:35 pm 
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When I buy a flute from one of the respected makers here, I assume it's going to sound the same whether I have the embouchure hole inline with the tone holes or rotated down a bit. Most of the printed flute tutors and much of the online advice I've read in recent years has suggested that you should play with the headjoint rotation angle to find what's comfortable (in relation to hand position, not the embouchure).

I wouldn't be interested in a flute that was somehow optimized for one rotation angle of the headjoint, and I'm not sure that's acoustically possible anyway!


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