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 Post subject: Traverso request
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 5:15 pm
Posts: 560
Location: Israel
Hi all,

I'm looking for a Traverso, want to start learning the instrument.
If anyone has one or know someone who wants to sell, you're welcome to let me know

Thank you,
Philip

PS: waiting for my Morvan 6-key to be ready!


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 Post subject: Re: Traverso request
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:57 pm
Posts: 106
Are you familiar with the plastic one made by Aulos? Amazon has it for $285. (Note: they sell it under the name "Rhythm Band", and show a picture of the more expensive white version, though it is the matte black A440 one they are offering.)

I bought one a couple months ago, and have really enjoyed it. It's a solid player, though it presents the same challenges that are part of all baroque flutes. The Es, both high and low, sound "veiled", and the F#s are a bit flat. I haven't tried any other baroque flutes, so I can't compare it, but I've read some reviews on the net that claim that its intonation is very good.


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 Post subject: Re: Traverso request
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:39 am
Posts: 131
Location: Michigan, USA
I have one of the Aulos A=440 Grenser Matte Black Traversos, and it really is a great player. The reason why it has some issues is apparently because the flute it was based off of has issues, and it is a faithful reproduction. Even with it's challenges I really enjoy playing on it.

The Es are a bit veiled but E''' sounds fine to me as XXO OXXEb. F#'s can be sharpened by venting the Eb key, and it helps clear up their color as well. If you lip down E'' you can vent Eb key and it will be clear and in tune, but remember to lip it down or it will be sharp.

The real problem I have with it is the Fnats! First off; F' has to be rolled in severely to even play an F natural, if you just finger it, it will be a moderately flat F#. Second octave (F'') is pretty good, clear and decent tuning so you don't need to roll in at all. Third octave really fights me to sound well with any fingering, though I usually go for XXOXOOEb, but it is very strained.

Another issue is the G#s, but they're really quite tame compared to the Fnats. The worst is G#', which is VERY veiled and needs to be rolled in slightly for tuning (if just fingered it will still be a G# though). It is so veiled because it is essentially an A with all the venting removed/closed. Second octave isn't bad at all and the fingering is rather easy to get used to as well: G#'' XXO XOO(Eb optional). It is about as veiled as the Es, so again not too bad. G#''' is another note that really fights you to come out, and your embouchure needs to be spot on: OOX OOOEb (the Eb key is 100% a must, or it will not sound).

I really do enjoy this flute, sometimes I think the challenging aspects of it (tuning especially) are part of the fun. Other times I think I'd much better enjoy Traverso if I had a high end one that has been hand made and perfected to play it's best, but I don't have $2000+ to spend on a flute, especially a non-Böhm flute.


By the way, I picked mine up at Woodwind and Brasswind because it was the same price but with free shipping. www.wwbw.com You have to search "traverso" since searching aulos or baroque flute don't yield it in the search results.

_________________
My Flutes:
James Galway JG3 Spirit Flute
Gemeinhardt 2sp Student Flute w/ Custom Series S Headjoint
19c Antique German Orchestral Flute - Huller/Lyon-Healy/Meyer 13 key - "Frankenflute"
Aulos A440 Grenser Traverso

Baroque, Classical, Trad - I play it all.


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 Post subject: Re: Traverso request
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 11:12 am
Posts: 18
I have a Von Huene Grenser @ 415 in boxwood that I would be willing to sell for US$1200 - it is a current model so a 440 joint could be made for it by Von Huene if needed (415 actually is more useful if you are a serious traverso player). Although I've never played an Aulos, the traversos I have (6 actually) all need the f# vented (that's the historic fingering). The f natural becomes much more in tune once one adapts to the very small embouchure hole and the way a traverso needs to be blown (its not an irish flute!). Simon Polack has a nice article on his website that talks about this (Boehm2Baroq - also read his thoughts on tuning and on dynamics if your interested in traversos). I can be contacted at: larrygarges at msn.com (replace at w/@ and no spaces) if interested in my flute or even if you just want to pick me brain - I love playing the traverso and enjoy talking with others about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Traverso request
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:39 am
Posts: 131
Location: Michigan, USA
Thank you, that was a great article and has helped me understand the F natural / F sharp a bit. It appears (with my novice traverso embouchure skills) that my Aulos' Fnat is still a bit sharp of the aims of the temperament systems detailed on that page by about 15 cents. Add that to the difference between the aimed non-equal temperament pitch and equal temperament that I've been trying to play it to and you get my original assessment of "wow this Fnat is sharp!". I'm going to have to plot out how many cents off from 12TET the intended tuning was and start aiming for that. I'm starting to think my playing to 12tet on traverso has not only been a waste but a detriment to boot!

One more thing; the fingerings on that page are different than the ones supplied with my aulos on several notes. I don't think it affects the perceived tuning since my flute won't play his differed fingerings, but it does show that perhaps it really does matter which flute a modern traverso is modeled after.

_________________
My Flutes:
James Galway JG3 Spirit Flute
Gemeinhardt 2sp Student Flute w/ Custom Series S Headjoint
19c Antique German Orchestral Flute - Huller/Lyon-Healy/Meyer 13 key - "Frankenflute"
Aulos A440 Grenser Traverso

Baroque, Classical, Trad - I play it all.


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 Post subject: Re: Traverso request
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:24 am
Posts: 141
Location: Kamloops
My understanding from Rod Cameron is that the Aulos traversii are actually not particularly faithful copies of historic instruments. This starts with the (apparently) slightly tapered headjoint bore (presumably to facilitate removal from the mold plug) and continues down the rest of the bore.

I have an Aulos Grenser that Rod Cameron reworked, including making a new left hand joint so it can play at A=415 as well as at the original A=440 pitch. Basically, this flute is a completely new instrument, with the headjoint reamed to a cylinder, and the centre joints reamed to that of a different non-Grenser bore profile. The footjoint as also been modified, with a clever removable extension for playing at 415. I found this to be a good starting traverso, but quickly switched to a borrowed F&P Lot, and now am playing a Polak Beukers.

Traversii are, like all flutes, a mass of compromises. This is exacerbated by the fact that they were made back in a time prior to modern ideas of tuning, and also are patterned after instruments that have, of course, been modified/altered/changed over time (and not just squished tenons!). In the end, what you will have is an instrument that will play, after a fashion, in all keys, that requires different enharmonic fingerings, and will still not "play in tune" without active player participation. You will, to some extent, depending on the key you are in, have to play the instrument into tune. This is facilitated by the fact that most have small embouchures and small finger holes, and it is pretty easy to horse the pitch around quite a bit.

Just to make things worse, the scale/intervals you use when playing with a variable pitch instrument such as a violin or singer will be different than the one you play with an equally tempered fixed pitch like a piano or guitar, and also different from an instrument like a lute or harpsichord that might (or might not...) be tuned to a natural scale, or perhaps one of the many variations of tempering from the baroque period...

In the end, I find that playing a traverso is much more like singing or playing an instrument like a bassoon, where one must actively listen as well as play. We have expectations with modern instruments that we simply should pluck, press or blow into them and they should magically produce a perfectly in pitch tone. Witness the modern obsession with various scales from the Bohm flute players.

If you google "trav101" you should find a .pdf paper by Catherine Folkers that will help you on the way towards sorting out this pitch stuff.

In the end, no matter what, you are going to have to accept that the G# and Ab are going to be somewhat veiled, an you will have to accept some compromise of "flat F#" vs "sharp Fnat" that will require either lipping up or down (and different amounts in different keys!).

Good luck!

Clinton

PS. One of the payoffs for all of this is that, once one gets some basic fluency in all of this, the tricky fingering passages on a lot of the Baroque music ends up being a lot easier to do on a traverso than on a more "modern" 8 key instrument.


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 Post subject: Re: Traverso request
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:56 am
Posts: 24
I invite all lovers of traverso flutes to my new website
gtmusicalinstruments.com

sincerely

Grzegorz Tomaszewicz


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