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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:06 am 
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I find the sound of the silver flute too 'airy-fairy' for ITM. I know, of course,
that some fine ITM musicians use them, but I'm not a fine ITM musician.
I wondered if the situation can be remedied by playing a wooden Boehm?
These might sound like our simple system flutes and be easier to play?
I played an Abell wooden flute years ago and it sounded (to my ear then)
a lot closer to an Olwell than a Yamaha. What do folks think?


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:35 am 
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I've never played a wooden Boehm flute, just a very short time on conventional silver flute many years ago, so take this with a grain of salt. Looking forward to other replies.

I know some players use wooden heads on metal Boehm flutes, and I assume that's for a tonal difference, a more "woody" or warmer tone? A full wooden version might have even more of that quality. Whether that gets you all the way to the idiomatic sound of ITM on 19th Century wooden flutes, is another question.

One difference is the degree of articulation possible on open finger holes, like the pipes. But there is also the question of getting a distinctive "hard" quality to the tone, especially with the low D. It's not quite the same as just sounding woodier, or warmer. The hardness or roughness in the tone may result from having to overcome a drawback of the 19th Century design, where you have to over-blow the low D into partial harmonics to raise the pitch. It transforms a drawback in the design (compared to the Boehm) into a distinctive "Irish" tone. The more smooth and pure tone of a Boehm flute works against that, although of course there are some players of ITM who do use Boehm flutes and sound fine to my ears.

As far as I'm concerned, learning to play the flute is difficult enough as it is, so anything that makes it easier to "sound Irish" is what i'm going for. That seems to be what most everyone else is using in this music: originals or copies of the wooden 19th Century conical bore flutes.


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:33 am 
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You may want to (re-)visit this recent thread and consider the players mentioned, some playing wooden instruments, some not. I would suggest the sound depends on who is doing the driving. I have often seen Paddy Donohue, with Vincent Griffin and others and never found him sounding airy fairy, as you put it.

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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 6:36 pm 
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I've played a few wooden boehm headjoints
thar were made in the last 10 years and
they sound and play like metal ones.

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 8:23 am 
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You can get a silver flute to sound a lot like a wooden one. I made a recording on a silver flute and some people thought it was a wooden flute. Embouchure cut is different and you need a slightly different technique. I have also heard the opposite, a wooden flute that I would have thought was silver. A lot is the player...

Its also possible you have some leaky pads. That will kill your tone...

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 8:48 am 
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Just to say that the Abell I played (belonged to a friend) sounded immediately like an exceptionally good wooden flute.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 11:42 am 
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90% depends on the player; 9% on the type of flute and cut of the embouchure. I'd say about 1% on the material. I've played all wooden Irish flutes, as well as a modern all metal Boehm, an antique German Boehm circa 1930 with a metal headjoint with plastic lip plate and all wooden body. My main flute now for ITM and all other musics is a metal Boehm body with a wooden headjoint. When I first started playing my current flute setup, it sounded 100% modern Boehm. 6 months later I now think it sounds very nearly Irish. What you hear and want to sound like, as well as your technique, e.g. how you blow and generate sound, are what's most important.

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 12:34 pm 
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Will you please say why you are using a Boehm body? Most interested.
What are the advantages? Especially, is the flute more agile? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 11:35 pm 
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My right hand, particularly my right index finger, would go numb when playing my Irish flute. I switched to keep playing 6 months ago. The flute I play is all Boehm; the headjoint is made of blackwood by Rodger Young. Will post details of why I like it later.

You can hear me playing this flute on this thread, one time using the original silver headjoint, the other using the wood headjoint.
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=108172. I think I've improved since these recordings.

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 2:59 pm 
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Simply listen to Paddy Carty
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR-Pygcqo8Q
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0Ro1INYLXQ

of course he was on a wooden Radcliffe System. The premise is the same, though Radcliffe is a better extension since it's based on the same scaling as the D flutes.


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 11:59 pm 
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I would say that Paddy Carty's tone is not what we would consider today to be a "reedy Irish tone". His tone is the way flutes 100 years ago sounded: more mellow, designed for blending with other woodwinds and the orchestra, rather than cutting through the way modern Boehm flute do. My 1930's Moenig style flute has a similar quality. You can hear me play it on this track: https://app.box.com/s/0ax6oablwyjwn9q7qoaqcaxr8v6go0h0

It looks similar to this https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwizjajK55LiAhVNPn0KHU-oCx8QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aliexpress.com%2Fitem%2FBeautiful-1940-s-Gebrueder-Moennig-wooden-Flute-Boehm-System-Music-Oldtimer%2F32639076163.html&psig=AOvVaw2pYf7igfsCJe0giXYHyXy_&ust=1557641008118633

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:36 pm 
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the original question:
How does ITM sound on wooden Boehm flutes?


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 6:02 pm 
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RudallRose wrote:
Simply listen to Paddy Carty
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR-Pygcqo8Q
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0Ro1INYLXQ

of course he was on a wooden Radcliffe System. The premise is the same, though Radcliffe is a better extension since it's based on the same scaling as the D flutes.

And Billy Clifford.

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