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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:07 pm 
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In an effort not to hijack yet another thread, or follow a thread down the rabbit hole, which seems to be one of my favorite pastimes on C&F:

If you see a light colored wooden flute at a low price advertised as cocus wood or cocuswood and you think to yourself, "Cocus wood, I have heard that cocus is a great wood for flutes, this must be a good flute." Just say NO. I have no idea what the inexpensive wood that folks are selling as cocus wood or cocuswood actually is, but it is not the highly valued tonewood cocus. The price of a chunk of cocus big enough to make a flute is likely 2 or 3 or more times the price of that flute displayed on your screen as you search online for a flute. A raw piece of cocus is a lovely redish brown with subtle striations that have sometimes been referred to as bacon stripes. When made into a flute cocus is sometimes darkened either by the maker or by age to a deeper brown, but it is definitely not whatever that light colored flute on your screen or in your hand at a festival actually is made of.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:12 pm
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As mentioned in the other thread, I have seen flutes (likely Pakistani) on some of the more questionable sites advertised as "Cocus" but a yellow color. Likely the softer, outer sapwood if it's even Cocus at all.

"Real" Cocus is so rare and so logged-out from the places in Cuba and Jamaica where it was originally grown, that it's not even protected by CITES regs because it's basically all gone, and apparently can't be farmed like current attempts at farming Blackwood. Any flute-sized blanks are probably re-purposed antique chair legs or something similar. It's expensive if you can get it from any reputable current flute maker.

I play an 8-key Aebi flute in Cocus wood, made somewhere in the last 15 years or so. No idea where he got the wood, because I bought it secondhand. The headjoint and two middle sections look to be from the same piece of wood, with a dark brown color striated by even darker "bacon stripes" like you mention. The end cap and C#/C foot are Cocus but from an obviously different blank, a bit lighter in color but with the same striations. It reminds me a little of Brazilian Rosewood except that the background color is more reddish in Braz, while Cocus is more of a dark brown.

Anyway, if it doesn't look like that, it's not Cocus. Accept no substitutes if you really want a Cocus flute. On the other hand, I've played both this and a Blackwood flute, although not the same design, and I'm not sure there's any special acoustic magic in Cocus that you can't find in Blackwood. It is a pretty wood though, and the historical link to old 19th Century flutes and bagpipes is kinda cool.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:26 pm 
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Likely the "cocus wood" from Indian, Pakistan, etc. is what is known as Sissoo or Sheesham. The sapwood is lightest in color. Still a Dalbergia, but can be legally harvested & sold.

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