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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
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It may just be because I'm not very good, but I find the standard metal tube whistle to be more expressive and it feels like it's because of the thinner walls. Pitch bends just seem more emphatic and easier to pull of in a musical way. The Ellis "essential flute" I have is handles half holing much better than my Delrin M&E. But I would not trust my own opinion since I'm still a beginner

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:41 am
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Dang! I totally missed this thread. I wrote an essay on practical flute acoustics this spring, that you may be interested in: it addresses both wall thickness and undercutting in detail and in summary (summary toward the end of the essay). It is available on my website at

In proper forum etiquette, rather than merely directing yall away from this page, I will supply some of the text here. (It feels weird because I dont want to flaunt my essay, but also I wrote it to be a resource for exactly questions like this.)

"The wall thickness, at the location of a tonehole or the embouchure hole, affects the volume (space) of the tonehole when closed, and also affects the acoustic admittance of the hole when open and thus the frequency. "

"The same holds true for the embouchure hole’s end-correction. So, a thicker wall at the embouchure hole means a flattening of the entire flute, while a thickening of the wall at any given tonehole means a flattening of the frequency at that tonehole. Furthermore, for closed tone holes, an increase in wall thickness and volume acts as an increase in the perturbation to the bore at that point-- usually flattening the frequencies of toneholes downstream, but also having various effects depending on the location of the standing waves in reference to that perturbation."

"In general, undercutting a tonehole at all will raise its frequency. [...] However, it is clear that undercutting acts as a widening of the perturbation of the bore at that point, which, as we will discuss later, would raise the frequency of the tonehole (see ‘Bore Perturbations in General’). In practice it is obvious that any undercutting will generally sharpen the frequencies associated with that tonehole."

"Undercutting in a particular direction, either downstream or upstream, will raise the frequencies of both the fundamental and the upper registers, but will raise them at different rates, ‘shrinking or widening the octave.’ "

Something important to understand is how these aspects all affect one another. What happens at the site of one tonehole will affect other toneholes in various ways due to various dynamics.

Thinning the wall at a middle tonehole will sharpen that toneholes frequency by increasing the admittance at that tonehole-- but it also decreases the volume of the perturbation of the bore at that point when the tonehole is closed, which, for totally different reasons, may sharpen or even flatten the frequencies of toneholes lower down the flute, depending on how the standing waves line up with that middle tonehole.

Maybe im being redundant at this point. Sidenote, does anyone else frequently typo "tonehole" as "tonehoke"?

I like to make my flutes as thick as possible, mainky for durability, strength-- but I am limited by the intersection of two constraints: there is an optimal thickness for the wall at the embouchure hole, and i want the flute to have a moreorless cylindrical exterior, despite the taper of the bore. So this determines the wall thickness for me.

sunlipped song a th'lapping leaf people

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