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 Post subject: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:37 am 
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I first heard about the Giorgi system in a book called "the Flute" (can't find it online)

When I was 18 (49 years ago) I made two transverse flutes with this open holed system. The really amazing thing is that I still have them. I find the fingering system very nice, comfortable and allowing a great mental clarity of the various keys.

Recently I acquired an authentic Giorgi flute by Wallis.

I find it to be useless -- totally unplayable. Even worse, I think the whole end-blown concept is ridiculous for the end-blown Giorgi flute because you really need the sideways physical pressure from the transverse position to hold the flute while playing anything above an E.

I'm just flabbergasted by the various claims of people playing them well.

I'm not sorry I bought it (I will re-sell it someday) because I needed to study it.

I also question the patentability of the fingering system, being as it is so perfectly natural and obvious. Just grab a 3/4" tube in a flute-like grasp and make a hole for each finger (plus one for the side of the left index finger for C#)

It's such a relief to have each note where it belongs (right next to the next chromatic note--duh)

For a flute in D, you will need reasonably large hands to play comfortably. Not sure if this system will work for smaller, higher pitched instruments because of the side finger C# hole. Maybe.

In summary, this fingering system is fantastic and should be widely used--for transverse flutes.


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:34 am 
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Very interesting, tracer33.

I've played the Giorgi in the Bate Collection at Oxford, back in the days when Anthony Baines was curator. I found it very difficult too, not just because of the fingering, but because of the end-blown nature of it. Our transverse flutes work well because the returning wave front can "grab" the jet from the side and waft it in and out of the embouchure hole very efficiently. I suspect that when the returning wave front runs into the end of the jet and not the side of the jet, problems happen. I've tried to emulate the Giorgi embouchure using poly pipe, and came to the same conclusion.

Giorgi's patent is available here: http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Giorgi-flute-patent.htm

And images here: http://www.oldflutes.com/articles/giorgi.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:54 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
I suspect that when the returning wave front runs into the end of the jet and not the side of the jet, problems happen.
Is it something specific to the 'flute style' embouchure hole? End blown flutes are found over much of the world - and how about the folks with fipples on the forum next door?


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:41 pm 
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I have been told here before that the tone is awful in this style of flute. Since then I have learned about end blown flutes from other traditions and I wonder. Maybe the concept of the Giorgi is good but it needs tweaking?

Can somebody expand on the fingering system? Is there a chart somewhere, perhaps?


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:36 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Terry McGee wrote:
I suspect that when the returning wave front runs into the end of the jet and not the side of the jet, problems happen.
Is it something specific to the 'flute style' embouchure hole? End blown flutes are found over much of the world - and how about the folks with fipples on the forum next door?


Yes, there are lots of end-blown flutes around the world, but I think if you look closely at them all, they are all rim-blown, in one form or another. So the returning wave front is well able to get under the air-jet and waft it in and out past the "edge". Again, in the case of the whistle, we blow down the end, but the "edge" is in the side of the instrument. If you look at Fig 4 in the Giorgi Patent I reckon the embouchure hole is fairly central to the bore.

It could just be that there is a special trick to blowing the Giorgi that my short experience with it wasn't enough to uncover. But against that, I have tried to make a poly version of it and found that very unsatisfactory too. Yet I have no trouble making poly transverse flutes using the same materials.

Interesting that the Giorgi never caught on. Was that because it was hard to blow, hard to finger, both, or other?


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:48 pm 
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This is interesting. A Sam Wesley took out a US patent for a mechanised and more complicated version of the Giorgi in 1975 (the year after I played the Giorgi in the Bate, but I don't think the two events were necessarily connected!).

See https://patents.google.com/patent/US5014585A/en

Click on the Images (4) thumbnail to view larger images.


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:49 pm 
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Terry McGee wrote:
This is interesting. A Sam Wesley took out a US patent for a mechanised and more complicated version of the Giorgi in 1975 (the year after I played the Giorgi in the Bate, but I don't think the two events were necessarily connected!).

See https://patents.google.com/patent/US5014585A/en

Click on the Images (4) thumbnail to view larger images.
From Figures 3 and 4, it's pretty clear to me that that's a rim-blown flute that happens to have a lip plate around the rim.


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:33 pm 
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Terry McGee wrote:
It could just be that there is a special trick to blowing the Giorgi that my short experience with it wasn't enough to uncover. But against that, I have tried to make a poly version of it and found that very unsatisfactory too. Yet I have no trouble making poly transverse flutes using the same materials.
Contrary to the diagram in the patent, the Willis Giorgi flute on oldflutes.com has the "splitting edge" of its embouchure hole at the level of the top of the bore, not curved down lower. That might help. For starters, though, I'd want a much straighter edge there, a more rectangular embouchure hole, maybe even like the rim-blown hole in the Wesley patent.

With the "natural" fingering, it looks utterly impossible to hold when playing C or C#. It would be easier to hold if the upper LH notes were fingered with some of the RH fingers down.


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:54 pm 
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Terry McGee wrote:
david_h wrote:
Terry McGee wrote:
I suspect that when the returning wave front runs into the end of the jet and not the side of the jet, problems happen.
Is it something specific to the 'flute style' embouchure hole? End blown flutes are found over much of the world - and how about the folks with fipples on the forum next door?


Yes, there are lots of end-blown flutes around the world, but I think if you look closely at them all, they are all rim-blown, in one form or another. So the returning wave front is well able to get under the air-jet and waft it in and out past the "edge". Again, in the case of the whistle, we blow down the end, but the "edge" is in the side of the instrument. If you look at Fig 4 in the Giorgi Patent I reckon the embouchure hole is fairly central to the bore.

It could just be that there is a special trick to blowing the Giorgi that my short experience with it wasn't enough to uncover. But against that, I have tried to make a poly version of it and found that very unsatisfactory too. Yet I have no trouble making poly transverse flutes using the same materials.

Interesting that the Giorgi never caught on. Was that because it was hard to blow, hard to finger, both, or other?


You may be right about the edge/rim disturbance. Along with the rim flutes and the whistles, even transverse flutes disturb the edge of the air column.

Maybe OP can comment about how much more the airstream is disturbing the center and beginning of the air column compared to transverse or rim- blown flutes. This is becoming more apparent to me, as I am thinking about the various stoppers used in other flute types.


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:54 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:31 am 
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Tunborough wrote:
From Figures 3 and 4, it's pretty clear to me that that's a rim-blown flute that happens to have a lip plate around the rim.


Indeed. Interesting, eh? I think one of the difficulties playing rim-blown flutes is the lack of support for the lip. That might solve that issue.

(I used to make Quenas for our local South American community, but found I had to rely on feedback from them as I had trouble playing them!)


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:41 am 
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Woah, oleorezinator, that's a big flute, or yer man is a leprechaun. And certainly looks like the Giorgi in principle. I wonder how it blows.

He appears to be resting the end of the instrument on the floor. He'd need to lift it for the bottom note...

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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:19 am 
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Quote:
He appears to be resting the end of the instrument on the floor. He'd need to lift it for the bottom note...


If you look carefully, I think you'll find the end is about 3" off the floor, in line with his toecaps. :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:33 am 
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fatmac wrote:
If you look carefully, I think you'll find the end is about 3" off the floor, in line with his toecaps. :thumbsup:


some information on the "Albisiphon Baritono" here; apparently it had a neck strap which allowed it to be held off the floor. i don't see any obvious strap in the picture, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Giorgi flute
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:52 am 
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Yeah, I think you're right about the spacing above the floor - I didn't look closely enough.

GoferJoe's comments on air use are interesting:

"The very size of the 1.5" bore -- much larger than the modern bass flute -- proved its downfall. Flute players found that it required an incredible volume of air to speak. Mechanical aids such as the Aerophor were developed to pump additional air though the player's mouth, but failed to keep this instrument in the orchestral arsenal."

"(Oh, if you notice littlle "wings" around the embouchure, they are not original to the instrument. I was too lazy to remove for the photos and replace them. I've been experimenting -- rather unsuccessfully -- with hot melt glue, seeing if I can better channel my limited lung capacity to fill this hollow leg of a flute....)"

I wonder if it is just the bore size that is making the instrument hard to blow, or if it's another symptom of the difficulty of blowing a Giorgi-type flute?

The Aerophor sounds like an intriguing tool. Go on like this and we could end up inventing the Uillean Flute.


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