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 Post subject: Re: Best Bamboo Flute?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:53 am 
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arthury wrote:
I thought the traditional bamboo flutes are from China? It has been made and used for, at least, a couple thousand years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dizi_(instrument)

You should be able to get a Chinese made one from Amazon. Just watch for a highly rated one. They are priced affordably.


The Chinese dizi is certainly a traditional bamboo flute, but only one of many. The bansuri is a traditional bamboo flute, the xiao is another traditional Chinese bamboo flute, there are South American bamboo flute, Africa, Korean, Japanese, etc..

The dizi has a cylindrical bore, so it would have some limitations related to second octave tuning. It also has a dimo hole in it, between the embouchure hole and the finger holes. This is normally covered with a paper membrane (a very thin paper similar to rice paper, but I think it is made from cattails or something similar?). The membrane vibrates and creates a reedy tone. Probably not the best choice for someone who wants to play ITM style.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Bamboo Flute?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:25 am 
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Location: Europe and Japan
The dizi is cheap, and insanely easy to play compared to any other flute I've tried. Just blow. No tricky embouchure issues. They're nice. I have several. And I simply covered the membrane hole with tape, avoiding that particular problem.

However, my dizi flutes are also totally useless in practice because they're all tuned to A=432, not to 440. I've not managed to find a single one tuned to the common Western concert pitch.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Bamboo Flute?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:10 am 
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The majority of these ethnic bamboo flutes won't help the OP who wishes for a diatonic Eflat key flute.

The E flat bansuri is one of the closest cheap option next to finding an unmarked Eflat antique flute by trawling. The chinese dizi is not available in E flat pitch You can cross finger most notes for some chromatism with marked veiling of the Bflat pitch note. It is available in the key of E major.

The other possibility requires vertical blowing like the Superde ney (Turkish) - the Persian ney has an equivalent. This is E flat in the Turkish Huseyni scale (think the white keys of the piano only) or the E flat quenacho. The chinese xiao also comes in an Eflat bass scale.

The Japanese shakuhachi only offer minor pentatonic. The Anasazi and American native flutes aren't much use either.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Bamboo Flute?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:23 am 
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Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
Ben Shaffer wrote:
I was thinking about picking up a Bamboo Flute on the cheap as I might try playing at the kitchen Table
Any Recommendations?
I'd like one with good volume, finger hole placement same as an Irish Flute, or most Irish Flutes.
I'd like to go with an E Flat model as that key just really seems to pop for playing solo stuff around the House

If you are not firmly wed to bamboo, there is an Eb/D delrin Copley over on the UIE Forum...

Best wishes.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Best Bamboo Flute?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:47 am 
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Tonehole wrote:
The majority of these ethnic bamboo flutes won't help the OP who wishes for a diatonic Eflat key flute.
The Japanese shakuhachi only offer minor pentatonic. The Anasazi and American native flutes aren't much use either.


Yes, and just to be clear my mentioning those other flutes was not a suggestion that any of them, through design, tuning, or scale options was a suitable flute for the OP. My mention of them was specifically in response to arthury's question: "I thought the traditional bamboo flutes are from China?" Obviously the notion of "the traditional bamboo flutes" was what I was addressing, because there are so many and there is no one point of origin for bamboo flutes.

As paddler pointed out earlier, your best bet is a flute made from bamboo that has been selected to have a taper at the head. Barna Gabos selects his bamboo for this quality, and it will give the most ITM-esque tone. I've never seen a Billy Miller flute, but I have a Patrick Olwell bamboo D that was selected for this natural taper and it plays incredibly well. Even if you could find a bansuri or a dizi in the correct key, they are not going to be ideal for ITM. The Carnatic bansuri have the tapered head, but the examples I've seen tend to be higher pitched flutes with giant finger holes. Not sure how suitable they would be, but I've never played one so I'm speculating.

And if I can indulge in a modest plug for my own flutes, my Essential Flutes are my own answer to the one-piece, tapered head, diatonic flute designed to be suitable for ITM. And I make them in Eflat as well :-). But they cost more than bamboo, however.

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