It is currently Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:35 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:53 pm
Posts: 6
Hello all.

I've just acquired a used Grinter small/medium bore R&R. I've played good-quality R&R and Pratten-style flutes for many years, but this is my first Grinter.

With this flute, I'm finding that with the tuning slide pulled out about a quarter inch, the lower-octave A plays in the neighborhood of 460 hz and above. This is before the flute is really warmed up, even. And this is even sharper than my 1881 Boosey & Co. Pratten, which of course was intentionally pitched at about A=456.

I need to pull the slide out roughly 5/8 to 3/4 inch, roll the headjoint in to a degree that tone is degraded, and blow rather softtly to get the A down to 440. Internal intonation and responsiveness are compromised at that point.

This flute is apparently the very same model played for many years by Kevin Crawford. Videos of him consistently show him playing with the slide pulled way out, too, perhaps close to an inch. Here's an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xd20pcLE48

Do other Grinter players experience this, and how do you adapt to it? Does anyone have an explanation?

A second question: Both the low C and C# play with good volume and reliability, but both are more than a quarter-tone flat. No amount of lipping or overblowing move them up significantly. Does anybody else notice this?

Thanks for any advice,

--Mark


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 4305
Location: Los Angeles
The slide may well have to be out some. Have you set the headjoint cork & checked the octaves?

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=60057&p=787462&hilit=cork+position#p787462

_________________
International Traditional Music Society, Inc.
A non-profit 501c3 charity/educational public benefit corporation
Wooden Flute Obsession CDs (3 volumes, 6 discs, 7 hours, 120 players/tracks)
http://www.worldtrad.org


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:49 pm
Posts: 88
Location: Near Seoul
Could this be an E-flat flute and not a D-flute? For A=440, A# is at 466Hz, so an E-flat flute would play at A=466.

_________________
"Wimble click crumblechaw beloo. It is beautiful, is it not? I make up words like this all the time... They cannot be translated." The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 3:45 pm
Posts: 94
They’re a challenge. Over time you will probably adjust to where it’s pretty good using your ear. I find the “new model” to be much more even keeled. Grinters do have a sweet sound and character but tend to vary a lot!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 2848
Location: Sweden
This thread concerning Grinter flute measurement may be of interest?:
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewto ... 2&t=107888


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:34 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Posts: 2241
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
Hi Markmor

I think this is pretty easily explained. Back in the first-half 19th century, pitch started low (old English low pitch, around or even below 430Hz) but suddenly went nuts high (Philharmonic pitch, 452-455Hz). Midcentury, reason tried to prevail (School of Arts pitch, A 445), but it wasn't till near the end of the century it finally got sorted at 439Hz, later shoehorned up to A440 on the basis that 439 was a prime number and therefore difficult to deal with electronically! It's a long tale of woe!

Makers back in the first half 19 century therefore had customers wanting to play anywhere between about 430 and 455, plus a bit on either side to allow for sharp and flat embouchures. They "sort of" got around the issue by having really long tuning slides (every Hz requires a mm, so they needed around 35mm of useable adjustment. And our 440Hz required being around 25 mm (an inch) open.

A further complication is that the makers tended to leave the scaling of the body on the older pitch side (430Hz or even lower). It's often said that makers were inately conservative. So the flutes played sedately but more in tune with the slide out for low pitch, but played more enthusiastically with the slide in for high pitch, although with awful tuning. Lovely, lads!

Fast forward to the nineteen sixties or so and we see the fast uptake of these old flutes by Irish players. And them having to deal with that challenge. Well, they found a way. It involved setting the A or G to be in tune with the box or piano, and then finding the low notes really quite flat, sometimes extraordinarily, even unbelievably flat. But they found if they forced most of the energy into the second harmonic of those flat notes, it still "sounded like" the bottom octave, but was in good tune (This is sometimes referred to as the "missing fundamental illusion"). On the flute, this trick involves offsetting the jet to the player's side of the far edge of the embouchure hole, rather than aiming directly at the far edge. It shouldn't be confused with "lipping up", it's a different trick altogether.

Now, when we modern makers came along, from around the mid seventies, we tended to fall into two different groups. Let's call them the traditionalists and the scientists (quick, somebody come up with better names!). Michael was a "traditionalist", and made his flutes along traditional lines. He could play them in tune, and his ardent supporters could play them in tune. And get the powerful "hard D" that the offsetting trick can supply.

We "scientists" were not the least attracted to the idea of having to learn to cope with what we regarded as an archaic deficiency, and re-engineered our flutes to correct the problems. Our supporters enjoy the easy-playing aspects of our flutes.

So who is correct - the scientists or the traditionalists? Both of us, but it really means you need to work out what you are (or want to be) and find a maker from that school of making. Or learn the trick!

If you want to learn the trick, you might find this a good start. It works with both schools of flute, but can be pushed harder for the traditionalist school to overcome the flat bottom notes. http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Getting_the_hard_dark_tone.htm

The good news is that if you don't feel up to learning the trick, you can sell Michael's flutes for more than enough money to get a flute from a good scientific school maker. I've made flutes for a number of Michael's dissappointed customers, and he would have made flutes for a number of my former customers who were up for the extra work needed to play his.

The bad news is that we makers don't tend to advertise whether we are traditionalists or scientists. Indeed, I'm not sure that traditionalist makers and players would even recognise they are using "the trick". It's just how they play. We scientists (and our happy customers) sure know, because when we play those flutes they are appallingly flat!

Isn't this an amazing story. And all in our lifetimes. Ahem. Well, in some of our lifetimes....


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 3:45 pm
Posts: 94
Really well put, Terry! Cheers


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:55 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:17 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Everett, WA USA
Yes, thank you. This is very helpful information, especially for us newbies.

It's sometimes hard to make sense of different perspectives about this instrument when discussions can get so passionate and personal.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:12 pm
Posts: 334
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Terry, that was a great explanation and perspective, thanks!

I've wondered why my Thomas Aebi flute needs very little of the tuning slide pulled out, compared to what I've seen with some other players. Just about 1/4" exposed or a teeny bit more (depending on "session pitch") gets me to A440. So I guess Aebi is one of the "scientific" makers.

Regarding the terminology, I think "scientific" isn't ideal because it could be interpreted as superior. This appears to be more a question of personal taste in what each player would prefer, with advantages and disadvantages with either design. Maybe "modern" might work better? We'd have traditional vs. modern flute designs, and traditionalist vs. modernist flute makers.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:06 pm
Posts: 2727
Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
"Contemporary"?

Best wishes.

Steve

_________________
"Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Posts: 2241
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
Conical bore wrote:
Terry, that was a great explanation and perspective, thanks!

I've wondered why my Thomas Aebi flute needs very little of the tuning slide pulled out, compared to what I've seen with some other players. Just about 1/4" exposed or a teeny bit more (depending on "session pitch") gets me to A440. So I guess Aebi is one of the "scientific" makers.

Could also be that Thomas is a naturally sharp player, perhaps coming from a Boehm flute playing background? (I don't know if either are true, just wondering.) I was both, and it took me some time to come to grips with the fact that many are not. You realise it when flutes start coming back to you with notes that say "Great flute, but I can't get it quite up to pitch even with the slide right in." I had to learn to get over the expectation that A440 would come with 3mm (1/8") of slide showing, as I had learned to do with the Boehm flute. Now I blow much more into the flute with the hole turned right in. I just tried both embouchure approaches with the same slide setting and got a 60 cent difference. That's worth about 15mm (5/8") on the slide!

Quote:
Regarding the terminology, I think "scientific" isn't ideal because it could be interpreted as superior. This appears to be more a question of personal taste in what each player would prefer, with advantages and disadvantages with either design. Maybe "modern" might work better? We'd have traditional vs. modern flute designs, and traditionalist vs. modernist flute makers.


Yeah, I wondered about modernist. Or perhaps "engineering"? Traditionists are content to live and work around problems. Engineers feel obliged to fix them. That would make me an engineer who plays traditional music. Yep, no identity crises around here.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:09 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Posts: 2241
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
Steampacket wrote:
This thread concerning Grinter flute measurement may be of interest?:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=107888

Thanks for that reminder, Steampacket. I saw it come in just as I was posting, but didn't have time to review it at the time.

Certainly good to check that out, MarkMor, to see if that could be an additional issue in your case.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 9:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:53 pm
Posts: 6
Big thanks to all for your helpful comments!

Terry McGee, your data-driven examinations of flute mechanics, history, and acoustics are a beacon of rigorous erudition in a world of murky speculation. Your tonal analysis of your mate's Grinter maps quite closely to the flat-footed results I'm getting, as well, but without your precision. Well done, sir, and thank you.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:15 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 303
Location: Sevilla, Spain
Beautifull post.
An interesting issue: As you mentioned Kevin Crawford use to pull the slide out a lot (around 2cm) to play de Grinter in tune A=440hz, but Alan Doherty (former flute player in the band Grada) use to close completely the slide to play his Grinter in tune. Such a huge diferent slide position to play A=440Hz!!!
Regards.
S.


Last edited by smoro on Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:02 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:00 pm
Posts: 1394
Location: salem, ma.
smoro wrote:
Beautifull post.
As interesting issue: As you mentioned Kevin Crawford use to pull the slide out a lot (around 2cm) to play de Grinter in tune A=440hz, but Alan Doherty (former flute player in the band Grada) use to close completely the slide to play his Grinter in tune. Such a huge diferent slide position to play A=440Hz!!!
Regards.
S.

As I understand, Grinter made different models during his career which is likely the reason why the HJ slide position changes with different players. His early model (pre-Crawford) was more aligned to the original, need to pull out the HJ and tuning was challenging to play at equal temp in lower 2 octaves. But tuning was better over 3 octaves. I think the diameter of the HJ was larger, at least on the one I had. He worked with Crawford and one of the things was a longer headpiece and may be alter the tuning somewhat. He then worked with McGoldrick and made more modifications- he came out with a newer model which seemed to require less slide, and some internal bore changes (maybe larger (?).
Interestingly, he started out by making 8 keyed flutes first, and then 6 keys and less keys and finally reluctantly began making keyless flutes due to demand which seems the opposite direction many modern makers take.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google and 14 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.123s | 14 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)