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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:46 pm 
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FWIW, I think that the Eb flute that Harry plays on that clip is a Glenn Watson.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:36 pm 
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That is correct.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:28 am 
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My mistake. And for years Bradley favored Murray's and it helped attract a lot of folks to Murray's, e.g. me. I wouldn't mind getting my fins on another good one.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:48 am 
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I think your point is well taken Jim. In every clip I have ever seen of Harry playing a D flute, it appeared to be a Sam Murray flute.
And in every case, he (and it) sounded great. Oh to be able to play like that! Unfortunately, at least in my case, I suspect it would
take a lot more than simply purchasing a Murray flute. :(


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:05 am 
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paddler wrote:
I think your point is well taken Jim. In every clip I have ever seen of Harry playing a D flute, it appeared to be a Sam Murray flute.
And in every case, he (and it) sounded great. Oh to be able to play like that! Unfortunately, at least in my case, I suspect it would
take a lot more than simply purchasing a Murray flute. :(

I tried to play Harry's Murray flute ... a couple of times. I couldn't get it even remotely in tune. I mean, even with me playing it, I thought the tone was amazing, but I was just nowhere near in tune on any of the notes of the scale. Not one. All different. A strange feeling.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:43 am 
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Quote:
I tried to play Harry's Murray flute ... a couple of times. I couldn't get it even remotely in tune. I mean, even with me playing it, I thought the tone was amazing, but I was just nowhere near in tune on any of the notes of the scale. Not one. All different. A strange feeling. Benhall


Interesting Benhall, why was this? Have you played other Murray flutes that were difficult to play in tune? Harry Bradley is a fine flute player and piper. The flute certainly sounds fine when Harry plays it. I have a Wilkes flute which I found difficult to play in tune at first due partly to my lack of embouchure technique at that time and I because I hadn't set up the cork in the best position.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:31 am 
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Steampacket wrote:
Quote:
I tried to play Harry's Murray flute ... a couple of times. I couldn't get it even remotely in tune. I mean, even with me playing it, I thought the tone was amazing, but I was just nowhere near in tune on any of the notes of the scale. Not one. All different. A strange feeling. Benhall


Interesting Benhall, why was this? Have you played other Murray flutes that were difficult to play in tune? Harry Bradley is a fine flute player and piper. The flute certainly sounds fine when Harry plays it. I have a Wilkes flute which I found difficult to play in tune at first due partly to my lack of embouchure technique at that time and I because I hadn't set up the cork in the best position.

I really don't know why it is, though I think Harry said something at the time about him - many moons ago - having to be taught by Sam how to play it in tune. But seriously, when I tried it it was all over the shop - ridiculously flat bottom D - much more so than a Rudall - flat bottom E (I think, from memory) and then just things I didn't expect going up the scale. And yes, it sounds more than fine when Harry plays it! Love his playing.

As for other Murray flutes, interestingly, I have tried a couple. I've found them hard to play - for me - but generally not with the extra issues with getting the thing in tune. My understanding is that it was built for Harry and for Harry's playing, and that's why it works for him.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:54 am 
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Some Murrays I've played were spot on tunewise. Others were badly out of tune internally. I had surgery
done in the usa on one, shortening the foot joint, to bring the second octave D (not the first) up to tune. A business set up that keeps bad Murrays from being sold in the first place would be grand. I do feel there is something here worth salvaging.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:50 pm 
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I have owned a Murray too. It played very well in tune for me, and with a nice tone, but it did require rather a lot of tuning
slide extension, like many antique flutes do. This was never a problem, but I did wonder why it hadn't been made originally
with a longer head. Purely speculation on my part, by I just assumed it had been modeled on some nice playing antique Rudall
or similar, and that this aspect of the design had been carried over.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 4:59 am 
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I think that very flat foot notes thing takes us back to Nicholson's father, who opened up the holes on an Astor flute, thus ushering in the Improved era. Now imagine opening up the holes on an existing small-holed flute. You can't increase the size of the foot note holes, unless you also increase the size of the key pads, something probably well beyond the amateur. So let's assume Nicholson the elder left them alone, but increased the size of the open finger holes on the body. That will increase the power of those notes dramatically, but also drive all the body notes sharp, leaving the foot notes flat in comparison. Nicholson joked that many players reckoned he was the only person who could play these flutes in tune. And sure enough, we have plenty of those old Nicholson era flutes still around that match that syndrome. I have some that would make you wince.

Now when Irish musicians took up these flutes, they would have come across that problem. And they found the solution. Play those bottom notes with an intense high pressure jet, aimed downwards so that it didn't hit the "edge", but passed a mm or so on your side of it. This jet-offset forces the energy away from the fundamental and into the 2nd octave, which is usually in tune. Because the spacing of the harmonics is still based on the bottom notes, it still sounds like a very hard version of a low note. It doesn't sound like a 2nd octave note. And it's very powerful.

No doubt because of that success in playing these flutes in tune and very powerfully, some of our modern makers continued to make flutes like that. Others like me corrected the tuning to make flute playing a lot easier. Some players can manage the necessary playing style, some can't. It's clearly important that you match the right flute to the right player! It's important to note that having the flute in tune doesn't stop you from using the high pressure downjet - that will still give you nice hard low notes. But if the tuning is weird, you have to use that special technique. You have to shift all the energy out of the fundamental or it will sound plaintively flat.

During my 2002 Self-indulgent Flute Makers tour of Northern America and the Celtic islands, I stayed for a few nights with Harry in Dublin. I was really impressed by his tone, but also his application. He put in quite a bit of time every day keeping that power up. That of course is important for a professional musician. It might be more than most of us can find time for!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:50 am 
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For what it’s worth Harry has taken to playing a flute made by Solen Lesouef lately.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:15 pm 
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Squeeky Elf wrote:
For what it’s worth Harry has taken to playing a flute made by Solen Lesouef lately.


I've been following Harry Bradley on FB, where he has been posting lots of tunes on flute lately (yay!!!). The new French D flute he's been playing is by Pol Jezequel. Just wanted to make sure credit was given.


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