It is currently Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:58 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 21
Hi, I'm working on making a playable prop replica of Mr. Tumnus' flute from the first Narnia movie. I don't have much of a musical background apart from piano lessons as a child and fiddling around with a couple recorders. (Of course as a craftswoman I have never let not knowing how to work in leather, wood, glass, silver, or whatever stop me.) But I need some help from more informed minds.

From looking around the web and reading, I see that double recorder type instruments exist, and usually have either a double fipple or a double reed (aulos). In such cases you can play one pipe independently or both pipes together in harmony, or possibly for an extended range. (I love the sound of two recorders in harmony.)

But in my searching I also happened across the following two pictures, one of an ancient flute from Ecuador and the other as part of a Da Vinci exhibit that showed a musical instrument of the time. Can anyone explain to me how these would have been played? They appear to have single fipples, but then why have six holes down one or both sides if they can't be played individually? I'm assuming they weren't played by krakens. Would two pipes with a single fipple harmonize with each other, or...?

Could anyone enlighten me?

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/56 ... 8ec5a9.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/56 ... e26d51.jpg

Thanks.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:56 pm
Posts: 882
Location: Southern Indiana
I would have to assume that some of the holes would be plugged.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:21 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:17 am
Posts: 9883
Location: The Inside Passage
It's not going to sound like the movie. AFAIK, the actual audio was duduk, (a reed instrument) not any kind of flute. The Y shaped thing was just a prop, likely inspired by a classical greek aulos. I suspect that for the twin barrel version, only one barrel would have been played, with the other just being a drone.

Edited: Or maybe not. The aulist in this pic seems to be playing both pipes.

Image

_________________
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 21
You're absolutely right about being unable to produce that sound on an instrument of that size and shape. (I did do quite a bit of research before I brought my question here, and recreating the prop in question has been discussed before.) The duduks used to create the sound are longer and therefore lower in key than any sound the small instrument depicted could produce, even if functional. And it might even be impossible to play the same tune at a higher pitch given that it looks like it would have a more limited range of notes. Possibly if it were recreated as a single chamber ocarina...I know Songbird Ocarinas made a wishbone-shaped instrument some years ago, but it had only four holes and a fairly limited range. Though I'm leaning at the moment toward a more limited range if I can get the pipes to work in harmony even if I can't play the "Narnian Lullaby". that would be icing, but it's not really one of my requirements.

But I'm still not really understanding how the two instruments I posted would have worked. So basically the thinking is that they made a bunch of holes, then plugged the ones they didn't want so they could pitch the pipes up or down to perform a specific piece? What happens to the sound when there's no division between the two chambers? (These are things I plan to experiment with, but any information I can get going in would be helpful.)

Eric the flutemaker demonstrates a number of possibilites on playing double pennywhistles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jras69X1XsQ

In his demonstration you can see how both might be played at the same time, instead of one used only as a drone.

In the actual film, and the book The Crafting of Narnia which discusses the design of the prop, Tumnus does not lift the fingers of his right hand off the drone at all, though it has three holes, and he keeps his left on the upper four of the five finger spots (with the fifth having two holes). The designer said that he wanted it to be a double reed instrument with a 'dirge' pipe that could be interchanged with others, and the pipe box actually contains two variations that can be swapped out, with two and one hole each. I have not seen any other double reed instruments with mouthpieces resembling this...it looks like a basic fipple to me, though the white wood on top resembles a reed. Still, someone on the Narniafans forum identified it as a potential double reed instrument before the explanatory book ever came out, so maybe they know more than I do. Althernately the designer may have just meant "double pipe" and "drone" rather than "double reed" and "dirge" (Is a dirge pipe a thing? I can't find it online, just come up with bagpipes playing at funerals.) He was a musician though and I am not.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/56 ... 011357.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/56 ... f418c4.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/56 ... c18acb.jpg

The pipes also have interesting ends, which either have very small openings or are completely closed:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/56 ... b44855.jpg

So, yeah, my goal is something remotely playable and not offensive to the ear, even if its range is rather limited. Harmonizing is a plus, but I know it's not going to sound like a duduk. Bonus points for broadening the range or making pieces that are actually interchangeable. If I wanted to I could just make the prop and it would be a good replica and pretty to look at, but I like practical props. (I was kind of amazed to find out that Picard's flute from "The Inner Light" wasn't playable...they must have tried pretty hard to make it not work. It's basically a tin whistle. Of course the abundant prop replicas fixed that.) I made a replica of Susan's horn years ago before the Noble Collection came out with theirs, and mine can produce a tone. Not a very heroic one, but it works. The replica apparently does not. (Though they did make one as part of a children's set overseas and that one sounds like a duck whistle. It's just hysterical. Can you imagine? Aslan's talking to Peter, and then QUACK! "It is your sister's horn!")

Well, I digress. Any further advice? I'm going to start with a couple of PVC pipe prototypes. I ordered a Y-connecter, so as soon as it arrives that should let me play around with some single-fipple configurations before I commit to wood. Double will be a lot trickier to construct and keep the prop looking more or less the same.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 3900
Location: the Back of Beyond
s1m0n wrote:
The Y shaped thing was just a prop, likely inspired by a classical greek aulos.


Or a launeddas?

_________________
My brain hurts



Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:17 am
Posts: 9883
Location: The Inside Passage
For "dirge" read "drone", IMO.

If you want to get lexical, the word comes from the opening phrase of the latin mass for the dead, dirige domine deus meus, ("Lord, direct us..") traditionally sung with a low, slow, monotonous melody. By extension it came to mean any similar monotone. From there it's a very short step to drone, and that's clearly what the designer had in mind.

_________________
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:28 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:21 pm
Posts: 11082
Location: Unimportant island off the great mainland of Europe
Apologies. This is a total diversion. Mr G's post above had me looking up what on earth a "launeddas" was. This guy is totally brilliant. As I say, apologies for the diversion, but well worth listening to the whole 10 minutes or so of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzWITU3L-F0

_________________
"Only connect!"


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:17 am
Posts: 9883
Location: The Inside Passage
This might help:

Image

Quote:
[...] This broad type of double pipes with both pipes fingered, and therefore polyphonic music playable on them (within limits) existed from truly ancient times. Some of the earliest instruments discovered in Mesopotamia and Egypt are of this type, as are the Greek aulos. All known ancient double pipes are reedpipes, but in mediaeval times flue pipes also were made with this type of fingering, as is clear from contemporary illustrations as well as the only surviving instrument.

There are three kinds of double pipes I make at present. All three have essentially the same musical range, but with small variations. The top pipe in the photo has the easiest fingering pattern of the three. It is essentially what you would have by playing two recorders, with the right-hand one having the top 3+t fingerholes taped up. This plays C-G, with the option of a thumbhole, adding A. The left pipe plays F-d, with e and f overblowing fairly well in tune. The bottom pipe in the photo has identical right-hand pipe to the above, but the left-hand pipe plays an entire octave without overblowing, using rather tricky cross-fingering (no half-covering). If you are used to conventional recorder fingering, learning this pattern will take a bit of time. With this fingering the advantage is that playing top notes on the left pipe at the same time as low notes on the right one becomes much easier, there is far less danger of the low pipe overblowing. Also, the top semitones are much better. The middle pipe in the photo has an identical F-f left pipe, cross-fingered, no overblowing, with the right pipe playing Bb-G (with thumbhole.) On the two with the right-hand pipe range C-G the thumbhole taking the range up to A is optional. Not much music requires it, and the presence of the thumbhole makes holding th pipe a bit awkward. However, it is by no means impossible, and, well, there is some music that can use an extra note. The lower-range Bb pipe comes with the thumbhole as standard. All these pipes are tuned in a kind of just temperament. Any other kind makes two sounds playing practically into each other clash very audibly, so pure fifths and fourths are vastly preferable.

As no known music exists for these type of pipes, you have to arrange polyphonic music of the period to suit the capabilities of this instrument. It is possible to play launeddas and zampogna music on them to a certain extent, even though the effect is quite different. There also exists a completely new repertoire for the revival Cornish double bagpipe, which is also playable on these pipes. They really come into their own when used for playing two-part medieval and early renaissance consort music. Best results are obtained by taking music with a melody line within one octave, and arrangeing from the lower parts of the original a second line to fit the limits of the right pipe.

_________________
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 21
Thank you. Yes, I'd read that before and think it will definitely be useful if I go with a split fipple solution. It's helpful in that it gives me an idea of what the expected notes should be for each hole (which is really where my "derp, not a musician" is a huge handicap). I think the original site also had a link to some old medieval or baroque music that could be played on the instruments. The fact that Tumnus' pipes are so short and almost the same length may make positioning the holes the correct distance down each chamber to bring them into harmony challenging. Does shortening the ends of the pipes, after the final holes, make a difference in pitch?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:56 pm
Posts: 882
Location: Southern Indiana
opera13 wrote:
Does shortening the ends of the pipes, after the final holes, make a difference in pitch?



Yes, primarily for the lowest note.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:17 am
Posts: 9883
Location: The Inside Passage
opera13 wrote:
Thank you. Yes, I'd read that before and think it will definitely be useful if I go with a split fipple solution. It's helpful in that it gives me an idea of what the expected notes should be for each hole (which is really where my "derp, not a musician" is a huge handicap).


I'd be astonished if the tumnus pipes were made by a musician, or if they were at all playable. They're a prop made by a sculptor who'd looked at reference photos like the below, not by someone with any practical skills in fluthiery. You won't get what you see in the pics you posted to make musical sense.

Image

_________________
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 21
To be honest, I was surprised to learn that the flute was even made of wood. I had assumed it was a resin casting. Lucy's bottle was. But the listing when it went to auction described it as wood and brass. I'm still not 100% convinced, but I suppose if you're selling something at a high-end auction (The pipes sold for $3,000-$4,000) you'd better get your description right.

I suppose because it was such a featured piece, they gave it some extra attention. And the removable pieces do fit into each other with some accuracy. But no, it doesn't seem able to produce much of a sound.

You can actually hear James trying to play the thing in one of the bloopers, here at about 2:47:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr59EdcoMwY

Doesn't sound like he got very far. :D


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:15 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:17 am
Posts: 9883
Location: The Inside Passage
opera13 wrote:
Thank you. Yes, I'd read that before and think it will definitely be useful if I go with a split fipple solution.


You'll need two fipples or two reeds if you want two - or maybe even one - simultaneous notes. That's where the vibration occurs, and the vibe is the sound. The sounding length (length til first open hole) and volume of the tube controls the frequency that the reed or the air passing over the fipple vibrates at, but this is where it happens. In fact, that's likely the whole problem with this instrument. The complex cavity and multiple sounding lengths cause too much interference to get even one clean note sounding at the fipple. It'd be like trying to play a very leaky flute.

I don't know of any wind instrument with a single fipple/reed where the body forks down the shaft. I think the Tumnus flute is the only Y-shaped single fipple flute there is. It's unplayable, and that's why. The answer to the question in your thread title is "they weren't played".

~~

A double flageolet looks a bit like it divides down the shaft, but it has two fipples and splits the air column before them. Where it looks like there's only one fipple it's because they're on opposite sides of the headstock and you can't get both in the same shot. Cutting two fipples and two windways adds manufacturing complexity and cost. If it wasn't musically necessary it wouldn't have been done. Note also that in a set of pipes in which the bag makes a manifold and the same bellows or set of lungs drives everything, every pipe or drone has its own reed and the air is distributed before that reed.

Image

Quote:
Bainbridge developed the simple concept into a working instrument in a number of ways. First, he created a single headstock piece which contained the fipples for both tubes. This was fitted into a larger barrel and conical windway so that a single mouthpiece could sound both pipes. Each fipple was then further modified by the addition of a key which allows the airflow to be cut off to one or both of the pipes.

_________________
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 21
I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the one from the Da Vinci exhibit wasn't usable. Most of that exhibit, from what I can tell from the Flickr photos of the guy who posted this, was dedicated to recreating a lot of Da Vinci's concept drawings in physical form. Awesome idea. But the instrument wasn't by Da Vinci, but apparently an "instrument from that era". Well, double recorders were a thing then, I guess, but that piece really sorta looks like "Quick! We need an example of period musical instruments. Go to the Made in India souvenir shop and find the first decorative flute that splits down the middle!"

The one from Ecuador I'm not so sure about. It comes from an instrument museum and there's an article about Pre-Columbian flutes on the page. http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtu ... rec10a.htm

There's a double-fippled flute further down the page shown in an extremely bad photograph.

This is probably the closest thing online to Tumnus's flute that's modern and workable. It's essentially the same solution as the double flageolet, or a wooden train whistle, though:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/56 ... c7b214.jpg

Anyway, I got my materials for the prototype yesterday and I'll let you know what I discover. Annoyingly, 1/2" PVC pipe, 1/2" wooden dowels and the 1/2" Y-shaped PVC tubing connector are all different sizes. Was easy to swap the dowel for a 5/8 while still in the store, but using the connector will probably require duct tape. Very irritating.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:52 am
Posts: 21
First prototype last night. Took me a good while to get the fipple (dowel in PVC) to produce a sound. I'm afraid it may have a slight leak around the edges, which is astonishing considering how carefully I sanded the thing down.

Image

I forgot to do a test with the fipple attached to a single pipe once the fipple was actually working well. When it was working poorly I attempted to attach a longer piece of pipe, but no sound was produced unless I covered the end of the pipe. Same with the mouthpiece on its own (It's about two inches long altogether). It made no noise unless the end was covered. That seems wrong, as a basic recorder will make notes will all its holes covered and end open...

At this point the mouthpiece is attached to a y-shaped splitter and a lot of duct tape is being use to keep everything sealed (which is why I haven't gone back to check the single pipe issue). Then the branches are each around seven inches. It's all a bit larger than Tumnus' at the moment.

The instrument (whistle at this point as it does not yet have any holes) can currently produce two notes: C6 or G6 depending on how hard I blow. Is that what controls the upper and lower registers in a recorder?

The ends of both tubes are currently capped. With either end uncapped no sound is produced. With both ends uncapped no sound is produced.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


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 : 0.195s | 13 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)