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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:23 pm 
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Greetings, good people. :)

Here's my situation: I've been playing recorder since I was 10. I'm now 60. I'm not a professional-level player, but I'm pretty damn competent. I've played folky stuff by ear and I've played off sheet music in a early-music consorts.

I love the sound of shawms, bombards, crumhorns, and similar buzzy instruments. Lately I've had the urge to get some such instrument and learn to play it. But which instrument?

Ideally, I want a plastic instrument, so I can leave it in the car and play when I have spare time between appointments, etc. (I do a lot of recorder practicing in the car - I've even been known to play while waiting at traffic lights.) I'd like something that doesn't have a terribly steep learning curve in terms of embouchure and breath control. I'm willing to spend up to about $200.

At one point I had access to a plastic Susato crumhorn, and I found I could start playing tunes on it pretty quickly, although I had to take breaths more frequently than on a recorder. Apparently, they aren't manufactured any more. Does anyone have any experience with their Kelhorns?

I'm also open to something more clarinet-like. In googling around, I came across the chalumeau, which I hadn't heard of before. Has anyone gone from playing recorder to playing that type of instrument, and was it hard?

Any recommendations of specific instruments/manufacturers are welcome. Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:36 am 
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I used t play recorders too, (tenor/alto/soprano/sopranino), but felt that they were 'too quiet', so I got a pre used clarinet - but that turned out quite difficult to get the reed working properly all the time, (traded it for a flute). :wink:

The flute had a slightly metallic sound to it & was louder than my recorders, (but was put away for a number of years).

I now mainly play harmonicas, whistles, & keyless flutes/piccolos - much happier with theirs sounds.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:15 am 
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How about a bawu?
From Wikipedia:
The bawu (simplified Chinese: 巴乌; traditional Chinese: 巴烏; pinyin: bāwū; also ba wu) is a Chinese wind instrument.[1] Although shaped like a flute, it is actually a free reed instrument, with a single metal reed. It is played in a transverse (horizontal) manner. It has a pure, clarinet-like timbre and its playing technique incorporates the use of much ornamentation, particularly bending tones.
I have one and it has a great tone, yes "clarinet-like". I have never seen one in plastic, only bamboo but I guess you could keep it in your car. Also it only has a range of a ninth but that would be similar to a crumhorn (ditto for chalumeau).
(Oops, it has a range of an eleventh, there are a few extra notes sounded by underblowing.)
Frank P.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:23 pm 
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FrankPerrone wrote:
How about a bawu?[url]
From Wikipedia:
The bawu (simplified Chinese: 巴乌; traditional Chinese: 巴烏; pinyin: bāwū; also ba wu) is a Chinese wind instrument.[1] Although shaped like a flute, it is actually a free reed instrument, with a single metal reed. It is played in a transverse (horizontal) manner. It has a pure, clarinet-like timbre and its playing technique incorporates the use of much ornamentation, particularly bending tones.
I have one and it has a great tone, yes "clarinet-like". I have never seen one in plastic, only bamboo but I guess you could keep it in your car. Also it only has a range of a ninth but that would be similar to a crumhorn (ditto for chalumeau).
(Oops, it has a range of an eleventh, there are a few extra notes sounded by underblowing.)
Frank P.


Cool! I'll have to check into that. Where did you get yours?

I see from YouTube videos that end-blown bawus also exist. I'd prefer that, even if it's not traditional. You can order them from China for as little as $10(!), but I imagine those ones are total crap.

Googling "bawus for sale" led me to a vendor who was sold of them, but had this . . . hmm . . .

The All-Terrain Saxophone by Erik the Flutemaker

Sounds like I'd have some embouchure work to do, but I'm tempted.


Last edited by Karen I. on Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:22 pm 
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Have you read over this thread from a few years ago? Advice on getting a Shawm or Rauschpfeife or similar, please


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:11 pm 
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Tunborough wrote:
Have you read over this thread from a few years ago? Advice on getting a Shawm or Rauschpfeife or similar, please


Thank you, that was helpful. I did skim over that thread before posting, but started a new thread because I wanted to ask specifically about plastic instruments and transitioning from recorder to reeds.

I've now gone back and re-read it, and followed some of the links. I loved listening to Steve Mansfield's rauschpfeife music! Also noticing the references to how very loud some of those instruments are, and how much breath they take, I'm getting a little scared off.

Some more backstory: sometime in the 1980's, I spent a week learning Turkish zurna at a folkdance camp. I kept it up for a few months afterward, but it was so much work to become minimally competent, and it was so incredibly loud! If a shawm or a rauschpfeife is actually that loud, I clearly can't play it in the car without deafening myself and alarming the populace. (I once tried playing zurna out of an eighth-floor window, and people on the street below looked up.)

I may be looking for something that doesn't exist, and I may have to let go of one or more of my criteria: plastic, inexpensive, louder than a recorder but not *too* loud, easy for a recorder player to master without putting in a lot of time.

People on that thread seemed dismissive of Susato's kelhorns, but that seems the thing closest to what I want. Oh wait! I see that they also make plastic rauschpfeifes, which they describe as only "moderately loud." That sounds promising.

I also realized that I know some players of Scottish bagpipes, so I should probably borrow a practice chanter and see how daunting this reed thing actually is.

Again, thanks for the help and suggestions. Keep 'em coming.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:06 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Yamaha Venova?

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical ... index.html

Seems to fit your requirements! It's loud and buzzy and has a reed and it's plastic. And fun.


Andrew


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:53 pm 
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So many possibilities! Adding Venova to the list.

I spoke to my Highland pipe-playing friend, who said he has an extra practice chanter to lend me. He also mentioned that his wife had bought, and then never done anything with, a "backpacking saxophone", which I'll also try. I don't know the brand, and I think it's wooden.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:53 pm 
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Clarineau?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:13 pm 
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Katharine wrote:
Clarineau?


Yet another instrument name I never heard of! Do they come in plastic, though?

Googling "clarineau" only leads to wooden instruments, on the first few pages of results, anyway. Googling "plastic clarineau" brings up tons of plastic clarinets, even when I tell Google that I really do mean "clarineau."


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:06 am 
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Maybe one of these would be of interest, (it appears it comes in black too).

https://www.nuvoinstrumental.com/products/clarineo/
https://www.nuvoinstrumental.com/products/jsax/

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:47 am 
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Karen I. wrote:
Katharine wrote:
Clarineau?


Yet another instrument name I never heard of! Do they come in plastic, though?

Googling "clarineau" only leads to wooden instruments, on the first few pages of results, anyway. Googling "plastic clarineau" brings up tons of plastic clarinets, even when I tell Google that I really do mean "clarineau."

That, I'm not sure about. It's hard to find much on them, period, but they're intriguing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:54 pm 
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I'd also recommend the Yamaha Venova as it has recorder fingering. There is also the "Xaphoon" which also comes in plastic but it has a different fingering. And it overblows like a clarinet, so not into the octave but into the twelfth. So you'd have to learn a completely new fingering. A Chalumeau might also be a nice idea. Or a Gralla.
http://www.lagralla.info/ang/botiga.php?id=2


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:55 am 
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This guy makes a plastic pibgorn in your price range. I’’ve gone back and forth for years about getting one.

http://pibgorn.co.uk/instruments-offerynnau


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:01 am 
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Nuvo Dood

https://youtu.be/ZhS-clCXfG0


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