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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:41 am 
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I'm primarily an Irish flute/whistle player but I did spent quite a bit of time playing kena and kenakena/quenacho.

The trouble with playing my quenacho for Irish music is the "back D": it's supposed to be done with the thumbhole, and if done the Irish way is not in tune.

I've found that kenas vary tremendously from flute to flute as to how easy the high notes are to produce. I have one that I can pick up after months of not practicing and play clear high notes. On the other hand, on many kenas I've tried I can't get the high notes at all. So for me it's an instrument that must be tried before buying.

In the hands of a top player the kena produces the most beautiful flute tone I've ever heard, superior to the best "classical" flutist on the best silver or gold flute.

About making a quenacho, I have a question: I recently made one from PVC and the low register is in tune, but the 2nd register gets progressively sharper as I go up the scale. So, the octave D's and E's are fine, but upper F# is a tad sharp, and it gets worse as I go up, so that upper B is a C!!!

How do I make a quenacho that's in tune over two octaves? Do I need larger tubing, or smaller? What's the correct PVC size for a quenacho in D? Thanks, Richard

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:29 pm 
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If the second octave is really progressively sharper as you go, you could leave the tubing as is, and instead progressively shift the fingerholes slightly higher, at the same time diminishing their diameters. That will flatten the second octave. You probably even get better cross-fingering.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:16 am 
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I had an old homemade PVC flute, (in E). I lopped the head off it yesterday, reshaped the embouchure hole, (now just a notch), and voila, a quena! Plays well, too! I think I'll try one in G. :)

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“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.”
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:39 pm 
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So is it a "voila", or is it a quena? The first doesn't belong here, cos it's a string instrument.
(Moderator! If you think this is too stupid sort of a joke, delete it by all means. I'm not proud of it, just couldn't resist.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:15 pm 
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Hi

I agree with Tweeto, traditional Quenas are not tapered, no conical bore.

I've got mine years ago, I bought it in Mexico, Cuernavaca. Is not a top quality one but still good enough for having fun.
For me it was quiet easy to get used to it because I'm studying Shakuhachi which helps a lot.

Enjoy your Quenas !

Best

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:57 am 
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I have two Kenas and one Quenacho, all cane, and all have a slightly conical bore due to the node of the cane being at the bottom end. The inside diameter of the cane narrows a bit as it approaches the node.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:55 am 
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Hi,

I'm searching for a good quenacho, and i'm asking myself about which wood will be better.
I've found some in Jacaranda, other in moradillo or in wayacan.

Can you explain me what is the diference between this woods.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:16 pm 
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In a word, no.
Point is, these woods are not common woodworking timbers, so you are not likely to find many people outside of their native place that know much about them. (Possibly for Jacaranda, but though I worked with wood all my life, I never heard of the other two. I'd guess they are not exported in any quantity, which is the reason.
But in general, the rule of thumb is, the denser the wood, the better. (at least, the more brilliant the sound. Of course, some prefer a bit muted sound.)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:09 pm 
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[Thread revival. - Mod]

The quena gives u A LOT of freedom with respect to the sound/tone you want to play. It is like water which can take any shape you put it into. In order to learn playing it you need to know the sound you want to get. In Andean mountains people get the sound generation from generation. The original "model" sound was human voice. Native Andean people still use to "cry" with these instruments, or "voice" their joy.
Beside buying a quena is of utmost importance to find/hear a sound u love a lot and struggle enough to produce it at will.


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