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Quena Help

Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:20 pm
by scottie
I have a mahogany quena with an inside diameter of about 17-18mm. It was made somewhere in South America. I bought it from a guy selling them on Ebay that brings them back into the U.S. It sure is loud but I like the pure sound I get. Sure, it is difficult since I am just going back to trying it but are all quenas loud? I see these guys on you tube playing but they do not sound exceptionally loud. I am just wondering if anyone can give me their advice or experience with these. It is hard to find English speaking people to talk to about these since they are a South American whistle. If I have to I guess I will have to pull out my Spanish books and try to find my cds for communication. Some of these guys I see playing these are just awesome and the sound is great.

Re: Quena Help

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:40 pm
by ecohawk
Just as whistles, recorders and flutes offer varying volume, so do Quena. The size you list is standard IMO, the same as three Quena that I have, though I have one that is larger. All have different volume and playing characteristics. Depending on your budget you can get whatever you want.

You also surely understand that a great player will still sound great on even a marginal instrument. On a good instrument they will simply sound better.


Re: Quena Help

Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:52 am
by hidancity
What you are experiencing is one of the unique qualities of quena. Short pipe, probably untapered so the upper octave is going to play a bit sharper than the lower register and since there is no taper to slow down the velocity of the sound waves, the upper octave is also going to be louder. And so your quena plays like a quena. This is going to vary depending on the size of the finger holes and the notch and so there is unbelievable number of combinations and that is why you try different ones to find the combination of factors that you like. Thank goodness quena's don't cost as much as violin's or for that matter Pratten flutes.

A longer pipe like quenacho's have less problem with the volume in the upper register. Quena is unique in the world flute world for at least a few reasons but the shortness of the bore and it's ability to play over three octaves is one of them. I like F quena's. It starts to mitigate some of that loudness.