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 Post subject: Dilli kaval
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:40 pm 
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I've came across this flute on e-bay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Turkish-Good-Quality-Plum-Wood-Dilli-KAVAL-TUTEK-Shivi-Flute-Single-NEW-/200875763346
There is even a video of the guy playing it. Does anyone know anything about this type of flute? Fingering chart?
It looks different than regular kaval.

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 Post subject: Re: Dilli kaval
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:19 am 
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Yes, these are not rim-blown Kavals, but fipple flutes. I think "dilli" means "tongued". Maybe we could call them Turkish whistles. I bought a few in different keys out of curiosity. As the videos can tell, they have a sweet interesting tone. They play over two octaves like most other whistles. Third and fourth mode notes are possible too on the lower notes, like on regular kavals. They are made from one piece of wood, so are non-tunable.

The tuning is interesting too and rather surprising. They have seven top holes and a thumb hole. The thumb hole is located lengthwise between hole 1 and 2, so it is different than a recorder thumb hole, and works more like a C natural thumb hole on a whistle. I am not using the bottom hole, as it is difficult to reach, unless I use "piper's grip" as on low whistles. I am not sure if it is meant to be used, or meant to be a "devil's hole" like on regular kavals. But if you use it, the note produced with all fingers on is a half tone lower than when the hole is left open.

The "key" of these dilli kavals is the note produced with five fingers (and thumb) down. Covering hole six gives a note a full tone lower. Going up from five fingers on to four fingers on gives a note about one-and a half semi-tones higher than the keynote. The three finger on note is again about one and a half semi tones higher. The two finger note is a whole tone up, and the one finger note another whole tone up (always keeping the thumb on). Then raising the thumb you can go up a semi tone, and opening all holes a further whole tone. Some finger forking at the top section may give you more possibilities and cleaner intonations.

The note with four fingers down (raising one finger from the keynote) was so surprising to me, as it gives you a "quarter tone". Using a forked fingering by covering hole 6 (only hole 5 is open) will produce a note a semi tone up from the keynote. That way you can play a nice Phrygian scale up from the keynote (using the thumb hole note), or a Dorian scale from the note below the keynote, or a natural minor scale. Using a different fork with top three holes covered and hole 5 and 6 covered will produce a note about a full tone up from the keynote, but it is quite sharp, like a rather sharp F# on a D whistle, and one can play a sort of major scale (with a sharp Third) from the six finger hole upwards, or a kind of major scale from the three finger note upwards. I am not sure if these modes are used. I think there are a number of other modes or scales possible, with a bit of experimentation. Especially using this "quarter tone" four fingers on note gives these whistles a lot of character.

To sum up the general scale, opening one hole at a time, finger by finger, from the bottom with six fingers (and thumb) down, I found these intervals in semi-tone steps (approximately, they are not equally tuned!):
2 1.5 1.5 2 2 1 1,
or for the keynote of C (five finger note): Bb C Db+ Eb F G Ab A
but there where variation how the top holes needed to be fingered.

These dilli kavals show some variations in quality. The seller says are made from plumwood, they are very light and look good. Generally the finish could be better (the surfaces felt a little bit rough, and I used some fine sanding paper to smooth them, and oiled them well). Same about the bore itself, it could do with better finishing. I even had to tweak the windways on two, to give them more air. But for the price it may be worthwhile to buy one or two and see for yourself if you like it. As the shipping is included in the price, buy one at a time. The seller ships promptly, and it took less than a week to receive it in the UK.

PS: the highest I bought was in the key of "D", and the tuning was bad for three holes, where I needed tape to make them smaller to adjust the tuning. The holes should have been a little further down really. The others in the lower keys did not have this problem.

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Custom built aluminium whistles in any key and other speciality whistles and flutes


Last edited by hans on Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dilli kaval
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:21 am 
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Thank you so much!

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 Post subject: Re: Dilli kaval
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:40 am 
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You're welcome!

I made a clarifying correction to one paragraph (change in bold, addition in italic):

To sum up the general scale, opening one hole at a time, finger by finger, from the bottom with six fingers (and thumb) down, I found these intervals in semi-tone steps (approximately, they are not equally tuned!):
2 1.5 1.5 2 2 1 1,
or for the keynote of C (five finger note): Bb C Db+ Eb F G Ab A
but there where variation how the top holes needed to be fingered.

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Hans Bracker - Handcrafted Whistles from Scotland - http://www.music.bracker.uk
Custom built aluminium whistles in any key and other speciality whistles and flutes


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