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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:57 am 
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It is curious that the classical flute had/has both long key and ring key for F, yet (to the best of my knowledge), "the newly invented chromatic union pipes" sufficed with the ring key. I hadn't given it two thoughts until last weekend when Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn was playing my pipes (Wooff Bb set) and commented on the lack of a straight F-key. I presume that the makers of the above-mentioned pipes would have been fully aware of the need for both keys on flutes, but decided that a ring key would suffice on the pipes. Tiarnán plays French baroque on the pipes and finds the long key convenient for that. There are hints of baroque in the books of O'Farrell (for instance), so the early makers would have been conversant with the demands of the music. Why did they not go for the long key as well as the ring key?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:18 am 
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I think it's simply because 19th century orchestral musicians had to play different music than folk musicians.

The orchestral fluteplayers using the 8-key wooden flutes had to be able to play fluently in any key, play fluid legato chromatic runs, and so forth.

An uilleann piper playing a D set isn't going to play a set of reels in Ab Major! If he did, he would probably want both F keys.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:55 am 
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Long F would in the way of a Bb key. I was playing a tune this evening that has both notes and it occurred to me that the end of the long F key occupies the same space as the end of the Bb key, hence the ring key for F on the old chromatic sets. The classical flute has Bb operated by the thumb of the top hand, so there is room for both long key and ring key for F. Not so on a chanter, as we need the top-hand thumb for back D.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:15 am 
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PCL wrote:
Long F would in the way of a Bb key. I was playing a tune this evening that has both notes and it occurred to me that the end of the long F key occupies the same space as the end of the Bb key


I have both on my favorite chanter, and yes the business end of both keys are right next to each other, and both pushed by the top-hand pinkie. Not a problem for me to feel/remember which is which; YMMV.

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