Bansuri Flute Question?

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scottie
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Bansuri Flute Question?

Post by scottie »

I see where a bansuri flute is given it's name for the Key it plays in when the top three holes are covered. Now, when playing a native American flute they are tuned in a minor pentatonic scale. Can someone simply explain to me the scale of the bansuri and is the range of a bansuri also a little over an octave in range? Thanks for any info. Considering one for playing western style music here in the U.S. The sound from the bamboo models sounds very mellow.
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Tell us something.: I play lots of instruments including several wind instruments like recorder and Native American flutes. I'm looking to expand my horizons and learn more about whistles, especially wooden ones.

Re: Bansuri Flute Question?

Post by jimhanks »

I don't play bansuri but my understanding is they are essentially diatonic and have a range over two octaves.

I do play NAF and despite the limited range, a good NAF is almost fully chromatic over its limited range. I play lots of jazz, pop, rock on NAF.

I don't know what you mean by "western style" but I'm sure either can be used for a wide variety of styles if approached correctly.
glacier
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Re: Bansuri Flute Question?

Post by glacier »

I don't play bansuri for real, but I do own one and from time to time dip into the huge wells of youtube instructional vids to learn a bit of basic raga.

Yes- they are named according to the 3-holes-down pitch.
Holes are bigger than an Irish flute, so half-holing accidentals is more of a viable option than on an Irish flute.
I can pretty comfortably get a 2 octave range from the lowest note (6 holes down, an E) on my A bansuri.
A lower-pitched bansuri might potentially be able to overblow a bit into the 3rd octave (I'm guessing here), but be forewarned if you've got small hands- the finger spread gets pretty wide as you start getting into larger flutes.
As for the scale, starting from 6-holes-down gives a diatonic (major) scale.
Last edited by glacier on Thu Aug 19, 2021 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Geoffrey Ellis
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Re: Bansuri Flute Question?

Post by Geoffrey Ellis »

A well made bansuri played by a capable player will go several notes into the third octave, much like a conical bore (keyless) wooden flute. And they are also capable of fully chromatic play. Joshua Geisler wrote an excellent book on that subject:http://thechromaticbansuri.com
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