Boxwood Flutes.

Boxwood Flutes.

I’m looking into buying a boxwood flute. I’ve heard boxwood is prone to splitting and bending but also resonates to form a beautiful tone.
I am just wondering if anyone has tips for me regarding box wood or experiences with owning a box wood instrument.
Thanks 🙂

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Re: Boxwood Flutes.

There been a few postings on the subject matter of wooden flutes in the past. You might do well to do search on this mustard board on wooden flutes, not necessarily Boxwood but wood.

Re: Boxwood Flutes.

Boxwood was the common wood for flutes, clarinets and pipe s from the dark ages to 19th century.
Maybe you have to be more careful baout moisture / oiling copared to the harder and more oily woods.

Re: Boxwood Flutes.

Boxwood is much lighter and easier on the hands. I am not too much of a fan of it; I prefer the richness of the thicker woods, but many people love boxwood. It does have a ring to it, and some players sound outstanding using that wood.

More importantly, who do you intend on buying the flute from? A lot of makers treat their wood differently before they make the instrument, strongly impacting on how the wood will last. Make sure it is a reputable maker who knows how to treat and season wood properly.

Re: Boxwood Flutes.

Hi pipersgrip, the flute is a 6 keyed Sam Murray flute. I have heard that the walls of Sam Murrays flutes are very thin but have a wonderful tone when played.

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Re: Boxwood Flutes.

fina, yes, sam murray’s booxwood flutes have a thin walls and great tone. i played once desi ( desmond) adams boxwood 6 keyed murray flute and it was great, very easy to play with great tone and great response …… desi have sam’s eb and d 6 keyed flute and he play those flute exclusively, so if you find any recordings of desi you will recieve proper impresions for murray’s boxwood flute ….. he is na dorsa cd, at one track on wooden flute obsession cd ( volume 3, disc 1, track 7 ) and at one track of live at madden’s cd as i know.
marin
p.s here are some links on youtube: http://youtu.be/Swa_LUAm1Hw


http://youtu.be/lWd23GvO5uM

Re: Boxwood Flutes.

I don’t know about Sam Murray flutes, but for many years I played an original Rudall & Rose 8-key flute, boxwood, ivory rings, sterling keys, made between 1827 and 1837. The holes were the larger Rudall & Rose style (not like a Pratten!)

That flute could never get the reedy raw power of a cocus or ABW flute, but it wasn’t soft. It had a good volume and a wonderful tone. The most noticeable thing about that flute compared to cocus/ABW flutes was its tonal flexibility, its responsiveness, which was on a much higher level. It would respond to the slightest nuances of embouchure or breath.

A very instructive thing about flute woods was when at the national convention of the National Flute Association I visited the booth of a guy who makes wood headjoints for silver Boehm flutes out of various woods. He had three or four headjoints made out of each of several different woods, boxwood, Brazilian Rosewood, ABW, I can’t remember what all (I have his catalogue somewhere, I could look it up) and a high-end sterling Boehm body to try the headjoints on.

Each wood had a unique, distinctive “feel” to the way it played, so much so that I could have easily sorted the headjoints by wood blindfolded. The boxwood heads were very much in line with my boxwood flute in their willing response, supreme flexibility, and somewhat foggy/spongy tone (that is, lacking the crisp reedy bite of the other woods). ABW was strong, reedy, and biting but had a bit of resistance and was the most inflexible. It was one of the Rosewoods that I preferred over all due to being in the middle: flexible but still capable of a certain amount of reedy power.

In his early flutemaking years Casey Burns was making a load of flutes out of Mountain Mahogany, an excellent wood, which combined much of the flexibility of Boxwood with the power of Cocus or ABW. For a few years I played a Casey Burns Mountain Mahogany Pratten-bore flute which was wonderful, capable of tremendous volume.

Re: Boxwood Flutes.

I’ve had a boxwood Folk Flute by Casey Burns for about a year now and no issues with it at all. I live near Albany, NY so we get a wide variety of temps and humidity. Since our 1860 house has limited climate controls the flute experiences most of those variations and has still managed to come through just fine.