Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

My query is going to make some of you, especially the flute players, think I’m a complete idiot. Well I’m not. I’m actually far from complete. But anyway….
I just bought my best friend a key-less cocuswood Irish flute. She already plays moderately well on one of those ‘normal’ type concert flutes, but I thought that she may make better progress and enjoy it more if I introduced her to the Irish stuff. So I bought her this flute and the Grey Larson book/CD set to help her along with it. Now here’s my question:- The thing hasn’t arrived in the mail yet, and it’s a bit late to do anything about it, but I only just noticed after looking at the photo again, that the thing has 8 holes in it (i.e., 4 parts and 8 holes). Call me thick if you wish, but for some reason I was expecting only 6 holes and I was intending to give her advice based on my limited whistle playing. So what do these extra holes mean in terms of playing?

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Hm, I’m beginning to think that you accidentally ordered some Pakistani firewood. Cocus is a very rare wood do see in modern flutes, and when you see it in antique flutes, they’re almost always keyed. Plus, normally any flute said to have "cocuswood" is probably not from a very reliable maker. Extra holes may not be your only dilemma.

The two extra holes that you see (near the bottom, correct?) are vent holes. It is very common for there to be a long foot with two extra holes, as opposed to a short foot with no extra holes. The long foot D flutes are cut so that the bottom note is a D, the bottom hole plays a C#, the next one up plays a D. This is done on essentially all keyed flutes. Short footed flutes are just cut do a bottom note of D. Some makers, like Dave Copley, only use a long foot for keyed flutes, or when there is a tuning slide. The long foot helps to balance out the weight of the flute, as the tuning slide adds extra weight "above" the hands.

If the flute is good, you can just disregard the bottom two holes, they affect pretty much nothing.

A friend of mine (classical flute player) just recently bought a couple wooden flutes. She knew not to buy from Pakistan, but she saw that they were from the UK, and thought they would be a decent choice. No such luck there. They were really from Pakistan, but sold in the UK, so she gave me the flutes to try and fix up. From what I can tell, I can probably salvage them, but I haven’t tried yet.

If the flute you bought isn’t any good, you could probably see about getting it fixed up, or just go ahead and buy a good flute from a reputable maker (probably your best choice).

Best of luck!

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Gobby, what can you tell us about who made the flute or who you bought it from? A bit of information might help determine if it’s good or not.

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Thanks anfidleir. Yes I’d be very amazed if it’s real cocuswood, especially as I only paid just over $300 for it. They call it cocuswood, and I realise it wouldn’t be (and I’m not sure I’d want it to be, being new and all, and me being a bit of a greenie). The dealer I bought it off, who I’ve always had good dealings with, reckons that it’s made in Ireland, but I also doubt that and suspect that you may well be right about it being Pakistani (I didn’t know who make them). My friend isn’t so good a flautist that she could probably tell how good or bad it is, but I’ll check it out myself and if it’s too terrible I’ll keep it for myself, and maybe order her a low D whistle from Ireland. From what you say about the two extra holes, well they seem a bit pointless to me. I should pay more attention to what I buy. Still, no matter what quality it is, it won’t end up as firewood. Even if bad it will be good enough for me to get the hang of it. I can get a tune out of anything.

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Na éisc, I realise that this seems stupid but no, I don’t know who made it. I bought it from Melbourne Brass and Woodwind, who I’ve always had excellent dealings with, but I just phoned and asked them if they by chance had an Irish wooden flute, and I just took what they could get me. I would never ofcourse do that if I was buying one for myself, but selfish bastard wot I am I thought that my friend wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I just want to get her into Irish music and I thought a wooden flute would be better than a penny whistle. Also, she’s the kind of girl that can like something purely for its aesthetic value, and the flute at least looks nice. So no, as stupid as it is, I have no idea who made it. But I suspect that an fidlier may well be right. None of this bothers me really. I’ll see what it’s like when I get it. It was just those two extra holes that puzzled me.

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

$300!! Gobby, Gobby, Gobby … what were you thinking? There’s no way someone’s selling a cocus wood flute for $300. You’ve been had.
🙁

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

If it isn’t cocuswood and doesn’t play well, just send it back. If they said it was made in Ireland and it isn’t, then let it be their problem. Don’t think you just have to keep the thing if it’s useless.

Re:Flute question.

Good point, Bredna. Gooby, I’m glad you asked about this. Please keep us posted. And good luck!

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

@Na éisc, Not really mate. I didn’t believe it to be cocus, and I didn’t really care if it was coconut wood. It’s a wooden tube with holes in it that’s all I was looking for. The woman I have in mind for this thing wouldn’t have a clue about it. If I think it doesn’t work well enough for her to learn on then I won’t send it to her. Anyhow I could always return it for a refund (especially as it’s described as cocus wood) but I doubt that I would because I already have a valued collection of useless instruments…(including bent trombones and dinted bugles, ,… and you should see my Tuba plant pot).The guy in the shop described it as cocus wood, but I was well aware that this was more a manufacturers deliberate misnomer than a fact. And like i said, I wouldn’t even want cocus wood (not on a new instrument). It would be like wanting real ivory on your piano. No Na éisc, I hold my hand up to quite regularly being a bit stupid and fairly permanently apathetic, but not to gullibility. But thanks for your concern (smiley thing… (thinks…),… wherever you get those things from).

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

And thanks Bredna, I hadn’t readyour posting when I replied to Na éisc.

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Are two of the holes all the way at the end? My keyless flute has 8 holes but 6 are together and then two are at the end I guess as relics of a flute that might have a key of the low C and low B

EDIT: rereading I see someone already mentioned it so scratch that post

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Yes Delta, that describes it. You say that someone else already said this but for some reason that seemed to further clarify it for me. I still don’t see the point though. Maybe it’s akin to having a 5 string violin.

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

After a bit of googling I have no doubt that this flute I’ve ordered is of Pakistani origin. And what they call cocus wood is apparently either Sheeham wood or Indian rosewood. Sheeham is said to have similar qualities to teak and apparently makes good furniture. Whether or not it makes good flutes and pipes appears to be debatable but doubtful. You should also heed the fact that the Pakistani made so-called blackwood flutes are made from a tree called ‘Bombay blackwood’. Occasionally I’ve seen the same trick used with instruments advertised in Australia which claim to be blackwood. And indeed they are, but Australian blackwood, like Bombay blackwood is not the same stuff as African blackwood. It’s all a bit of a cheek really hey? It makes me think of that Scottish champaign that Gam drinks with his Welsh bratwurst. I hadn’t realised before today that Pakistan made all these cheap instruments. Some of them were unbelievably cheap and must be utter rubbish. The only one I could find that looked like mine (4 piece) was in the higher end of the market but still only cost $200 -$250 USA. That works out pretty much what I paid in Australian terms, given that for some reason musical instruments cost far more over here than in the USA or in Europe. But anyway, I’ll judge this flute on it’s merits. I didn’t expect anything good for the price I paid. I have no complaints. It was only those two extra holes that made me make an enquiry. One things for sure though, and that is that ifI ever buy myself a flute, or if I have to upgrade for my friend if she takes to it, then I’ll do it properly and buy a decent one from a decent known maker (and with 6 holes).

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

I know you didn’t expect anything good, and you’re probably fed up with people saying this, but if it is a Pakistani flute, it won’t be playable at all. It will be worth approximately ZILCH, which is why people are saying to either use it for firewood or send it back.

One of the problems is that, for a beginner (as it seems your friend is) it’s fairly disheartening trying to learn to play flute in any case. When you’re learning, you really do need to know that the instrument you’re trying to learn on is capable of making a half-decent sound. Those things aren’t. This means that whatever the amount of time you spend trying to play it will be completely wasted time.

If it’s one of those flutes, seriously, throw it away as soon as it arrives. Or send it back.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Thanks Ben. I’ll wait and see, but I’ve already decided I won’t burden my friend with it. And of course you are right;- if it’s rubbish it will cause her more damage than good to try and learn on it. If it’s truly firewood quality then I’ll have a duty to let the guys who sold it to me know about it because I know they are very conscientious and professional muso’s. I’d get no argument from them and they’d want to know about it. Alternately I could give it to my father to add to the collection of other musical instruments he cant play. He’d be delighted!

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

After all of this, I by chance received an e-mail from my friend today and I mentioned that I’d run into trouble with her birthday present and that it will be late and I may have to change my plans because I was getting her something very hard that she might want to hit me with. And this is what she wrote back….. “So you’re getting me something to hit you with for my birthday, What a brilliant present, I’ll enjoy that very much! “. …. Cheeky bitch! I’ve got a good mind to send it to her now. Anyhow, to try and save anybody else the folly that I seem to have made, I’ll post an honest report on the thing when I get it. That’s won’t be for about two weeks though, because I have to go to the post office to get it, and I don’t leave home that much.
I don’t want to start another thread, so just in case anybody is reading this that can answer this related question;, can somebody with small hands play a low D whistle (I was thinking of a wooden Sweetheart… but please don’t tell me they are firewood).

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

The following quote, from 1823, could have been referring to me with my first whistle. This discussion brought it to mind but I had forgotten the last sentence - which I hope Gobby can read with a smile 😉

"There are many amateurs who perform extremely well on the flute, as far as execution, taste, and expression go: but what a great drawback on their efforts is an incorrect intonation! And this too not their own fault - they do not detect the imperfection themselves, their ears having been accustomed to them. But when they accompany a well-tuned piano-forte, what a mortification it must be to them to be told that they play out of tune! All this may be obviated by applying to a good maker (of whom there are many in London, equal to any in Europe) for a good instrument. But it is a great misfortune to beginners, that they purchase what they call a cheap or common musical instrument; observing, that if they succeed, they will have a better; this is mostly the cause of their failure. Frequently they rely on a friend, who plays but little, for his opinion in the choice of an instrument." William Bainbridge 1823. (Thanks to Terry Mcgee for the quote http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Bainbridge.htm)

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

I know many flute players make it look easy, but you won’t be able to tell if its playable or not if you haven’t learned to play flute, as it isn’t one of those things where you can instantly get an acceptable sound out of it on the first try if you haven’t played one before, such as one can do on whistle. You might get some sort of sound out of it, but it won’t give you enough information to form any reasonable assessment of it.. However, it’s probably Pakistani, in which case you should definitely get a refund.

No, that price isn’t going to get a top-class flute, but there are ones that are at least playable in that price range. I’ve heard that the cheaper model offered by Casey Burns usually gets really good word, and it’s likely in your price range, if you get a refund . I’ve thought of getting one of those myself, actually. At least I’ve heard people playing reasonably well on those and they didn’t sound bad at all. I’d be surprised to hear this of a Pakistani flute. So, rather than keep one that’s no good, or try to assess it when you haven’t played flute, it would be good to look at some options that are better in that price range. Even if it’s cheap for a flute, you can likely find better for that amount of money.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

I was going to mention Casey Burns flutes but decided to leave it. However, since someone now has if will add that if your friend has small hands and is used to a ‘silver’ flute then the reach between the holes (the six that are used 🙂) on what you have bought may be uncomfortable. Casey does a ‘small-handed’ flute that largely solves that problem.

Pakistani??

There’s been debates before here and on places like Chiff & Fipple regarding the merits of ‘Pakistani’ instruments. A couple of themes usually arise if I recall:

- Is it racist to label as ‘Pakistani’ instruments? They are quite likely not made in Pakistan in the first place. Maybe in some part of Asia alright. If you rubbish them, are you taking work & income from people who might be living on means far less than the average in the west? Who’s exploiting who etc?

- Are they playable. Here the usual thing is for people to jump and say they’re firewood etc. I’ve heard others say that they found them quite playable, perhaps with a bit of tinkering.

There’s a certain amount of ‘musical instrument snobbery’ and I’m sure we’re all guilty of it, if guilty is the right word. We just aspire to better quality instruments and if we have the disposable income, I guess why not? But things weren’t always that way in rural Ireland for ordinary folk. Money was tight and people played on what they could get their hands on. Whether it was home made whistles and fifes, patched up fiddles, cheap concertinas etc. Maybe this gave a bit of that roughness around the edges that people admire?

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

I’m not a wind player, but I have a feeling the best way to judge the suitability of Pakistani instruments for Western music might be to look at Pakistani pipe bands:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxn2jTKjZFA


It’s piping Jim, but not as we know it.

Paddy’s Day

Reminiscent of your average pipe band on Paddy’s Day, at your ordinary small town in Ireland 🙂

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Good point AFKATH. Especially considering that it was until relatively recently (maybe in the last 20-30 years) that decent simple system wooden flutes were very hard to come by, and if you were lucky enough to come across one it came at a price. So until 20 years ago many people played on instruments that were sub-standard (by today’s reckoning) or were patched up with all sorts of bits of tape etc. I haven’t tried out a so-called Pakistani flute but I bet some of them are better than some of the old wooden flutes I have picked up along the way.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

This is probably similar to the flute I have. Mine only breaks into three pieces but was made in Pakistan. I wouldn’t say its "unplayable" however it did turn me off from playing the flute. When I first got it it was unplayable but that was simply because I had no idea how to make the right embouchure. After some time I could make sound come out of it. I started lessons with an Irish flute player and where he never said "this is garbage" he suggest I upgrade soon. When I gave it to him to play he could get tunes out of it but I could tell he was struggling a little as opposed to the near flawless playing from his own flute.

Eventually I gave up the flute and moved to an instrument that didn’t require so much breath control. Had I a better instrument I probably would have stayed with it as the breathing wouldn’t have been so difficult.

If this is your first instrument then I’d suggest getting rid of it and getting a new one but as you already know the tunes and if I’m correct in thinking this will mostly be for personal playing just to try it out then it will probably be good enough and you could upgrade later if you wanted to get serious

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

The same thing happens all the time with bagpipes too: someone who is trying to buy a thoughtful gift, but doesn’t know their way around the instrument, buys a worthless Pakistani ISO ("Instrument-Shaped Object", a term a music repair woman I know uses for all the unplayable and unrepairable Chinese and Pakistani instruments that people bring to her in hopes that she can make them work… alas neither she nor anyone else on earth can).

Inexpensive Irish Flutes that actually are playable would mean a Ralph Sweet maple flute (but beware, his flutes have been widely copied in Pakistan), or a plastic flute from Tony Dixon. Either of these can be had for less than you paid for that Pakistani flute.

A step up from these in playability would be delrin/polypenco flutes from M&E, Forbes, and other legitimate quality makers. These will play about as good as many nice wooden flutes. Or as mentioned above a Casey Burns flute.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

I got sucked into a Pakistani manufactured ISO when I was looking for my first wood flute as well. Mine was bought or under $100, so might have been even lower quality than what you are expecting to receive, but hard to tell (e-bay purchase). It literally could not be assembled, much less played (tennons were too large for the sockets, even with the thread completely unwrapped). Once I fixed that quality control issue, the flute could be sounded, but intonation was off. I returned it and gladly paid the restocking fee to get it off my hands.

As others have said, if you want to stick with a budget beginner flute, go for a Burns Folk Flute (wood) or M&E, Copley, Shannon or Sweet (polymer or Delrin) flute. Low whistle is another kettle of fish, and might be more difficult to find one that can be played with "small" fingers, especially if your friend is used to the spread and classical fingering style of a silver flute.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

They’re referred to as "Pakistani" because they’re made in Pakistan. It’s not racist. Pakistan has made a business of "copying" trad instruments - flutes and pipes seem to be commonly made, for instance.

I don’t care about the politics of "taking work & income from people". These things are not playable. So it isn’t real work. If you feel bad for them, just send them money. Don’t encourage this waste of effort and resources.

Oh, and Danny - I have "played" a number of these FLOs (flute-like objects). Honestly, they really are not playable. Firstly, they don’t fit together, as Latticino says above. Once you’ve fixed that, you then realise that the wood isn’t appropriate for instrument-making. The holes are always roughly drilled to the point of uselessness. Look in the bore of one of these things - typically you can’t look straight along it, but if you could, you’d see all the bits of wood sticking out everywhere, not finished at all. They can’t be finished (before someone suggests that that be done) because the wood won’t take it, because it’s the wrong wood for flutes. Plus the shape is generally so far off that any amount of re-boring wouldn’t help. There is no attempt at getting the things tuned into any recognisable scale. But then, that’s if you can get a sound that is remotely musical on even one of the "notes" in the first place.

I can spot these things a mile off. But then, you never come across them in a session, because, really, they just don’t play.

Contrary to Danny’s experience, I’ve never come across an old, English-made flute that was remotely as bad as these Pakistani FLOs. And I have come across some shockers amongst the old English ones.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

I very highly recommend the Hamilton Practice flute. It is around $100 (75 Euros) shipped. It is made of aluminum, so it does not quite have the same tone as a wooden flute, but it handles and sounds great. It has a nice strong low D and plays completely in tune throughout its range. For me, there is absolutely no stretch to reach the holes for this flute, but I have large hands, so so I am not the best judge of these thing. A wooden flute that plays as well would set you back at least $375 (the Casey Burns Folk Flute).
http://www.hamiltonflutes.com/Practice_Flutes.html

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

@the former Hussar:
Regarding this point:

"But things weren’t always that way in rural Ireland for ordinary folk. Money was tight and people played on what they could get their hands on. Whether it was home made whistles and fifes, patched up fiddles, cheap concertinas etc. Maybe this gave a bit of that roughness around the edges that people admire?"

If I have the history right, those "cheap" flutes back in the late 19th Century would have been professional grade, conical bore flutes that were suddenly outmoded after Boehm developed his flute design, and it took over the pro and amateur orchestral flute market. They were cast off and sold cheaply, to the benefit of rural Irish musicians who didn’t need a chromatic flute like the Boehm. Those old Rudall & Rose, Pratten, etc. flutes would be a far cry from the typical wooden flutes coming out of Pakistan at very low cost. For a beginner on a budget (or good friend of said beginner), a modern Delrin keyless flute from a reputable maker would be a better choice.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

I’m beginning to realise why I’ve never really taken up the flute. I’ve generally always carried a whistle around in my pocket and I have owned (but gave away) a couple of professional quality concert flutes. Not because I couldn’t get tunes out of them but because I just don’t favour blowy things over strings. I appreciate all the information I’ve been given in this thread and I’ve enjoyed reading it, but mostly only because I always enjoy learning (especially if it’s about my own folly). I’m not all that bothered about the flute per-se; I’ll wait and see what it is. I only intend to send it back if it doesn’t fit together or if it is as much total crap as Ben Hall predicts. I gratefully acknowledge Ben’s warning about sending a bad instrument for my friend to learn on, and on that basis I’ve totally backed away from the idea of giving it to her. Not that I ever gave much chance of her learning it anyway… she’s just one of those strange people, like my father, who loves musical instruments but never commits to learning one…. she’s still made very little progress on the Octave Mando I bought her last year. She’s a bit better on the concert flute I sent her years ago, and she claims to love these things and wants to play music. My recent motive has been just to inspire her by introducing her to Irish stuff. This may be because even though I’ve always played music of various other genre’s it never did much for me until I started, late in life, fiddling Irish music. Then the passion really clobbered me. But even then, this passion was only awakened after a chance purchase of a $100 FIDDLE SHAPED OBJECT from Aldi . Admittedly it was crap but it woke me up and got me going. And on this, I can’t help but agree with The Former Hussar, as I am indeed the type of person that will attempt to play anything I can get my hands on. So regarding the flute, it fits together I’ll test it out. If it’s hard to blow I may make and fit a whistle head to it and try it then. I can tell good noises from bad noises, but for my own purposes I don’t really care. And finally, even though I don’t ever have much of it I don’t give a rats arse about the money I’ve squandered. My very biggest problem in life at the moment is what to get my friend for her birthday. I have no bloody imagination and I can’t go out to the shops. But now at least I understand about the 8 holes, and my personal flute problems are considered over. But feel free if anybody wants to keep banging on. Thanks guys. (Actually, it’s a wonder I’m not a good flute player, … being so f***ing long winded and all).

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Get her a nice low G whistle. Not as much of a stretch as the low D and not so much puff needed, but a lovely mellow sound. Or if she’s not likely to play at sessions, a Bb whistle is low enough to be mellow, small enough to play comfortably and gives most D tunes a lovely soft edge. I love playing my Bb just to hear it, when on my own. She’s lucky to have a friend like you.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Thanks Sky fiddler. She’s totally unlikely to ever play in public, so the Bb may be just the thing. I may even try one out myself. I love those mellow tones.

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

"If I have the history right, those "cheap" flutes back in the late 19th Century would have been professional grade, conical bore flutes that were suddenly outmoded after Boehm developed his flute design, and it took over the pro and amateur orchestral flute market. They were cast off and sold cheaply, to the benefit of rural Irish musicians who didn’t need a chromatic flute like the Boehm. Those old Rudall & Rose, Pratten, etc. flutes would be a far cry from the typical wooden flutes coming out of Pakistan at very low cost"

That’s the conventional wisdom and doubtless there was a bit of this going on. But for example, I was shown a flute recently that was played by a local man back in the late 1800s and it was certainly no Rudall & Rose. Notwithstanding that it had been repaired, it was fairly rough in comparison to a modern makers output. Instruments were also fashioned out of wood like elder, where you can more easily remove the soft centre etc. There’s evidence of tin fiddles and cheap concertinas being used and so on.

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Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

There may have been some orchestral cast-offs, London made etc, but just as there were loads of cheap German concertinas being played, there would surely also have been lots of cheap German flutes. Hammy Hamilton is pretty scathing about them in "Irish Flute Players Handbook" but what do people say now about the original German concertinas. People played what they could get.

I’ll second the recommendation of a Bb whistle. "Even" the Generation I’ve got is a pleasure to play and cost about the same as a couple of pints.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

Yes in the first half of the 19th century the wooden flute was a very popular instrument, a "pop" instrument one might say, and they were widely made in all grades from cheap student instruments up to professional instruments. Then as now only a small proportion of the flutemakers’ output would have been professional grade.

I seriously doubt that all the professional London orchestral flutists, upon switching to the Boehm flute, posted off their 8-key flutes straightaway to Clare. Nor would such top-end professional instruments have ended up in London pawn shops. These instruments would have stayed "in the loop" and gone to other orchestral players or students.

The switch away from the old system flute happened gradually and spasmodically in England, with many players resisting the Boehm flute in all or part, and a large number of hybrid instruments being developed. (Quite different from France and the USA where the Boehm flute was quickly embraced.)

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

The quote from 1823 that I posted above was from a maker and player who complains about cheap flutes and forgeries produced by charlatans. See http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Bainbridge.htm

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

"The switch away from the old system flute happened gradually and spasmodically in England, with many players resisting the Boehm flute in all or part, and a large number of hybrid instruments being developed. (Quite different from France and the USA where the Boehm flute was quickly embraced.)"

From what I’ve read, I’m not sure that’s quite right, Richard. There was a sudden and dramatic shift away from the old, simple system flutes, led by players in France and England. In England, they stuck to wooden flutes for ages and ages, long into the Boehm ear, but they were, by and large, Boehm flutes, conical or otherwise. Obviously, there were also other, Boehm-like systems which found favour with various people. But I don’t think, from my reading of it, that there were many who stuck to the old, simple system flutes.

Re: Too many holes!… A dumb flute question.

I started on one of those flutes and would like to echo deltasalmon message which I think is important if you want to learn on that flute and is as low quality as some are saying.

My €100 foreign made flute was low volume and out of tune, but I did not know better and was probably too hard headed to listen to good advise. What really turned me was when I saw my teacher playing my flute as with deltasalmon. At the time he did not say that the flute was useless but told me to buy a good flute, which I did after sometime. With hindsight, all my playing with that flute wasn’t a waste, but if I would have had a half decent flute I would have progressed a lot more in my learning.

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My response to my recntly purchased ‘Irish’ Pakistani flute

It’s taken me three weeks to get round to thanking everybody for their advice and warnings on my purchase of what I assume to be this Pakistani made flute. I was distracted from responding further at the time of my last comment because I accidentally set fire to my kitchen. Bloody stupid chips! I blame the Irish for inventing potatoes. But anyhow… here is my assessment of the flute:-
Bear in mind that I have had no experience with wooden flutes before, so my assessment can hardly be a qualified one. But I’ll make it honestly. Firstly, here are the exact words of the advertisement for the flute:-

“Irish Flute - Cocuswood 4 part in case. These Cocuswood flutes come apart into 4-parts. They are well-tuned, with brass ring mounts and a brass tuning slide. There is an adjustment in the head-joint as well for adjusting the upper octaves. These Irish flutes have a nice clear tone thanks to the Cocuswood which is quite dense and hard. Easy to play with solid construction”.
After receiving and trying out the flute, what part of this do I disagree with? Well obviously it’s not true cocuswood, but then I hadn’t expected it to be -much as if I bought a piano claiming to have an ‘ivory’ keyboard. Whatever wood it is though, it looks good and seems very dense. Then…though it’s certainly misleading, the add doesn’t actually claim it to be made in Ireland and as it has no brand name or makers stamp I guess we all agree that it’s made in Pakistan. Everything else they state about it appears to be true. It all fits together and adjusts very well. It seems to be well made (cleanly drilled throughout, and with good holes) and it sounds perfectly in tune to me, and, as they claim, with a nice tone. Good enough for my ears anyway (and they are fairly accurate). Having said that I only played the lower octave before instantly liking it and handing it over to my father who is quite delighted with it (but will never learn to actually play it). I could have sent it back of course, on the grounds that it’s not actually cocuswood, but in all honesty, for what I paid I don’t see that it was a bad buy. If I was into flutes I’d be quite happy with it and could learn on it. It took me no effort to get a good clean lower octave.
Despite this outcome I really appreciate the conversation and advice you all gave me, and especially for the fact that for some other reasons stated, it stopped me sending it to my friend. For her it would have been the wrong thing. I’ll get back to her in the future with something more appropriate for her to be learning on. Thanks everybody!

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