flute advice

flute advice

I’ve been looking for a keyed flute at a reasonable price for a beginner ITM musician. So what i found out is that some of the antique flutes on ebay are not expansive at all. Like these guys:
http://www.ebay.it/itm/FLAUTO-TRAVERSO-ANTICO/351192354062?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140620091323%26meid%3D97467f15d2dc4bb28492297f0ee6baf2%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D272077712678

http://www.ebay.it/itm/Flauto-antico-antique-flute-Margheritat-Paris/321954323675?_trksid=p2047675.c100010.m2109&_trkparms=aid%3D555012%26algo%3DPW.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20140620091727%26meid%3D6a5f5efa2e4140cc954695395053f2a8%26pid%3D100010%26rk%3D7%26rkt%3D22%26sd%3D351192354062

What do you think about them? is it possible to say whether they are good or not? Can they sound like irish instruments? Do you have any advice for me? I’m confused.

Re: flute advice

If the flute is unrestored and cannot demonstrably play at a440 than the price is too high in my book.
However if it is repadded , cracks repaired, can be played at 440 the price is okay although this type of flute will not have the volume or same tone as Old English flutes or the modern flutes that are derived from them.

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Re: flute advice

The French flute looks nice but odds are its 435 low pitch and without a slide no luck if you want to play with others at 440.

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Re: flute advice

I think the key thing is that these flutes will not be much good for Irish music. I would be very careful about buying a vintage flute that has not been tried by an experienced player. There are so many variables that could set a beginner back without knowing if the problem is the flute or the player. If the student is new to flute, meaning no experience with the modern Boehm flute, I would recommend a keyless flute to take the keys out of the equation for problems. A modern keyless will also be in the proper pitch, but get one from a reputable maker.

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Re: flute advice

The old flutes I’ve tried have all had an uneven tone, uneven tuning and they
have been weak and flat on the low D. In trad Irish flute playing, the sine qua non
is a strong low D. I have been told that a new head joint can make these old flutes
come to life sometimes. I have one of these oldies now and considering doing that.
Experimenting with flutes is pretty expensive, even when you think you’ve found
a bargain.

Re: flute advice

Yes vintage flutes can be a real risk. I wouldn’t ever buy one without trying it first.

Much better to get a reliable new flute made expressly for ITM, like a Casey Burns or M&E or Forbes (if you need a lower price).

Continental wooden flutes weren’t made for the big Irish tone in the low octave. They were designed for a very sweet 2nd and 3rd octave.

Re: flute advice

The risk is minimal if one is handy enough to fix flutes and repad which are relatively easy skills.
The flute market has changed so much in the last ten years. Good antiques with 8 keys sell regularly enough well below keyless flutes from modern makers.
Knowing what and where to buy are skills that can be developed as well.
Antique flutes are not all out of tune difficult to play etc. Those are also skills that can be developed.
I tell folk to have a good modern keyless flute for sessions. A reasonable eBay antique to learn about repair , padding , and using keys.
And patience until they find the right modern or antique keyed flute that will suit when they are ready.

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Re: flute advice

One important fact that hasn’t been mentioned yet is that there is a good chance that the flutes, particularly the first one, will have been designed so that f-sharp (both octaves) is only in tune when both the e-flat and one or the other of the f-natural keys are open. This makes playing ITM difficult, although not impossible.

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