The Silver Flute?
I play the silver flute…
anyone else out there?
I play the silver flute…
anyone else out there?
I don’t, but Danny does.
East Galway flute player Sean Moloney plays silver flute on many tracks in his recent solo recordings. Some people might recommend you to take the wooden one, but, in my opinion, you don’t have to if you can play in traditional styles.
I have always felt it’s been looked down upon…especially at the Fleadhs (competition)
I have always played traditional styles, but just because of the type of flute I don’t do as well.
Paint it black!
I’ve got a few flutes, Boehm and simple system. The one which I’ve playing most recently is a blackwood Boehm system. I’m quite happy with it as it has a mellow wooden sound, but is loud enough for most sessions. The keys don’t worry me too much.
do you mean…like the classical music flute? or is it a "primitive" 6-hole flute, just made of silver?
Ahh the typewriter :¬)
Thank you Conan! Let’s not get started on piano accordians shall we not!
BTW, Hobgoblin sell alloy simple system flutes - similar to a low whistle but with a flute headjoint:
Here is the link to the details of Sean Moloney’s solo album, which I haven’t got yet: http://www.claddaghrecords.com/www/product.asp?pID=1720&cID=15 "Splendid Isolation" sounds cool on the typewriter!
Classically trained, I had always played silver flute. Still played it when I first started tinkering around with Irish music. Played in a few slow sessions with it, and decided that if nothing else, I wanted an Irish flute for aesthetic purposes (basically to fit in better). Have tried occasionally to play some tunes on the silver flute just for kicks, but basically just stick to the Irish flute for ITM.
In case you need any encouragement (dunno if this thread was going for any more than just a raise of hands), at a workshop over the summer, a well known silver flute ITMusician was discussing an early encounter with a highly respected Irish flutist. She suggested to him that she might switch to Irish flute (excuse my non-technical names here), and he jokingly told her to not waste her time. This story might perhaps be a bit more encouraging with the names, but I’ll stay away from the name dropping. Basically, just don’t be discouraged by the bad wrap that silver flute might get in ITM.
hehe I was counting the minuts for "Rab" to respond.
I agree with Jason, there are plenty of good and highly repected Boehm system players in Irish music. I used to think that it would be harder to incorporate some of the ornamentation in the tunes but apparently this is not the case.
Personally I prefer the sound of the wooden flute but then, as Danny kindly pointed out,I play piano accordion so what would I know?
Isn’t it a fact that with a systen Boehm flute you are not able to do some traditional ornamentations using opening the hole slowly (sliding) or varying the pitch with your fingers, not by twisting the flue?
My brother has a Bohem system flute with holes in the keys so he can slide notes. But it’s not the same. There’s a pop you get with the sound of a wooden flute with large holes that you just can’t get with keys, and craning just doesn’t sound right.. There’s also that lovely open cran on the 1st octave D with your left index finger off the hole.
I’m not saying you can’t play diddly music on a bohem system flute, it’s just that it doesn’ t quite sound "right". I know that that’s a whole new can of worms, but there you go.
One other point: if you don’t want to give a simple system fute a go because you can’t be bothered. Think again.
Flue and fute? What are you guys talking about?
Wayne Rooney has got a silver fute.
Yes, Conan, I’m fairly predictable, but it kept you amused, so everybody’s happy. Good luck for tonight and I’ll see youse up at the Irish centre.
Michael, I don’t know so much that it doesn’t sound "right", but it does sound different, even a wooden Boehm. I’m too long in the tooth to change over now (although I did play blackwood simple system for a fair number of years), so you’ll just have to put up with me - most people seem to manage.
I’ve got one to sell, but I don’t know what it’s worth.
Fair play to anyone who prefers the typewriter - I do believe it can sound very nice indeed - but for myself I can’t stand to play the asterisking things.
Played classical silver fute for 13 years I did, and never enjoyed it much. Then I took up whistle and later got me a wonderful wonderful keyless D in blackwood by Dave Copley. Now, playing the flute is now a transcendental experience.
No wait, it’s like - after years of casual, unsatisfying but safe er, "dating", finding oneself in a comitted prophylactic-free tantric relationship. Just that little bit more intimate, and so much more soul-satisfying.
Hrm… strong feelings thar, Jim. I’ve always thought of the word as a term of endearment.
But then I’m a million miles away.
Would someone like to outline the associated connotations of the word, and it’s etymology?
Then we’ll maybe have a rebuttal from the faction that believes it’s reclaiming the word for da People, and thatit’s okay to say diddly as long as you’re a trad player.
At the Durham summer school, there was only one irish flute player, the rest were silver boehm players. I agree though, there’s this sound you get with the irish flute that you’ll never get with silvers, even if you buy a wooden head.
Wish I could play the irish flute, but I haven’t got big hands =(
so instead of playing my classical at sessions I just play the whistle, so I don’t feel out of place.
I have a wooden flute that I’d be willing to sell. It was made my Jonathan Swayne. It’s a nice pratten style blackwood flute (big holes, 3 pieces). Very easy and nice to play. Big bottom D and a lovely rich tone. I paid $600 US dollars but will sell it for $400. If anyone is interested, please send me an email through the website.
I really don’t know how to reply to that. Except that it is diddly music. All my mates call it that, always have and always will. There’s no running jokey
That word used to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, but now I don’t even notice it. O how thick-skinned I’ve become!
I played ITM on the silver flute for a couple of years,and it worked ok. Not great or wonderful,but ok.I now have an awesome little Casey Burns mopane flute,and I can hardly stand to play the silver flute anymore.It now feels clunky and I can’t feel the flute vibrating nearly as well.The wooden one just feels much better and I think it sounds a bit better too,although that could just be me.
I’ve been playing it for 13 years, and I find I can do anything and more that I can with a wooden flute
Of course you can do more with a bohem sytem flute, that’s why it was invented. But there’s the rub, and it goes to the heart of diddly music …
… less is moree
Diddly is a bad word? News to me.
less is more?
even though more makes it sound better?
Hurrah! We haven’t had a thread dissolve into a morass of murky value judgements in ages! Who wants to go next?
How are you doing
Im new to this site and am looking for a chat
Im a tin whistle player and im looking for someone to help me find some sesssion’s in Australia.
I think you must be the person mentioned in an e-mail that landed randomly in my inbox the other day. The one whose dad wrote "Man of Aran" yeah? Have you not been to any of the Sydney sessions yet? I assumed you had since Bridie had replied to the e-mail. E-mail me and I’ll tell you some venues. Might not see you there this week tho’ as I am down with flu.
I refuse to diddle with anyone who’s philosophy is "More is better"
Dow’s yer man. He’s in Australia, so you must know him. So is BC box player. I expect you all live in the same street.
yeah - that road goes from Sydney to Canberra to Melbourne to Adelaide then to Perth to Darwin, then Cairns, Brisbane then back to Sydney.
I agree with Michael - everyone *knows* Connery owns the role, no question.
I’ll put in my vote for the silver flute. Sure, it may not have quite as rich a tone as the wooden flute…that’s pretty obvious. However, it does have several advantages.
1)It’s tuned better.
2)The keys provide a bigger range (Bottom C or even B), as well as chromatics that are impossible to play on a simple-system wooden flute.
3)As for not being able to bend notes—just get a silver flute with open-hole keys. Even if you have a flute with closed keys (like mine) you can still bend notes by rolling the flute head in a lot then rolling it back out. I do this often when I play An Feochan and trying to imitate the late Frankie Kennedy. Works great.
4)Micheal, as far as cranning goes, why do you say "it doesn’t sound right"? With practice, anyone with a silver flute can cran just as well as a wooden fluter. I can—and I’ve been playing only 3 and a half years.
5) You can wow audiences by rolling a c.
solid silver metal flutes or if yer jimmy galway - note the lack of the shift key so jim here can understand my accent - solid gold - are supposed to produce a clean but mellow tone, similar to but cleaner than, the wooden flute. but you can go further - some finnish and japanese makers are making glassfibre jobs without springs but magnets instead. the horniman museum has in its possession at least one glass flute, which has, no kidding, quite a sharp tone!
It’s the same, Jim, unless you start prodding things with your right little finger, when you might suddenly find yourself playing C or C#.
Basically it’s the same ball game, but more like a typewriter than a sable brush (!)
Silver flute tuning is "different". If "different" suits what you play, then in that case, it’s "better", but it’s not "better" by definition. (Especially when you don’t want to play in equal temperament.)
Yes , Jim - all fingers down gives you D. Then, the same as the simple system, you can use your little finger to get C and C#…as ottery says. The only fingering difference is F and the upper C. But you get used to it, same as anything. One system I just couldn’t get used to is the Boehm 1867 patent system. It’s like the simple system, but with keys. Hence I have in my possession one redundant blackwood Boehm system flute - which, come to think of it I’ll let go to a good home for maybe 3 hundred-odd quid, if anyone’s interested.
yes, silver flute does sound different. but not *bad*. my uncle plays silver irish flute professionally, so its all about preference. personally i would like to get an 8 key or something sometime, even start making my own in a couple years (well, start this year or next… not be willing to let them seen in the light of day for a couple years until they’re decent!) but i dont see the problem with silver. you can bend and such on silver flute, its just harder. its just a difference of tone, when you get right down to it. and then there’s the fact that wooden flutes naturally warp and get out of tune with themselves. personally, i would find that challenging and fun, but i’m weird.
although…. when i heard brett lipschutz play at milwaukee (at a session) i honestly thought he made his wooden flute sound like a silver flute and i couldnt hear a difference cuz he has amazing tone and embochoure.
Some silver flute players have wood heads made for their instruments, which has a tendency to soften their edge and creates a different overall tone, which can mean they fit into the blend of a session a bit better.
Boehm’s intentions were honourable, better tuning, a wider choice of dynamics, and volume, as all modern instruments went for ‘volume’, almost - who can outblow who. One of the problems in sessions can be just that, as with the accordion family, the ability to ‘out blow’ others, to be louder. However, the instrument allows dynamics, which means, as with the accordion, you can play softly, you can achieve a balance. The open hole ‘French system’ does give a little toward the ‘old way’, but as some have said, you can’t do certain ornaments the same way, buy hey, it ain’t the same instrument, so you have to find its ways with the music, as you do with any of the other many instruments that have found their way into the fold. You do what you can with it, and not worry about sounding like something else. But, I think you’d be pleasantly surprised by the difference a wooden head makes.
There is also a question about embouchure. Older styles, ‘trad’, tended to be rounder, giving a darker and more open tone, rounder, while modern styles are more stretched, that pull either side, the ‘grin’, which produces a more strident and cutting tone…
Look, I’m not dissing the bohem system, it’s just that this music was not developed on it. I’m not saying that this music cannot be transposed to other instruments, it happens all the time. But if you really want to understand it, you have to go back befor you can go forward.
it wasnt developed on any type of flute, i believe.