Styles, Woods and Other Options

Flute Styles

 We offer two very different styles for the flute body. The style makes no difference to the playing of the flute and is purely aesthetic.

The Baroque Style has a section of wood turned to a bulbous profile as used to be the custom in the 18th Century. This give the flute a classic look and is just as strong as the metal rings on the modern styled flute.

The Modern Style has a clean line and uses raised nickel silver rings to give strength to the sockets.

Ivorine rings

On the baroque styled flute, we can add an artificial ivory ring for an additional cost which looks great and again harks back to the traditions of the 18th Century.

The Wood

The flutes are made from a variety of woods including African Blackwood, Mopane and English Boxwood. While the more dense Blackwood and Mopane flutes have a generally brighter sound, boxwood produces a cleaner tone than the other hardwoods. The differences here are small however, so it is often more about your preference on colour.

Adjustable Head Cork

The head joints are fitted with a screw adjustable head cork mechanism for precise control of the head cork position. The position of the head cork controls how in-tune the octaves in the lower, middle and upper registers are. If the head cork is too near to the embouchure hole, then the middle register notes will be sharp with respect to the lower register notes, and if too far from the embouchure hole, then the opposite will result. It is important to be able to adjust the position of the cork accurately.

Players should experiment with head cork positions a few millimeters from the position set in our workshop as they may find the octivation better for their embouchure technmique with the head cork in a different position. Good players may also like to try moving the head cork further away from the embouchure hole as it will give a darker and more agressive tone to the flute which they may then choose to expoloit.

The standard position with respect to the center of the embouchure hole of the head corks on our flutes are as follows:

D Prattern flutes – 16mm
D Rudall Rose flutes – 19mm
F flutes – 16.5mm
G flutes – 14.4mm
Bb flutes – 11mm

As you progress to being a better player, you might try moving the head joint cork further away from the embouchure hole. This will give you a more characterful tone which you may find interesting. It will also allow you to play louder and will let you push the bottom note on the instrument much more..

Small Hands and Articulated Finger Holes.

As an option on all flutes, we can move hole 3 a small distance around the instrument so that it sits more comfortably to where your finger is. On flutes which do not have the C and C# foot keys, we can also move the hole 6 a little for the same reason. When the foot joint has the C and C# keys fitted we leave hole 6 in line with the centre of the flute however as this works better for most players when using the low C key.
For players with smaller hands, we can move holes 1 and 3, and holes 4 and 6 a little closer together by angling the hole so that it meets the bore at the same point. Please ask for this option and we can discuss what is possible.

Tenon Cork Choices

We supply all our flutes as standard with the tenons bound with cotton thread in place of cork. While we are always happy to supply flutes with the more common corked tenons, we have found that of the benefit of cotton bound tenons is that our customers can rebind the thread whenever necessary to tighten or loosen a joint as required. It is not therefor necessary to return the flute to us in order to regulate the tenon joints, which especially for overseas customers is a significant advantage. Please advise us however at the time of ordering a flute if you would refer it to have the tenons corked.