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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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17,204 Posts
Alto flute:

- Roughly 3 times the price (for similar quality) of a soprano flute.
- More often badly made mechanically.
- Adjustments are generally more challenging and more precarious.
- Intonation is often dodgy.
- Heavier. More troublesome if you have shoulder or neck problems.
- Quite a lot softer.
- Used very little in pit playing. In 150 shows I think I used mine three times. (Wonderful for the intro for "Send In The Clowns"! - that's why I bought mine.)
- Uses a lot more air. The player, especially if inexperienced (hence likely to waste air), could have much greater dizziness issues.
- Fundamentally a less "perfect" instrument acoustically, possibly because the embouchure hole is rather small for the upper end tone hole, used for every note.
- As others have mentioned, transposing issues.

Some of these are reasons why I do not see it as the tenor sax of the flute world.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
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17,204 Posts
I played in 150 musical productions. I bought my alto flue for Send In The Clowns in A Little Night Music, and played it in only 1 other show.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
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17,204 Posts
.... very beautiful, especially in the low end. makes me want to explore bass flute, though i'm not sure what i can grab except maybe a Jupiter.
1. You only get a few notes out of each breath.
2. It is very soft.
 
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