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Flute with bis key

3709 Views 16 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  bruce bailey
As sax player and flutemaker I have always wanted to have a bis key on the flute. I made up a few adding it and while I was at it I made some other changes to the left hand. I did it with the offest G leaving the cups covered in the left hand and open in the right hand. This way the left hand is free to angle at a comfortable position without worry of not covering the holes. I used a smaller lower G hole positioned higher in the body to eliminate the need for a split E or donut in the lower G. With this alteration, the G# lever is elongated and more sax-like in feel. Having the A pad covered also has a small advantage of making F#3 a bit more stable. It feels pretty natural to me. Photos:[email protected]/tags/bis/
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Bruce - The key arrangement looks similar to some altos, where the finger touch points are offset from the keys to make it more ergonomic. As for the smaller lower G# hole, it makes perfect sense. I wonder why more companies don't build it that way. Tradition?
All this discussion reminds me to wonder why open G# flutes aren't more popular. It seems acoustically more correct and obviates the need for special handling of high E and F#. If the open G# fingerings are too hard to learn or too non-ergonomic, then why not use a pivot to reverse the G# key so you can finger it like normal but it acts like open G#?
kymarto said:
First, closing the G tone hole independently only vents the E correctly, not the F#.
How would this pivot work, exactly?
There was an attempt to get rid of the duplicate G# tone hole in the early days with the Dorus G#, which was double sprung, but the reliability and simplicity of the duplicated tone hole won the day.
Yeah, my brain fart on the F# there... but the Dorus G# is a neat design. Never heard of it before but I looked it up and that's the sort of thing I had I mind. Back to the big picture though - while split Es, split F#s or open G#s are interesting and perhaps useful, modern flutes do play just fine without them.

While we're on the subject... what do you guys think of donuts in the lower G hole? Alex Eppler's getting my flute soon for a tuneup and I was considering having him put one in. He can always take it out if I don't like it. My primary concern is that it might muff up the G (pitch, tone quality or both). I suspect the response will vary from one flute to the next so the only way to know will be to try it... Also, he can put in a standard donut shape, or a crescent moon (non-centered) shape.
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