ALLOY - a homogenous mixture composed of two or more metals. For example, sterling silver is an alloy, as it is a combination of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals including copper.
CROWN - the dome-shaped part at the very top of the headjoint. It is attached to the headjoint cork assembly and can control the assembly's position. The crown is integral to the projection and quality of the instrument's
C# TRILL - a lever that activates a key over an extra C# tone hole. This makes trilling from B to C# much easier. It also facilitates fingerings for other trills and tremolos, including a reliable third octave G to A trill, high F# to G#, and high Ab to Bb. With a C# trill, tremolos are also easily executed between first octave G, Ab, D, Bb, B, and C to C#, and D to D#. In the second octave, tremolos of A, Bb, B or C to C# are made easier as well.
D# ROLLER - a part of the D# key. It facilitates the sliding motion of the little finger between the D# key and the lower keys of the footjoint. Some manufacturers also offer a C# roller on the low C# key in addition to the D# roller.
Low C Footjoint - reaches down to low C (which is middle C on the piano). It is frequently described as freeing up the low register and offering less resistance throughout the Flute. The C footjoint is standard on most student model Flutes.
Low B footjoint - reaches down to a low B, one half-step lower than the C footjoint, by adding one more key and extending the length of the Flute. The B footjoint also adds weight to the overall instrument, which increases resistance and produces an overall darker tone versus the brighter tone of a C footjoint. The B footjoint is the standard Flute choice for contemporary compositions.
TONE HOLES (DRAWN VS. SOLDERED)
Drawn tone holes are pulled (drawn) up from the main tube of the Flute and then rolled over.
Soldered tone holes of the Flute are formed separately (like small chimneys) and then soldered onto the body of the Flute.
GIZMO - a small raised lever mounted on the low B key arm to facilitate the individual closing of the low B key. Also known as a “high C facilitator,” this lever helps to produce a clearer 4th octave C.
HIGH E FACILITATOR - a disc that is installed in the lower G key to reduce the venting of the G key to improve the high E response. This is a simpler way to stabilize the high E than the Split E Mechanism. It is sometimes referred to as a “donut” or “disc.”
G DISC - see High E Facilitator
INLINE G VS. OFFSET G
Inline G - the G keys on an inline G key Flute are placed in a straight line with the rest of the keys on the Flute. They are mounted on the same rod next to each other.
Offset G - the G keys on an offset G Flute are offset slightly from the rest of the keys, and are mounted on separate posts. This creates a stronger key construction that eliminates some of the small mechanical issues that can potentially occur on an inline G mechanism. The offset G also allows a more relaxed and natural hand position.
LIP PLATE - the raised plate surrounding the embouchure hole (or riser) on which the player positions their lower lip. On metal Flutes and Piccolos, the lip plate is attached to the riser.
RISER - the part (“chimney”) that connects the lip plate to the headjoint tube. Silver is the most common metal used for the riser, although many makers offer different karats of gold and platinum to enhance the sound of the instrument.
PINLESS MECHANISM - traditional Flutes use pinning needles inserted into the inner mechanism rods to secure certain keys to a fixed position. Pinless construction, on the other hand, uses bridge mechanisms and socket-head screws for the same purpose.
POINTED ARM vs. Y-ARMS
Pointed Arm - a key design that connects keys to the rod with a raised, pointed arm which extends to the center of the key. Also referred to as “styled keys” or “French pointed arms,” it is not common on student model flutes, but can be found on many intermediate model Flutes.
Y-Arm Keys - a key design that connects the back of the keys to the rod with a Y-shaped arm. This key design is standard on most student and some intermediate model Flutes and is also found on many older Haynes and Powell Commercial Flutes.
SPLIT E MECHANISM - allows venting of only one G key while fingering high E. This facilitates production of the high E and provides a more stable response. The split E mechanism is most commonly available on Flutes with an offset G key, although some handmade Flute makers will custom manufacture a Flute with an inline G key and split E mechanism on request. Please read about the High E Facilitator above!
TUBING THICKNESS refers to the thickness of the tubing used in Flute construction. Many handmade Flutes are available in thin-wall (.014”), medium-wall (.016”) or heavy-wall (.018”) construction. The .014” tubing Flute will generally offer less resistance than the .018” tubing Flute.
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