There is some belief that open hole keys permit louder and clearer sound projection in the flute's lower range. Open-hole keys are also needed for some modern "extended" avant garde pieces, including those requiring the player to play harmonic overtones, or to manipulate "breathy" sounds in addition to the traditional "pure" tone.
This unbelievable bunch of garbage came directly from a 'lovely' new blue flute from eBay (where else??) and is supposedly 'equal to a Jupiter' (maybe on another planet, ha ha.)
The most common harmonic that I use, while warming up, is the series created by fingering low C, then low C#, then low D, then low Eb. Hello, ALL OF THE OPEN-HOLE KEYS ARE COVERED!!! So there could be no possible difference in using an open hole vs. a closed hole flute here.
Also true is that for the lowest range for the flute, those open hole-keys are covered. How can the open holes make a difference in the tone if all the open-hole keys are closed?
A breathy tone seems to be a product of a beginner's embouchure, or perhaps a bad leak or two in the flute. I suppose one could 'manipulate' a breathy tone with the Heimlich Maneuver, too!
An open hole flute has some keys that have a hole through the middle which the player must cover with their fingertips in order to facilitate alternate fingerings, "extended techniques" (e.g. quarter-tones, glissando) and multiphonics.
If you are using an open hole key to facilitate an alternate fingering, you would close the key WITHOUT covering the open hole. The hole must be covered to facilitate NORMAL fingerings, hence the use of plugs and the occasionalrepetitive stress injury from practicing too much if covering the open hole requires a cramped hand position.
Re: Open Hole Flutes can cure the blind, too 15:05 on Sunday, March 25, 2007
Account Closed (3248 points)
Yep, there is a lot of garbage being sold with a whole lot of BS marketing too. Ebay (in an outside of the US) is a good source for seeing this stuff too. That is funny that you put the link of the that flute in here. I was just saying how pretty I thought the colors were together on it and that I wanted. Not to play of course, but for decor. Marking BS is getting worse and worse and I think it is a down right crime!
"....and the occasionalrepetitive stress injury from practicing too much if covering the open hole requires a cramped hand position."
Don't know but I wouldn't be so quick to blame the open holes for causing the cramped hand position, and further causing the repetitive stress. I've played a lot of notes in pieces such as the Andersen op. 60 for decades and most of the repetitive stress issues come from either not paying attention to the muscles and over working them or having too much unnecessary muscle tension, especially at a fast fingering speed. Of course having a good hand position on any flute is going to help to alleviate that stress, bad support issues, and help coordination no matter whether the flute's keys have a few holes or not. My flute of choice: Open holes, inline G, and no split E.
o0o0o awesome video.
yaay open holes. i happen to love them. id definately get injured if i didnt have an offset g though...my hands are so small. i do still have pain and i do agree that it is more about excessive tension on the players part than the open holes because a player can somewhat easily find a mechanism that is comfortable for them. just because everyone has open hole flutes and dont make use of the open holes doesnt mean they are a bad thing.
but the advertising on ebay IS ompletely ridiculous.
This is true.
I'm not advocating open holes, closed holes, offset Gs or not. Depends upon what each person wants as long as they understand what they are buying into. Hey, if you take care of your flute and you buy quality, you can always sell and try something else. These days that's a fairly good idea to do that every few years.
I'm not arguing the point that some people can, and do, make great use of the open holes. Thanks for posting the link to the gliss, way cool.
My point is that the vast majority of people do not use, and so do not need, the open holes. The marketing that convinces most flute buyers that only open hole flutes are high quality instruments can border on the ridiculous.
From what the expert flute technicians tell me, an open hole key is more difficult to pad and shim so that there are no leaks, making routine maintenence more expensive on an open hole vs. a closed hole model flute.
Good point, Bilbo, that repetitive stress injuries are not always caused by open hole or inline G issues. A flute buyer should be knowledgeable about their own hand conformation when buying a flute. You can always add plugs or key extensions. The desire to have open holes, and have them open, is an unfortunate result of all of this silly marketing and can lead to hand problems.
I saw a Lillian Burkart handmade, closed hole flute sell last year for somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500. It languished on the usedflutes site at $5000 and then sold on eBay for half that. Assuming it was in good shape, its open-holed counterpart could be found used for $7500. Ridiculous.
By the way, my flute is open hole and inline G, with plugs in all but the F key. (It was affordable for me because it came with a C footjoint. More silliness. But I bought a handmade, soldered tonehole flute for about $2000 less than what it would have brought as a B-foot flute. And a B-footjoint alone doesn't cost $2000!!)