Boehm-System Flutes

Boehm-System Flutes

Boehm-System Flutes    18:24 on Wednesday, February 08, 2006          

(4 points)
Posted by lilflattop

I`ve been interested in Irish Flutes for a while now and I was researching them when I found an article that explained the different styles.( I love the traditional sound of the Wooden Irish Flute and I plan on purchasing one in the near future, but I`m unsure of something about them.

I notice that some of the flutes can come as the traditional 6-hole flute and then there are some that have the same key system as a modern silver flute. The main thing I wish to know is, do they sound the same when played? I would like to purchase one with the same key system as a modern flute, but still want the traditional sound of the wooden flute. Is there a difference?

Thank you for your help.

Re: Boehm-System Flutes    23:44 on Wednesday, February 08, 2006          

(84 points)
Posted by Erin

I visited this one website once, of course now I can`t remember it for the life of me, it had links of some guy playing different kinds of irish flutes. On one of the pages he is playing on a silver Gemeinhardt and it sounds like he is playing an irish flute and not a modern flute. I`ll try finding the website.

Re: Boehm-System Flutes    23:47 on Wednesday, February 08, 2006          
Re: Boehm-System Flutes    10:42 on Thursday, February 09, 2006          

(115 points)
Posted by Leprachaun

There is no huge difference in sound. But just remember when you are buying it make sure you buy one in the key you want(they come in a number of different keys) and if you go for a keyless one make sure you can reach the holes(the holes are very wide apart on most Irish flutes). If you go for the keyed flute make sure it`s a traditional one not just a wooden classical flute (unless thats what you want).
You could always try going to a specialist flute maker thats what I did and the man I went to made a flute especially for me, that it fit my fingers exactly. Good luck in your search.


Re: Boehm-System Flutes    08:09 on Tuesday, February 21, 2006          

(1 point)
Posted by matt_paris


I am completely new to this forum, but I play the irish flute for 10 years. Actually I`m here because I would like to play the modern silver flute...

So to answer some of the questions asked:
- Irish flutes do come in different keys, but to begin with, no question, you need a D flute (that does not mean the flute actually transposes in D, just that its lowest note is D, and that it "natural scale", without the keys, is D major)
- Irish flutes almost all use the simple system, with 6 holes. If some players (like Joanie Madden) do play a Boehm, almost all irish flute players use english style 19th century wooden flutes or copies of them.
- The only flutes I can imagine having "the same key system as a modern silver flute" are Boehm wooden flutes, different instruments
- Actually a lot of things are very different between a modern Boehm and a real irish flute: conical bore, 6 holes "simple system", different uneven scale, and the position of the embouchure hole is very different too: we cover it much more. Closer to that of a baroque flute
- IMHO there IS a huge difference in sound. Very noticeable if you listen to good players, especially in the lowest notes (in general low D, though good 8 key flutes go down to low C)

There is here, among others, a good forum about the irish flute:

Hope this helps


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