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Discussion in '... And Others' started by Gandalfe, Feb 29, 2008.
Does the chalumeau have the same fingering as a penny whistle?
What sizes and keys of plastic Xaphoons are available?
I am a little confused regarding what plastic Xaphoons are available. According to the Xaphoon web site (and other things that I have read or watched), the plastic ones are only available in 'C', and they span the same octaves as a 'C' recorder. They run about $80. But I also see ads for Bb and Eb plastic Xaphoons, running about $35. Are those smaller models?
Xaphoolute headjoint for flute
Since they already have Shakuhatchi headjoints for flute (Shakulute), how about someone coming up with a sax/clarinet headjoint for a flute -- a Xaphoolute :wink: ?
It wouldn't work. A flute has a cylindrical bore so it would overblow at the 12th. There aren't enough keys to fill the gap between registers.
I am a sucker for unusual instruments and musical toys.
My musical instruments include traditional instruments (guitars, 5-string banjo, djembes & other hand drums, piano & keyboards, flutes, tingshas, chimes & bowls), and ethnic instruments (washtube bass, blues harps, kalimba, shakuhatchi, various wooden flutes, recorders [which are technically whistles, not flutes], misc. percussion instruments).
But one of my great joys is musical toys and unusual instruments -- apps, wooden whistles, a thunder tube, a folded didgeridoo which looks like a tiny wooden muffler (with folded internal chambers) and produces the same tones and sounds as a long, real C# didge, but does not vibrated your body like a real wormwood didge would. I definitely like portable instruments that I can load up in a gear bag, or throw into a back-pack to take on vacation or around town.
My current musical focus is on classical music on a silver Boehm flute.
But I have never tried playing a reed instrument. The Xaphoon sounds like a perfect play toy for me to experiment with. And a good conversation piece, also.
I am eager to get started.
I've always been told that recorders were more properly referred to as "fipple" flutes, but as my computer objects to that spelling, perhaps I was told wrong.
Nope, I was right. From Wikipedia:
In the accompanying illustration of the head of a recorder, the wooden fipple plug (A), with a "ducted flue" windway above it in the mouthpiece of the instrument, compresses the player's breath, so that it travels along the duct (B), called the "windway". Exiting from the windway, the breath is directed against a hard, bladed edge (C), called the "labium lip" or windcutter, producing a Bernoulli effect or siphon. The air flowing over the voicing mouth creates a flow-controlled valve, or "air reed." [SUP][/SUP]Interaction between the air reed and the air column in the body of the instrument excites standing waves in the air column, which determines the pitch of the sound. This oscillation results in the "whistle sound" in ducted flue instruments. See wind instrument and flue pipe. A distinct tone color, determined by the dimensions of the instrument and the voicing mouth, is then slightly modified by the player's technique or embouchure. In instruments such as the recorder, the player can vary the pitch of the resulting musical note by opening or closing finger holes along the bore of the instrument, thus changing the effective length.
My informant was a teacher who had taught recorder (and sponsored many recorder ensembles over the years), back in my days in high school in the early '60s.
Related instrument: THE CARROT CLARINET
Take a look at this 5 1/2 minute TED Talks video on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BISrGwN-yH4 !
From scratch, the lecturer, Linsey Pollak, starts with a raw carrot, and, in a few minutes, creates a Carrot Sax with great tone. He plays a piece on it.
It sounds very saxxy, but he says that, technically, it is a clarinet because it has a straight bore rather than a conical one.
It is a lot cheaper than a Xaphoon, with a short shelf life, but good tone and a great conversation piece. It looks like fun!
For what it's worth, all these are more correctly clarinets, since the bore is cylindrical and not conical. Or does the Xaphoon have some rough approximation of a conical bore? I have something like this Xaphoon made of wood by Kawai (a pocket clarinet), that uses a clarinet mouthpiece, probably from the 60s or 70s. I bought it in a second-hand store in Tokyo for $10, and it is actually much better than the Xaphoon in terms of intonation, as far as I can make out from the sound samples posted earlier. In addition the mpc itself is excellent; I sometimes use it on my R13
Better yet, I'd like to see a vertical flute head for the clarinet. It's be great to have those extra throat keys as alternate fingerings
What is a recorder?
Thank you for the clarification. I had never encountered such a detailed description of recorder anatomy and physiology. Very interesting.
I guess I owe Wikipedia another donation . Seriously, they do have a wealth of information on numerous aspects of music, music theory & notation, and musical instruments.
The Hanson chalmeau? I had a look at the site. I've never seen this instrument, but in some respects it looks amazingly like the Nuvo 'DooD' except that the DooD has 'flap' type 'keys' instead of calling for players to use their fingers to close holes. It only spans 1 octave c-c with (I believe) the possibility of an additional d.
The Hanson instrument didn't have the 'flap' keys, but its look and, I suspect, the materials of which it is made, are probably very similar. At present the DooD is woefully unsupported by way of demos, tutorials, documentation etc. although I believe many of these weaknesses are due to be addressed at the end of 2015.
Any instrument which developers hope to be accepted by schools as a way of introducing pupils to wind instruments other than the recorder really must provide a lot of accompanying and associated support and resources.
Thanks for that link ... I'll check the Hanson out a bit further.
Damned right about cats! Mine's a yowler and doesn't appreciate the competition.
That's actually what I have to be careful of when I play. There is a lot of potential to bend the pitches. You can easily play a whole step off and hit the right note with the wrong fingering. It is best to master the correct fingerings, and learn to use the bending for expressiveness. Otherwise, it leads to madness (trust me). It is rather important to use the same, steady embouchure across the range of the instrument. Any unsteadiness in embouchure leads to a sort of weird, creepy, whiny sound. Anyone who plays the xaphoon will know what I mean. You can use embouchure changes with controlled intent to get the effects you want. The difference between a controlled vibrato and just plain annoying can be subtle.
I own one of the black plastic ones. I absolutely love it. I've been using a "Harry Hartmann Carbon Fiberreed Tenor Saxophone Reed." That eliminates the warm up time needed with a cane reed, and I dig the tone. Mine cost $70.(+$40 for the reed!) I didn't think that was too pricey. I've been taking it to meetup jams with the "Acoustic Jammers," and folks seem to like how I play it. I think the instrument has an amazing potential. I'm definitely a big fan. It can be challenging, but like anything--practice, practice, practice!
Yeah, I want to make one of those sometime. I love that video! I play xaphoon. Pulling out a carrot and making it sound cool would blow a few minds, I think. I wonder what a zucchini might sound like.
I like the idea of them. Especially if they are much cheaper than a sax!