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Dspeck

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Posts: 115
Reply with quote  #1 
I am trying to make a transversal flute similar to a Bansuri and I got some trouble with adjusting it to play the second (higher) octave. I had a prototype with just the blow hole where I could easily play the second and third octave but I had to shorten it to about half the length because it was segmented, and no matter how I change the cork, I can't even get close to playing the second or third octave now, while playing the first octave is dead easy.

I wonder if this is due to the quite heavy wall thickness. This flute has a length of about 28 cm, inside diameter of 1.5 to 1.7 cm and the average wall thickness is almost 5mm.

Could this be the reason?
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wilsaxo

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Posts: 163
Reply with quote  #2 
Hello Dspeck,

I repair western flutes for an living and even make headjoints for them. The distance that the cork is placed from the embouchure hole's center is the same as the diameter of the bore at the center of the embouchure hole. Although this is most often 17.35 mm on the Boehm C flute, but it also applies to piccolos, as well as alto and bass flutes. The wall thickness (riser height) doesn't matter for determining the cork placement. I make a measuring stick out of a piece of wooden dowel that is either radiused or pointed at one end and long enough to stick up into the head from the end. I stick it into the embouchure hole and look at it down the bore, and scribe a line on it that represents the inner diameter (this sometimes takes a few tries to get it exact). I then use this line to set the cork.

This should apply to all flutes to get at least a usable starting point from which to experiment from. The wall thickness can give response problems, which can be worked on with undercutting and overcutting of the hole.

Hope this helps you with your flute.

Cheers,
David
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Dspeck

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Posts: 115
Reply with quote  #3 
David, thanks for your reply! The trouble was the embouchure indeed. It was a real mess, bad shape, dents etc. So I cleaned it and opened the embouchure to the inside, making the side-edge sharper. Now I can get the second octave again. Eventually, I will try to get the third one too, but the flute has a long crack now and so I have started another one.
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