minstrel: fifes

Kathleen MacLaughlin liz at houston.rr.com
Tue May 16 16:06:28 PDT 2000

>Although in modern flute the fingerings change to keep the note more in tune 
>with the rest of the instrument, otherwise they tend to spiral out of 
>temperament.  But then that's because after the 8ve overblowing you start to 
>play with overtones for getting fifths, and they're not always the same 
>proportions between each other as straight notes in the lower registers.  Or 
>so I understand.

If you take a modern flute and start on the C in the staff and just start
overblowing to get the octaves, you'll get 2 before you get the next fifth,
then a fourth, then a third.  And most of the time, they're horridly out of
pitch.  On older instruments - fife's, etc - where you don't necessarily
have fingerings for the next octave up, you can often "fake it" by lifting
the first finger.  Overblowing works occasionally, but not always well.

>Yes, I suppose I forgot about that - lipping around sort of becomes second 
>nature.  Actually I found fife a heck of a lot easier once I learnt the 
>'new' forward embouchure for the modern flute.  For some reason it's less 
>strain on the mouth in fife too (tho' I can't say I've noticed that on 

Most of the high range is achieved more through support, a firmer and
smaller embouchure, and pushing the bottom jaw forward slightly.  Rolling
the instrument is usually highly frowned upon, but it it work for you, go
for it.

By the way, as an introduction...  I'm Kat, flute player (yes, modern
flute, but I haven't the money to get a period instrument as of yet) and
member of the Canton of Gate's Edge in Houston...


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