On making an instrument *3

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January 26, 2009

Today will be my second day in this class. To prepare, I’ve gathered some information online I found about Renaissance flute measurements. I’ll also take along my Tardino tenor Renaissance flute, to practice making and converting measurements.  Since it is my first instrument, we’re not being too picky or historical about things, we’ve decided to make a ¾ size instrument, which we are going to call a descant. Further, from what I can find online, there is only one extant descant (in Brussels), and some makers doubt its authenticity.

In my searches for measurements, I re-discovered Philippe Allain-Dupré’s great website for Renaissance flutes. Allain-Dupré is a French maker and performer, and I am extremely grateful for all of the information he puts online.  I’m sure I’ll be visiting his site many times.

I would also recommend these sites for information about Renaissance flutes:
http://www.berneyflutes.com/ (a great FAQ page)
http://www.oldflutes.com/renai.htm (good for general information)

So!  I returned from a rather easy class.  All I had to do today was measure my Tardino tenor flute, and reduce everything by 1/4.  This ended up being more practical than using measurements already made, plus it gave me experience measuring.

tenor and measurements

The one question that still perplexes me:  Why, if I reduce every measurement by 1/4, must I NOT reduce the bore and diameter of the flute also?  Paul tells me that it would end up being a much higher pitch, and something about the fundamentals of the notes…but this starts becoming scientific, and it seems my brain turns off easily at the thought of anything related to physics or acoustics. Maybe I never really understood it well when I was younger. Maybe these things will be more clear to me as I work.  Maybe I just need to do a little Google research…