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 Fitting a whistle fipple to a flute
Author: john huff 
Date:   2012-09-05 13:12

Does anyone have knowledge or experience concerning fitting the fipple (the head) off a whistle to a flute? I have had some success but can't get the octaves to match, i.e. one is always flat or sharp. For example, I can play first octave in pitch but by the time I get to second octave G it's going flat. If I set it for the second octave the first is sharp.

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 Re: Fitting a whistle fipple to a flute
Author: DrewSorensenMusic 
Date:   2012-09-07 03:21

Well, I think you're having a problem with airspeed. Now this is learned speculation, but the way a fipple works probably hinders the airspeed more than the open hole of the traditional transverse flute mouthpiece. I would look into getting a bigger headjoint and fipple. Even if you do this, the instrument may not be designed for the type of headjoint (fipple type) you are attaching, so making a whole new instrument might be in order.

Drew S.

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 Re: Fitting a whistle fipple to a flute
Author: john huff 
Date:   2012-09-09 19:28

Hi Drew
Thanks for your mail. I am using a large head off a Howard low whistle in order to get a large fipple. The prevous one I tried (20mm diameter tube) didn't give me the low notes but this one is better. However, the tube I am using for the top section is about a mm too small in diameter which I think might be causing the problem. I'm going to try to enlarge it to see if it makes a difference. I'll keep you posted.

Post Edited (2012-09-09 19:29)

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 Re: Fitting a whistle fipple to a flute
Author: Oboe Craig 
Date:   2012-09-15 23:12

Interesting experiment.

Fixing the whistle to a single point may be a problem.

If you read up on characteristics of a Helmholtz resonator, it may provide some insights.

Basically the stand off distance needs to vary from low range to high range ( the distance from the lips to the opposite side of the opening). As one plays higher the distance needs to decrease to compensate for the natural pitches produced. (Some interesting math I've long forgotten explains it though.)

Actually there are opposing forces, some driving pitch in either direction between stand off distance and air speed and direction; however, the stand off distance has the major effect.

So, notice good flute players push their lips a little more forward as they ascend the scale.

It can seem counter-intuitive, but it really works. So, if your challenge is to produce in tune octaves up into the high range, your device will need to accomodate getting gradually closer to the far side side of the lip plate opening as the notes go higher.

Post Edited (2012-09-15 23:15)

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