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 Open holes
Author: alanporter 
Date:   2016-06-22 08:07

Why do some flutes have open holes and others have closed hole keys ?

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 Re: Open holes
Author: matt_lin18 
Date:   2016-06-29 06:54

Closed holes are typically easier for younger players and beginners to play. They can focus on figuring out the instrument instead of worrying about covering holes on the instrument. However, there are professionals that play closed hole flutes too, especially in countries outside of the US.

The only thing that open holes provide is the ability for extended techniques. Open holes open up a whole new world of multiphonics, glissandos, and other techniques. Tuning also becomes more customized as you get used to your instrument's pitch tendencies. You can sometimes partially uncover a hole to fine adjust tuning.

Some people even argue that open hole hole flutes leads to worse sound quality. Because the sound coming out of the tone holes hits the fleshy parts of your fingers instead of something hard and reflective. There's also arguments that the flute becomes more responsive with open holes for the sound to escape. In my experience, I haven't noticed these differences. The headjoint and construction of the flute will matter much more.

I would get an open hole flute and plug them. That way if you ever have extended techniques for any reason, you can take them out. I also find open holes easier to grip on to, my fingers sometimes slip on closed hole flutes.

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 Re: Open holes
Author: alanporter 
Date:   2016-06-29 21:39

Thank you Matt. Your explanation is very informative.

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 Re: Open holes
Author: SarahC 
Date:   2016-07-15 16:48

There were historical reasons for the development of the separate systems. The french favoured both cylindrical silver flutes and open hole.. and as far as flute development they seem to have been 'victorious'..... in most cases, people use open hole without taking advantage of the benefits.

But a difference i notice is that the open hole keys are lighter, therefore more responsive when playing.

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