Octave Multiphonics

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Octave Multiphonics

Post by wkzh »

We've all experienced the sheer frustration of "getting caught in between" when first learning how to navigate between the lower two octaves; to get that nice clean sound. But how about controlling this "in between state" and play "octave multiphonics"? (Pardon the lack of a better term. Let's not get into the physics part here, keep it on the musical side.)

I am aware that such a "dirty, rusty" sound would have been (and actually is) employed in jazz. Indeed, Robert Dick writes for octaves in the opening of his "Fish are Jumping" although all the videos I've watched do not execute it that way. (He also writes for larger chords using harmonics, as do other jazz flautists use in regular playing, but that's another matter.) It's seems to me that flautists are often taught to get a "good tone" rather than being able to control the tone; to roughen it or to polish it, and hence the lack of varied performances. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The effect achieved in the lower two octaves is similar to a string instrument's double-stopped octave, though with less control, and I do use this technique often for my string transcriptions. I was just wondering how many out there put them to good musical use.

P.S. you can play out of tune with yourself using these multiphonics! The octaves can be tweaked to be out of tune, and beating occurs, though no dissonance is percieved because... *insert psychoacoustical jargon here* More of a musician's party trick, a good 'ole vibrato would suffice musically.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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