will a muramatsu flute be good for me ?

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s2jennie
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will a muramatsu flute be good for me ?

Post by s2jennie » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:00 pm

Hello.
I am in 9th grade currenly and 1st chair in the upperclassmen band. I have played since 5th grade with an YAMAHA 221 and want to upgrade into an open hole flute. I was thinking if i should get a muramatsu at my age or should i get a yamaha for now and upgrade into a muramatsu when i am in college or even beyond?

Thank you for your help 1

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flutepicc06
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Re: will a muramatsu flute be good for me ?

Post by flutepicc06 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:16 pm

s2jennie wrote:Hello.
I am in 9th grade currenly and 1st chair in the upperclassmen band. I have played since 5th grade with an YAMAHA 221 and want to upgrade into an open hole flute. I was thinking if i should get a muramatsu at my age or should i get a yamaha for now and upgrade into a muramatsu when i am in college or even beyond?

Thank you for your help 1
First of all, why do you want an open hole flute? Those holes are good only for pitch shading, extended effects, and some 4th octave notes, none of which you're likely to need to produce. For the vast majority of players, those holes serve absolutely no purpose. I would suggest keeping your options open, as a used plateau model will often be cheaper than a French keyed model, meaning you may be able to get "more" flute for your money. Aside from wanting open holes, what is motivated your desire to upgrade?

Now, as for whether a Mura is a good flute for you, there is no way for us to be able to tell. You'll have to playtest Muras (as well as many other brands) and see what suits you best. Also, Yamaha and Muramatsu are only two of a long list of makers you should be looking into if you're planning to upgrade. Other makers producing intermediate level instruments are:

Miyazawa
Sankyo
Altus
Sonare
Azumi
Amadeus
Brio
Gemeinhardt
DiMedici
Pearl
Emerson
Trevor James

and others. You'll need to research each make and see which models seem to fit the list of specs you want and your budget, and then playtest those models against each other to find the best fit for you. Flute fairs and conventions happen around the country every so often and are a fantastic place to try all these makes, so you might ask around at the local flute club to see what's happening in your area in the near future. You may also be close to a major flute retailer (Fluteworld, Carolyn Nussbaum, etc.), in which case paying them a visit would be great, but they can also ship you instruments on a trial basis. Muramatsu and Yamaha certainly make some good instruments but there are plenty of other options available at or above that level, so don't limit yourself to these two makes.

s2jennie
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Post by s2jennie » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:38 pm

thank you for the reply. But i did already do my research. & that is how i came down to the two brands
yamaha and muramatsu
And i want an open hole flute because it can produce a better tone compared to the closed hole. Why do you think all the professionals have an open hole if they are no different?? -_-

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:47 pm

s2jennie wrote:thank you for the reply. But i did already do my research. & that is how i came down to the two brands
yamaha and muramatsu
And i want an open hole flute because it can produce a better tone compared to the closed hole. Why do you think all the professionals have an open hole if they are no different?? -_-
Unfortunately, that's not at all true. Professional level flutes sound better because of the higher quality and design and craftsmanship (and the players themselves), not because of the open holes. Most pros do play open hole flutes, as they became the trend after the Paris Conservatoire (which was and is one of the most respected schools of music in the world) made them the standard for its students early in the 20th century (so that they could play the contemporary repertoire that was beginning to emerge), but it is not the holes that improves the tone. Unfortunately, because most upper level flutes have open holes (and a B foot and pointed arms) as the only obvious difference between them and lower level flutes from the same maker, some people have concluded that it is the holes that matter, which simply isn't the case. If you do a survey of what the pros are playing, many European soloists do use flutes with closed holes and C footjoints, and sound fantastic on them. In any case, if the holes actually improved tone, then only the notes that vent at keys with holes would sound better (which means five out of 12 tones in a 1 octave chromatic scale would have a distinctly better sound), which is not a phenomena you'll every hear anyone mention. There are some magnificent plateau model instruments out there, and more than a few absolute junkers with French keys. The holes are good only for extended effects, notes into the 4th octave, and pitch shading...Nothing else. They won't improve tone, resonance, or any other part of how a flute plays. It seems you've fallen prey to one of the more common flute-related misconceptions.

As for the flute shopping, what kind of research have you done? Simply looking at websites is not a good way to pick a flute, so unless you've played flutes from all the makers I listed (and several others I didn't list), your work as a savvy consumer isn't done yet. And in the instance that you have playtested all the models meeting the list of specs you want, then only you can decide whether a Mura or any other kind of flute is the right one for you. If you haven't had your current flute looked at by a tech in the time you've had it (or within the last year), then it's almost certainly due for some maintainance (at least a COA, and more than likely an overhaul), and having it worked on may solve any issues you have with it without the extra expense of a brand new instrument.
Last edited by flutepicc06 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

s2jennie
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Post by s2jennie » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:56 pm

Well thank you for the reply. And thank you for correcting my misunderstandment. I only wanted one because my flute teacher has said i should probably upgrade into a new flute.

In my first question i was simply asking
could a 9th grader play a muramatsu flute.
It was that. Well thank you

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:58 pm

s2jennie wrote:Well thank you for the reply. And thank you for correcting my misunderstandment. I only wanted one because my flute teacher has said i should probably upgrade into a new flute.

In my first question i was simply asking
could a 9th grader play a muramatsu flute.
It was that. Well thank you
Anyone of any age can potentially play any flute. There are no rules for when you're allowed to upgrade or what you're allowed to buy. Some players are ready to upgrade long before others, and everyone is going to pick a different instrument depending on what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what they want from a musical standpoint. If you're most comfortable on a Muramatsu (after playtesting all the options), then get a Muramatsu by all means. Be sure to playtest several flutes (even if they're the same model) before buying, though, as they'll all play slightly differently. When I was a sophomore in high school, I began playing a Yamaha 581 (the equivalent of the current 674HHV), and by the time I got to senior year, I had graduated to a gold flute. Most people won't ever want/need anything like that, but it just goes to show you that age is no indicator of what instrument will best suit a player.
Last edited by flutepicc06 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

s2jennie
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Post by s2jennie » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:03 pm

do you know any places to try all those different brand of flutes in west michigan ? ( specifically grand rapids.)
or maybe even in chicago
Thank you

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:05 pm

Yes, a ninth grader can play a Muramatsu if he/she is ready for a handmade flute. If you are currently studying wuth a private teacher who seems to think that you would benefit from a handmade flute at your age and level, then I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. However, you will probably notice a difference in your playing over the next several years. A big investment now may not be the best option. If you have your heart set on a Muramatsu, I suggest an EX model which is a fantastic flute for quite a bit less than other models. If you do find that you play better on a different flute later on (maybe in college), you may regret a huge investment now.

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:07 pm

s2jennie wrote:do you know any places to try all those different brand of flutes in west michigan ? ( specifically grand rapids.)
or maybe even in chicago
Thank you
Absolutely! Fluteworld is not far from you in Farmington Hills (probably closer than Chicago), and you're also pretty near the Flute Specialists (I believe they're about 20 minutes away from Fluteworld). Both are great to deal with (Fluteworld gave me nearly 10% off a brand new Powell piccolo over the summer, so don't be afraid to ask about discounts, either) and they'll both have a very large selection of flutes available for you to test out.

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:17 pm

fluttiegurl wrote: If you do find that you play better on a different flute later on (maybe in college), you may regret a huge investment now.
While that's true, a handmade flute will hold a pretty good chunk of its value, so even if you needed to resell it at a later point, your loss may or may not be a big one. Buying for the future is not (IMO) the best way to shop, as there's no way to know how your playing will change in the coming years. If you need to sell down the line and buy something else, then so be it, but buy the flute that works best for you at a given time, and then work with it as long as it suits your needs.

s2jennie
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Post by s2jennie » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:18 pm

wow. Thank you very much !
I'll go check those two out =)

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:05 pm

s2jennie wrote:wow. Thank you very much !
I'll go check those two out =)
You're very welcome! Good luck!

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Post by fluteguy18 » Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:14 am

I do want to clarify something that has gone unsaid so far. Of those companies mentioned above, they vary as to how their flutes are constructed. While this may initially seem trivial, and one is likely to believe the superstition that a solid silver flute is better than a plated one, you need to understand how they are made.

Companies such as Emerson and Gemeinhardt produce machine made flutes. The headjoints on these flutes are not handcut, but rather drilled by machine. These style headjoints can be [and usually are] restricted in areas of dynamics and subtle tone colors.

Companies such as Sonare, Brio, and Lyric produce flutes with hand cut headjoints and machine made bodies.

Companies such as Sankyo, Muramatsu, and Miyazawa produce flutes that are completely handmade.

So, while every company mentioned will make flutes in virtually any solid material, they also produce many silver plated instruments. Usually a rule of thumb to go by, is that the more handcraftsmanship to go into a flute, the better it will play. So, theoretically, a silver plated handmade flute will play better than a solid silver machine made flute.

My point, is to make sure that you dont automatically assume that a solid silver flute made by Gemeinhardt for example is better than a silver plated Sankyo [or Mura. or Miya etc. etc.]. When you look at prices, the amount of hand workmanship will be factored in. Handmade flutes sell for more than machine made flutes. As for why some of the companies mentioned who produce handmade flutes are in the "Intermediate" catagory? It is about price. For an "Intermediate" flute expect to spend between $1000-3000. Handmade silver plated flutes sometimes fall into this range depending on what features they have.

You very well could like a machine made flute better than one that is hand made. I myself have played a few machine made flutes that were in a league of their own in many regards.

Just some food for thought and to expand on the label of "Intermediate".

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:30 pm

fluteguy18 wrote:
My point, is to make sure that you dont automatically assume that a solid silver flute made by Gemeinhardt for example is better than a silver plated Sankyo [or Mura. or Miya etc. etc.]
This, I think, is what that post boils down to, and I couldn't agree more. Just as we discussed that not all flutes with open holes are superior to those with closed holes, the same absolutely applies material-wise. A flute made of a more expensive material is not automatically better than a flute of a cheaper material. There are some pieces of absolute junk (the type thaty will literally fall apart in just a few months) made of solid silver, and some absolutely fantastic silver plated flutes (like Louis Lots, Bonnevilles, etc.) available. Of course, when playtesting a flute, you should be doing blind tests anyway so as not to influence yourself (which means material shouldn't come into play much in the decision).

john101
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Post by john101 » Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:26 pm

I won't argue with Flutepicc06's opinion concerning open holed flutes. Lets assume he is 100% correct. I would still suggest you upgrade to an open hole flute, solely with economics in mind. It's going to be a little harder to sell a closed hole professional flute if you decide to upgrade again. Plus even though you kicked out $3500 for a closed hole Muramatsu EX, your going to constantly hear every teacher and professor continue to suggest you upgrade to an open hole flute. Why would you want to deal with that? Get an open hole and leave the plugs in if you prefer closed hole.

To build on what Fluteguy said about machine made Gemeinhardts and such, I have a solid silver Gemeinhardt KGM Std. which I paid about $1100.. It actually has very nice tone. But dynamics, loudness and mechanical playability is completely laughable compared to a solid silver head, plated body Muramatsu EX. If your really serious about flute, then a pro model would be best for you. I went with a Muramatsu heavy wall flute, but I also liked the Miyazawa. Take into consideration all of the handmade flutes will start at $3000. You didn't mention your price point. If thats too much, you might want to consider some of the better machine made step up flutes like Yamaha 500 series and Trevor James.

John

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