Half Closing Thumb Key

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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cflutist
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Half Closing Thumb Key

Post by cflutist » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:00 pm

Anybody have one of these keys on their flute?
And if so, what do you think of it, and how do you like it?

Brannen claims that it is activated by the Ab key and is used to flatten the Ab3.

Any other manaufacters offereing this?

Can't decide if I should add this to my flute order which is why I'm asking.

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atoriphile
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Post by atoriphile » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:45 am

No, I don't have this on my flute. It seems only Brannen offers it.

More information is available on their website: http://www.brannenflutes.com/orchestral.html

It is also supposed to improve the attack of Ab3 (G#3) and flatten C4 (and also C#4, I can only assume).

Perhaps it could cause problems when playing microtonal music. Also, if you get accustomed to playing with it, you might need to adjust when going back to a "normal" flute (without the half-closing thumb).

Good luck!

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cflutist
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Post by cflutist » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:53 am

I spoke to their customer service rep this morning. She said that she herself did not have that feature because it was "additional hardware".
She said she just uses the alternate fingering with ooo | oxx to flaten it a bit.

After thinking about it some more, I think I'll just leave it as is with the C# trill, Split-E, and D# roller. She did say that I had till mid-July to decide though (before my flute goes to the "stringer").

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cflutist
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Brannen's Half Closing Thumb Key

Post by cflutist » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:13 pm

Stephen Lee just posted a video of this Half Closing Thumb Key on YouTube so now I know what one looks like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrqybmJGNps

An alternative would be to finger G#1/2 and add the C# Trill to it.

wkzh
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Post by wkzh » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:41 am

It's better described as a "high G# facilitator".

Stephen Wessel and David Straubinger also offer this option on their flutes. (No suprise, Straubinger got his skillz from Brannen.) Hammig and Burkart offer it on their piccolos, but personally I find Burkart's a wonder but Hammig's a sloppy job. The late Ewen McDougall also built flutes with this option, as far as I know.

I'd love it if the Burkart version got transplanted onto the flute, but unfortunately the "double thumb key tone hole" anomaly only exists on the piccolo. The half-closing one (i.e. Brannen's) has risks of muffling the high C and getting clogged by water.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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