I love the sound of the alto flute in G. It is particularly suited for chamber music and jazz. Boehm & Mendler made an alto flute with a wood headjoint. It is pictured in "The Flute And Flute-Paying" by Theobald Boehm, translated by Dayton C. Miller.
I find the wood and bamboo alto headjoints help mellowing the sound of modern instruments, which tend to be too bright. The wood also improves the second octave and makes the sound less "windy" and more focused. It further enhances the dynamic range and palette of colors.
I have experimented with varying the thickness of the bamboo and wood. It seems that the thicker the material, the mellower the sound. The thickness does not affect the responsiveness of the alto flute. Next, I will experiment with drastically changing the shape of the headjoint. Gourd shape comes to mind. Handmade grenadilla wood and other exotic hardwood alto headjoints are also available.
The picture above, from top to bottom:
· Thinned bamboo alto headjoint with black bamboo lipplate
· Alto headjoint in grenadilla
· Alto headjoint in cocuswood
· Regular bamboo alto headjoint
· C-flute headjoint for size comparison
A wood alto headjoint fitted on the curved part of an alto flute.
A very thin Mopane alto headjoint, 26 mm bore.
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For more information please call (978) 461-0705 or e-mail david at sideblown dot com