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Re:Re : Re : [earlyflute] Re: when is a "copy" a copy?

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  • Gino Maini
    hello everyone, an exemple to be emulated is that there are at least 2 or 3 complete recordings of the 5 piano concertos of beethoven
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 1, 2008
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      hello everyone,
      an exemple to be emulated is that there are at least 2 or 3 complete
      recordings of the 5 piano concertos of beethoven
      (hoogwood,norrington,gardiner).on each one the pianist use at least 3
      different fortepianos and this seem logical and absolutely necessary.

      in 18 century probably they did not play more than a flute at a
      time,but we can and we have to.

      the possibilities are many.we can play quantz not with his flutes.the
      important word is to be coherent (it.coerenza)

      i think all maker should disclose everything at least to the customers
      and use their innovations as publicity for their instruments.maybe it
      would be possible to"patent"an innovation that say,cameron do on the
      denner?and to"patent" another innovation that another maker do on the
      same denner?

      maybe is a crazy idea.

      greetings to everyone,
      gino maini
    • jed wentz
      Hello Rod, Colin, Barbara and All, Let me say first of all how wonderful it is to be able to discuss things on this forum! It has in the past really helped me
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 1, 2008
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        Hello Rod, Colin, Barbara and All,

        Let me say first of all how wonderful it is to be able to discuss things on this forum! It has in the past really helped me to clarify my thoughts on some major issues, and its also just great to be in contact with colleagues all over the world how are thinking about and struggling with the same issues.

        This particular thread has (as Colin very rightly pointed out) many tentacles...I have been thinking all morning (well, you have to have some distraction when cleaning and doing the dishes!) about the notion of a flute that 'works'. How does one define that, where does one draw the line? For instance, recent copies of the Palanca have put me off the instrument: they work so well, are so forgiving and relaxed, that they entirely cease to inspire me. So, anyway, I decided (somewhere between scrubbing the roasting pan and rinsing the wine glasses) that what I really want from an instrument is that it challenge me in the practice room but that it not surprise me with bold rebellion on the concert stage. A flute that 'works' for me is one that I can work with in a concert, through which I can express my ideas, and which is consistent in its behavior.

        Rod, the beautiful Bressan you made for me is the perfect example. I had quite a stormy relationship with it in the beginning. Oh sure, 90% of what I wanted came out with no effort at all...but getting it to do that last 10%! I really had to blow just the way the flute wanted, too much direct air and the sound went dead. But as the addiction and the obsession are in that last 10%, I kept going. That flute really taught me a lot, and now we are fast friends. I just used it for my Bach recording and I couldn't imagine why I ever had to work so hard to get to know it... And that "Bressan technique" I now use when playing on other flutes...

        I have to admit, Barbara, that I hadn't heard Bart's remark about radio vs TV before... I must be out of the loop! I agree with you that we have to define authenticity for our selves in an honest and clear-headed way. I revere Taruskin's thought, but do not draw the same conclusions from it that he himself, or indeed, some of my colleagues did and do...a lot of post-Taruskin Early Musicians seem to have given up trying to recreate the sounds of the past. Well, we can never really be 100% authentic (anyway...who wants that? Just imagine that we had Cd's from the 18th century to copy...how dull that would be! Just imagine that we didn't have anything more to experiment with or dispute! We might as well all just fall into an artistic coma, or go work at a hamburger joint...) but to keep trying is to renew and keep alive the freshness of our thought and performances.

        I agree, Gino, that it's a very important difference between our time and the 18th century that we actually can order a flute for a specific repertoire. It would not have been easy in 1790 to get one's hands on an Hotteterre copy in order to play, say, Marais...but then I doubt anyone ever considered doing such a thing back then...I am not sure that we have a moral obligation to do so, however, just because the the builders and the copies are there. It all really depends on how you define authenticity. For me composer's intentions is a position very difficult to defend, so I tend to take performer's practice as my starting point: if I were an 18th-century performer, where would I fit into the aesthetic landscape of the day? That's my own personal position, but of course each performer needs to make his/her own choices...

        Sorry for this lengthy babbling, back to dusting,


        Jed

        PS Rod, well, I can't say how I looked in my kilt, but I wore it with pride in that lovely city...one of the few I would trade Amsterdam for in a flash! the Ceilidh was great fun, but alas, my stay was all too short. there's a trip to the Highlands planned for the fall, however...




        On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 10:09 AM, Gino Maini <ginomaini@...> wrote:

        hello everyone,
        an exemple to be emulated is that there are at least 2 or 3 complete
        recordings of the 5 piano concertos of beethoven
        (hoogwood,norrington,gardiner).on each one the pianist use at least 3
        different fortepianos and this seem logical and absolutely necessary.

        in 18 century probably they did not play more than a flute at a
        time,but we can and we have to.

        the possibilities are many.we can play quantz not with his flutes.the
        important word is to be coherent (it.coerenza)

        i think all maker should disclose everything at least to the customers
        and use their innovations as publicity for their instruments.maybe it
        would be possible to"patent"an innovation that say,cameron do on the
        denner?and to"patent" another innovation that another maker do on the
        same denner?

        maybe is a crazy idea.

        greetings to everyone,
        gino maini


      • rod cameron
        Dear Barbara, Thank you for your posting, and for your kind email to me! I always get value from what you have to say, but it was a shock when you wrote to say
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 1, 2008
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          Dear Barbara,

          Thank you for your posting, and for your kind email to me!

          I always get value from what you have to say, but it was a shock when you wrote to say the first flute I made you was 31 years ago !  Seems like yesterday. That was then, and reporting on 'this is now', I have just delivered four CA Grenser flutes to my most unusual customer ... the US Army !  They have a Fife and Drum Corps who do mostly outdoor music, and as you might expect the fife players are darn good, and also have plenty of experience with silver flute and piccolo. I just about fell over backwards when I was contacted by these musicians, but quite drawn in by their request. They are in the process of widening their reach to include 18th and early 19th century repertoire   music to be played at many indoor functions. I thought about it, and am won over by the idea. If the generals are meeting in smoke filled rooms to plan the next strategy, I would rather the music was, say, some Couperin, rather than Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture? A human heart beats inside every rib cage if one can only find a way through to it.

          Keep up your good influences in Indiana!

          I would not like to be in the heat and humidity that covers much of the US at this time, but I can report that this little Coastal town of Mendocino in Northern California Coast is very cold and foggy in 'summer'... sometimes in the 50's F through the day, and I wish I could borrow just a few degrees of warmth from y'all   ... but not much. My working comfort zone is about 70F  (20C).  Mother Nature is snapping back at us for extending our reach to living in semi desserts inland. The latest forest fire near Yosemite is a major one, started by sparks generated by target practice shooters (!), so all is not well. Very tiny particles of combustion are everywhere. These particles are so small they go right into the lungs, and then into the bloodstream, not a good place to be if you are a flute player. The satellite pictures show the massive smoke areas to be moving East towards the Sierras, but some doubling back must be happening in the upper jet stream, as I look out at the crescent moon setting into the west over the Ocean, it has been looking more like deep red than its normal bright grey.

          best wishes!

          Rod


          Roderick Cameron
          PO Box 438
          10580 Williams Street
          Mendocino, 
          CA 95460,  USA
          Telelphone:  
          studio 707 937 0412
          Home 707 937 9921
          cell:    707 813 7593




          On Jul 31, 2008, at 6:54 PM, Kallaur Barbara wrote:

          Hi Colin, Jed, Rod


          What an interesting topic. I love Colin's point about string players, and perhaps if we flutists were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for ONE instrument, we would make it suffice. Even with bows, most fiddle players I know have something suitable for early 17th C, and a baroque bow, and a classical bow. (maybe transitional Tourte if they play early 19th C lit.)

          For me, it all has less to do with what is "correct" (in whose opinion?) than of what instrument serves the literature the best.  Music from the court of Louis XIV is easier (for me) to play on an instrument that has very precise speech and nuance--not that I haven't successfully played this repertoire many times on a flute from a half a century later.  Our job as musicians is to move the hearts of our listeners, who need not be concerned with the tools we choose to effect this. As we all have heard Bart Kuijken say many times "play for the radio, not for the television".

          Jed's point about what flute Telemann would have preferred points out the limits of historical accuracy, and even if we knew, is it important? We are not 18th century flutists living in Hamburg, but (amongst us) musicians living in Baltimore, Amsterdam, and Indianapolis, with different work demands, different halls, different colleagues.

          As a final note, I do agree that full disclosure would be nice to have, and may have the added benefit of convincing flutists that it is not the tool as much as the soul behind the tool that matters. One of the most moving performances of "Aus Liebe" I have ever heard was played on a silver Louis Lot with a early 20th century headjoint made of tin. The flutist? Lorna McGhee.

          Greetings from Sauna City, muggy Naptown.

          Barbara

          Barbara Kallaur
          Historical Flutes, Early Music Institute
          Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

          Ensemble Voltaire
          www.ensemblevoltair e.com






        • Kallaur Barbara
          Hello all Just two quick points on Jed s comments: I have to admit, Barbara, that I hadn t heard Bart s remark about radio vs TV before... I must be out of the
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 1, 2008
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             Hello all

            Just two quick points on Jed's comments:

            I have to admit, Barbara, that I hadn't heard Bart's remark about radio vs
            TV before... I must be out of the loop! I agree with you that we have to
            define authenticity for our selves in an honest and clear-headed way. I
            revere Taruskin's thought, but do not draw the same conclusions from it that
            he himself, or indeed, some of my colleagues did and do...a lot of
            post-Taruskin Early Musicians seem to have given up trying to recreate the
            sounds of the past. Well, we can never really be 100% authentic
            (anyway...who wants that? Just imagine that we had Cd's from the 18th
            century to copy...how dull that would be! Just imagine that we didn't have
            anything more to experiment with or dispute! We might as well all just fall
            into an artistic coma, or go work at a hamburger joint...) but to keep
            trying is to renew and keep alive the freshness of our thought and
            performances.

            I get very discouraged with some of the current crop of students  whose motivations in exploring this area seem so different from us old folks. The "Who knows for sure, why bother?" attitude seems to reflect a general decline in intellectual curiosity--but that is a whole other topic. There was a wonderful piece in the NYT several years ago (by Bernard Holland, I think) about how early music has gone from being a "movement" to a "profession", and to paraphrase, said that although the playing is so much better than 30 years ago, something has been lost to a type of professional standard that no longer urges us to think for ourselves.

            And not to go too far a-field--Jed, I loved what you said about the last 10% of struggle with a flute, that demands it be played on its own terms. I have had exactly the same experience with the Willoughby Schuchart. The flute has taught me so much --the best flutes do challenge us. 

            Rod--the US Army!!! How the world has changed. I just worked with a fantastic natural trumpet player who plays in the Field Band, as do a couple of my former elective traverso students. 

            Thanks all, for this forum, and this great discussion.
            Barbara


            Barbara Kallaur 
            Historical Flutes, Early Music Institute
            Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

            Ensemble Voltaire
            www.ensemblevoltaire.com




          • James Bolger
            ROD: It seems odd to me that in a when is a copy a copy string that you started you that you would write: have just delivered four *CA Grenser*
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 3, 2008
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              ROD:  It seems odd to me that in a "when is a 'copy' a copy" string that you started you that you would write:
               
               "have just delivered four CA Grenser flutes..."
               
              Are these original CA Grensers that you have delivered to the US ARMY?  wow!  I didn't realize that they existed!
               
              Seriously, when we start a discussion about facsimiles or "models" it's important that we define our terms.  The word "copy" can mean a lot of different things.  A purist might believe that a "copy" MUST be the identical pitch, materials and method of construction (ie no power tools!)  For others an "authentic" copy (really an oxymoron in my book) might require much less stringent demands. 
               
              Remember too that makers didn't exactly reinvent the wheel, nor did they try.  Most smart makers that did not apprentice in shops probably "modeled/copied" their work after other reputable makers making small improvements in bore size, tone holes and length to suit the desired customers in that region.  They put their "stamp" on the instrument and sold it.  This was a business after all with little or no "GUILD" oversight.
               
              Today, not having a  "Federation for the Control of Baroque Flute Manufacture" we are faced with the dilemma of authenticity.  Candidly, I say "caveat emptor" and would encourage those interested in buying "copies" to read Ardal Powell's book or other related info before purchasing.
               
              And, btw......I LOVE my boxwood Scherer (copy)  that you made even if the C# is flat and that it plays at 392 and not 390 like the original.
               
              Best,
              james e bolger
               
               
               
               
               
               
               


               
              On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 2:29 PM, rod cameron <rcameron@...> wrote:

              Dear Barbara,


              Thank you for your posting, and for your kind email to me!

              I always get value from what you have to say, but it was a shock when you wrote to say the first flute I made you was 31 years ago !  Seems like yesterday. That was then, and reporting on 'this is now', I have just delivered four CA Grenser flutes to my most unusual customer ... the US Army !  They have a Fife and Drum Corps who do mostly outdoor music, and as you might expect the fife players are darn good, and also have plenty of experience with silver flute and piccolo. I just about fell over backwards when I was contacted by these musicians, but quite drawn in by their request. They are in the process of widening their reach to include 18th and early 19th century repertoire   music to be played at many indoor functions. I thought about it, and am won over by the idea. If the generals are meeting in smoke filled rooms to plan the next strategy, I would rather the music was, say, some Couperin, rather than Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture? A human heart beats inside every rib cage if one can only find a way through to it.

              Keep up your good influences in Indiana!

              I would not like to be in the heat and humidity that covers much of the US at this time, but I can report that this little Coastal town of Mendocino in Northern California Coast is very cold and foggy in 'summer'... sometimes in the 50's F through the day, and I wish I could borrow just a few degrees of warmth from y'all   ... but not much. My working comfort zone is about 70F  (20C).  Mother Nature is snapping back at us for extending our reach to living in semi desserts inland. The latest forest fire near Yosemite is a major one, started by sparks generated by target practice shooters (!), so all is not well. Very tiny particles of combustion are everywhere. These particles are so small they go right into the lungs, and then into the bloodstream, not a good place to be if you are a flute player. The satellite pictures show the massive smoke areas to be moving East towards the Sierras, but some doubling back must be happening in the upper jet stream, as I look out at the crescent moon setting into the west over the Ocean, it has been looking more like deep red than its normal bright grey.

              best wishes!

              Rod


              Roderick Cameron
              PO Box 438
              10580 Williams Street
              Mendocino, 
              CA 95460,  USA
              Telelphone:  
              studio 707 937 0412
              Home 707 937 9921
              cell:    707 813 7593




              On Jul 31, 2008, at 6:54 PM, Kallaur Barbara wrote:

              Hi Colin, Jed, Rod


              What an interesting topic. I love Colin's point about string players, and perhaps if we flutists were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for ONE instrument, we would make it suffice. Even with bows, most fiddle players I know have something suitable for early 17th C, and a baroque bow, and a classical bow. (maybe transitional Tourte if they play early 19th C lit.)

              For me, it all has less to do with what is "correct" (in whose opinion?) than of what instrument serves the literature the best.  Music from the court of Louis XIV is easier (for me) to play on an instrument that has very precise speech and nuance--not that I haven't successfully played this repertoire many times on a flute from a half a century later.  Our job as musicians is to move the hearts of our listeners, who need not be concerned with the tools we choose to effect this. As we all have heard Bart Kuijken say many times "play for the radio, not for the television".

              Jed's point about what flute Telemann would have preferred points out the limits of historical accuracy, and even if we knew, is it important? We are not 18th century flutists living in Hamburg, but (amongst us) musicians living in Baltimore, Amsterdam, and Indianapolis, with different work demands, different halls, different colleagues.

              As a final note, I do agree that full disclosure would be nice to have, and may have the added benefit of convincing flutists that it is not the tool as much as the soul behind the tool that matters. One of the most moving performances of "Aus Liebe" I have ever heard was played on a silver Louis Lot with a early 20th century headjoint made of tin. The flutist? Lorna McGhee.

              Greetings from Sauna City, muggy Naptown.

              Barbara

              Barbara Kallaur
              Historical Flutes, Early Music Institute
              Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

              Ensemble Voltaire







            • rod cameron
              Hello, James! Thank you for writing! You are entering into this thread a bit late, and I do not want to do much repeating. On some of your points, I have
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 3, 2008
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                Hello, James!

                Thank you for writing!

                You are entering into this thread a bit late, and I do not want to do much repeating. On some of your points, I have written extensively in previous threads, however, just a few lines to you now...

                Glad you like your 'Cambridge" Scherer, and yes, the original does have a flat C sharp, and also a sharp high a''' , yet any attempt to correct these too much starts to affect other lovely qualities.  I was the first to measure and offer this Scherer, and once again will acknowledge Tony Bingham's introduction to its owner, and the generousity of Nick Shackleton in allowing access. Nick graciously granted me permission to take the original to Brussels for comparisons, and later I had the original in my Scottish workshop for about two months, so I have a good sense of its qualities.  As to pitch being at A390, yes, that reference is only for my lip when playing warmed up in a 20C room. A flute never has an intrinsic pitch, as it is only half the instrument. Your flute handed to Konrad H would sound at about A400, then handed to say, Wilbert H, it would be lower that A390 depending on the player's embouchure.

                We were so deep into all of this, that I was using shorthand when I wrote of the Army flute request. Again, I have had the privilege of wide and detailed  CA Grenser studies of originals ...Washington, Willoughby, Den Haag, Nürnburg, Frankfurt, Vienna ... there are a lot of Grensers to study, and whereas tone holes don't start wandering around, over the centuries, interior bore profiles certainly stand a very good chance of not remaining true to their makers' original intention, so modern day makers need to be alert to this.

                With regard to tools, you will find in my workshop original lathes from the 18th century, forged by a blacksmith, with hand turned  step-up gears, to be powered by an assistant to the turner, foot-powered 19th century treadle lathes which I enjoy using, and in fact which cut the ornamentation on the "Army" flute screw caps, small, jeweler's lathes powered by a violin bow, pole lathes, and power lathers. I take pleasure in using all of these for various tasks, and have built my own lathes for boring sockets, etc.  Apprenticing as a toolmaker in Scotland for seven years from the age of 15, I was forbidden to use power tools for years, until I had mastered hand tools, so you might imagine that I have a love of close contact to the individual shaping of each flute, and I make my instruments one at a time, with the particular player in mind.

                That said, you can make a very poor flute or very good flute on a treadle lathe, and likewise on a power lathe.  By the way, any serious turner in the old days would certainly be using power tools, just study the old engravings to see the great big power wheel across the workshop, belt driving the master's spindle, with a lower-rank muscular assistant delivering the horse power. When I am on my treadle lathe, I like to use my own foot power.

                When I was 18 years old in Scotland, I won a medal from the still active "Armourers and Braziers Guild" that nowadays vets the work of toolmakers. But from what we read, it would appear that I would be locked up in the public stocks by the guilds or jailed for working across too many disciplines in the old days  .. research, invention, turning, tuning and voicing, toolmaking, silver-smithing, hand engraving .  The domain of the various guilds was jealously guarded, and standards kept high. It is also on record that upon the death of a good woodwind maker, his sometimes elderly widow was enthusiastically courted by young woodwind workers in the shop, since the widow was the owner of the deceased maker's name-stamp, and all of the prestige that went with it. I do grant you, that there were instances of 'knock-offs' of the work of good established makers, necessitating, for example, Rudal Rose and others to issue documents of authenticity.

                So we all have our pictures of how it might have been, but just remember that in Nürnburg while the Denners were working, there was in use a stunning variety of the most complicated machinery in many manufacturing processes, and these are well documented in some fine publications. At that time in Nürnburg,  they were making such things as complicated automatons, that on the outside looked like a handsome young person writing with pen and ink, and inside was a mass of complicated Newtonian mechanism of precision gears, chains, cams, sprockets, springs, and levers. One could speculate that Denner, a few houses away from this activity, would not be using a chair-bodgers pole lathe, but something quite nicely engineered. It is all very complicated, and please add to my understanding if you have some interesting facts here?

                Getting back to the heart of the matter, a newly made flute needs to work for the player, so that they might open hearts in a manner that will also throw light upon the master works and aethetics of that period we loosely call 'early music'. Today we are blessed with some excellent scholars and players who will bring us up short if we makers end up supplying  an instrument, that say, has lost the temperament of early times, or too bright a voicing, etc. In turn, if we makers have had to make changes to the present day shape of old original models in order to bring them property to life, I feel we should let the player know this clearly, if the player is interested. We should be willing to eat humble pie if our efforts miss the mark. Do let me also applaud  makers who have put together excellent  flutes purely from their own understanding of what is needed by the informed player. Philippe Alain Dupré's  "Quantz" two keyed style A415 comes to mind ( I just visited with Philippe, and also with Marc Hanai and others in Paris). Philippe will correct me here, but I think he fashioned it from his own intimate sense of what such an instrument should do, and I believe that Bart K has used it frequently. Good playing and good scholarship should have the final say, and I listen with interest.

                best wishes!

                Rod

                On Aug 3, 2008, at 5:08 AM, James Bolger wrote:


                ROD:  It seems odd to me that in a "when is a 'copy' a copy" string that you started you that you would write:
                 
                 "have just delivered four CA Grenser flutes..."
                 
                Are these original CA Grensers that you have delivered to the US ARMY?  wow!  I didn't realize that they existed!
                 
                Seriously, when we start a discussion about facsimiles or "models" it's important that we define our terms.  The word "copy" can mean a lot of different things.  A purist might believe that a "copy" MUST be the identical pitch, materials and method of construction (ie no power tools!)  For others an "authentic" copy (really an oxymoron in my book) might require much less stringent demands. 
                 
                Remember too that makers didn't exactly reinvent the wheel, nor did they try.  Most smart makers that did not apprentice in shops probably "modeled/copied" their work after other reputable makers making small improvements in bore size, tone holes and length to suit the desired customers in that region.  They put their "stamp" on the instrument and sold it.  This was a business after all with little or no "GUILD" oversight.
                 
                Today, not having a  "Federation for the Control of Baroque Flute Manufacture" we are faced with the dilemma of authenticity.  Candidly, I say "caveat emptor" and would encourage those interested in buying "copies" to read Ardal Powell's book or other related info before purchasing.
                 
                And, btw......I LOVE my boxwood Scherer (copy)  that you made even if the C# is flat and that it plays at 392 and not 390 like the original.
                 
                Best,
                james e bolger
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 


                 
                On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 2:29 PM, rod cameron <rcameron@mcn. org> wrote:

                Dear Barbara,


                Thank you for your posting, and for your kind email to me!

                I always get value from what you have to say, but it was a shock when you wrote to say the first flute I made you was 31 years ago !  Seems like yesterday. That was then, and reporting on 'this is now', I have just delivered four CA Grenser flutes to my most unusual customer ... the US Army !  They have a Fife and Drum Corps who do mostly outdoor music, and as you might expect the fife players are darn good, and also have plenty of experience with silver flute and piccolo. I just about fell over backwards when I was contacted by these musicians, but quite drawn in by their request. They are in the process of widening their reach to include 18th and early 19th century repertoire   music to be played at many indoor functions. I thought about it, and am won over by the idea. If the generals are meeting in smoke filled rooms to plan the next strategy, I would rather the music was, say, some Couperin, rather than Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture? A human heart beats inside every rib cage if one can only find a way through to it.

                Keep up your good influences in Indiana!

                I would not like to be in the heat and humidity that covers much of the US at this time, but I can report that this little Coastal town of Mendocino in Northern California Coast is very cold and foggy in 'summer'... sometimes in the 50's F through the day, and I wish I could borrow just a few degrees of warmth from y'all   ... but not much. My working comfort zone is about 70F  (20C).  Mother Nature is snapping back at us for extending our reach to living in semi desserts inland. The latest forest fire near Yosemite is a major one, started by sparks generated by target practice shooters (!), so all is not well. Very tiny particles of combustion are everywhere. These particles are so small they go right into the lungs, and then into the bloodstream, not a good place to be if you are a flute player. The satellite pictures show the massive smoke areas to be moving East towards the Sierras, but some doubling back must be happening in the upper jet stream, as I look out at the crescent moon setting into the west over the Ocean, it has been looking more like deep red than its normal bright grey.

                best wishes!

                Rod


                Roderick Cameron
                PO Box 438
                10580 Williams Street
                Mendocino, 
                CA 95460,  USA
                Telelphone:  
                studio 707 937 0412
                Home 707 937 9921
                cell:    707 813 7593




                On Jul 31, 2008, at 6:54 PM, Kallaur Barbara wrote:

                Hi Colin, Jed, Rod


                What an interesting topic. I love Colin's point about string players, and perhaps if we flutists were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for ONE instrument, we would make it suffice. Even with bows, most fiddle players I know have something suitable for early 17th C, and a baroque bow, and a classical bow. (maybe transitional Tourte if they play early 19th C lit.)

                For me, it all has less to do with what is "correct" (in whose opinion?) than of what instrument serves the literature the best.  Music from the court of Louis XIV is easier (for me) to play on an instrument that has very precise speech and nuance--not that I haven't successfully played this repertoire many times on a flute from a half a century later.  Our job as musicians is to move the hearts of our listeners, who need not be concerned with the tools we choose to effect this. As we all have heard Bart Kuijken say many times "play for the radio, not for the television".

                Jed's point about what flute Telemann would have preferred points out the limits of historical accuracy, and even if we knew, is it important? We are not 18th century flutists living in Hamburg, but (amongst us) musicians living in Baltimore, Amsterdam, and Indianapolis, with different work demands, different halls, different colleagues.

                As a final note, I do agree that full disclosure would be nice to have, and may have the added benefit of convincing flutists that it is not the tool as much as the soul behind the tool that matters. One of the most moving performances of "Aus Liebe" I have ever heard was played on a silver Louis Lot with a early 20th century headjoint made of tin. The flutist? Lorna McGhee.

                Greetings from Sauna City, muggy Naptown.

                Barbara

                Barbara Kallaur
                Historical Flutes, Early Music Institute
                Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

                Ensemble Voltaire












                Roderick Cameron
                PO Box 438
                10580 William street
                Mendocino,  CA 95460,  USA
                Tel:  work: 707 937 0412
                        home: 707 937 9921
                        cell:     707 813 7593




              • jed wentz
                Thanks Rod for an eloquent posting! If I respond to it in detail, it is not because I in any way contend it...in fact, it simply inspires me to agree with you
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 4, 2008
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                  Thanks Rod for an eloquent posting!

                  If I respond to it in detail, it is not because I in any way contend it...in fact, it simply inspires me to agree with you that our knowledge of being 21st-century people should never stop us from trying to get to our historical ideal. When you say "a newly made flute needs to work for the player, so that they might open hearts in a manner that will also throw light upon the master works and aesthetics of that period we loosely call 'early music'." it seems to me you have hit it right on the head. Beautifully put!  We must move people of today, and indeed, we do, by recreating the past in our own image.

                  Now, as back then, the performer and the audience are always of their own time; there is no escaping that, nor does it need an apology. Current expectations will always color one's perception of history. If we expect a delicate sound quality from an historical instrument, we will blow softly on a variety of originals till we find one that sounds, when so blown, like our imaginations have prescribed. The flute chosen will then be labeled 'a beautiful flute'. Of course, the opposite would equally be true, if one believed in one's heart that a Baroque flute should be forceful, breathy and  have a small dynamic range (if one thought Stastny was closer to the 18th century than Kuijken, for instance) one would unconsciously discard all the sweet, flexible flutes till one had found one's rougher ideal. Having thus established, to some extent 'fabricated', a historical basis for our ideals, we can then go about 'improving' other models to bring them in line with our findings. This reminds me of an anecdote about Leonhardt: a Dutch clock-maker was restoring a musical clock which played tunes on a mechanical glockenspiel and wondered if the tempi of the tunes were correct, so he contacted Leonhardt. The harpsichordist, upon hearing the 18th-century arrangements, decided they were all too fast, and so the clock-maker slowed them down to conform to a 20th-century authority's opinion. Of course, the difference here is that the clock-maker was destroying original material, tempo evidence from the period, whereas when we re-create those flutes which best conform to our taste, we are leaving all of the originals in tact.

                  Now, I am not arguing for or against a particular aesthetic. I do not mean to imply we are all wrong, and must start blowing with 'all four winds from the cave of Aeolus' (to paraphrase Quantz). I am not morally condemning what is in fact a Darwinian analysis of current performance-practice: we have chosen our flutes because they are 'fittest' for our aesthetical needs. I am just saying that we can relax, be aware of the impossibility of escaping ourselves and our own taste when looking at the past, and yet, crucially, we can still keep trying to get 'there'...because the challenge to our taste is the fun of this all. The quest keeps us awake! If we fall into a sleepy imitation of the best players of the last 20 years then the movement will become as fossilized, as musty a museum, as the classical performing tradition it has broken away from.

                  And, I feel, the way to do this is not to simply hide behind the instrument. The instrument should inspire us (performers), but not replace us. I am not really up on Beethoven scholarship as I am not a great fan of the composer, but I am aware that many performers will go to great lengths to get the 'right' piano, only to completely ignore the composer's own metronome markings. They will use a variation of the 'composer's intentions' argument for their choice of instrument (which is something we cannot know for sure...did Beethoven really have the sound of this particular piano in mind while composing?), but will happily 'adjust' Beethoven's more concrete intentions as to performance practice when they challenge too extremely current notions of good taste.

                  For me, the only moral responsibility of the performer is not to the composer, whose wishes we can never really know, but to the audience. If he/she is up front with them about what he/she is presenting (which must always be a compromise, to some extent, and can never be 100% authentic) then we can all just get on with enjoying the sounds we hear, and that magic 'opening of hearts' which Rod, you have so eloquently described.

                  Best,

                  Jed

                  On Sun, Aug 3, 2008 at 9:33 PM, rod cameron <rcameron@...> wrote:

                  Hello, James!


                  Thank you for writing!

                  You are entering into this thread a bit late, and I do not want to do much repeating. On some of your points, I have written extensively in previous threads, however, just a few lines to you now...

                  Glad you like your 'Cambridge" Scherer, and yes, the original does have a flat C sharp, and also a sharp high a''' , yet any attempt to correct these too much starts to affect other lovely qualities.  I was the first to measure and offer this Scherer, and once again will acknowledge Tony Bingham's introduction to its owner, and the generousity of Nick Shackleton in allowing access. Nick graciously granted me permission to take the original to Brussels for comparisons, and later I had the original in my Scottish workshop for about two months, so I have a good sense of its qualities.  As to pitch being at A390, yes, that reference is only for my lip when playing warmed up in a 20C room. A flute never has an intrinsic pitch, as it is only half the instrument. Your flute handed to Konrad H would sound at about A400, then handed to say, Wilbert H, it would be lower that A390 depending on the player's embouchure.

                  We were so deep into all of this, that I was using shorthand when I wrote of the Army flute request. Again, I have had the privilege of wide and detailed  CA Grenser studies of originals ...Washington, Willoughby, Den Haag, Nürnburg, Frankfurt, Vienna ... there are a lot of Grensers to study, and whereas tone holes don't start wandering around, over the centuries, interior bore profiles certainly stand a very good chance of not remaining true to their makers' original intention, so modern day makers need to be alert to this.

                  With regard to tools, you will find in my workshop original lathes from the 18th century, forged by a blacksmith, with hand turned  step-up gears, to be powered by an assistant to the turner, foot-powered 19th century treadle lathes which I enjoy using, and in fact which cut the ornamentation on the "Army" flute screw caps, small, jeweler's lathes powered by a violin bow, pole lathes, and power lathers. I take pleasure in using all of these for various tasks, and have built my own lathes for boring sockets, etc.  Apprenticing as a toolmaker in Scotland for seven years from the age of 15, I was forbidden to use power tools for years, until I had mastered hand tools, so you might imagine that I have a love of close contact to the individual shaping of each flute, and I make my instruments one at a time, with the particular player in mind.

                  That said, you can make a very poor flute or very good flute on a treadle lathe, and likewise on a power lathe.  By the way, any serious turner in the old days would certainly be using power tools, just study the old engravings to see the great big power wheel across the workshop, belt driving the master's spindle, with a lower-rank muscular assistant delivering the horse power. When I am on my treadle lathe, I like to use my own foot power.

                  When I was 18 years old in Scotland, I won a medal from the still active "Armourers and Braziers Guild" that nowadays vets the work of toolmakers. But from what we read, it would appear that I would be locked up in the public stocks by the guilds or jailed for working across too many disciplines in the old days  .. research, invention, turning, tuning and voicing, toolmaking, silver-smithing, hand engraving .  The domain of the various guilds was jealously guarded, and standards kept high. It is also on record that upon the death of a good woodwind maker, his sometimes elderly widow was enthusiastically courted by young woodwind workers in the shop, since the widow was the owner of the deceased maker's name-stamp, and all of the prestige that went with it. I do grant you, that there were instances of 'knock-offs' of the work of good established makers, necessitating, for example, Rudal Rose and others to issue documents of authenticity.

                  So we all have our pictures of how it might have been, but just remember that in Nürnburg while the Denners were working, there was in use a stunning variety of the most complicated machinery in many manufacturing processes, and these are well documented in some fine publications. At that time in Nürnburg,  they were making such things as complicated automatons, that on the outside looked like a handsome young person writing with pen and ink, and inside was a mass of complicated Newtonian mechanism of precision gears, chains, cams, sprockets, springs, and levers. One could speculate that Denner, a few houses away from this activity, would not be using a chair-bodgers pole lathe, but something quite nicely engineered. It is all very complicated, and please add to my understanding if you have some interesting facts here?

                  Getting back to the heart of the matter, a newly made flute needs to work for the player, so that they might open hearts in a manner that will also throw light upon the master works and aethetics of that period we loosely call 'early music'. Today we are blessed with some excellent scholars and players who will bring us up short if we makers end up supplying  an instrument, that say, has lost the temperament of early times, or too bright a voicing, etc. In turn, if we makers have had to make changes to the present day shape of old original models in order to bring them property to life, I feel we should let the player know this clearly, if the player is interested. We should be willing to eat humble pie if our efforts miss the mark. Do let me also applaud  makers who have put together excellent  flutes purely from their own understanding of what is needed by the informed player. Philippe Alain Dupré's  "Quantz" two keyed style A415 comes to mind ( I just visited with Philippe, and also with Marc Hanai and others in Paris). Philippe will correct me here, but I think he fashioned it from his own intimate sense of what such an instrument should do, and I believe that Bart K has used it frequently. Good playing and good scholarship should have the final say, and I listen with interest.

                  best wishes!

                  Rod

                  On Aug 3, 2008, at 5:08 AM, James Bolger wrote:


                  ROD:  It seems odd to me that in a "when is a 'copy' a copy" string that you started you that you would write:
                   
                   "have just delivered four CA Grenser flutes..."
                   
                  Are these original CA Grensers that you have delivered to the US ARMY?  wow!  I didn't realize that they existed!
                   
                  Seriously, when we start a discussion about facsimiles or "models" it's important that we define our terms.  The word "copy" can mean a lot of different things.  A purist might believe that a "copy" MUST be the identical pitch, materials and method of construction (ie no power tools!)  For others an "authentic" copy (really an oxymoron in my book) might require much less stringent demands. 
                   
                  Remember too that makers didn't exactly reinvent the wheel, nor did they try.  Most smart makers that did not apprentice in shops probably "modeled/copied" their work after other reputable makers making small improvements in bore size, tone holes and length to suit the desired customers in that region.  They put their "stamp" on the instrument and sold it.  This was a business after all with little or no "GUILD" oversight.
                   
                  Today, not having a  "Federation for the Control of Baroque Flute Manufacture" we are faced with the dilemma of authenticity.  Candidly, I say "caveat emptor" and would encourage those interested in buying "copies" to read Ardal Powell's book or other related info before purchasing.
                   
                  And, btw......I LOVE my boxwood Scherer (copy)  that you made even if the C# is flat and that it plays at 392 and not 390 like the original.
                   
                  Best,
                  james e bolger
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   


                   
                  On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 2:29 PM, rod cameron <rcameron@...> wrote:

                  Dear Barbara,


                  Thank you for your posting, and for your kind email to me!

                  I always get value from what you have to say, but it was a shock when you wrote to say the first flute I made you was 31 years ago !  Seems like yesterday. That was then, and reporting on 'this is now', I have just delivered four CA Grenser flutes to my most unusual customer ... the US Army !  They have a Fife and Drum Corps who do mostly outdoor music, and as you might expect the fife players are darn good, and also have plenty of experience with silver flute and piccolo. I just about fell over backwards when I was contacted by these musicians, but quite drawn in by their request. They are in the process of widening their reach to include 18th and early 19th century repertoire   music to be played at many indoor functions. I thought about it, and am won over by the idea. If the generals are meeting in smoke filled rooms to plan the next strategy, I would rather the music was, say, some Couperin, rather than Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture? A human heart beats inside every rib cage if one can only find a way through to it.

                  Keep up your good influences in Indiana!

                  I would not like to be in the heat and humidity that covers much of the US at this time, but I can report that this little Coastal town of Mendocino in Northern California Coast is very cold and foggy in 'summer'... sometimes in the 50's F through the day, and I wish I could borrow just a few degrees of warmth from y'all   ... but not much. My working comfort zone is about 70F  (20C).  Mother Nature is snapping back at us for extending our reach to living in semi desserts inland. The latest forest fire near Yosemite is a major one, started by sparks generated by target practice shooters (!), so all is not well. Very tiny particles of combustion are everywhere. These particles are so small they go right into the lungs, and then into the bloodstream, not a good place to be if you are a flute player. The satellite pictures show the massive smoke areas to be moving East towards the Sierras, but some doubling back must be happening in the upper jet stream, as I look out at the crescent moon setting into the west over the Ocean, it has been looking more like deep red than its normal bright grey.

                  best wishes!

                  Rod


                  Roderick Cameron
                  PO Box 438
                  10580 Williams Street
                  Mendocino, 
                  CA 95460,  USA
                  Telelphone:  
                  studio 707 937 0412
                  Home 707 937 9921
                  cell:    707 813 7593




                  On Jul 31, 2008, at 6:54 PM, Kallaur Barbara wrote:

                  Hi Colin, Jed, Rod


                  What an interesting topic. I love Colin's point about string players, and perhaps if we flutists were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for ONE instrument, we would make it suffice. Even with bows, most fiddle players I know have something suitable for early 17th C, and a baroque bow, and a classical bow. (maybe transitional Tourte if they play early 19th C lit.)

                  For me, it all has less to do with what is "correct" (in whose opinion?) than of what instrument serves the literature the best.  Music from the court of Louis XIV is easier (for me) to play on an instrument that has very precise speech and nuance--not that I haven't successfully played this repertoire many times on a flute from a half a century later.  Our job as musicians is to move the hearts of our listeners, who need not be concerned with the tools we choose to effect this. As we all have heard Bart Kuijken say many times "play for the radio, not for the television".

                  Jed's point about what flute Telemann would have preferred points out the limits of historical accuracy, and even if we knew, is it important? We are not 18th century flutists living in Hamburg, but (amongst us) musicians living in Baltimore, Amsterdam, and Indianapolis, with different work demands, different halls, different colleagues.

                  As a final note, I do agree that full disclosure would be nice to have, and may have the added benefit of convincing flutists that it is not the tool as much as the soul behind the tool that matters. One of the most moving performances of "Aus Liebe" I have ever heard was played on a silver Louis Lot with a early 20th century headjoint made of tin. The flutist? Lorna McGhee.

                  Greetings from Sauna City, muggy Naptown.

                  Barbara

                  Barbara Kallaur
                  Historical Flutes, Early Music Institute
                  Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

                  Ensemble Voltaire












                  Roderick Cameron
                  PO Box 438
                  10580 William street
                  Mendocino,  CA 95460,  USA
                  Tel:  work: 707 937 0412
                          home: 707 937 9921
                          cell:     707 813 7593





                • Jean-Francois Beaudin
                  Dear everyoneThis is one of the most interesting subjects discussed since this group has existed. It includes some important paradoxes. No makers wants
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 4, 2008
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                    Dear everyone

                    This is one of the most interesting subjects discussed since this group has existed. It includes some important paradoxes.  No makers wants (sometine have no choice) to reproduce bad or weak aspects of an instrument. Every maker is constantly searching for improvements. Normally, one might expect during the working life time of a maker that his last instruments should be his best. The same thing is true today as it was during the baroque period.

                    Following the ideas from Bruce Haynes' book "The End of Early Music", proposing that these old musics we introduced in our actual life are not unconnected with our reality and became a complete today's art form open to creativity and inventions. I think we as makers, are prepared to make flutes of our own design.
                     We could offer instruments inspired from: the beginning, middle or end of the XVIIIth century; in French, English or German style including the appropriate bore; round, oval, small or large embouchures with a large or small amount of undercutting; bright or dark sound, etc.
                    It's very difficult to know know really how much a maker today has added his own touch and his own new ideas. Finally, I believe that the important thing is the aesthetic and the overall style.

                    How many audience members are really checking on or care about which copy a flutist is playing? They would hope that the tone is warm (from wood), moving, loud enough, and in tune. If they have the chance see the instrument up close after a concert, perhaps they would also expect that it would be beautiful to look at.

                    As an example of improvements that I think we as makers are ready to add on any copy is the D# key and the tuning slide of the Quantz flute.
                    When it makes life easier and better for the player, why hesitate?

                    Au revoir

                    Jean-François Beaudin




                    Jean-François Beaudin
                    312 Chemin Richford
                    Frelighsburg, Quebec,
                    Canada. J0J 1C0  
                    Tel : (450) 298-5161
                    Fax : (450) 298-5161
                    jfbeaudin@...
                    www.flute-beaudin.com






                  • Roberto
                    I immagine Quantz playing a Boehm flute with certaint reluctance to. In my opinion and experience that is really small compared with the monsters of the
                    Message 9 of 11 , Aug 5, 2008
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                      I immagine Quantz playing a Boehm flute with certaint reluctance to.

                      In my opinion and experience that is really small compared with
                      the "monsters" of the group, but i think that only two events
                      changed the destiny of the flute from a woodwing to brass
                      instrument. One was the cylindrical bore and the second the
                      construction material (metals).

                      Is think that is matter of personal taste, being purist or not the
                      luthiers around the world in the history tried to get the best for
                      the instrument that they built.

                      But what you consider the best?. Sonority, intonation, volume,
                      resonance?

                      Roberto tuninetti (Mendoza, ARG)


                      --- In earlyflute@yahoogroups.com, Jean-Francois Beaudin
                      <jfbeaudin@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Dear everyoneThis is one of the most interesting subjects
                      discussed since this group has existed. It includes some important
                      paradoxes. No makers wants (sometine have no choice) to reproduce
                      bad or weak aspects of an instrument. Every maker is constantly
                      searching for improvements. Normally, one might expect during the
                      working life time of a maker that his last instruments should be his
                      best. The same thing is true today as it was during the baroque
                      period. Following the ideas from Bruce Haynes' book "The End of
                      Early Music", proposing that these old musics we introduced in our
                      actual life are not unconnected with our reality and became a
                      complete today's art form open to creativity and inventions. I think
                      we as makers, are prepared to make flutes of our own design. We
                      could offer instruments inspired from: the beginning, middle or end
                      of the XVIIIth century; in French, English or German style including
                      the appropriate bore; round, oval, small or large embouchures with a
                      large or small amount of undercutting; bright or dark sound,
                      etc.It's very difficult to know know really how much a maker today
                      has added his own touch and his own new ideas. Finally, I believe
                      that the important thing is the aesthetic and the overall style. How
                      many audience members are really checking on or care about which
                      copy a flutist is playing? They would hope that the tone is warm
                      (from wood), moving, loud enough, and in tune. If they have the
                      chance see the instrument up close after a concert, perhaps they
                      would also expect that it would be beautiful to look at. As an
                      example of improvements that I think we as makers are ready to add
                      on any copy is the D# key and the tuning slide of the Quantz
                      flute.When it makes life easier and better for the player, why
                      hesitate?Au revoirJean-François Beaudin
                      > Jean-François Beaudin 312 Chemin Richford Frelighsburg, Quebec,
                      Canada. J0J 1C0 Tel : (450) 298-5161 Fax : (450) 298-5161
                      jfbeaudin@... www.flute-beaudin.com
                      >
                      >
                      > _________________________________________________________________
                      >
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