D Flute Catalog
[Photo of Casey Burns Keyless Wooden Flutes]

Casey Burns makes a number of different models of Irish flutes in the key of D. Your flute will be made specifically for you based upon your choice of wood and silver options (tuning slide, rings, and keys). To order a flute and determine pricing:

  1. Choose a flute model which suits your playing style and hand size.
  2. Select the wood variety you want. This determines the base price of the flute. All flute models may be ordered without rings, tuning slide, or keys.
  3. Decide on the silver options, such as tuning slide and rings and/or keys.
  4. Add the price of your chosen options to the base price (determined by wood choice), and add the additional shipping cost of each option to find your total shipping cost.

If you have a limited budget or limited experience playing the Irish Flute, you may also wish to consider the Folk Flute.

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Which Casey Burns Flute Should You Choose?

Every Casey Burns flute is available in African Blackwood, Boxwood, or Mopane. Different tonewoods will "speak" differently as a result of their inherent characteristics, as well as their interaction with the chosen acoustical model. Please read our brief note on wood selection.

Choosing a particular acoustical model of flute is a highly individual process, and if you are new to the wooden flutes, we advise you to consult with us as well as seeking advice from several experienced players to get a range of opinion. No flute is "best" for Irish traditional music or other specific traditions. In general, though, one can make broad characterizations of the type of player who will seek the different Casey Burns flute models.

Some Typical Player Profiles and Preferences:

For the all-round playing: Casey Burns Standard
Casey's own design is the result of his 26 years of flute making experience. Favored by players who are want an versatile instrument and are not overly-attached to one of historical models (Rudall or Pratten). Casey has noted some similarities of measurements and tonal behavior to flutes by Prowse.

For smaller hands: The Casey Burns Small-Handed Flute
For those who wish to play traditional wooden flutes but find the finger spacing and ergonomics difficult, but do not wish to sacrifice on quality of sound. This is the small holed version of the Casey Burns Standard.

For the Nuanced Player: Casey Burns Rudall Copy
Favored by the expressive player who is not as interested in "session" volume. Maximum versatility and range of voice and expression.

For the Session Player: Casey Burns Large Holed Standard
If you need a powerful flute that can be driven hard in sessions, this is the flute for you!

For the Budget-Limited or Beginning Player: The Folk Flute
A minimalist, easy-to-play but still professional quality wooden flute in Boxwood with great tone and intonation, designed for beginners and those on a budget: nothing more, but nothing less. Please visit the Folk Flute web page..

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Casey Burns Standard Flute

[Photo of Casey Burns Standard in Mopane with tuning slide, sterling rings, and Eb key]

This flute is the culmination of nearly three decades experimenting, tweaking and evolving a flute design inspired by Pratten, Rudall and Prowse flutes into something new, resulting in an instrument that is comfortable to the hands yet responds well. These are carefully voiced for ease of tone production, resulting in a flute that is forgiving to play while maintaining a strong tone, especially a warm and reedy bottom D. This suits the needs of a beginning or casual player, as well as the seasoned player. As one's strength and skill increases, this flute responds! You will find that it is not really necessary to keep the lips in tip top shape to maintain tonal proficiency, due to the forgivingness of this flute. In experienced hands, this flute may be driven as hard, yielding a very rich sound, with a comfortable degree of resistance and firmness.

Finger spacing and layout may be adjusted on this instrument to fit one's hands peculiarities. Most players prefer a pattern where the holes are arranged straight in line to holes arranged in slight arcs. Please state your preference when placing your order.

(shown with optional sterling rings, tuning slide, and Eb key)

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Casey Burns Small-Handed Flute

[Photo of Casey Burns keyless Small-Handed Flute in mopane]

For the Small-Handed player, I bring the finger holes together as close as possible on my Standard flute design, and make adjustments to the bore and to the undercutting of the tone holes, to produce a flute that plays as well as the larger holed flutes, but with a much smaller finger spacing. The second and third holes for each hand are also offset or rotated to aid the reach and a good seal by the finger pad. The fingers should not have to cramp up in order to play the Irish flute - more relaxed fingers facilitate the playing of ornamentation. The smaller holes actually speak a bit quicker. However, the smaller holes slightly reduce the bottom voice of the scale. If you have small hands, consider this instrument.

Please see the discussion on Ergonomic and Small-Handed flutes in our FAQ.

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Casey Burns Rudall Copy

[photo of a 5-key european boxwood Irish flute with tuning slide and silver rings]

[ click image to view detail photos in separate window ]

Rudall flutes are commonly copied by several makers. These flutes underwent considerable evolution during their original manufacture, providing a wide range of appropriate models to copy. However, most of these do not lend themselves well to ergonomic adaptation. I have selected a later Rudall and Carte flute as a superb model to copy. This instrument plays very evenly across the range, with a superb middle range. What I like about this flute is its versatility - it is possible to sound edgy, preferred for session playing, or more rounded (some describe as "flooty" or "recorder-like") for solo work. Unlike many copies of these instruments (and some originals!) the E's and A's speak very well.

The Casey Burns Rudall is certainly a flute of many voices, with plenty of push for sessions and an effortless 2nd octave. Using a more rounded embouchure, one can produce an evocative sotto voce tone for playing airs and other music where a wider range of expressive qualities is desired.

The fingerhole spacing is similar to the Casey Burns Standard Flute. This flute is not available in a smaller handed version.

(shown with optional sterling rings, tuning slide, and 5-key configuration)

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Casey Burns Large Holed Standard

[Photo of Casey Burns Large Holed Standard in Mopane with rings and slide, 5 keys. ]

I have been working with Pratten copies of flutes for years and both like and dislike some of their qualities. A true Pratten copy to work well must unfortunately feature the original fingerspacing which I consider uncomfortable, unless one has very large hands.

I am now recommending a new flute model called my "Large Holed Standard" over my former Pratten renditions. This flute has a big sound and quick response very much like my Pratten copies, and is slightly easier on the fingers. I consider it the better choice between the two. If you want a really loud session flute, this is the flute to choose.

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Pricing for flutes in D

Pricing for all models is the same: $700 without tuning slide and bands and $1100 with tuning slide and bands for keyless flutes, and then an additional $450 per key for keyed flutes. For pricing on the Folk Flute, please see the Folk Flute page.

Shipping costs depend upon the value of the flute and where its going and how it is sent. These can range from $16 for the simple wooden bodied version sent somewhere on the West Coast by priority mail to over $100 for a keyed flute sent overseas using Global Express Guaranteed. All instruments are fully insured and for international orders, fully declared. For international orders, you will most likely need to pay customs duties and handling fees that can be significant. Contact your local customs and postal authorities for exact rates. (updated August 23, 2015)

FAQ: What is the difference between the $700 model and my $450 Folk Flute? Acoustically these are exactly the same flute, made from the same woodpile and the same reamers, and tuned and voiced the exact same way. The Folk Flute is my low cost "loss leader" and is a good way to get my flutes in the hands of many players, who then come back for the more expensive models. The difference is what is offered. On the Folk Flute the flute is set up without any customization to the clients hands aside from small or regular hands. Tuning slides, bands and keys are not offered for this model. In some cases I will use wood with more cosmetic flaws for the Folk Flute but this is becoming less and less so. For my $700 flutes, a wider variety of acoustical models is offered. Customization to fit your hands, tweaking after you have played it some if necessary and all the bells and whistles (tuning slides, bands, keys) may be added either when you order or retrofitted to the flute (at $400 for the slides and bands, and $450 per key) later on. But to answer the question, these flute models essentially play the same.

All flutes come with a cloth case. Keyless and one - three keyed flutes come with a 3 section velcro closed "pouch" type case. 4 to 6 keyed flutes come with a cloth zippered 3 section case similar to a standard flute case, but soft padded to protect the keywork. Please note that prices, especially for instruments with Sterling Silver (those with rings, tuning slide, or keys), are subject to change without notice. Shipping will be estimated at the time the order is placed.

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Page last modified:
August 23, 2015

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