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).

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Which Casey Burns Flute Should You Choose?

Every Casey Burns flute is available in African Blackwood, Boxwood, and sometimes 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 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!

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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 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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Page last modified:
August 23, 2015

     © Casey Burns 1981-2012