Sterling Silver Keys and Rings Detail

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[Photo collage of forged sterling silver keys on a blackwood, mopane, and boxwood flutes]

A view of middle joint keywork from foot joint towards the head joint. Note the slender touch of the Short F. An inset cork bumper may be seen allowing the key to be set lower.

Short Bb key detail, showing also the cup of the long C natural.

G# and Long F keys.

Long Bb key. The 5-key configuration leaves off the C natural key, as C natural cross-fingers so easily. The long Bb key takes the place of the long C natural key (below), making the Bb accessible by the first finger of the right hand, rather than the left thumb.

Short F key. The touch for this key is slender to avoid intruding on the travel of the third and fourth fingers of the right hand.

C natural and short Bb keys are included in a traditional 6-key configuration. 5-key flutes, which leave off the C natural key have instead a long Bb key.

(center)Eb key--no other keys, rings, tuning slide. While most chromatic notes can be satisfactorily cross-fingered or half-holed, the Eb may not. A common configuration on simple-system flutes through the early 20th century, this is an excellent, economical option for a fully chromatic flute.

© Casey Burns 1981-2004