December 11, 2020 By James Hall Off
Ivy Crystal Flute image

The crystal flute vs the concert flute

How does playing a Hall Crystal flute differ from a Concert flute

It’s made from glass:
Pyrex® or borosilicate glass is very hard and smooth it contains the vibrating air column very well while absorbing less of the harmonics. This makes for a clear sound a bright tone. This glass is unaffected by moisture and heat up to 400°F.

It has a Traditional 6-hole Fingering patterns:
Our flutes have a traditional 6-hole fingering system similar to a renaissance flute or penny whistle. Our fingering charts are available online. I personally use the D fingering chart for all of the flute sizes/keys, This way the fingering is closer to the modern flute and also automatically transposes the music and makes it more readable by placing the notes centered on the musical staff.

Chromatic notes:
Our Hall Crystal Flutes play easily in two keys; it’s native key, (the key produced starting with all the tone holes covered), and the key a 5th above, (starting with just the top three holes covered). So, our D flute can easily play in the key of D and G using standard fingering.
While it is possible to play a chromatic scale by half covering the tone holes this takes technique and practice. Practically speaking the key of A adds only one half hole and is possible. Beyond that it is easier to choose a different key flute or have your accompanist use a capo or transpose for you.

Boehm Taper:
This is not a difference be a similarity, Hall Crystal Flutes have a Boehm taper a the top of the flute. This give an extended range (2 1/2 octaves) over a straight bored bamboo or renaissance flute. It also improves tuning in the upper register and makes the fingering patterns the same for both the first and second octave.

Raised Tone holes and embouchure:
Concert flute and Crystal flutes both have raised tone holes. On the concert flute you have a pad and key to cover the hole. On the Crystal Flutes you have just the raised tone hole. It is fire polished and smooth and the raised edge makes it easy to make a good seal. The embouchure or mouth hole is also raised, this is necessary for good sound production. On a concert flute the raised embouchure is covered with a lip plate. On the Crystal Flute there is just a smooth raised edge. The difference being the Crystal flute will need to be placed slightly higher on the lip.

Available is different sizes or keys:
Each sized flute will need to be place differently on the lip. The piccolo will go much higher on the lip. I have heard many flutes players say, “I can’t play the Piccolo.” But, if they just move the piccolo up a bit, they have no difficultly getting a clear tone. The large D flute will be the closest embouchure wise to a concert flute, but still will still need to be moved slightly higher on the lip.