What is an Irish flute? Well, I think wikipedia put it rather well:
The term Irish Flute refers to a conical-bore, simple-system wooden flute of the type favored by classical flautists of the early 19th century, or to a flute of modern manufacture derived from this design (often with modifications to optimize its use in Breton Traditional Music, Irish Traditional Music or Scottish Traditional Music). The vast majority of traditional flute players use a wooden, simple-system flute.
These transverse flutes that are designed for ITM (Irish Traditional Music) players are based upon the antique Pratten’s Perfected, a well known 19th century flute model. My current version is made from resin-stabilized hard maple for greater density, featuring nickel silver bore rings and a combination joint and tuning slide with a nickel silver tenon and Delrin lined socket.
These are high-performance keyless instruments with a diatonic major tuning that is ideal for ITM or other types of folk music.
For a less expensive, high-performance alternative to these flutes, consider the Essential Flute, a one-piece keyless flutes that plays the same scale.
This entire line of flutes is the fruit of a collaboration with Jonathan Walpole, a professor at Portland State University who is not only an avid collector of flutes but also a gifted amateur restorer and maker in his own right. Jon and I began working together in the Fall of 2012. I had been developing a line of conical bore flutes for more than a year before we met, using information provided by Australian flute maker Terry McGee, but then I had the great good fortune to become acquainted with Jon and ever since he has been an invaluable ally in my quest to make a top flight Irish flute. His attention to detail, his love of ITM and his contagious enthusiasm and curiosity have been directly responsible for the rapid evolution of this flute line. He has shared a great deal of information and insight, has tested prototypes and provided feedback, and has brainstormed with me on almost every aspect of flute making, from design concepts and materials to the manufacture of custom tooling.
It might say “Ellis” on the flute, but these flutes are really Ellis-Walpole creations.
Listen to Blayne Chastain (owner of the Irish Flute Store and ITM musician extraordinaire) introduce and play a sample from one of the new Pratten style flutes.
Irish Flutes price: $900
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