Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sandalwood Headjoint for my Silver Flute

I have a new toy, a sandalwood headjoint for my orchestral silver flute.

As reported in my Silver Flute or Irish Flute post of February 2, 2007, I haven't been able to convince myself to switch to the traditional Irish flute. I've been tempted. I borrowed a Seery polymer flute a year ago and more recently a lovely Casey Burns boxwood flute. The hand position was more comfortable on the Burns flute, and I loved the boxwood sound. What an adjustment it would be, though, to move to a simple system flute, keyed or keyless, after all these years playing the Boehm system flute. I just can't bring myself to take a giant step backwards in terms of finger coordination.

Within the last year, as I worked on embouchure changes to achieve a darker sound, I became aware that putting a wood headjoint on a silver flute body would significantly alter its sound. The effect was much closer to the traditional Irish flute sound. I also learned that The JB Weissman Music Company, where I get all my repair work done, sells wooden headjoints. Bingo! The sound I want to hear coming from the flute I want to play.

Weissman carries a Sedona headjoint, which comes in both grenadilla and sandalwood. You can't find Sedona flutes or headjoints on the internet. At the present time, they seem to be available exclusively through Weissman Music. A quick survey of what is available on the internet shows that wooden headjoints can cost a little less or significantly more than this one. At $850, it's pretty reasonable, and I know that Jeff Weissman wouldn't sell it if he didn't stand behind it. He has built a solid reputation on quality and personalized service.

I spent an ample amount of time playing both the grenadilla and sandalwood models and discusing their pros and cons with Jeff. I selected the sandalwood for it's round, woody sound, its pretty reddish color, and its fragrant smell. Flute players, imagine this: a flute that never gets halitosis!

I'm very happy with my flute now. I play it every day just to hear the sound of it. If you close your eyes and listen, you'd think I were playing an Irish flute. One never knows what the future will bring, but at the present time I'm totally satisfied with this resolution to the silver flute vs. Irish flute dilemna.

© 2008, Linda Mason Hood
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1 comment:

Lauren said...

Oooh, it's beautiful! I can't wait to hear it in action! Congratulations...