Recording artists, performers and flute players have always been aware of the problems of having their instruments in tune with other flutes and modern instruments alike. We are all aware of the 'sour' sounds that emanate from two or more flutes when played together (of the same or different keys) when their tuning is slightly off. Pushing the block (bird/fetish) of the flute backwards or forwards may help a little but usually it just distorts the sound or restricts playability. Similarly, we are all aware that due to atmospheric conditions a flute created in one part of the USA may not necessarily be in tune when it is played in another.
The problems involved with tuning has been something I have given much thought to over the years. Whereas I accept that I may tune a flute perfectly here in Oregon on a particular day, under controlled temperature and humidity conditions using my special tuning room, that tuning may vary slightly when days are hotter, wetter or colder. Many other factors can also alter the tuning of a Native American inspired Flute. These tuning variations are a nightmare especially during 'live' performances, to name but one scenario.
I spent some time studying other wind instruments, especially the orchestral concert flute, and the problems involved with pushing and pulling this style of flute apart and together in order to attain a correct tuning for the conditions in which it was being played. This style of variable tuning does have its disadvantages which are mainly attributed to altering the flute's length to bore ratio which, in turn, tends to weaken the higher notes of the instrument. Because this ratio plays one of the most important roles in creating quality Native American inspired Flutes I considered this to be totally imponderable.
The task set before me, therefore, was to create a tunable North American Flute that could be tuned up or down, according to prevailing conditions, without moving the block (bird/fetish) and without shortening or lengthening the sound chamber, thus destroying the vital length to bore ratio, while continuing to create a flute that did not alter in its basic design or sound.
Often, when working in my studio, I receive ideas that just flash through my mind. Sometimes they have nothing to do with the job I have at hand and it is these messages I believe come from the Creator. A short while ago, after many years of thought about creating a perfect 'concert/performance' flute the answer to all my questions suddenly appeared in my mind.
With full credit and thanks to the Creator for his guidance along my flute making journey I am now able to present a range of tunable concert and recording quality flutes that can very simply, and without fuss, be adjusted to tune not only with other instruments but with other Native American (Style) Flutes of the same key or corresponding keys.
Recording artists and performers will no longer have to suffer the nightmares involved when playing live with other instruments and the listening public will no longer have to endure those 'sour' notes that are so prevalent when two flutes played together (or with any other instrument) are not quite in tune with each other. Similarly, flute classes and group playing (Flute Circles) would sound much more delightful if all their flutes were nicely in tune with each other. This new, and totally exclusive, 'Tunable Native American inspired Flute' by Vance Pennington, of Waking Spirit Flutes, now makes all this possible!
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me.