Five Key Flute Fingering for Charanga



Cuban flute players have developed a special approach to their music, playing the flute in its highest octaves, far above the ordinary range the instrument was designed for.  They favour the use of French five-key flutes, usually with the embouchure hole enlarged and the stopper moved very close to the edge of the hole.  Needless to say, you need to know the fingerings that make these notes possible.

Pablo Nuñez has worked out the best fingerings for his Jerome Thibouville Lamy five key and kindly given permission to make them available from this site.  You can access the .pdf file here (allow some time as the file is 266K).  Our thanks to Pablo.

Meet Pablo Nuñez

I asked Pablo to introduce himself ...

Born in 1967 in Madrid, I received from my parents the delight for classical music, being my favourites Bach, Haendel, Mozart and Wagner. At the age of 13 I started playing recorders, becoming passionate for wind instruments. As a self taught I always found difficulties to improve my skills, much more when I got the chance to play my first Boehm System flute at the age of 19.

My next strong influence was jazz, folk and traditional music. While coursing BDS in Aeronautical Engineering, I joined a traditional music group, playing both winds and lutes. This was a very positive experience, and thus had the chance to play live, which proved to be the most pleasant-and-frightening feeling I ever had.

After obtaining my degree I had to move to Palma, where I actually live. There I met some Cuban musicians and started paying more attention to Latin music. After two years of restless study, I was offered to learn more by playing with my friends Ramiro Infante and Raul “Carburo” Martínez’s group “Això‘s La Habana”. This was a hard beginning, for I was the only non-Cuban on the group, and played a soloist instrument! Not to mention my debut was not so brilliant as I would like. Nevertheless, I was helped by Fino - the “tres-guitar” player from Las Tunas - that had the patience to teach me more than rhythms but the essence of Cuban “montuno” and “mambo”.

In year 1998 I visited “La Habana” for the first time. This changed my life completely. There I found my beloved wife Yuliek and thanks to her met some of the best musicians of Cuba: The actually living in the States drummer Lázaro “La Muerte” and conga player Carlos Suarez, who showed me to play percussion, flutist Eduardo “El Rubio” from the “Orquesta Aragón”, and finally Joaquín Oliveros “El Jilguero de Centro Habana”, friend and teacher, who I consider the best 5 key flute player.

Since then I have been travelling twice a year to La Habana.

I am actually playing as part of a trio with Leonides Rodríguez (Orq. Enrique Jorrín) and Carlos Reyes (from various groups in Las Tunas), while keeping on my 5 key flute studies.

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Created: 9 Feb 2003