The Bb flute has become popular lately
as a different voice for Irish
flute-players. Especially useful for airs, song-accompaniment and
arrangements for stage and recording work, the deep sonorous tones are
darker than the normal concert flute in D.
A variation is the B flute, the perfect
partner to the Uilleann Pipe "flat set" in B. I can supply either
pitch in a choice of models.
Based on Bb flutes made by Rudall
& Rose, these are available in keyed or keyless styles, and in my
range of timbers.
Rudall Bb keyless in
Eccentric bore head with rounded rectangles embouchure
I can do that more or less like the originals,
or, as I prefer with a few changes to the holes to improve tuning,
power and comfort, as in the flute below:
Rudall Bb keyless in African
Cylindrical head with improved elliptical embouchure. Offset holes
See the Rudall &
Rose Bb originals.
keyed and in other timbers.
Listen to Matt Walklate, with two new tunes
played on my Bb flute, Cold in
April/Black Nab, (c) Walklate/Curley. In order to make the
file small enough to download, I've had to compress it a bit and cut it
back to once through each tune. About the tunes, Matt tells us:
came about through messing around on the flute on a
chilly April day! Black Nab
is a lump of rock in Saltwick Bay near Whitby, North Yorkshire where I
spend as much time as I can. Both tunes were written in the same
month on my D flute but when I got the Bb and tried them on it they
really came to life, so I set about arranging them with Seamus.
Find out more about Matt &
B or Bb
The stretch on a low flute is just too much for
players. If you struggle with the stretch of a D flute, you
won't be able to handle a flute at significantly lower pitch. I
can do a B
or Bb with Siccama
keys for holes 3 and/or 6 to get around this problem. With the
Siccama keys the stretch is no worse than a
normal flute in D. Further, the relocated tone holes are larger
positioned acoustically, giving more power and better tone on those
Available in keyless or keyed versions.
Top of image - normal Bb
keyless. Bottom of
image - Bb "keyless" with Siccama keys.
Note the much more accessible key touches for the third fingers of each
and better placement of the holes for these keys.
Boxwood 6-key Bb flute, with
Note the immensely long upper c, Long F and Eb keys needed to span the