Bb and B Models



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 even 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.

Rudall-style B or Bb

Based on Bb flutes made by Rudall & Rose, these are available in keyed or keyless styles, and in my usual range of timbers.

Rudall Bb keyless in Australian acacia 
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 Blackwood 
Cylindrical head with improved elliptical embouchure.  Offset holes

See the Rudall & Rose Bb originals.

Also available 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:

Cold in April 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 & Seamus.

And listen to Gary Walsh, from his album Uncovered, also playing one of my Bb flutes, in the last time through The Barrel of Monkeys.

Siccama-style B or Bb

The stretch on a low flute is just too much for some players.  If you struggle with the stretch of a D flute, you certainly 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 and better positioned acoustically, giving more power and better tone on those notes.

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 hand, 
and better placement of the holes for these keys.

Boxwood 6-key Bb flute, with additional Siccama keys.  
Note the immensely long upper c, Long F and Eb keys needed to span the gaps.

Where to now?

Check out my other flute models:

Or, on to materials.

Or, back to McGee Flutes home page...

Last updated, December 2004