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#1 2011-02-16 23:19:30

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
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Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

I don't think this has been covered to any depth, I am wondering what effect is caused by the end of the Shakuhachi bore being 'square' to the bore or not square.

I have just made a very well playing 2.1 with a curl-up at the bottom end. The Ro is 'ok' but not as stable as the other notes, this is indicated in Otsu and Kan where the volume is relatively dampened.
Because of the 'curl-up' the length of the upper side is shorter than the length of the lower side. Feeling the end it feels slightly 'not-square' and I am thinking this may influence stable perturbation.

Kel.


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#2 2011-02-17 15:27:50

Toby
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From: out somewhere circling the sun
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 405

Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

It should make no real difference. Essentially the hole will be seen by the air column to begin at the upper end. I guess the problem is caused by the bore profile after the choke point, not by the end of the flute. As an experiment, you might wish to simply take one of your flutes that plays a strong Ro and extend the bottom side of the end hole temporarily with some putty or chewing gum, to give the effect of an angled hole. My guess is that it will not affect the sound perceptibly.

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#3 2011-02-17 17:40:53

Alan Adler
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From: Los Altos, California
Registered: 2009-02-16
Posts: 78

Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

Well, of course all flutes are really open at two ends when they are resonating.  As I mentioned in my planar tone hole thread, the angle of my top end has evolved sharper over the years.  I now favor 55 to 57 degrees.  Shakuhachi and other end-blown flutes are much squarer.  Yet I have experienced no degradation in tone.

And getting back to the bottom, when a few tone holes are open, I can plug the bottom end of my tube with no effect.

I've also posted a pic of a rubber flute about a year ago.  The rubber was sold from a roll in the hardware store and has a permanent curve about like some curved shakuhachi.  But I can temporarily straighten it and play it straight.  I'm not aware of any difference in tone between straight and curved.

Alan

Last edited by Alan Adler (2011-02-17 18:44:12)

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#4 2011-02-17 21:29:06

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
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Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

Good replies, thanks.

I am going to take a bamboo , non-rootend , and check it out. I'll put a blowing edge on it, no finger holes, and change the bottom end shape, see how extreme I can get and whether there is any noticeable effect.

I'll report back on this.

K.


Kia Kaha !

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#5 2011-02-17 22:50:44

Alan Adler
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From: Los Altos, California
Registered: 2009-02-16
Posts: 78

Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

Karmajampa wrote:

Good replies, thanks.

I am going to take a bamboo , non-rootend , and check it out. I'll put a blowing edge on it, no finger holes, and change the bottom end shape, see how extreme I can get and whether there is any noticeable effect.

I'll report back on this.

K.

You might want to play with some PVC.  I presume that you can bend it if heated.  If not, perhaps copper tubing.  And of course there is rubber hose.

Best,

Alan

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#6 2011-02-19 00:20:08

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
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Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

Here is my test;

bamboo tube 624mm length. Bore dia. 21mm.
Blowing 'C'-45 cents 257Hz. End of tube perpendicular to bore.

Cut a 'V' in the end of the tube, from both sides, depth of 'V' = 8mm. bottom of 'V' a right angle.
No discernible change to 'Ro', slight sharpening to 258Hz

Cut end of bamboo to a 45 degree angle.
Again, no discernible change, 259Hz.

With all three end shapes I could blow the fundamental plus the next three harmonics without any difficulty or discernible change to tone.

So for my own satisfaction I am happy to conclude that the end 'squaring' or 'not-squaring' of a Shakuhachi  has no dramatic  or obviously discernible effect on the sound.

Bamboo is the readily available material to me, thanks Alan.
I recall seeing a mold for a traditional English horn of sorts, in a workshop in Georgia Al. It showed how the inner bore shape movedradically from side to side, strongly like an 'S' which meant you could get a bore length that far exceeded the length of the outer wood of the horn.

K.

Last edited by Karmajampa (2011-02-19 00:24:56)


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#7 2011-02-19 07:38:22

Alan Adler
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From: Los Altos, California
Registered: 2009-02-16
Posts: 78

Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

There is a bugle called a serpent which is the equivalent of two S curves end-to-end.

And of course many other lip-reed instruments are coiled in a circle (French Horn) or an oval (trumpets, bugles, etc).

Alan

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#8 2011-02-19 15:35:18

radi0gnome
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From: Kingston NY
Registered: 2006-12-29
Posts: 1030
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Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

Alan Adler wrote:

There is a bugle called a serpent which is the equivalent of two S curves end-to-end.

And of course many other lip-reed instruments are coiled in a circle (French Horn) or an oval (trumpets, bugles, etc).

Alan

Some flutes use this trick to get more length too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpkSy2mv2F0

However, I believe Karmajampa may be referring to something different where the curve isn't noticeable from the outside of the instrument.

Last edited by radi0gnome (2011-02-19 15:44:08)


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#9 2011-02-19 17:01:50

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
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Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

That is correct, you would not know from the outside of the instrument, that the bore had this 'S' shaping inside. The business made traditional English instruments, I also recall an exquisite Lute, the back had about eight panels and the sound hole was like filigree . They were Master Craftsmen.

K.


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#10 2011-02-20 06:49:08

Toby
Shakuhachi Scientist
From: out somewhere circling the sun
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 405

Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

The problem there is that the fingerholes would all have different length chimneys, leading to some real problems with intonation, response and tone color. Same thing on a bassoon, with the long holes drilled at a bias.

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#11 2011-02-20 08:53:27

Karmajampa
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From: Aotearoa (NZ)
Registered: 2006-02-12
Posts: 574
Website

Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

Unless the hole position corresponded with the crest of the 'S' curves. the arches need not be identical.

K.


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#12 2011-02-21 03:41:12

Toby
Shakuhachi Scientist
From: out somewhere circling the sun
Registered: 2008-03-15
Posts: 405

Re: Squaring off end of Shakuhachi

That's true, but I still fail to see the point. The serpet has huge curves to keep it manageable, as does the bass flute, for instance. In this case, to achieve any really significant lengthening of the bore in a straight tube, the tube would end up being quite fat, and it would seem to me that all the finger holes, which take up more than half the length of the instrument would have to all have the "hump" at the top of the tube. This also couldn't be about finger hole spacing, since that remains constant for a given length, whether the air column is curved or not.

Serpents were made in two parts, which had to be meticulously carved and fitted together, then covered with leather. This is a very time consuming process. What would be the point of all that extra work to make a curved bore in a straight tube to achieve a length reduction of ten percent or so?

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