F

Temperature versus Hertz.

Players easily play up to five Hertz different on a traverso. So, what pitch a certain traverso is for a certain player is not just something simply established by the maker. However, luckily most players play within one or two Hertz different only. That still means I sometimes have to adapt the pitch of a flute for particular player. Of course also the player has the possibility to adapt to a certain extent.
At the same time there is the temperature dependence of the flute. So if a player mails me that the flute is high or low for him my first question is at what temperature did you play. It is also advisable to play d2, the backbone of the traversobecause for instance a is more easily played lower or higher.
Below a table is found that gives the temperature dependence of the flute pitch.

Normally I like to have a flute a bit higher then the pitch it should be played at. That way there is some flexibility for the player difference. The head can be pulled out a little bit of course. My flutes are such that they stay in tune for up to three or four milimeters quite well.
There is also the problem of the cold church concert that causes professionals to prefer a slightly higher instrument.
The reason for this is also obvious from the below table. If the church is 18 degrees centigrade the flute has to be about 418 at 20 degrees centigrade to still be 415 at 18 degrees

Celsius or Fahrenheit versus hertz*.

temphertz

 

 

 

* I copied the table somewhere from Ardal Powell but I do not remember where or how he can by it.

 

Simon Polak: Early Flutes

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