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Wooden Headjoints

A wooden headjoint on a metal flute is a fascinating combination and a real compliment to a lot of the flute's repertoire. Theobald Boehm also found this combination to be outstanding.
It brings together the amazing qualities of these precious materials and invites the player to individually blend them.
Of course, all of the following styles and woods can be made to fit to wooden instruments too.
Mounts and tenons are available in sterling silver or gold.

There are 2 basic types of headjoint available:

Thin wall - the wood surrounding the lip plate is thinned out leaving a raised lip plate.
This not only reduces the weight of the headjoint, it also changes the tonal qualities.

Thick wall - the headjoint is of an even thickness throughout the whole length.
Because of the wall thickness it gives a somewhat fuller, darker sound than the thinned headjoint.

There are 2 basic embouchure cuts available:

Modern - responding and projecting extremely well over the flute's full range.
It can be used for most music styles due to it's flexibility.
This cut is used mainly in combination with thin wall headjoints.

Traditional - this embouchure incorporates good projection with a 'healthy resistance' to give a beautifully intimate sound. Very good for traditional music.
This cut is used mainly in combination with thick wall headjoints.



 
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The 'Highlight' headjoint - African blackwood with rosewood inlay

Howel Roberts started developing this original looking headjoint in 1990.
The combination of woods gives a subtle difference in the tonal quality of the headjoint. The rosewood blowing edge reduces the brightness of the blackwood, whilst maintaining the dynamics and projection. It allows the player to attack the higher notes without becoming shrill, but also allows the flute to sound smooth and mellow if preferred.
It can therefore be used for many different music styles.
The embouchure, being a special cut, is very responsive allowing maximum flexibility.
Mounts and tenons available in silver or gold.

 
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An ornamental inlay along the lip plate can be requested with the African blackwood, creating a contrast to the dark wood. This does not affect the tonal quality of the headjoint.

 
   

 
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Alto flute headjoints

These thin wall headjoints are for alto flutes with a 25mm bore. They are available in African blackwood or Cocobolo and give a tonal quality that cannot be equalled by any metal headjoint.
A shorter version is available for players using a curved headjoint. Here the original metal bend is maintained and the short wooden head is added to it.

 
   

 
   

The 'lined' wooden headjoint

- This is the normal wooden headjoint with a silver tenon inserted a short way into the bore:

 
   
   

- This is the 'lined' version. The silver tube runs all the way through the wooden headjoint:

 
   
   

Due to the thickness of the wood around the tube, the tone is rich and resonant.
Darker than silver or gold and very direct. An interesting combination.
The advantage of this model is that if the wood happens to crack, the headjoint can still be played.

Available with all headjoints except boxwood.

 
 

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• Latest update: 17.01.2010 •  © by Howel Roberts •  webmaster at roberts-flutes.com •