This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Sep 29, 2011

Theatrical contraption : the nose whistle gourd

I found this very special instrument on Ebay : a « nose whistle flute gourd ». I'm not sure his inventor filed a patent for it, but it is surely a collector's must.

The instrument is made with a vintage metal nose flute stuck to a kind of gourd ocarina. I write "kind of", because this is a theatrical instrument, meaning that the gourd is not functional, purely decorative. But the flute, indeed, works.
It is a old Humanatone, as the stamp on the mouth cap identifies it, rather dented, and coverd by thick layer of painting, black on the internal side, golden on the outside, to match the gourd color.

« It is a stage instrument and show stopper, used for variety value. It has finger holes for a person to pretend he or she is playing it mechanically; but when held up to the mouth no one can see that the musician is just using the nose whistle which has been set inside of the back of the gourd. »

The description offered by the seller was not deprived of humour :

« Traveling? It fits right in any suitcase or hamster cage. »

or better :

« Let others pull out their fiddles; their mandolins, harmonicas and washboards. They can dig through their instrument inventory for a hundred years and never pull out a nose whistle gourd. And that's because no one else has
class. Those are just hardscrabble musicians who can't think beyond lemon-sesame sauce for grilled vegetables.
As an expressive musical performing artist, you will have them beat by a mile with this, caffeine free, world-leader, nose whistle flute gourd.
This is better than homemade pea soup in a Des Moines restaurant. »

Please read the sequel to this post.

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