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.

Oct 15, 2011

Video : incredible bird forgery !

A short video with, at its beginning, great birds sound effects made with a nose flute...

Oct 14, 2011

Workshop : the second poster

I received the templates printed front and back : quality printing on thick cardboard! And I mounted one nose flute of each color. Then sprayed some varnish. Here is the result, perfect whistling cardboard nose flutes :

Thus, I was able to complete the second poster for my workshop, the assembling instructions :

And here the 2 posters together :

Oct 13, 2011

Bullwinkle's Hum-a-Tune and Humanatone

I found some vintage plastic nose flutes, dating to 1969. They were sold with the brand "Bullwinkle's Hum-a-Tune" for 29 cents, and made by Larami Corp.
The printed credits are : © P.A.T. WARD MCMLXIX (the Bullwinkle character creator) and ITEM NO 2820 LARAMI CORP .. PHILA. PA. 19107 PARTS MARKED WITH COUNTRY OF ORIGIN HONG KONG.

Bullwinkle J. Moose was a rather stupid moose, character of the 1959-1964 TV series Rocky and Bullwinkle, produced by Jay Ward and Bill Scott. Many by-products were issued, including comics, plastic figurines and toys.

Larami Corp. was founded in 1947 and was a toy company whose products ranged from 39 to 99 cents. They were rack toys, doomed to convenience stores and grocery stores. Let's say cheap and crappy toys...

I already have a Hum-a-tune, with no particular branding, that I showed here. The regular Hum-a-Tune and the Bullwinkle's are strictly the same products.

The only exception, apart of the packaging, is the quality of plastics (the regular one is made in a softer and opaque plastic material). The Bullwinkle's is rather translucent.

Now, let's compare the Bullwinkle's to a modern Humanatone ...

First, the plastic material is absolutely not the same. On a blog, it is difficult to make feel the difference, but you can figure it with these little sound samples : the first sound is a Humanatone that I dropped on my desk, and the second the Bullwinkle's dropped the same way :

Next, as we already noticed in the Hum-a-Tune review, there is no true tremolo hole on the Bullwinkle's, nor padded strip at the bottom of the mouth cap.

More, contrarywise to the 1950 and the current Humanatone, no patent numbers appear inside the mouth cap. No "Humanatone" brand stamped, just "Made in Hong Kong".

And finally, the angle of the nose scoop is not the same :

This leads us to conclude that the Bullwinkle's and the Hum-a-Tune more generally, are not at all a different production of the « genuine » Humanatone. They are (low grade) copies, let's say forged Humanatones made in Hong Kong, but have nothing to do with the Gretsch or Trophy Music nose flutes, contrarywise - and this is said in a friendly way and with much respect - to what affirms and teaches Master Mosurin : There were no Humanatone made in China (nor in the Commonwealth's Hong Kong).


On a similar topic :

- Hum-a-Tune : a vintage low grade copy
- Hum-a-Tune : different colors
- Bullwinkle's Hum-a-Tune and Humanatone
- Humanatone copy from 1997


Oct 12, 2011

Free music : The Nempnett Thrubwell band

The Nempnett Thrubwell Noseflute Band is real. Well, Nempnett Thrubwell is a real village of 189 citizens located in Somerset, England. "They" also have a MySpace page on which you can listen to 4 pieces for music, highly nosefluted. And on this page, is told the history of the band. Is it for real ?

« There has been a nose flute band in Nempnett Thrubwell since 1943, when, during the war, 2 soldiers from the Peruvian National Guard were stationed in the village and passed on their skills to the bands founder member, Norman "Nosey" Cutler. Since then the band has experienced many highs, including a 1959 royal Variety performance, and a brief period in the late 1980s when former Bristol City manager and Escape to Victory star Russell Osman was a regular on the tenor flute. Those were happy days indeed, and the band acquired some high profile celebrity supporters, including former boxer and soul legend, Terence Trent D'arby. In fact, Mr D'arby was such a fan that he paid for the redecorating of the practice room in the village hall, and he often invited the band to play at his summer barbeques. Fortunes dipped somewhat for the band in the mid 1990s, until, for a period of about 3 years, the band only had one regular member - myself (Silas Burns secretary). To be honest, I was rather overindulging in cider and local cheese at the time, and my policy of only playing early Pink Floyd tunes and 14th century madrigals was probably keeping membership down. Thankfully it is cider only for me these days, and the band has recently gone from strength to strength. Nosey Cutlers great grandson Daz has recently joined up, and he brings a wealth of current pop knowledge to the mix, having narrowly failed an audition for the boy band Five on account of his hair being too ginger. Percussionist, Dave "Pieman" Plimsole is also a highly experienced performer who once used to regularly tour with a number of acclaimed pop bands (including The Joe Boxers!) until he broke both his legs in a cow tipping prank that back fired. We hope you enjoy our selection of popular melodies. For us, nosefluting is more than just making wonderful music, it is a way of life. As Noddy Holder of Slade once said: Come on, feel the nose! »

I personally recommend you those 2 songs : Song 2 and Senorita

Link : The Nempnett Thrubwell Noseflute Band page.

Oct 10, 2011

workshop : the first poster

I completed the first of two big size posters, to be stuck on the wall in my workshop. It firstly tells a (very short) history of nose flutes, then how to play them and how they work. Well, sorry, it's in french :)

Oct 9, 2011

Protect and cure your wooden nose flutes

You wouldn't like your wooden nose flutes to dry in the time, and have some slits appearing in the assemblings. Nor would you like them to become grey with repeted handlings. The best way is to protect them from crud and feed the wood to keep it up at its best.

For this, I use Lemon Oil (in fact : lemontree oil). It is primarily dedicated to the maintenance of guitars and other neck instruments fretboards, and can be bought in any music instrument shop.
One may use other oils, but some become rancid with time (olive oil for instance). More, the lemon oil lets a nice soft lemon aroma on your flute.

The operations are quite simple : cover the nose flute with a generous coat of oil wherever you can, wipe the excess with a paper towel, and use this excess to access the places and crannies that weren't accessible with the oil bottle cotton pad. Then, let the wood absorb the oil during several hours. Done for 6 months!

Warning : some woods may darken a little bit with this treatment, others don't.

Here with a Heinrich Handler's nose flute :