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.

Mar 24, 2012

Review : Maurilio Coelho #25

We finally were able to put the nose on a "Maurilio Coelho #25" (check previous post about this flute). "Finally", because the Brazilian manufacture seems to refuse to sell one piece (they want to sell the whole set) infering high shipping costs (for a nose flute!), or not even answering e-mails written in Portuguese...

The Fábrica de Pios de Aves "Maurilio Coelho" was founded by... Maurilio Coelho, in 1903. Maurilio improved the quality of bird calls, until then made in bamboo, began the manual production of a long series of wooden bird calls, won the Grand Prize at the Centennial Exhibition of the Independence of Brazil.
He was followed by his son, his grandson and now by his great-grandson. The Maurilio Coelho's bird calls are wordly famous.

In the series, there is a UFO : the #25. The #25 is a bird call made with a sheet of stainless steel, and has a shape that is very well known by nose flute lovers. Indeed, the #25 is a nose whistle, which design is based on the old metal Humanatones.

« With the peep one can reproduce sounds of various types of poultry from the galináceas to the tiny songbirds. First we give a general instruction on how to handle the hooting and then show you some examples but it is worth your interest in discovering and perfecting new songs of birds through this whistle because it has unlimited versatility. »

The first feeling when you get a #25 in the hand is that it is very, very badly made. The Flute is not symmetrical, there are angles when there should be curves, the "soldering" (cold soldering, "J-B Weld" like) was applied by a pig and the same sweet and friendly, but clumsy animal, cut the sheet of metal with his teeth.
OK, metal is not easy to work with, but some simple tools allow a clean work, and a minimum of care doesn't imply a huge loss of time when applying the glue.
Well, positive point : this instrument clearly shows it was handcrafted.

Then you want to try it and realize the baby stinks of machine oil. This is not a major problem, but here too, you understand that the word "care" is far away of the Coelho's workshop.
However, if you take a look at the wooden bird calls, they look very well done, with clean and regular shapes, nice objects. Let's assume the workshop has some problem dealing with metal... but in that case, why to consent to let such a lame duck disfigure a beautiful wooden set ?

Now, let's blow the #25. The instrument is *very* powerful. One of my loudest blowers, if not the one. The air duct is very flat and accelerate a lot the air flow. In the medium tones, the #25 behaves very well, with a loud and clear sound of the "metal type", that is the kind of sound produced by a flat blade (contrarywise to wooden labia which are cut in an angle shape).

But when you reach the bass or the sharp tones, the sound becomes dirty, with parasites, with unwanted whistlings, splits in several harmonics and dysharmonics, and even have failures : the sound stops and restarts.
Indeed, a close (very close is not necessary...) look at the mouth hole shows a so irregular, uneven and dented cut, that there is no mystery on the reason of those dysfunctions.

Here is a sound sample. The very first sound illustrates the "sound-stop failure".
Then, our beloved Nosy Diva whistles the sound range, and then tries a tune. Listen to the basses and the sharps... what a pity. Maybe the birds will love that, but surely not nightingales.


Fábrica de Pios de Aves "Maurilio Coelho" website
Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Brazil


  1. Hi, My name is Fábio Coelho.

    I was researchin on web and, accidentally, I found this post.
    I'd like to tell you something...
    We are selling colections and separated pieces.

    Visit us or piosmauríliocoelho on facebook or Fábrica de Pios Maurílio Coelho on Skype.

    It'll be a pleasure attend you.


    Fábio Coelho

  2. Hi, I'm here again,

    I understand that the 25th model is not a beauty model, but It's is very functonal. Although hand made, It can offer several possibilities of bird singins. Research on youtube "Fábio Coelho+pio 25" (and others), to know the sounds of 25#.
    I'm trying to solve the finishing.

    Big hug

    Fábio Habbit