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 21, 2016

The Bocarina® Pro - Part IIb : Reviews

Bocarina® Pro - Part II : Reviews

B - The Incomparable Nosy Diva

The following text is the review by the Nosy Diva. just self-authorized some very minor typographic corrections.

I have the great honor to write a bit about the new Bocarina® Pro. This instrument has been waited for since quite a while. It was a bit hard to imagine an even greater noseflute than the Bocarina® so we were very curious. On behalf of optical and technical features you will have more than enough information in the blog. My job is the player's point of view.

Please don't forget that all of this is a personal and subjective point of view and can be seen totally different by other people.

To begin with – the first notes I played with the Bocarina® Pro were not totally convincing. I did not find it very comfortable - there is a kind of lip rest which I personally do not find necessary - nor was is easy to get a good sound directly. But the more I played it the more I began to like it.

What is obvious is that the new boc is much more quick and reacts very directly. Besides you can get higher notes that still sound good and not squeeky. In direct comparison to the old boc there is no squeekiness or bysounds that I experienced before sometimes. So I am thrilled to be able to play very quickly, have a good sound and a higher range. For the low notes it is a bit weaker and does not go down so far. The sound is softer and not so loud. It is much nicer for the ear and the plastic one sounds very good to me, not so plastic-like - for the old bocs you had a bigger difference between the plastic and ceramic. Indeed the bocarina pro has a very warm and sweet sound which can be modulated beautifully. Still when I play with that instrument I always need a warmup. The "old“ Bocarina® is very easy to play and in no way complicated to handle. This new baby is a bit more of a diva and demands exactness and good tonal imagination of the player. But if you put a bit of effort it rewards you with a sweetness in sound and an accuracy even in the smallest notes and also a much more precise intonation, you will be thrilled. It offers musical perspectives you have not dreamed of! 
The material is funny and the optics also.

Then there is the question of hands-free playing (fixing the nose flute with a rubber band at your nose), an important point for instrumentalists who want to accompany themselves on the ukulele, guitar, etc. In my experience hands-free playing works ok but not as good as with the old Bocarina®. Probably because, as I said, the old one is much easier to handle and if you move it a bit you still get a reliable sound. The new boc has to be placed very well and exact to give a good sound. Also, since it it broader, the breathing (inhaling) is also a bit more difficult, but still well manageable. It looks quite funny also.
Well, this is about all for the moment. There will be more and more videos also where you can see how the noseflute world gets along with its new baby and we hope the production can start very soon and that the instrument will be available for anybody soon.

I am very eager to see how the world will react to the new Bocarina®. I am very happy and grateful to Chris Schuermans to have put so much time and money to create this beautiful instrument which offers so many new possibilities to any ambitious player and I am looking forward for the Bocarina® Pro to conquer the musical world!

Here are three samples to compare (the very end of the Badinerie by J.-S. Bach, played by the Nosy Diva):

Handler wooden nose flute:

Regular Bocarina®:

Bocarina® Pro:

And a piece by Schubert on the Bocarina® Pro:

                                                                                       Yours sincerely,

                                                                                       The Incomparable Nosy Diva

C -

On my side, I also encountered some difficulties to get a satisfying sound from the Bocarina® Pro at my first trials. There were two main reasons for that: the specific cartilage morphology of my nose impeded a complete hermeticity, but the more I tried, the easier I found the correct positioning, until I felt totally comfortable and was able to avoid air leaks.
The second reason, was I had to learn a brand new instrument. Indeed, the Bocarina® Pro requires so few air that blowing it too strongly is a misuse. It took me some time to get accustomed to that, but when I did, the Bocarina® Pro revealed itself to be a great-great nose flute. On that matter, I don't think its main target is nose flute beginners, but musicians that already have acquired a minimum skill in nosefluting.

I don't want to develop points that have already largely been detailed by other reviewers, but focus on some technical innovations and improvements.

The use of hard plastic in association of rubber is a great innovation, helping to reach a total hermeticity, and greatly improving the comfort of playing. But the most innovative improvement is the hard plastic piece itself — I call it the "functional part" — including the airway and the fipple.

1 - High care for a great sound

First, the airway is very short, as we noticed here. More, its air entrance is thicker than the air exit, forming a flat funnel shape dedicated to accelerate the flow (by Venturi's effect). The inner shapes are rounded for a smooth air flow. All these affectionate cares produce a very fast nose flute, able to perform very quick series of short notes, with a great precision.

As you (may) know, I'm far of being a nose flute maestro. Anyway, I did my best (seated at my desk which isn't the best position!) to bring you a sound sample in which you'll be able to notice the ease of fast playing provided by the new Boc'.

Avoiding the loss of efficiency (speed and strength) that can be the result of angles in the airway, in association with the choice of a soft rubber that is able to seal a perfect hermeticity... this is the secret of a super efficient flute. Any breath of air is used to produce sound! The Bocarina® Pro is "air economic", and the performer is able to manage long notes or series with great ease.
This functional precision also allows to switch conveniently between high and low tonalities, and to master vibratos and tremolos like... a pro!

2 - High tech specs for great abilities

As written before, the main innovative and stunning feature is the "moustache" labium. We explained the reasons of it: helping to improve the tessitura without bad artefacts (squawking sharps and windy bass). But its very design also shows all the care Chris Schuermans placed in the details. Here too, no angles, but smooth curves only, fluid and sweet like a baby's ass:

And the result is here. The sound is super pure. Compared to a Schwan, and even more to Humanatone, the regular Bocarina® sounds pure and fluty... but the Bocarina® Pro is even one step beyond. The sound curve should be a real sinusoid!

Here are the lowest and sharpest notes I can get on a regular Bocarina® and on the Bocarina® Pro. The results are clearly as expected: The global tessitura of the new baby is sharper than the regular one, but the ambitus (the tone range) is wider. The spectrum I get from the regular Boc spreads out from 347Hz to 2,321Hz [more or less F4 (349Hz) to D7 (2,349Hz)], while the Bocarina® Pro plays tones from 367Hz to 2,756Hz [more or less F#4 (370Hz) up to F7 (2,794Hz)!].
Clearly said, the new Boccy offers a full supplementary tone, starts half a tone higher in the bass, but reach its sharps a tone and a half over the regular one (which will make things easier for Divas playing the Aria of The Queen of the Night, with its famous « high F » !!

3 - Conclusion

As a conclusion, as we compared the regular Bocarina® to a Ferrari GTO, we could say the Bocarina® Pro is the Formula 1 model... Even superior performances — on the matters of quality of sound and efficiency — with the acceptable downside of nose flute that needs to be tamed and domesticated. This is definitely a "Pro" model with all the performances that come with, but not the best flute for the first attempts of early beginners (who tend to blow too hard in the instruments!)


Related links :

- The Bocarina® Pro - Part I : A new star is born !
- The Bocarina® Pro - Part IIa : Reviews
- The Bocarina® Pro - Part IIb : Reviews
- The Bocarina® Pro - Part III : Prototypes
- The Bocarina® Pro - Part IV : Interview
- The Bocarina® Pro - Part V : Ceramics



  1. Fantastic to hear about both your opinions, from a player's point of view and a producer's point of view. Diva: I am looking forward to hear what you can do on the Bocarina Pro. Antoine: I have always loved your technical elaborations. I am very interested in reading more reviews and hearing more opinions and soundbytes. I am really curious about the Japanese take on the labium.

    1. Thre different visions and opinion. Thank for your own review, Maikel, even if I don't agree with all of your points... But yes, fun to read 3 points of view. Greetings!

  2. Thank you Antoine and the Nosy Diva for your kind in depth reviews and for your effort.

    1. You are welcome, Chris. On a nose flute blog, it is rather regular to make nose flute reviews! :) Take care.