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 29, 2011

Review : Heinrich Handler's nose flutes

Mr Handler is an Austrian man in his eighties, who produces Nasenflöten very near the perfection. In the 1980's, he rediscovered the 1930's Styrian nose flute, studied archives and photos, began to test and improve them, and then created his own models.

I received 2 flutes bought at Steirisches-Volksliedwerk, the "large" and the "small" models.

Both flutes were protected in very nice little pouches, made by Mrs Handler, and accompanied with a notice beginning by a little poem. Everything looks like having been made with the heart, a lot of care, and a precise craftsmanship.

The large model is rather built on the same technical specifications than the small one : same air duct length (2.2 cm), same very thin mouth hole (1.8 cm x 0.3 cm), and an air entrance quite similar, but a bit narrower on the small flute.
Only the mouth cap is longer on the large model, where the air duct cover is made in 3 parts, two of them following the sides all the flute long.

The large model :

The small model :

All Handler's Nose flutes are hand-free models, with a long horizontal drilling through the air duct cover, with gently tapered ending holes, allowing to pass a leather or elastic cord.

Handler's flutes are made of fruit tree wood, but also in maple or yew. Some are two colored wood mixed.

They wear the Heinrich Handler's monogram : a capital H between two points.

The precision of the work (sharp and neat labium) allied to sharp technical specifications (very narrow mouth hole) and quality woods, lead to high quality nose flutes, with a great rich wood sound, precise in response and very handy and confortable to play.

Here is a sound sample (thanks to the Nosy Diva Miss Birdy K.) :

You can purchase nose flutes by Heinrich Handler either :
- online, at Steirisches-Volksliedwerk

- or directly at :
Mr Heinrich Handler
Werksweg 58
A-8160 Weiz
Tel : +43 3172 3743

Here you can also download a PDF magazine with a text about the Styrian nose flutes and Mr. Handler (Page 32+)

And here a video in which Mr and Mrs Handler play their nose flutes.

Oct 26, 2011

Video : Kentucky T. Dutchersmith, a funny performer

Here is a classic video in which Kentucky T. Dutchersmith plays Nose flute, cello and different percussions, while accompanied by an orchestra. It seems that he plays a Max Zycha's Nasenflöte. Thanks to Miss Birdy K. for having made me discover it.

Oct 24, 2011

Patrick Huet de Froberville : a French patent

The first and only French patent I found dates of 1987. Filed by Patrick Huet de Froberville on 15th of June, 1987, and registered on 16th of December, 1988, under the number FR2616574, it depicts a very common nose flute in its functionning and refers explicitly to US2245432, CH253732, US 2197993 and GB214832 patents.

«In this instrument, sound is produced by the vibration of the air contained in a hollow globular body, and produced by the breath of the performer, which breaks on a bevelled edge, characterised in that it comprises a body 2, 3, 4 which is shaped so as to fit the nostrils and mouth of a user and to channel the flow of air exhaled through the nostrils of the latter onto a bevelled edge 8 of an opening 7 positioned in front of the half-open mouth of the user, whose oral cavity 17 is used as a hollow body of adjustable volume. »

« D'une façon avantageuse l'instrument suivant l'invention est réalisé en une matière plastique moulée. »

« L'instrument suivant l'invention est avantageusement réalisé en matière plastique moulée mais peut également être réalisé en métal ou autre. »

So, the nose flute is primarily planned to be made in plastics, but possibly in metal.

The novelty stands in the design of the instrument, not really appealing (to my own taste), with many useless angles, providing a kind of "Darth Vader"/stormtrooper massive look.

Oct 23, 2011

Video : The first notes of a great beginner

LuthVal is a very fine lute, renaissance guitar and theorbo player. UkeVal is a 'ukulele player who's specialized in classical and ancient music. Both persons are the same guy. Will the third pseudo NosefluteVal appear on YouTube ? Val built a cardboard nose flute with our template, and played his first notes! Thanks to him for the video.

Check his Lute channel
Check his ukulele channel

And for the best or the worst, this little "cuckoo" video :