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.

Nov 1, 2014

New Nose Flutes by Martina Sommer

I recently received two Nasenflöten by Martina Sommer, and it is the right opportunity to make an update. Indeed, we have already made a review of Martina Sommer's nose flutes (check this 2011 post please), but her instruments have a bit elvolved and the the way to get them has changed: no more at, which page is dedicated to Martin Sommer's music, but on or by direct contact ( musik-zeit[at]gmx[dot]de ).

In fact, few things have changed: Martina's nose flutes are hand made with nice woods, and each instrument is unique in its shape and wood combinations. But it seems that Mrs Sommer experiments with more complex shapes, including asymmetrical ones.

I got two nose flutes of rather elaborate shapes, one symmetric using curves, and one asymmetric only made of angles. They were provided with an user manual, a cardboard box and equipped with a leather neck cord.

The first one is made of hornbeam and robinia, and shows lateral edges taht have been filed into a watermelon slice shape. On the airway cover, a central depression has also been filed: those cuts are an help to grip the nose flute and press it under the nose, either with 2 fingers, or with adding one in the middle.

The second one (cherry + walnut wood)is even more interesting, with its asymmetrical shape. It definitively has a great look, very angular, like a stealth F117 airplane.

As expected with Martina Sommer's production, the craftsmanship is precise and neat. However, a soft sanding on the fipple would be nice for a perfect finish.

Unfortunately, the "technical parts" have stayed the same since our first review. The airway (which is not rectangular but rounded) is far too thick to provide a real "air blade": it measures up to 3 mm at the maximum of the rounded canal. Then, the mouth hole, which is a perfect circular hole, is also far too big in heigth (1 cm of diameter, while we know that .6 or .7 are the max: Heinrich Handler's Nasenflöten have a 3 mm high mouth hole and works like in paradise!).

So, all in all, a thick airway plus a too high mouth hole make the Sommer's nose flutes sound weak and windy. You have too blow strongly in them, and get a rather medium quality of sound. Schade, sehr schade. Yes, alas, because those nose flutes are beautiful and made with care, for a decent price (20€).

Oct 30, 2014

The Oberkreuzberger Nasenflöten Orchester at TFF-Rudolstadt

Here is an "old" CD, dating of 2003 of the TFF Rudolstadt. The Tanz- und Folkfest (TTF) is the largest German folk, roots and world music festival which takes place annually on the first July weekend in Rudolstadt (Thuringia, Germany). It exists since 1991 and have been gathering an audience over 75,000 spectators in the past 3 years.

In 2003, the TFF welcomed the Original Oberkreuzberger Nasenflöten Orchester (Das Grindchor). The Grinchor performed a great cover of Tip-Toe Through the Tulips (Joe Burke, 1929), and its recording features on the compilation published after the festival. The Berliner noseflutists were 9 on stage, accompanied by an electric guitar and some light percussions. The performance was great, very soft and neat compared to the post-apocalyptic punk sound the Grindchor generally develops.

Here is a sample (not complete to respect the copyrights), but you still can buy the CD here:

Here is what says the Nasenflöten Orchester page in the booklet:

« The nose flute is a plastic thing, "a very cheap and rare instrument and you can hardly buy it anywhere. As said in the name it is blown through the nose". In the nine nosed Original Oberkreuzberger Nasenflöten Orchester who plays the works of world literature in an inimitable manner, it is taken care for a liquid way of playing (specially in times of influenza), nice smelling arrangements and the right brand of beer (Schultheiss und Kindl). Nosebears of all countries unite!

Wonderful! Nine sturdy men, not exactly teenagers anymore, with plastic nose-flutes. The repertoire says it all: « My Way » and Beethoven's 9th, « Apache » and Khatchaturian's « Sabre Dance », « Harry Lime Theme » and « Je t'aime », « Zorba The Greek » and « Somewhere Over The Rainbow » — the list is endless, and so is the fun you'll have!

Oct 28, 2014

The Nose-Monica by Happy-Flute

Through the years, Gillette and its competitors have added blades and blades to their razors. They have recently reached the number of 5 blades on a single razor, and there is no reason they stop there, and I suppose that in 20 years we'll have razors with a blade dedicated to each one of our hair. The world of nose flutes is not exempt of this More contest, and the talented and inventive Mr. Akio Takamura (Happy-Flute workshop founder with Mr. Go Nagayama), after having crafted some double-fipple nose flutes (look at this one), just finished his triple-flute. Not a triple fipple with one air entrance, but a real triple nose flute in one. Akio Takamura named his new model Nose Monica (鼻モニカ)

Why three nose flutes? Well, if you take a look at the pictures above, you can see that whether the 3 air entrances are rather similar, the 3 fipples are increasing in size from left to right, from a treble to a lower tonality range. Mr Takamura wrote (with an optimistic humour) that he hopes to reach a 7 octaves range all in all :). Great job, anyway!