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 16, 2016

The Bocarina® Pro - Part I : A new star is born !

In 2011, we attended the launch of the Bocarina®, designed in ABS plastic by Mr. Chris Schuermans, Pretoria, South Africa. This was a real excitement for us to see a new (and great) mass produced nose flute reaching the market. It took quite a while for the new instrument to take its place between other plastic competitors, but henceforth, there was no real nose flute player to dispute the Bocarina® superiority over the Schwan or the Humanatone.

Today, Mr. Schuermans and his company Clarytone® are launching the Bocarina® Pro ! And, as you will notice, this instrument is absolutely not a simple upgrade to the regular « Boc'», not a « Bocarina n°2 », but a totally new nose flute, featuring several pure innovations !

Please note that the instruments shown in this article are still prototypes : some flaws are still present (notably flashings and a rather ugly injection point) which will be corrected on the regular production. According to Mr. Schuermans, the injection point and the mould itself will be modified. Also, the colours will be different (see below).

Bocarina® Pro - Part I : The Instrument

A - The Shape

The shape of the new baby is very different of any known plastic nose flute, including the regular Bocarina® itself. It is rather flat, broad and stocky, but the little « mouth and moustache » (read "the fipple") adds a touch of delicate elegance. When you compare it to the standard Bocarina®, you immediately understand why this is not a version 2, but the design of a totally new inspiration. The new Boc is 6.4cm wide (6.0 for the standard model) and 6.6 tall (8.3 for the std one!!). The airway has even been shortened, providing a faster playing as we'll see (1.8cm compared to the 2.1cm). The baby weighs 15.7g, while the regular Bocarina® hits 20g. So, we have here a smaller, shorter and lighter flute.

The Bocarina® Pro sports (finally!) the Clarytone® logo. It's a nice thing, since the Bocarina® displays no recognition sign. Let's guess however that people will call the new instrument « the Clarytone® » and not « the Bocarina® Pro"), and will carry « Boccies and Claries » in their nose flute bags...

B - The Plastics

The plastics used here are another big surprise! While the « technical part » (read "the airway and the fipple") are injected in a hard plastic, providing a stiff labium, and thus a precise and quick sound, the body of this two-tones nose flute is soft. In fact, since the central part includes the hard airway and also is thicker than the edges of the shield, only the edges of the flutes are soft. Anyway, the look is different for the plastics, the hard one is shiny, and the soft one has a satin finish. The idea behind the soft plastic is to be able to better adapt to different face morphologies, and also get an easier hermeticity.

C - The Fipple and Other features

The fipple insert is the most stunning innovation, not only on the Bocarina® Pro, but, let's say it clearly and simply, in the flute world! As many of us knows it, one can build a nose flute rather oriented to a sharp tessitura by narrowing the height of fipple, with the risk of getting a flute that squawks at a certain point. Contrarywise, a wide (tall) mouth hole provide a medium/bass oriented nose flute, with a more and more windy and blank sound when you trespass the max dimension. All in all, you can adjust the tessitura of a nose flute by changing the size of the fipple, but, by doing this, you cannot improve the range (increase the tessitura) of your instrument.
The wavy fipple designed by Chris Schuermans aims this goal: having a fipple partly narrow and partly wide, in order to cover a larger spectrum.

The air entry is very narrow, as on the standard Bocarina®, much longer (almost the double width) and the soft nose hood is much flatter than the « rounded equilateral triangle » found on the regular model.

The Bocarina® Pro features a funny and vintage (obsolete?) lip rest! To be true, this is just a lip rest embryo. Some people may be annoyed by it (a scalpel would fix the problem) and some (Mr. Maikel Mei ?) will love it.

D - Colours

The specimens in my possession are from a first production batch, kind of a definitive test (and as said before, there will be more modifications on the mould in order to correct little flaws), and were injected with quickly available colored plastics. This first batch is composed of three colour flutes: blue, red and violet.

But Mr. Schuermans chose a « fruit theme » to create a beautiful color chart for the nose flutes that will be commercialized :

E - Questions

And how do they play ??

Well, stay tuned! Our presentation of the brand new Bocarina® Pro is not over! This was only the Part I. We certainly will provide a qualitative review in the next future. But in one word : YES, they are very good players!

When will they be available ?

It should be very soon. Time for the ressellers to order and receive them.

                                                       TO BE CONTINUED…


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



After a year of dereliction – due to personal reasons – this blog starts again! And it will re-begin with a great news (stay tuned!). The rhythm will probably be slowed a bit down, since the work is very time consuming. However, during this year of "blog vacation", I continued to search and collect info, to find other vintage rareties, etc. I apologize to all the greedy readers and friends who got no news from me. The total shutoff was a necessity for me. Greetings to all of you.