AΩ Traditional Simple System Flutes

We offer these flutes in two models with options on keys and style.
The key of each flute is stated as the 6 finger note of the instrument. For example a D flute will play a concert d note with 6 fingers down.
(Rather confusingly, orchestral flutes are called after their 7 finger note and so our D flute would be called a C flute, but we will stick to the folk world's conventions here)

See the bottom of this page for a list of flutes available from stock. All flutes are supplied with a Flute Roll to keep the flute in, along with a pull through stick for cleaning, cork grease and some spare binding thread.

Matt Dean has provided some videos of him playing a selection of our D and F flutes. See them here at our YouTube Channel . (Open the content in a new window if it won't display immediatly on your comnputer)

Sylvain Laberge has also provided us with some sound clips of our Pratten and Rudall Rose flutes

The Pratten Model - Available in keys of D and G

The Pratten flute has a larger bore than many simple system flutes and accordingly makes a big sound. A great flute for sessions as this flute can be played loud if you want to. It will play with a softer and sweeter tone if required, but has the head room if you are prepared to push more air across the embouchure hole.

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Galway Rambler


Charlie's Lament


Lilting Banshee

The Rudall Rose Model - Available in key of D

The Rudall Rose model has a smaller bore and consequently a sweeter tone than the Pratten flute. While it will not have the same volume as the Pratten, it is a more responsive flute and consequently preferred by players of fast music music played with a lot of rapid ornamentation.

Click image for larger photo

Merrily Kiss the Quaker


Pigtown Reel


Trip to Pakistan

We also offer traditional flutes in Bb and F and a special flute pitched at a "sharp F" for accompanying Northumbrian Pipes at their traditionl pitch.

The Keys

All flutes are available in keyless form. These are preferred by players who want a physically lighter and more responsive flute, and who mainly play in the keys of D and G and their relative minor keys.

Keys are all in nickel silver and are pillar mounted which gives a very high quality key mechanism. We really pride ourselves on the quality of our keys and we have designed a style for the keys which is unique to the Alpha Omega Traditional flutes.

17 flutes
Costs for Keyless Flutes Costs for - Keyed Flutes
Keyless "Baroque Style" flutes in D are £375/€510
Keyless "Modern Style" nickel silver rings in D £475/€640
Keyless with artificial ivory rings in D £475/€640
Keyless "Baroque Style flutes in Bb, F and G are £290/€390

All keys excluding the lower extension C and C# keys on the foot joint are £125/€170 per key.
The C and C# lower extension keys are £400/€540 for the pair.

Keyed D flute cost examples (without Ivorine or metal Rings):-
2 keyed flute - £625/€850
4 keyed flute - £875/€1190
6 keyed flute - £1125/€1530
8 keyed flute - £1525/€2070

Keyed D flute cost examples with Ivorine or metal Rings:-
2 keyed flute - £725/€980
4 keyed flute - £975/€1320
6 keyed flute - £1225/€1660
8 keyed flute - £1625/€2200

Up to 8 keys can however be fitted in various configurations to enable easier playing in a wider range of major and minor keys and to extend the flute below the lower D note to play C and C#.

The standard key options are:-
Two Keys (G# and short F) - to enable playing in keys of C and A
Four keys ( G#, short F, Bb,and Eb) - to allow a fully chromatic instrument.
Five keys (G#, short F, Bb,and Eb and C) - while a very good cross fingering exists for the upper
c, the C key is very useful for trills and moving quickly from b to c.
Six keys (G#, short F, Bb,and Eb, C and Long F key) - some passages of music will be easier to play when the long F key is available. .
Eight keys (as for 6 key but added foot keys for low C and C#) - extends the range of the flute down to a low
C.

One advantage of the pillar mounted keys is that they can be retro fitted to the flutes; so if you purchase a keyless flute or perhaps a two keyed flute, we can fit additional keys to it at a later date.

The Wood

The flutes are made from a variety of woods including African Blackwood, Mopane and English Boxwood. While the more dense Blackwood and Mopane flutes have a generally brighter sound, boxwood produces a cleaner tone than the other hardwoods. The differences here are small however, so it is often more about your preference on colour.

 

Adjustable Head Cork

The head joints are fitted with a screw adjustable head cork mechanism for precise control of the head cork position. The position of the head cork controls how in-tune the octaves in the lower, middle and upper registers are. If the head cork is too near to the embouchure hole, then the middle register notes will be sharp with respect to the lower register notes, and if too far from the embouchure hole, then the opposite will result. It is important to be able to adjust the position of the cork accurately.

Players should experiment with head cork positions a few millimeters from the position set in our workshop as they may find the octivation better for their embouchure technmique with the head cork in a different position. Good players may also like to try moving the head cork further away from the embouchure hole as it will give a darker and more agressive tone to the flute which they may then choose to expoloit.

The standard position with respect to the center of the embouchure hole of the head corks on our flutes are as follows:-
D Prattern flutes - 16mm
D Rudall Rose flutes - 19mm
F flutes - 16.5mm
G flutes - 14.4mm
Bb flutes - 11mm

As you progress to being a better player, you might try moving the head joint cork further away from teh embouchure hole. This will give you a more characterful tone which you may find interesting. It will also allow you to play louder and will let you push the bottom note on the instrument much more..

 

Small Hands and Articulated Finger Holes.

As an option on all flutes, we can move hole 3 a small distance around the instrument so that it sits more comfortably to where your finger is. On flutes which do not have the C and C# foot keys, we can also move the hole 6 a little for the same reason. When the foot joint has the C and C# keys fitted we leave hole 6 in line with the centre of the flute however as this works better for most players when using the low C key.
For players with smaller hands, we can move holes 1 and 3, and holes 4 and 6 a little closer together by angeling the hole so that it meets the bore at the same point. Please ask for this options and we can discuss what is possible.

Tenon Cork Choices.

We supply all our flutes as standard with the tenons bound with cotton thread in place of cork. While we are always happy to supply flutes with the more common corked tenons, we have found that of the benefit of cotton bound tenons is that our customers can rebind the thread whenever necessary to tighten or loosen a joint as required. It is not therefor necessary to return the flute to us in order to regulate the tenon joints, which especially for overseas customers is a significant advantage. Please advise us however at the time of ordering a flute if you would refer it to have the tenons corked.

 

Flute Style

We offer two very different styles for the flute body. The style makes no difference to the playing of the flute and is purely aesthetic.
The Baroque Style has a section of wood turned to a bulbous profile as used to be the custom in the 18th Century. This give the flute a classic look and is just as strong as the metal rings on the modern styled flute.

The Modern Style has a clean line and uses raised nickel silver rings to give strength to the sockets.

Ivorine rings

On the baroque styled flute, we can add an artificial ivory ring for an additional cost which looks great and again harks back to the traditions of the 18th Century.

Flutes in Stock

Pratten Model Flutes in D

Baroque style in Boxwood, Blackwood or Mopane - £375
Baroque style in Blackwood and Mopane with Ivorine rings - £475
Modern Style in Mopane or Blackwood -£375

We usually have a few 4 and 6 keyed flutes in stock so please email us to ask what we have available for immediate sale.

We have a few keyless flutes in Bb, F and G in stock, so please email me for details on what is available.

Keys can be fitted to all stock flutes

Rudall Rose Model Flutes in D

Baroque style in Boxwood, Blackwood or Mopane - £375
Baroque style in Blackwood and Mopane with Ivorine rings - £475
Modern style in Boxwood or Mopane - £475



For information on the care of our flutes, please have a look at our Flute Player's Instructions (pdf).

For a copy of our fingering charts, download either our Keyed Flute Fingering Chart or Keyless Flute Fingering Chart (pdf).