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You can understand from all this, that the flautist can generate subtle changes to the sound produced, so on your Yamaha AR, you can adjust the many different settings that are available to produce the flute sound that you like.   The main area for this is in the Condition Page.

Pay particular attention to the range of the flute, which is from Middle C and upwards for three octaves, so with an 8' setting on your Flute Voice, never play the notes in the lowest octave of your upper keyboard, to be authentic.

Make the necessary adjustments to the notes you actually play on your Yamaha AR, if you select either a 4' or 16' setting for your flute

A good flautist can generate a little vibrato when playing longer notes or playing slowly, but not as much as a clarinetist.  So if you use vibrato, do so sparingly and with very low settings.

Remember that once a flautist stops blowing the sound stops immediately, so never use Sustain on your Organ with a Flute Voice, because it is impossible to do so on the real instrument.   

Yamaha help us here in that they made sure that with a Voice on our Lead, on the Upper Keyboard, you cannot choose sustain, anyway!

Don’t forget that a Flute player can only play one note at a time.
So to be authentic, make sure you do the same, and only play single note melodies.    Therefore, it is helpful to select your clarinet voice from the Lead Voice section.   
It also prevents you from wrongly adding sustain, as we have have just noted.

By controlling the air flow, a flautist can slightly increase the volume on one note, or a series of them.     This is no where near as great as can be done on the clarinet, but the flute player can achieve some small variation here.

Equally, do consider 'dynamic contour'.        By that I mean simply, that unlike a piano or violin, all brass and wind instruments don't have the ability to go from very soft to very loud right across their entire range.      So there is no point in expecting a real flute player to play his lowest Middle C at ff, or in his highest ranges at pp.     It just can't be done, so to reflect authenticity, adjust your AR Voice accordingly.

We have on our Yamaha AR organs, both Initial Touch and After Touch
Initial Touch is affected by how hard you strike the note, whereas After Touch reacts to how hard you press down on the note once you have struck it.     You can combine these two to create the same effect that a flautist can make, but the difference for the flute player is much less than the on the clarinet.

Don’t forget that the flute player has to breathe regularly.  So when you use that voice on your AR, you should also ‘take breaths’.
One way of perfecting this is to take a real breath yourself,  as you begin to play a phrase and as you let it out, see how long you can maintain it before you have to take another.  This should help you to lift your fingers from the keys at appropriate points, especially at the end of phrases, in order to allow the flautist to effectively take a breath.

And again with Initial Touch and After Touch you can reproduce what the flautist does with their breath control.

I trust this will help you to think, therefore, and play like a true Flautist.


In its most basic form, a flute is an open tube which is blown into. After focused study and training, players use controlled air-direction to create an airstream in which the air is aimed downward into the tone hole of the flute's headjoint. There are several broad classes of flutes.    With most flutes, the musician blows directly across the edge of the mouthpiece, with 1/4 of their bottom lip covering the embouchure hole. However, some flutes, such as the whistle, gemshorn, flageolet, recorder, tin whistle, tonette, fujara, and ocarina have a duct that directs the air onto the edge (an arrangement that is termed a "fipple").   These are known as fipple flutes.   The fipple gives the instrument a distinct timbre which is different from non-fipple flutes and makes the instrument easier to play, but takes a degree of control away from the musician.
Another division is between side-blown (or transverse) flutes, such as the Western concert flute, piccolo, fife, dizi and bansuri; and end-blown flutes, such as the ney, xiao, kaval, danso, shakuhachi, Anasazi flute and quena. The player of a side-blown flute uses a hole on the side of the tube to produce a tone, instead of blowing on an end of the tube.     End-blown flutes should not be confused with fipple flutes such as the recorder, which are also played vertically but have an internal duct to direct the air flow across the edge of the tone hole.

Flutes may be open at one or both ends. The ocarina, xun, pan pipes, police whistle, and bosun's whistle are all closed-ended.    Open-ended flutes such as the concert flute and the recorder have more harmonics, and thus more flexibility for the player, and brighter timbres.     
An organ pipe may be either open or closed, depending on the sound desired.

Flutes may have any number of pipes or tubes, though one is the most common number.     Flutes with multiple resonators may be played one resonator at a time (as is typical with pan pipes) or more than one at a time (as is typical with double flutes).
Flutes can be played with several different air sources.    Conventional flutes are blown with the mouth, although some cultures use nose flutes. The flue pipes of organs, which are acoustically similar to duct flutes, are blown by bellows or fans.

In the next Reply we outline some of the variations of the flute instrument.
Both our organs have pre-set Clarinets........
         Orchestral Clarinet
         Dixie Clarinet

but the AR100 also features........
        Synthesised Clarinet.

Both our organs share exactly the same pre-set Saxophones......
          Alto Sax
          Jazz Alto
          Tenor Sax
          Breathy Tenor
          Jazz Tenor
          Soprano Sax
          Baritone Sax
          &                 Sax Section   and    Sax Section

Peter's Pearls / Re: No__88___Pedal Exercises
« Last post by Peter Anderson on July 18, 2018, 08:03:43 PM »
Note the Key Signature and the occasional accidental.

Click this link to open the pdf in a new window:

Pedal Exercise  No  11

Peter's Pearls / Re: No__87____Regular Warm Up
« Last post by Peter Anderson on July 17, 2018, 03:00:35 PM »
Proper organ finger positions allows an organist to play quicker, with more agility, and with greater accuracy.

So what is the Proper Organ Hand Position?

So how do I actually do it!

Thankfully, a good organ hand position is actually much easier to learn than many people think!

Like any new skill, however, maintaining good organ hand placement requires consistent practice.

Step One: To get a natural piano finger position, try standing up beside your Yamaha AR organ and relaxing your hands at your sides. If you feel tense, shake out any stress that you may have in your arms, hands, and fingers.

Step Two: One should sit far enough from the keyboard to let the fingertips rest on the keys without effort when the arms are normally bent, and your feet should reach the pedals without stretching.  This will result in a compromise situation, depending on the individual proportions of your own body.  i.e. Long legs, short arms or vice versa.   The final position must be comfortable and the best for you.

Step Three: Notice how your fingers naturally curve in toward your body and how your knuckles curve out slightly away from your body.    Also, notice how the thumb and index finger make a slight “C” shape. Keep your hands and fingers in the same position as this, but bend your arm at your elbow so your hands are in front of you with your palms down.

Step Four: The result should be that the fingertips are in contact with the keys, the knuckles of the hand should be fairly even with one another, and they should be slightly higher than the wrist. The first knuckle closest to the fingertips should be flexed during most playing styles.   It should not collapse or cause the fingers to become perfectly straight.

Step Five: The wrist should be relaxed and level with the hand. To find the ideal position, hold your fingertips on the surface of the keys while maintaining the firmness of the knuckles of the hand.    Move your wrist upwards and downwards and notice the tension created by having the wrist either too high or too low.   Now find the place in your wrist that feels most natural; often it will be where the wrist is even with the arm.
Again, you will have to make something of a compromise, because you have two keyboards at different heights.

Step Six: Finally, make sure to notice whether or not any part of your arm has tensed up.  Check your wrist, shoulder, and forearm – if they feel tense, relax them while keeping your fingers on the keys.

Peter's Pearls / Re: No__88___Pedal Exercises
« Last post by Peter Anderson on July 17, 2018, 02:57:54 PM »
Back to the Key of C, but a few accidentals thrown in for good measure in this Pedal Exercise.

Click this link to open the pdf in a new window:

Pedal Exercise  No  10

So let’s revue all this.    A flute produces sound when a stream of air directed across a hole in the instrument creates a vibration of air at the hole.        The airstream creates a Bernoulli or siphon, which excites the air contained in the usually cylindrical resonant cavity within the flute.     The flautist changes the pitch of the sound produced by opening and closing holes in the body of the instrument, thus changing the effective length of the resonator and its corresponding resonant frequency. 

By varying the air pressure, a flautist can also change the pitch by causing the air in the flute to resonate at a harmonic rather than the fundamental frequency without opening or closing any holes.

Head joint geometry appears particularly critical to acoustic performance and tone, but there is no clear consensus on a particular shape amongst manufacturers.    Acoustic impedance of the embouchure hole appears the most critical parameter.      Critical variables affecting this acoustic impedance include: chimney length (i.e. the hole between the lip-plate and the head tube), chimney diameter, and radii or curvature of the ends of the chimney and any designed restriction in the "throat" of the instrument, such as that in the Japanese Nohkan Flute.

A study in which professional flutists were blindfolded could find no significant differences between flutes made from a variety of metals.      In two different sets of blind listening, no flute was correctly identified in a first listening, and in a second, only the silver flute was identified.   The study concluded that there was "no evidence that the wall material has any appreciable effect on the sound color or dynamic range".

In the next Reply, we consider how we set up the Flute Voice to play on our AR.

Peter's Pearls / Re: No__87____Regular Warm Up
« Last post by Peter Anderson on July 15, 2018, 09:02:58 PM »
Having the proper finger positioning is essential for all organists, as it helps prevent injury and improve technique.     Here are some extra keyboard finger exercises that you can do to help improve your skills.

Sitting down at your AR and playing a few notes is a pretty easy task, isn’t it?     Well anyone can sit on the bench, place their fingers on the keys, and make some sort of sound come out.

However, the technique we use to control the muscles in our hands, arms, and shoulders plays a very important role in our ability to play the organ well.      The muscles in our hands especially, play a vital role in our ability to make, as well as control, our desired sounds.

Great keyboard  finger technique is based on the idea of playing “from the finger” – or using the fingers as our main driving source of power.

If you’re self-taught, most of these ideas will be unfamiliar to you.    If you’ve been playing for a long time and using different techniques, breaking bad habits may take a little time.

You don’t have to get stressed, because simple adjustment can improve your technique substantially.

In essence, good finger technique utilizes the following four elements:

1   Fingers should not be flat or floppy–knuckles should generally not be straightened.

2   Typically, most fingers will be slightly bent at the knuckle closest to the fingertip. The exception is the pinky finger, which can be straightened at times.

3   The primary power source of most playing will actually come from the finger–specifically the knuckle at the top of the hand–rather than the wrist or arm.

4   Relaxation of the arm, elbow, and shoulder, and a very early preparation of the thumb and other fingers while playing.

Playing “from the finger” is incredibly important. Just think of how objects move.     If you’re holding a pencil in your hand and want to move it extremely quickly, is the motion large or small?

Likewise, in organ playing, if you wanted to play an extremely fast succession of notes, would you opt for large-scale muscles or small-scale ones?

In addition, you wouldn’t use your whole arm and upper-body to rapidly move the pencil back and forth, so why would we do that when playing the organ?

With this notion in mind, it’s easy to understand why using good organ finger technique is incredibly important.

So adjust your hand position rather than your wrist position.     Keep your wrists at an even height.
Play from your fingers rather than your arms.    If you don’t you will tend to produce accents on beats that are not in the music.

Peter's Pearls / Re: No__88___Pedal Exercises
« Last post by Peter Anderson on July 13, 2018, 10:21:41 AM »
Note the Key Signature and a couple of Accidentals in this Pedal Exercise.

Click this link to open the pdf in a new window:

Pedal Exercise  No  9

This pdf has the Pedal Exercises Nos  6, 7, 8  &  9 on one A4 page.

How does the flautist play the flute?

They take deep breaths and don’t just blow, but create the correct embouchure to play correctly.    Think of spitting out a sunflower seed!     Don’t try it now! Imagine doing it and then freeze after you spit the seed out.   That is how small the hole of their mouth needs to be while they blow.

Then imagine them saying the word "poo" while freezing their face. Now add those two together and you now have the correct embouchure to play.

By saying the word “foo”, or “too” they can create different effects.

They then blow across the mouthpiece, like blowing across a bottle.   The sound is produced by the breaking of their airstream on the edge of the embouchure hole.    Half their breath should travel above the hole, and half should travel down through the flute.

They work hard to achieve a full steady note, which is why they need to take deep breaths, though by effectively saying different words, as mentioned above they change the attack of the note.

But the flautist can obviously produce changes in pitch by covering different sets of holes with his fingers or pads controlled by levers.   

But they can also change the pitch by the speed of their breath.     Faster breath will produce a higher pitch, and slower breath will produce a lower pitch, like this:

Mouth Opening      Breath Speed      Pitch
Wide                             Slow                Low
Normal                        Normal            Medium
Narrow                          Fast                 High


It is the Headjoint that produces the sound.

Moving their tongue to say “too”, while blowing, the flautist creates a much clearer sound.

The Saxophone

I originally hadn't considered discussing the Saxophone, but as it bears great similarity to the Clarinet, I thought for completeness we ought to mention this important instrument.

The Saxophone (aka the Sax) is also a family of woodwind instruments.     Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet.    Like the clarinet, saxophones have holes in the instrument which the player closes using a system of key mechanisms and when the player presses a key, a pad either covers a hole or lifts off a hole, lowering or raising the pitch, respectively.

The saxophone was developed in the 1840’s by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian instrument maker, flautist, and clarinetist, because he wanted to create a group or series of instruments that would be the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds, and the most adaptable of the brass instruments, so that they would fill the vacant middle ground between these two sections. 

He was born in Dinant and originally based in Brussels, but he moved to Paris in 1842 to establish his musical instrument business.    Prior to his work on the saxophone, he had made several improvements to the bass clarinet by improving its keywork and acoustics and extending its lower range.

Sax was also a maker of the then-popular ophicleide, a large conical brass instrument in the bass register with keys similar to a woodwind instrument.    His experience with these instruments allowed him to develop the skills and technologies needed to make the first saxophones.    As an extra to his work of improving the bass clarinet, Sax began developing an instrument with the projection of a brass instrument and the agility of a woodwind.      He wanted it to overblow at the octave, unlike the clarinet, which rises in pitch by a twelfth when overblown.     An instrument that overblows at the octave has identical fingering for both registers.

Sax created an instrument with a single-reed mouthpiece (see picture below: they are made either of ebonite or steel) like a clarinet, conical brass body like an ophicleide, and some acoustic properties of both the horn and the clarinet.

Having constructed saxophones in several sizes in the early 1840s, Sax applied for, and received, a 15-year patent for the instrument on June 28, 1846.    The patent encompassed 14 versions of the fundamental design, split into two categories of seven instruments each, and ranging from sopranino to contrabass.     Although the instruments transposed at either F or C have been considered "orchestral", there is no evidence that Sax intended this.    As only three percent of Sax's surviving production were pitched in F and C, and as contemporary composers used the E♭ alto and B♭ bass saxophone freely in orchestral music, it is almost certain that Sax experimented to find the most suitable keys for these instruments, settling upon instruments alternating between E♭ and B♭ rather than those pitched in F or C, for reasons of tone and economy (the saxophones were the most expensive wind instruments of their day).      The C soprano saxophone was the only instrument to sound at concert pitch.      All the instruments were given an initial written range from the B below the treble staff to the F, one space above the three ledger lines above the staff, giving each saxophone a range of two and a half octaves.
Sax's patent expired in 1866; thereafter, numerous saxophonists and instrument manufacturers implemented their own improvements to the design and keywork.      The first substantial modification was by a French manufacturer who extended the bell slightly and added an extra key to extend the range downwards by one semitone to B♭.    It is suspected that Sax himself may have attempted this modification. This extension is now commonplace in almost all modern designs, along with other minor changes such as added keys for alternate fingerings.     Using alternate fingerings allows a player to play faster and more easily.     A player may also use alternate fingerings to bend the pitch.     Some of the alternate fingerings are good for trilling, scales, and wide interval jumps.

Sax's original keywork, which was based on the Triebert system 3 oboe for the left hand and the Boehm clarinet for the right, was simplistic and made playing some legato passages and wide intervals extremely difficult to finger, so numerous developers added extra keys and alternate fingerings to make chromatic playing less difficult.     While early saxophones had two separate octave vents to assist in the playing of the upper registers just as modern instruments do, players of Sax's original design had to operate these via two separate octave keys operated by the left thumb.   
A substantial advancement in saxophone keywork was the development of a method by which the left thumb operates both tone holes with a single octave key, which is now universal on modern saxophones.     Further developments were made by Selmer in the 1930s and '40s, including offsetting tone holes and a revamping of the octave key mechanism, beginning with balanced action instruments and continuing through their celebrated Mark VI line. One of the most radical, however temporary, revisions of saxophone keywork was made in the 1950s by M. Houvenaghel of Paris, who completely redeveloped the mechanics of the system to allow a number of notes (C♯, B, A, G, F and E♭) to be flattened by a semitone simply by pressing the right middle finger. This enables a chromatic scale to be played over two octaves simply by playing the diatonic scale combined with alternately raising and lowering this one digit.   However, this keywork never gained much popularity, and is no longer in use.

Here is a list of the different Saxophones, together with a chart demonstrating their different sizes, (less the very small Sopranissimo) but the four most common ones, are the alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone and the soprano saxophone.     I have also shown their relationship to one another. with respect to their musical range.

Saxophone          Key     Sounds an Octave lower than     Sounds an Octave higher than

Sopranissimo        Bb                    N/A                                               Soprano
Sopranino           Eb                    N/A                                                Alto

Soprano              Bb                    Sopranissimo                                Tenor

Alto                     Eb                    Sopranino                                      Baritone

Tenor                  Bb                    Soprano                                         Bass

Baritone             Eb                     Alto                                                Contrabass

Bass                    Bb                    Tenor                                             Subcontrabass

Contrabass         Eb                     Baritone                                        N/A

Subcontrabass   Bb                     Bass                                               N/A

The things to remember when using a Saxophone Voice on your AR are the same as those we referred to above when discussing the Clarinet.

However the ranges are different and here are the Soprano and Alto Sax Ranges.

Please note that most instruments carry an additional F# Key so that they can reach a note a semitone higher.
i.e. on the Soprano Sax the F#, and on the Alto Sax the natural B, above those shown on this staff.

From the chart above you can work out the ranges of all the other Saxophones, so you can play almost anywhere on your keyboards with a Saxophone voice and still sound authentic.    You have effectively simply picked a different Saxophone to use!

It would be wise to play within the range of one type of Saxophone at a time, so that you maintain authenticity.   In other words don't go to extremes!
Don't forget those areas that we mentioned when talking about the clarinet, that relate to using a saxophone voice on your AR, and making it sound authentic, especially taking breaths at suitable points.

This is a very popular and great sounding instrument, so enjoy using this voice.

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