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14/03/2015

FluteFingerHoleLocations

FluteFingerHoleLocations
Determiningapproximatefingerholelocationsforasimple6holefluteissomewhatcomplicated.
MuchofwhatfollowsisduetotheanalysisofA.H.Benade(see"FundamentalsofMusical
Acoustics,"A.H.Benade,OxfordUnivPress,or"ThePhysicsofMusicalInstruments,"N.H.
FletcherandT.D.Rossing,SpringerVerlag.)
Thewavelengthofthesoundproducedisdeterminedbytheflutetubeandtoneholes.Forapipeof
lengthL,openatbothends,andignoringendeffects,thewavelengthofthesoundistwicethelength
ofthetube.Thefrequencyproducedisgivenbydividingthespeedofsound(345m/s)bythe
wavelength.
Themethoddescribedhereistoestimateaneffectivelengthforareal(cylindrical)tubetakinginto
accountendeffects,thesizeofthetoneholes,etc.
Ifthefundamental(alltoneholesclosed)correspondstoaneffectivelengthLeo,thenthedesired
effectivelengthsforasix(orfewer)holeflutetoproducenotesofthe(Westernmajor)scalearegiven
by:
Length
Note
UnitsofL
Number Note
eo
0
Do
1
1
Re
8/9
2
Mi
4/5
3
Fa
3/4
4

So

2/3

5
6

La
Ti

3/5
8/15

TheactualphysicallengthoftheflutewillbeshorterthanLeoandthedistancetothetoneholes(from
theblowend)willbeshorterthanthevaluescalculatedinthetable.
AsdescribedbyBenade,theendeffects(atboththeblowholeandatthefirstopenhole)act
(approximately)asanadditionallengthwhichmustbesubtractedfromthecalculatedeffectivelengths
togetthephysicallengthsdesired.Aslongasyoudon'tdeviatetoomuchfromtypicalflute
proportions,theseapproximatecalculationsshouldgetyouprettyclose.Ifyouareseriousabout
gettingyourfluteintune,planonmakingatleasttwoflutes.
First,makeyourflutewithnotoneholesandadjustthelengthtomatchthedesiredlowestnote.The
blowholeistypically1/2to2/3thetube'sinnerdiameter,andthestopperwillbeaboutanequal
distancefromthecenteroftheblowhole.Thengetoutyourrulerandmeasurethefollowing:
t=wallthicknessofthetube
Lo=lengthofthetubefromthecenteroftheblowholetotheopenend.
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FluteFingerHoleLocations

a=insideradiusoftube(2a=insidediameter),and
d=distancefromcenterofblowholetostopper(seebelow)
Then,
Leo=(Lb+Lo+0.6a)
where
0.6a=approximateendcorrectionattheopenendand
Lbisthelengthcorrectionattheblowend,whichisnotknown.
Lbcanbedeterminedapproximatelyby:
b=radiusofblowhole
Heff=(t+1.7b)
Lb=Heff(1e)(a/b)2
wheree=fractionofblowholecoveredbytheplayer'slip
eistypically0.25to0.33
Note:usingasingleLbforallnotesisareasonableapproximationIFdiscloseto0.37Lb
NowuseyourvalueofLeoandthetableabovetogetdesiredeffectivelengthsforeachofthehole
positions,measuredfromthecenteroftheblowholetothecenterofthetonehole.CalltheseLei
where"i"correspondstothefirstcolumninthetable.(e.g.Le1=8/9Leo,etc).FromeachLei,subtract
(Lb+0.6a)togetyourfirstapproximateholepositions,Li.
Theactualpositionforeachholewilldependonthetoneholesizeandthepositionofanyotheropen
toneholes.Hence,youhavesomeleewaytochooseoneortheotherofthese.Smallertoneholeswill
giveamellowersoundandlargerholesgiveabrighter(andlouder)sound.Yourholesdonotneedto
beallthesamesize,soitispossibletomakesomechoiceswhichaffecttheergonomicsofyourflute.
BelowIwillassumethatallthetoneholesarefixedinsize,andonlytheirpositionsaretobeadjusted.
Ifthisresultsintoneholepositionswhichareuncomfortable(orunusable)thenadjustoneormoreof
thetoneholesizesandrecompute.
Nowcomputethefirstcorrections:
Linew=LeiLbLc
where
ifi=1(forRe)then
Lc=(t+1.5b)/((b/a)2+(t+1.5b)/D)
whereD=LoL1
else(forallotherholes)
Lc=s[(1+2(1.5b+t)(a/b)2/s)1/21]
where
b=toneholeradius(2b=diameter)offirstopenholefromtheblowend,
s=1/2ofthespacingbetweenfirstandsecondopenholesfromtheblowend
[i.e.s=(Li1Li)/2]
endif
Foreachofthesecalculations,youwillneedtorepeatthemseveraltimes.Forexample,forthefirst
tonehole,aninitialvalueofDisusedwhichwascomputedfromthepreviousapproximatepositions.
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Oncethecorrectionisfound,computethenewvalueofDandrecomputethecorrection.Continue
untiltheanswerdoesn'tchangemuch.Fortheotherholes,recomputesusingthecorrectedpositionto
obtainabettercorrection.Dothisoneholeatatime.Ifyoucorrectalltheholes,thengobackand
redothecalculationsforalltheholes,youcangetintonumericaltroubleinsomecases.
Nowdrillyourholes.Ifanoteisabitflat,youcanenlargethefirstopenhole(fromtheblowend)a
bittosharpenit.Ifyoudrillyourholesalittlesmalltobeginwith,youmightbeabletobringyour
fluteintotunewithouthavingtomakeasecondone.
Note:ifyouhaveparticularthickwallsonyourflute(likesomewoodflutes)youwillneedtoadd
anothercorrection.Use
Li=LeiLbLcLt
where
Lt=t(b/a)2/4timesthenumberofclosedholesbetweenthefirstopenholeandtheblowend.
Youwillalsoneedtoshortenyourtubeabitasthepresenceoftheclosedholeswillflattenthe
fundamentalaswell.
Nowcheckthetuningofyourflute,andestimateadjustmentstomakeyoursecondflute.Thatis,if
yournoteis3%flat,movethehole3%closertotheblowhole,etc.Afrequencycounterisbestfor
this,butifnecessary,youcandoit"byear"(e.g.bycomparingtoanotherinstrumentwhichisintune
andlisteningtothebeats).Ifyouseesystematicproblems(e.g.Reisalittleflat,Mealittleflatter,and
bythetimeyougettoTiitisveryflat)thenyourvalueofLbcanbeadjustedtofixalltheholesat
once.
Forafippleflute(e.g.arecorder)thecorrectionatthemouthcanbeapproximatedby
Lb=2.3a2/(areaoffippleopening)1/2
thoughthisisonlyaroughapproximation.
Ifyoujustwanttocalculate,orneedtocheckyourcalculations,thenseetheflutomatjavascriptby
PeteKosel

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