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Enthalpy

Woodwind Fingerings

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Here' a bassoon system evolved from Oct 22, 2017. It keeps two keys for each front finger acting at different phalanges, and one key per half-tone, but spreads the hands' action according to the bassoon's joints:

  • The left thumb opens three or more high side holes at the wing joint;
  • The left front fingers' proximal or middle phalanges open four side holes at the wing joint;
  • The right front fingers' proximal or middle phalanges open four side holes at the boot;
  • The right fingers', including the thumb's, distal phalanges close five side holes at the boot;
  • The left front fingers' distal phalanges close four side holes at the long joint;
  • The left thumb closes two side holes at the bell.

The boot is one hole longer than usual, both wings are correspondingly shorter, and the bell with optional two covers can ease the transport.

Movements pass only to the bell cover(s), and maybe to the register key(s) if the right thumb moves them. This improves a lot over my previous attempt. The keys are quite simpler than for a Heckel system and hopefully more silent.

BassoonCsup.png.50bc8cf06bac0c6eb61770e80c7d783f.png
BassoonC12.png.3345d55c17e98c2358b4b4d7a64ef9b3.png

The resulting fingerings seem easier now. Cross-fingerings still let move many fingers, but the actions for individual notes are healthier. A bassoon and its small side holes won't follow the sketched flute logic, but if the intervals between open holes are kept, for instance if the instrument sounds all cross-fingerings a semitone higher, then the simple fingerings are kept and only shifted.

With narrow side holes at locations differing from the Heckel system, this system needs a redesign of the instrument, lengthy to tune properly since the adequate cross-fingerings are still unknown. It can be worth it as the keys are simple and enable very uniform and perfect hole combinations.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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I'm really not sure I could get my head around all the fingerings for any wind instrument. I can't even get a scale out of a recorder, but then I wouldn't want to. I can barely get a sound out of a sax, let alone a note. I don't read notation, although I had to a little when I leaned a bit of piano, but I used to be able to sight read some guitar tabs.. I have always been a bit to lazy to really learn to sight read music and I haven't just 'picked it up' like I hope I would have done.  Strings though are different - probably because I've played the guitars on and off for decades. I can find root notes easy enough by ear and then play and jam to almost anything from there with a knowledge of a few scales, keys, modes and chords etc.  Keyboards I like but find it difficult to split my thinking between the two hands if they play separate lines. I love music and the guitar has been one of the joys in my life. I'll have to get organised and get that touch pad out again  -   I know I keep saying it but it is SO intuitive to play. It isn't supposed to be a solo instrument but I can probably knock out a better solo on that than I can on a guitar. 

Do you play or compose much? 

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At last message's bassoon system, it may well be better to swap the phalanges' roles:

  • Use the distal phalanges (finger tips) the open the higher tone holes, and
  • use the proximal or middle phalanges to close the lower tone holes.

The upper register, whose fingerings need more movements, uses then mostly the finger tips, which are a bit more agile.

The keys become simpler too. At one hand or the other, the distal and proximal buttons must cross an other; this is easier at the boot, where the tenor and bass branches are never separated.

----------

The "alternate fingerings" in the previous diagram show extreme cases. So many lone open holes aren't needed usually.

The right index catches two buttons for several notes. I wouldn't put an extra button for that, but experience decides. The front fingers don't jump between buttons in the system I propose, huge advantage.

----------

Hi DrP, thanks for your interest! I come back soon.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

Edited by Enthalpy

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Here are automatic cross-fingerings for octave-overblowing woodwinds:

  • They seem good for the oboe family and sarrusophones, rothphones;
  • Interesting for saxophones and tárogatók, especially with wide natural range like the tubax;
  • But insufficient as is for the bassoons and the flutes, sorry folks.

The keyworks and transmissions resemble much the one I proposed for the clarinet
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1032187 and next
so since a drawing of the keys can come here later and maybe, the reader could refer there instead.

As for the clarinet:

  • The instrument has "direct holes" controlled by the hands, and "consequent holes";
  • A mechanism detects the position of the closed-to-open transition at the direct holes;
  • The direct holes can reside alternately at right and left to simplify the mechanism;
  • The closed-to-open transition(s) and some register keys control the open consequent hole(s) if any;
  • Each position along the tube can host several consequent holes to simplify the mechanism.

The octave-overblowing instruments have fewer covers than the clarinet and other intervals between the transitions and the open consequent holes: their cross-fingerings can reinforce the modes 3+4 or 4+5 for instance.

Here's an example of fingerings:
OboeEtcAuto.png.e37aa47fedfc7f95e5e74c8aedbc9b91.png
The direct holes are drawn blue when closed. The hands may be elsewhere. The consequent holes are drawn green when closed.

In this example:

  • The second and third modes result from register holes only, as on the oboe;
  • The mode 3+4 opens one consequent hole at a fourth over the first open direct hole;
  • The mode 4+5 does it at a major third;
  • At the top of the first mode, a register key combination opens the consequent holes at both a fourth and a major third over the transition. Two adjacent open consequent holes shall suffice for trills and swift sequences. At normal pace, the musician closes one extra direct cover to open two adjacent consequent holes more for intonation and timbre.

All modes can extend by one or two semitones for trills.

Like the Boehm clarinet does at the pinkies, I'd duplicate at both thumbs the four or more register buttons and the buttons for the lowest notes. Each register hole controls 7 or 6 semitones plus trills. Provide something to carry the instrument at the palms.

A single consequent hole open is little for the oboe and insufficient for the flute, the bassoon, probably the soprito
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1020912 and next
More consequent holes could help the modes 2+3, 5+6, 4+5+6, 5+6+8... but not simplify the keys.

Assembling isn't easy. I'd prefer transmissions to the register holes and to the low covers, and locate on the same joint the consequent holes and the direct holes that control them.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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On 5/1/2018 at 10:26 PM, DrP said:

I'm really not sure I could get my head around all the fingerings for any wind instrument. I can't even get a scale out of a recorder, but then I wouldn't want to. I can barely get a sound out of a sax, let alone a note. I don't read notation, although I had to a little when I leaned a bit of piano, but I used to be able to sight read some guitar tabs.. I have always been a bit to lazy to really learn to sight read music and I haven't just 'picked it up' like I hope I would have done.  Strings though are different - probably because I've played the guitars on and off for decades. I can find root notes easy enough by ear and then play and jam to almost anything from there with a knowledge of a few scales, keys, modes and chords etc.  Keyboards I like but find it difficult to split my thinking between the two hands if they play separate lines. I love music and the guitar has been one of the joys in my life. I'll have to get organised and get that touch pad out again  -   I know I keep saying it but it is SO intuitive to play. It isn't supposed to be a solo instrument but I can probably knock out a better solo on that than I can on a guitar. 

Do you play or compose much? 

You're absolutely welcome! Fingering charts aren't easy to read. What I find difficult is to imagine whether one fingering system is better than an other. When having an actual instrument in the hands, one can make an opinion after trying for some time, but even then, putting aside the habits takes an effort: "Of course the usual system is convenient, you just need to train it enough".

The Obukhov notation here makes the charts much clearer but is unusual. A note written with an X is a semitone higher. They correspond to the piano's black keys.

I used to play the violin, the piano, the saxophone, the flute, the contrabass tuba and the bassoon but stopped all when I moved to a hotel in Munich. I will play the winds again some time.

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At the top of the oboe's first mode, four open adjacent consequent holes are better than two as suggested on May 05, 2018. It can be done as well with the clarinet's keyworks proposed on Jan 07, 2018.

ClarFingBOpenThroat.png.193e5faefa384f4cd17ca3f7ad2ca2cd.png

  • It's less necessary on the clarinet, as two of its wider tone holes vent the first register rather well.
  • It complicates the fingerings of more notes, and makes more trills approximative.
  • Two open holes would be made wider than four, and maybe put higher. This influences the intonation and stability of the modes 3+5 and 5+9, important decision criteria.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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The bocal can have register holes at the English horn, the baritone oboe, the bassoon, and similar. Just as an illustration:
RegisterBocal.png.1910cc25756e8f17a0af61812ffde16e.png

Only the bassoon has a register hole presently, and very close to the joint. Holes closer to the reed  help emit the highest notes.

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The system of May 05, 2018 for oboe and similar can have more consequent holes to ease the emission of the highest notes by cumulating the modes 5, 4 and now 3.

OboeEtcAutoC.png.fb6ca81de82591dc257a1455824680fb.png

Some actions by the register buttons must be split: when playing the upper low register, the closed-to-open transition can open a consequent hole a major third higher (5/4), but the consequent holes a sixth higher (5/3) are opened only to play the highest register.

To reach a written high D, the system needs a consequent hole corresponding to a G. This is but higher than a saxophone's F# palm key and fits on an oboe's body.

Where the direct and consequent holes overlap, the body is badly overcrowded. Some sort of sketch may come - hopefully.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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On Oct 02, 2017 I drew for the third G# the only fingering that works on my horrible flute. Normal instruments use that one:

BoehmBadNotesB.png.9672b6198a79397b24d7eeb4dc146d24.png

which is less stable than G and A for the reasons already explained.

Edited by Enthalpy

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The flute with Boehm system uses the ring finger to play the F# so two adjacent holes vent it. This makes E-F# and F-F# slurs more difficult and nearly precludes trills with standard fingerings. The alternate fingerings open a single hole at the main transition, making a dull and flat note. I propose here to add one button for all these F# trills. The idea is immediate enough that it may well exist already.

BoehmFsharpTrillKey.png.a0b1f6dcfa35c528bb28c457c45aa851.png

In the usual construction, any of the three next lower covers close the "F#" cover (which emits G when open), whose shaft runs within the tubes of all three keys, with three transmissions to the shaft.

The added button acts on the shaft to close the G emitting cover and is pressed by the right ring finger, so two holes are open below the transition, and even a third one when playing F#, which changes about nothing.

The best position for the new button is already taken by an other trill key. I've drawn them next to an other, but the new button can also reside close to the little finger or beyond the "D" cover (which emits E when open).

The construction is obvious and improves 5 trills. Good workshops can add it to existing instuments.

----------

Optionally, the new button can close an articulated G# cover too for easy and clean F#-G# trills. The present alternate fingering makes G# dull and flat by opening a single hole at the main transition.

Modern saxophones close the G# cover by the "F#" cover (which emits G when open), some clarinets too, but the Boehm flute can't because notes in the third octave need the open G# while some lower covers are closed.

The new button would the close the articulated G# in addition to the "F#" cover for easy trills.

Then, the new key must differ from the "F#" key, with a transmission between them. That way, the three covers that close the "F#" cover don't close the G# cover, and the third octave functions normally. The transmission to the G# cover is not sketched.

----------

The complete solution to trills and all fingerings is the one I described on Jul 02 and Aug 06, 2017
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=999590
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1005747
but here the added button keeps the usual fingerings and exact set of holes, avoiding to relearn and redesign the instrument.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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The system of May 14, 2018 for the oboe and similar has two direct and two consequent holes at some positions, too much for saxophones or tárogatók, for oboes probably too. So here's an automatic cross-fingering system where the direct and consequent holes don't overlap.

The diagrams now represent both consequent holes per position, and the colour of a consequent hole tells how far it is from the closed-to-open transition of the direct holes that enables to open it:

  • Purple for a consequent hole 9 positions higher than an open direct hole that follows a closed one. The pressure nodes are 3 and 5 quarterwaves from the reed away, including the corrections for a conical bore.
  • Yellow for 7 positions, 2 and 3 quarterwaves.
  • Green for 5 positions, 3 and 4 quartewaves.
  • Turquoise for 4 positions, 4 and 5 quarterwaves.

OboeEtcAutoD.png.43c530e8ab0c76074faddd8479a13ec3.png

Now we see that the green holes, stopping at Eb, leave room for purple holes that open a precious second consequent hole at the four highest notes. The highest G position is but higher than the saxophone's F# palm key and fits well within the oboe's body. The turquoise holes, stopping at D, leave room for yellow holes that stabilize the high notes of the third register.

Purple and yellow holes serve for one note each and can adjust the intonation and emission. Some green and turquoise holes emit also the higher first register; two notes for one hole is easier than on most existing woodwinds.

Most closed-to-open transitions act on 3 or 4 consequent holes now, so one shaft soldered with each consequent hole is unreasonable. Better one shaft per transition position, and contacts that let each shaft close the proper consequent holes. The 5 shafts can make concentric pairs.

Register buttons close consequent covers too. This combines with the closed-to-open transitions at the direct covers.

  • Mode 5 closes the yellow and green covers.
  • Mode 4 closes the purple, yellow and turquoise covers.
  • Mode 3 closes the purple, green and turquoise.
  • Mode 2 closes all consequent covers (but opens one or two register holes).
  • The upper mode 1, for B, C, C# and trill D, close the purple, yellow and the highest turquoise cover. The new fingerings open four adjacent holes there, excellent for the oboe.
  • The lower mode 1 closes all consequent covers and register holes.

The register buttons move register covers too. There can be two for the long mode 2. As I prefer to double all register buttons for the right and left thumbs, automatic register covers for mode 2 aren't important. Each register button acts on consequent covers in both columns. It does need some hardware.

Each direct cover can close two consequent covers and open two more, so spring force should be well tuned, more so on instruments with big holes. Each register button can move three consequent covers.

==========

Now the modes don't overlap any more, so extra keys make the trills (in red here under).

OboeEtcAutoDTrills.png.30a65699f364f157c044f375068b80ed.png

Modes 5, 4 and 3 extend two semitones lower for the trills. Trill holes, not related with the transition mecanism and possibly moved by the pinkies, replace the missing consequent holes. Working for 2 or 3 adjacent semitones, they can destroy perfectly the unwanted modes, but can't contribute much to the wave reflection nor the intonation. Rather holes too narrow and too high giving imperfect brightness and intonation. Sounding a semitone lower is an option. Experiments shall decide.

On obvious position is where the consequent holes end, to prolong the modes 5, 4 and 3 with the same key. A second one should reside where the purple holes end, to stabilize the mode 5.

Mode 2 extends one tone lower easily and mode one a semitone higher naturally.

A-B in the upper mode 1 neds a trill key, maybe the lower key for modes 5, 4 and 3 if it's not too dull, or a different one, or several holes.

The upper mode 1 uses alternate fingerings for the trills, which would open only 2 or 3 adjacent holes, but using a lower trill key helps there.

The register holes must work meanwhile but not the consequent covers. This may need additional register buttons, which can also open the trill keys.

==========

The trill key(s) that serve to stabilize extended modes apply also to the clarinet system described on Jan 07, 2018.

I believe the automatic cross-fingering system here does not apply to the flute, because it uses plethoric tone holes that increase the losses. Check instead my system of Jul 02, 2017 and following
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=999590

Modes 1 to 5 do not suffice for the bassoon's range. It would need more columns of consequent holes, which get really complicated.

With two holes per position now, the system may fit a saxophone including the tubax, a tárogató probably.

Lower instruments have a wider range, so the English horn and baritone oboe would benefit from automatic cross-fingerings even better than a soprano oboe. Same for the sarrusophones and rothphones.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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In the automatic cross-fingering clarinet system I proposed here on Jan 07, 2018, opening the left index cover is already a closed-to-open transition: with an implicit direct hole just above, always closed. This transition does open consequent holes for the 5+3 and 9+5 modes.

Some fingerings in the upper first 12th open the left index cover, on Jan 07 as on May 10. This would open the two highest consequent covers, contrary to both sketches, and emit the wrong note.

In one possible correction, an added register button closes only the two highest consequent covers and serves at the low end of the upper first 12th. This button must be accessible together with the low F/C button.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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Here's an other mechanism that responds to the closed-to-open transition in the direct holes to close some consequent holes. As opposed to the sketch on Jan 14, 2018, lateral axles carry the direct covers or rings, while the transition shafts run at the centre. This is easier at the oboe family and parents, as the fingerings I proposed on Jun 03, 2018 need only 5 transition shafts that can make concentric pairs.

OboeTransition.png.4d318e1d9a61352086c42dd07911f85d.png

The sketch displays only two transition shafts acting each on two consequent covers arbitrarily spaced. Here the axles of the resultant covers are at the sides. The pairs of register keys are not displayed; articulated at the sides, they may be slightly simpler than on the Jan 14, 2018 mechanism. The rest is about as complicated, so silence, ease of adjustment, assembling and fabrication can decide.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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Some fingerings and keys systems I proposed need two buttons at some fingers, notably for the bassoon. I had suggested to operate the buttons at different phalanges.

The fingertip could also slide between the buttons. If bending the finger suffices thanks to the relative positions of the buttons, this movement may be easier and faster. Experiment shall decide.

TwoButtonsPerFinger.png.5cf8f14568dc3a03fff063900c18c7f7.png

On the sketch, the proximal button is higher than the distal one and rounded, so the finger slides to it more easily, over its natural slope, and can descend to the distal button. At least at the thumb's buttons of existing bassoons, I prefer no rolls.

The oboe, contrabassoon and many woodwinds have small covers and displacements, but the proposed arrangement may not fit a baritone saxophone. Or is it less bad than presently for the saxophonist's right pinkie?

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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Here's a possible aspect of a bassoon with the system C described on May 01 and 03, 2018 with two buttons per fore finger
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1050880

BassoonCLook.png.c28b89d638eecece47d3f197057bfbc4.png

The tone hole positions are approximative. Up to A they're deduced from the low holes, from Bb to C# they drift progressively up to a semitone higher as they get narrower. I'd not make the holes as long as on the French and Heckel systems since this must hamper the highest notes: just shorter and a bit narrower to keep the losses.

The hole positions I indicate at the bore for the Heckel system are eye estimates. As my system opens all holes below the main transition, the holes are regularly spaced, and the intonation and emission hopefully even.

Few transmissions are needed.

  • The left fore fingers open holes at the tenor joint and close others at the bass joint, each joint carrying only its own keys.
  • The right fore fingers open and close holes at the butt only.
  • The left thumb opens one of three tone holes whose keys reside fully on the tenor joint, as inspired by Heckel's overblowing keys, or closes one or two tone holes at the bell, needing transmissions from the bass joint.
  • The right thumb closes locally a tone hole or opens one of several register holes at the bocal whose buttons may reside at the tenor joint, needing transmissions.

My system frees early the right thumb, which can operate several register keys high on the bocal, to make high notes hopefully easier, stronger, and with nicer sound.

I could keep the bassoon's nice shape, size and aspect.

  • The boot is little longer to turn between A and Ab, whose holes may be slightly biassed to the bottom. Turning between Ab and G is an alternative.
  • The C# hole is at the boot, but the hole and key could be at the tenor wing and the right index still move it. The F hole and key could also be at the bass wing if accessible to the right thumb.
  • The tenor joint doesn't go as high, the bocal length and shape compensate that. Or give the left thumb a fourth tone hole there, if it provides an advantage unseen by my tentative fingering charts.
  • I've drawn the C hole at the bell so all parts are equally long for a smaller case. Though, manufacturers use to prefer a longer bass joint and save a transmission.

The keyworks seem much simpler than on existing bassoons. I may give sketches some day. The key arrangement I proposed is thought for this bassoon first:
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1060629
Fingerings look easier for the two first registers, and cross-fingerings for the higher registers may be easier and should be more efficient. If the sound and emission are more even too, my system would be an improvement. But it needs a lengthy development due to the double reed imposing narrow tone holes.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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At the clarinet with even fingerings sketched on Jan 02, 2018
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1031551
one raise button juts far out of the upper joint to be operated by the right thumb.

The upper joint can be made longer and the lower shorter, so the holes operated by the right index are at the upper joint. Their covers may be articulated at the body's right side. Then both raise buttons stop about where the joints do and are less exposed.

Alternately, one raise button can move the keys for the upper and lower joints, and the transmission be made at the border. It needs an adjustment.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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Or rather, keep both joints as on the Jan 02, 2018 sketch, as well as the covers and fingers positions, but split the raise key for the left hand joint and add a transmission, so that the button and its articulation stays with the right hand joint at disassembly, and the rest of the key with the left hand joint.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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In the bassoon sketch of Aug 18, 2018, please read 1L 2L 3L 4L instead of 1D 2D 3D 4D.

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Here is a keyworks example for the bassoon with system C described on May 01 and 03, 2018
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1050880
and outlined on Aug 18, 2018
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1065554
Using preferably the button arrangement proposed on Jul 14, 2018
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1060629
If someone develops this instrument, the positions of the holes will vary, the length of the joints possibly too, hence the design of the keys.

BassoonCKeys.png.639de9c0f6b407d38f800f899f135078.png

Some tone holes are now at the rear, better than behind hands.

Because my drawing capabilities were exceeded, I've changed again the positions of the proximal and distal buttons at the fore fingers: here the buttons that open higher tone holes are on the right, and the ones that close lower tone holes on the left, at both hands. In other words, the buttons are at the same side as the air column.

Keys with long vertical shafts are not the usual choice at the bell.

All buttons are spread comfortably. Small bassoonists will like that, older ones with arthristis too. Both hands are slightly higher than on the Heckel system, also nice to small musicians; that's mainly because I wanted the right thumb to operate register buttons hold at the tenor joint, but I ignore how useful they are nor how many there should be, and a transmission from the boot is possible too.

The register keys must reach the bocal, but I didn't represent this on the sketch. The right side of the tenor joint is available. Register keys at the bocal are nothing new; I suggested shapes on May 13, 2018
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1052574

This system makes keyworks much simpler than the Heckel system, and simpler than the French system too. It will be more silent too, as most keys consist of one button and one cover linked permanently.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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In the bassoon system I described here, the biggest difficulty for the musician in the first two registers is switching between them: open the left hand, press the register button, move the right fore fingers but open 4R and possibly 3R, all simultaneously. I tried to simulate it and found quite easier to press the register key when the right fore fingers move toward the wrist. The present system D does that: versus system C, it swaps the proximal and distal buttons at the boot.

The tentative cross-fingering chart follows simple flute logic, so it's inaccurate for the bassoon; a design goal could be to let them sound all a semitone higher. The chart shows that the system provides flexible cross-fingerings that seem easier to play than on the Heckel system.

Most bassoonists can play higher than the conventional G, so I added a chart for an altissimo octave but dropped the alternative fingerings. At C# and above, the fingerings get more complicated because I arbitrarily opened four holes above the main transition. At E and above, emission gets free help from many holes at the main transition, because this system opens them all and they are properly aligned as modes 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 to reinforce the wave reflection.

BassoonDsup.png.42f846d79112e577ca5e0cbb0e18ebfd.png
BassoonD12.png.78df343769133021bc2835794fdbff1b.png

The other joints are kept from the system C and I swapped the fore buttons at the boot. Redundant views with few keys each make it legible. The sketches are not accurate to the pixel, and the holes' positions will evolve. An instrument designer would find shortcomings and improvements. At least, the simplicity is patent.

BassoonDKeysRest.png.8bcd99d6810c3c13419aa09ed1e8b312.png
BassoonDKeysBoot.png.883e210472ea2613c7450af0526d3813.png

Here too, the right thumb operates register keys at the tenor joint, so the right hand is high in this option. Maybe single tilted parts can connect the buttons to the Ab and G covers. The long keys for A and Ab holes should be wide for stiffness; electroformed tubes could be lighter, as suggested there
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/111316-woodwind-materials/?do=findComment&comment=1031256

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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Existing bassoons, both with French and Heckel systems, have extremely long tone holes, more so nearer to the reed.

The common explanation, that the biassed long holes reached the proper positions at the air column when keys were expensive, is insufficient because presently we could have more keys and because these very inductive holes are a semitone to a tone higher at the air column than where pressure nodes should be. Instead, the bassoon needs the inductance and loss of the holes to soften the throat notes, more so due to the double reed and the huge first register. Also, musicians are used to the resulting illogic fingerings, especially at high registers.

Anyway, these abnormal holes disturb the high register. If they are 60mm long (I don't have my bassoon here), that's lambda/4 for 1450Hz, the second harmonic of the conventional highest F#, so closed holes attenuate strongly the harmonics of the high notes and hamper the fundamental above the conventional G. Open holes don't act as a short-circuit neither, nor even as an inductor, but as an open-circuit near the lambda/4 condition.

I'd like to get rid of these long holes if possible. Some notes do it already, for instance the C# at the end of the tenor joint. A new system is the opportunity since it changes the fingering anyway.

I did not write "wide short holes at node positions" because this does not fit a double reed - and not even the clarinet and tárogató do it. But make the tone holes quite shorter than presently, and narrower to keep some of the inductance, the loss, or a bit of both (they are incompatible). I suppose that this array of holes makes the bassoon's 500Hz "formant" when not used in cross-fingerings. I want to give general explanations and figures some time.

The oboe's chambers are an interesting option on the bassoon to soften the sound
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/113115-intentional-losses-in-wind-instruments/?do=findComment&comment=1035629
the absorbed band shall not be scaled to the bass instrument but still start at 3 to 4kHz to fit our perception
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/113243-sound-perception/?do=findComment&comment=1037471 and next
which needs a small diameter ratio.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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I have doubts now that the piccolo woodwind can have a single reed as depicted on Nov 06, 2017
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1021947
because the reed's susceptance destimated as on Dec 03, 2017
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/112039-woodwind-reed-susceptance/?do=findComment&comment=1026941
remains big even with an Ab clarinet reed. The clarinet's cylindrical bore is wide near the reed, whose susceptance shortens the air column reasonably. A saxophone (soprillo) is wide and plays the high notes only by the second mode, so hole positioning can correct the intonation. A single reed would shorten a narrow conical bore possibly too much, more than a quarter wavelength. Only a double reed, uncomfortably small, would fit. I may provide figures some day.

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Because the soprito starts on the 2nd one and uses many higher modes, automatic cross-fingerings would be difficult. But here is a system to ease cross-fingerings for the soprito.

Here 7 main holes achieve 8 notes, enough to join the modes, as these are high hence close to an other. The 7 main holes begin on C because an instrument's lowest notes tend to overblow abnormally, so the right thumb makes B and Bb.

SopritoEasycross458.png.ca359ac4c3e78d09cb3ce2c967daa957.png
SopritoEasycross23.png.015b335129efc2d5b58ce431d4c62c6b.png

In the present system, a single front finger presses a key to move several main holes and define a note. The four upper main covers are closed at rest and the left fingers open one to four, while the three lower main covers are open at rest and the right fingers close one to three. The right index moves no main cover but can have a dummy button as sketched. The holes and the buttons are displayed separately on the sketches. Synchronisation hardware was suggested there
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=999559
The musician presses only one button at a time as on a piano, excepted for the low B and Bb. This is easier than usual cross-fingerings. No alternate fingering nor trill key is foreseen.

Extra buttons open one or two additional cross-fingering holes. Adjacent buttons can share the same cross-holes for different modes chosen purposely, so two sets of cross-holes suffice:

  1. Mode 1 isn't used by the Soprito.
  2. The narrow bore and the reed's size stabilize the mode 2. A register hole isn't excluded.
  3. Mode 3 reuses the same main holes as mode 3 with a register key.
  4. Mode 3 4 opens a cross-hole a fourth (5 semitones) higher than the highest open main hole.
  5. Mode 3 4 5 opens two cross-holes, a major third (4 semitones) and a major sixth (9 semitones) higher.
  6. Mode 6 isn't used.
  7. Mode 7 isn't used.
  8. Mode 5 6 8 opens two cross-holes, a fourth (5 semitones) and a minor sixth (8 semitones) higher.

The system opens cross-holes 4, 5, 8 and 9 semitones higher than the highest open main hole, but adjacent main holes share cross-holes: a key for 4 and 5 is common to two adjacent main holes, a key for 8 and 9 too.

The left index opens 4 main covers and 0 to 2 cross-covers. The right pinkie closes 3 main and may open 2 cross-covers. Narrow covers like at the oboe linder this drawback.

The sketches show extra buttons that act on the main and cross-covers to help the musician. They need little extra local hardware. Without them, the musician would press simultaneously with the main cover 1 or 2 separate buttons linked directly with the cross-covers.

Separate cross-covers ease the design of a well-tuned instrument.

Register keys are not displayed. Probably at left thumb. One stabilizes mode 3, maybe an other suffices for modes 3 4 and 3 4 5, and still an other for mode 5 6 8.

A sketch of the keys may come, perhaps.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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The bassoon's system applies nicely to the contrabassoon. With the left hand controlling the tenor and bass joint, the right one the boot, and few transmissions between all joints, the boot can be split in narrow and large joints and easily folded upwards.

ContrabassoonD.png.b6d4deb22628476ca3e125099c7a2e33.png

With all joints nearly as long, this makes a more compact fagotto. It's one folding more than the usual Heckel system contrabassoon, whose tenor joint begins at the bottom. The four first joints stay permanently together.

The bell can be bent and run downwards like on the Heckel system for a smaller instrument. Or, as depicted, it can be straight and assembled to play:

  • More compact transport case.
  • Contrabass taller than the bass in the orchestra, ah.
  • Resembles more a bassoon.
  • Needs only wood knownledge from luthier and workshops, especially if all tone holes fit on the wood sections.

I believe electrodeposition can make all bends and the bocal, if needed the bell, with little skills
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/111316-woodwind-materials/?do=findComment&comment=1031427
It can also make wide stiff tubes for the keys with reasonable weight.

Per carbon filament winding or of possibly reinforced polyketone, all joint walls can be single parts.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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The variant I sketched on Jul 30, 2017 of the even fingerings for oboe and similar
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=1004315
makes simple keyworks. Experiments shall decide, but trying to imagine their use, I feel them as convenient as the other variants.

So here is a fingering chart for this D variant:

OboeEtcDFing.png.45f9bda808496952a88c3556a6fe061e.png

Register keys are not displayed. Their number and range must be experimented. Double them at left and right thumbs like the low notes.

The cross-fingerings are only indicative for an oboe. This fully flexible system adapts to the instrument and extends to high modes.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

====================

This D fingering variant fits very well a bass or baritone oboe, which is a tenor written like the usual soprano oboe but sounding an octave lower, which must give it over three octaves range.

Baritone oboes are presently built straight, possibly because specialized oboe luthiers don't make brass bodies. The instrument stands on the ground, and small musicians need accessory to play sitting. I prefer the older shape resembling a bass clarinet.

  • Electrodeposition of silver, copper, nickel... alloys needs little skills and can make the boot and bell including all protruding holes.
  • Or filament winding can make them of stiff and thick material. Usually done by a subcontractor's machine.
  • Or plastic injection. ABS and PP are used presently for instrument bodies, polyketone should be tried, loading with choppers would make them stiffer. Needs an expensive machine at a subcontractor and an expensive mould.
  • A separable bell can use other materials than the boot, for instance wood.

OboeBari.png.349199d24ca3b5ecfd41b643729392a0.png

The sleek folded design is as big as a tenor saxophone and fits in a smaller bag if the boot is separable. Carried with a harness, it's played sitting or standing. One or two crutches free the thumbs like on the bassoon. The boot could turn earlier and more sharply than sketched, but not as sharply as historical instruments. The bocal can replace some body length if the saved material pays the added transmissions to the register keys. Add a loop in the bocal for antique look.

Instead of a pear, whose sound is boring and differs too much from the soprano oboe, I prefer a narrow bell with the extra holes added by Stowasser to the tárogató. I've sketched two stages of them. Their distance to the bell opening doesn't scale as the body length.

The boot's covers have similar arms lengths and rotate around a single axis, which simplifies their synchronization as already described
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/107427-woodwind-fingerings/?do=findComment&comment=999559
For stiffness, I'd have an X, or better two pyramid frames, whose apex also holds the end of the axis. The transmissions to the boot need no big accuracy.

The sketch shows the boot and bocal's side but the main joint's front. Keyworks for the thumbs were already shown on Jul 30, 2017. On this tenor, the front fingers need covers, with simple keyworks. The many transmissions between the thumbs suggest a single main joint about as long as on a bassoon: as grenadilla gets rare, filament winding is an option, or machined polymer, maybe polyketone, preferibly loaded with choppers. I dislike cocobolo's sound and suppose maple wouldn't fit here.

The double-reed instrument needs narrow tone holes and chambers
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/113115-intentional-losses-in-wind-instruments/?do=findComment&comment=1035629
whose cutoff frequency doesn't scale like a tenor but stays at 3 to 4kHz
https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/113243-sound-perception/?do=findComment&comment=1037471 and next
Most of this applies to English horns too.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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