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As a variant of the Feb 09, 2020 message here, an oboe or similar could keep its upper part and swap its reed for a smaller one mounted on a bigger staple to stay tuned when doubling as a soprito. This saves hardware. The soprito staple can be longer, end narrower, and include a barrel(s), possibly a throat.


By similarity, a smaller single reed would have a mouthpiece with bigger volume to use the instrument as a soprito. Though, the existing barrel may be inadequate then, and tuning details depend on the mouthpiece manufacturer.

But does the tárogató already have a barrel? No detachable one can be seen. The instrument has a reputation of bad tune.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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At an oboe or similar, here are the positions of the holes and buttons for system E quasi-automatic cross-fingerings of Feb 09, 2020.


The many shafts overcrowd an oboe much, a saxophone less so. The transverse position of the holes can still evolve.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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The system E of Feb 09 and 16, 2020 here was really overcrowded, probably impracticable. Here a quasi-automatic system F for the oboe and similar.

8 lone holes are now at the left side, other holes moved a bit too. 7 lone hole shafts at the right and 8 at the left, as concentric pairs, are now hopefully manageable. The holes are wider apart too.

I've also put at the left side the axle for the right hand main holes. 7 buttons no more on their lone hole key need a transmission. I also mirrored the buttons at the right hand, so the main button now closest to the palm and the 1:2 button are easier to catch without the now farthest 3:4. This is the only fingering difference with system E, so if I don't draw new ones, the fingerings of Feb 09, 2020 apply with mirrored right hand.


The right hand three keys plus the dummy button can hold on a single axle like at the saxophone, with transmissions as proposed there
while the left hand has four complete keys, synchronized too.

More accurate design shall tell where all shafts fit and in what sequence to mount them.

The throat keys resemble a clarinet's trill keys. Convenience may let redesign the drawn vertical axis.

The low keys too are drawn with a vertical axis, possibly improvable. Four independent movements must be transmitted to the low joint. Some parts not shown here let the musician close all low covers with one hand to assemble the joints.

This system F looks as complex as the usual oboe, but at least all keys are banal, without the oboe's exotic parts prone to fail. It shall be easier to play and offer new possibilities.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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  • 3 weeks later...

Basing on the basson's automatic system B, here's a contrabassoon aspect.

The fingerings were described here in 2020 on Jan 18, the lone holes on Jan 19, the other holes on Jan 26
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and the automatic system B keeps the bassoon's aspect of system A of Jan 12
which the contrabassoon bases on, as on the following sketch.


The bassoon's aspect eases the keywork. This contrabassoon's aspect keeps the lower bend (migrated at the top) and bends the narrow and wide joints near their middle to retain most advantages.

  • The synchronized left hand's main holes are aligned on a single branch.
  • The synchronized right hand's main holes, independent of the left hand's ones, are aligned on an other branch.
  • The lone holes spread now on two branches, but they can emerge on lines close to an other, maybe on a single line.
  • The thumbs' low holes spread on two branches now but are synchronized. Single known drawback.
  • The throat holes and the left proximal low holes spread on several branches but they're independent.

So the successive branches, seen on the cut A, hold these holes, starting from the bocal:

  1. Some lone holes. Trills. Some throat holes.
  2. The other lone holes. Left hand main holes. The other throat holes.
  3. Right hand main holes. Some thumb low holes.
  4. The other thumb low holes. Some left-hand low holes.
  5. Still ascending after the assembly, the but-last left-hand low hole.
  6. After the bend, the last left-hand low hole.

Without the last bend, the orchestra's lowest wind is also the tallest, it resembles more a big bassoon, and its box becomes even smaller.

Other foldings make sense too. The first branch can stop after the thoat holes, the longer second branch hold all main holes, the third all thumbs low holes aligned and some left hand low holes, the fourth the other left hand low holes without extending over the others. The assembled instrument is more compact but looks styleless and its case is longer.

On a contrabasson, all bends can fit between side holes but be wide enough to sound well. The bend from branch 3 to 4 seems too long, but the scale isn't accurate, and the branch 4 can be out of the plane of branches 1, 2 and 3.


The branches sequence 3, 1, 2 can make a compact arrangement seen on the cut C. This enables the displayed lucky holes and keys arrangement where:

  • All holes on branch 1 are at the rear, away from the condensation flow. Other branches use to be dry.
  • The branch 3 some 45° before the branch 2 gives both hands a comfortable position.
  • The lone holes on branches 1 and 2 can be treated identically.
  • All right hand main holes have simple keys. The neighbour buttons for lone holes look the same, the keys for throat holes too.
  • All left hand main holes have simple keys. The neighbour buttons for lone holes look the same.
  • The lone holes' keys are distinct from their right and left buttons, but simple. Tiny extra complexity for a contrabassoon.
  • The trill and left low holes keys seem simple too. Only the movements from right thumb to the three covers need extra thinking.

Lone hole keys separate from the buttons give flexibility. The lone buttons could be away fom the palm at both hands. One button could open the 1:2 and 3:4 lone holes at once as on system A.

Though, full compatibility with the bassoon is more important, and these options complexify the bassoon. Do they ease playing the bassoon?

No, I don't want a basson built like this contrabassoon. I like the size and shape of the bassoon.


The cut C displays the branches 1, 2 and 3 bored in a single part. This makes more accurate and stable keyworks, saves assembly labour, reduces the size, brings stiffness expected to improve the sound at branch 1 - but it needs a wider part. Easy with polypropylene and polyketone, quite possible with Acer I suppose, doubtful for most Dalbergia, and I ignore the cost of LCP.

Whether the branch 4 can and should belong to the same part? I had no mobile parts traversing the body. Soon inventing the rackett?


I've drawn a loop in the bocal whose orientation doesn't accumulate condensation water but leads it to the branch 1. If this is better, it applies also to my contrabasson with even fingerings of Dec 01, 2018


I've (re-) started learning the French bassoon, and I confirm that a better system is extremely welcome, be it my even one or my automatic one. From what I see on fingering charts, the Heckel system isn't radically easier to play.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy


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  • 2 weeks later...

Brass instruments with side holes are played quite rarely: cornetto = zink = cornett, serpent, ophicleide
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Their mellow sound seems strong and has no equivalent among modern instruments.

Excepted for the ophicleide, their fingerings and (lack of) keyworks are said to resemble a recorder, which hampers good tuning. Recorder fingerings also use to make timbre and ease of playing uneven, but this isn't patent on the records.

So shall they get my even fingerings? They bring holes all open below the main transition, with regular spacing and diameters. Here my oboe even fingerings D
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are slightly adapted, becoming the cornetto even fingerings A, where many bare holes give an antique look.


Here I suppose that the lowest note can octaviate properly, then one thumb key suffices, with two throat trill keys like the clarinet has.

These fingerings are mere indications that the scheme is flexible enough to enable high modes evenly. The fingerings will evolve if the instrument is built and tried. For instance if the tone holes are a semitone higher than the pressure node, this holds for the main transition, but isolated holes tend to sit at the pressure node.

All fingerings can drift upwards or downwards, though compatibility with my oboe system would be nice. I've drawn no register keys, do they help a labrophone?


I'd keep the cornetto's bore width, important for the sound and range. Sideholes about as narrow are all-important too. If the lowest side holes are narrow for good sound, then the instrument should have Stowasser's small holes before the bell, as depicted above. Chambers at the tone holes can remove the strident component of the grain if needed, split holes remain efficient at low instruments
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Regular hole spacing is expected to ease high registers by using isolated open holes, and low brass are known for their huge range. So should the cornetto family get my automatic fingerings?
scienceforums - scienceforums and next
They play a big range much more easily but lose the simple keys and antique look.


The cornetto made a family with varied sizes, the serpent being a bass. When modernizing, it's tempting to create two instruments per octave, shaped like the sarrusophones for instance, rather in C and F. Though, the ability to play old scores is very important.

I would not keep the serpent's hole positions. Regular spacing is important, keys enable that. Hole diameters shall bring a consistent timbre in the family, not imitate the serpent.


Old instruments were probably of BuxusSempervirens, still excellent for small parts and looking antique. Dalbergia melanoxylon outperforms it but is endangered. Liquid crystal polymer would outperform both with graphite choppers, or maybe pure if stretched during injection or extrusion.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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An existing cornetto fingering chart:
gtmusicalinstruments.com also as pdf download

  • The range exceeds two octaves, excellent for a sopranino with recorder-like fingerings.
  • The instrument octaviates imperfectly, as expected from recorder-like fingerings.
  • Since tweaked fingerings shall correct the intonation, it can't be perfect, and supposedly the musicians lips the height further.

This gives me hope that my improved keyworks, together with a bore optimized by experiments plus the tutt software or equivalent
can not only make an easier instrument with good intonation, but also achieve a big range, especially at tenor and bass variants. And of course, keep the nice original sound.

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Here are other locations where to assemble the cornetto sopranino and soprano with even system A. The indicated note heights must be adapted to historical music and instruments.


If the cornetto needs no register hole, the upper part disassembles easily, above the trill holes.

The trill buttons can be at 3L instead. They seem as convenient as at 1R, are visually less imposant, and fit the alto and tenor cornetto better. Then, joints can disassemble just above or under 4L, with key shapes differing slightly from the sketch. Optionally as displayed left, the trill key emitting D opens also a secondary C# for nicer C/D trill.

Instead of below 4R, the cornetto can disassemble below 3R or 2R with adapted key lengths as displayed right. Displayed left, adapted key shapes let disassemble below 1R.

Separating only the bell, below any key, can save raw material.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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Here's a possible shape for an alto cornetto with my even fingerings A, as inspired by the octavin.


The trill keys are at the side, all other tone holes are on the top except for the thumb key at the bottom, but it's beyond the U-turn. The U-turn needs an easy water key.

A U-turn of tube, as on Heckel-style bassoons, is acoustically best. Old French bassoon achieve the function without metal shaping.

Maybe longer tone holes improve the dynamic range of low instruments. Wood available between both bores at the boot would permit that. Biassed tone holes could even spare many keys. The air column's profile must compensate the added volume, as on polyconical clarinets.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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Here's a different construction for the alto and tenor cornettos with my even fingerings A. The aspect suggests less a brass, but at least it looks baroque, and the usual skills of woodwind luthiers suffice. The tenor is longer and sleeker than sketched.


A strap carries the instrument at the right hand joint. A hook for the left thumb lets press the instrument against the lips as many brass players do, that's why the instrument is straight up to the mouthpiece. The right hand could get a bassoon-styled hand rest, but I suppose it's not necessary.

The trill holes are on the side, all other tone holes are at the top on the left hand joint and at the right side on the right hand joint.


I proposed to double the lower trill cover to improve the lower semitone and full tone trills. On an instrument with narrow tone holes, the cornetto and more the oboe, this may not suffice completely. The two covers for the lower trill could get independent buttons:

  • For the semitone trill, use button 1 only
  • For the full tone trill, use button 1+2

The second button opens the cover that doubles the tone hole that is closed for the lower note of the full tone trill. This way, all notes of the semitone and the full tone lower trills can have perfect height and timbre.

  • The last button opens the third cover for the upper full tone trill, as previously
  • The same finger can make all these trills, by pressing the buttons 1, 1+2 or 1+2+3.

The higher trill opens both doubled holes, but as they are two semitones lower, even narrow holes have a small effect that can be compensated by the diameter and position of the third trill hole since it serves only in this combination. Or, organise the buttons to use 2+3 for the upper trill.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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  • 1 month later...

I described the quasi-automatic system B for the basson family here on Jan 18, 2020
in a message that contains much information at once. Maybe it helps if now I display only the notes played by finger 2L using its main and lone holes. Other fingers do the same, shifted uniformly by semitones.

Following Obukhov, an X notehead tells that this one note is a semitone higher.

Blue notes indicate 2L's main hole, orange, violet, green and yellow indicate lone holes. Figures tell on which mode (overtone) a hole emits the black played note.

The main holes emit notes on modes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and potentially 8, 12, so each finger creates notes spaced by fifths, fourths and octaves. The Rite of the Spring's introduction fits on mode 3:4:6 (or 6 in short) and lower.

The fifteen lone holes are evenly spaced by semitones. Their keys have one to three buttons each to combine with varied main holes so the different intervals favour different modes. The lone keys are sketched here on Jan 19, 2020

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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I described the quasi-automatic system F for the oboe and similar here on Feb 09, 2020 updated Feb 23, 2020
scienceforums - scienceforums
in a messages that contain much information at once. Maybe it helps if now I display only the notes played by finger 3L using its main and lone holes. Other fingers do the same, shifted uniformly by semitones.

Following Obukhov, an X notehead tells that this one note is a semitone higher.

Blue notes indicate 2L's main hole, orange, violet, green and yellow indicate lone holes. Figures tell on which mode (overtone) a hole emits the black played note.

The main holes emit notes on modes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and potentially 8, 12, so each finger creates notes spaced by fifths, fourths and octaves.

The oboe's conventional range ends on mode 2:3:4 (or 4 in short), but some scores demand more. The air column would reach much higher, my system too, the reed maybe. A tenor oboe has naturally a wider range than a soprano, a low saxophone too, especially if narrow like the tubax. This system F is a strong candidate for the soprito too
scienceforums and subsequents

The fifteen lone holes are evenly spaced by semitones. Their keys have one to three buttons each to combine with varied main holes so the different intervals favour different modes. The lone keys are sketched on Feb 23, 2020 too.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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  • 2 months later...

Here are (formerly quasi-automatic) pianolike basson fingerings C, D, E, F. These small changes to fingerings B are mutually compatible, except E and F. Their added buttons open more lone holes to ease high registers or add a register. Drawn for finger 2L only, with all options at once:


System C adds a button (displayed red) per finger to open the lone hole three semitones above the main transition, in a harmonic ratio 5:6. Then, already the register 6 opens three lone holes in ratio 3:4:5:6, and the register 12 opens four, 6:8:9:10:12. The two lowest notes on these registers would need extra lone holes unwelcomed on the wide branch, or for simplicity these two notes don't open one lone hole more. One button more on an existing key is cheap, one hole more is expensive.

System D adds a pink button per finger to open the lone hole two semitones above the main transition, in a harmonic ratio 7:8, alas imprecisely. Then, the register 8 opens four lone holes in ratio 4:5:6:7:8, and the hypothetical register 16 one more, in ratio 14:16. The three lowest notes would need extra lone holes on the wide branch, or they don't open one lone hole more.

System E adds a turquoise button per finger to open the lone hole ten semitones above the main transition, in a harmonic ratio 9:16. They need no addition lone hole and stabilize the hypothetical register 16 with ratio 8:9:10:12:(14):16 - maybe. 14 results from option D. The main holes, all open below the main transition, help the emission as they contribute the ratio 16:17:18:19:20.

System F shifts the E button to the top, so the next lower one, brown, doubles at nine semitones above the main transition and makes the harmonic ratio 7:12, alas imprecisely, for 6:7:8:9:10:12.

Some buttons are quite small. The very inaccurate harmonic 7 risks to spoil both the intonation and the emission. The fingers must move even more covers. Which option(s) bring a net improvement? Trials shall decide.

The body's shape, position of hands, holes distribution from system B remain.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

Edited by Enthalpy
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  • 4 weeks later...

On my old French bassoon, I bored a second piano hole just under the first one at the bocal, closed by the same long pad, hoping to ease and raise C#, D on second register and ease C#, D, Eb, E, F on the 4th octave.

It did that more or less. The less expected effects:

  • 4th octave E became as easy as the A below.
  • 4th octave D became impossible. Good reason, I tapped the second hole.

But the much easier E confirms it: one lone hole per semitone will let my pianolike system add a half or full octave to the bassoon at identically  easy emission. Oboes and flutes should improve similarly.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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  • 3 months later...

My pianolike fingerings shall make all slurs very easily. Exceptions are the fourths, fifths, octaves... played by the same finger, which should jump between the isolated keys.

But because the isolated holes serve at different fingers, a different finger can operate them for the few slurs in need. As the musician sees which key moves and which other fingers control it, the few alternate fingerings are determined immediately.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The right pinkie 4R worried me a bit because it closes 3 covers on my piano-like bassoon fingerings, but so does it on the bass clarinet to low C - perhaps even 4 covers if I see properly.

The isolated holes are small so their covers need little force.

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My French bassoon can emit the 8th mode of very long fingerings, where the main closed-to-open transition is near the bell. Not even the very sharp turn at the boot prevents it. Just one added open hole suffices, despite the tone holes design is inefficient for that purpose.

So my piano-like systems might have their main holes much lower at the air column. The second mode beginning around C#, rather than around F# on a bassoon, would enable fingerings identical to my piano-like oboe two octaves lower, big advantage for musicians. The bassoon would have fewer but more complicated keys, none at proximal phalanges, and longer shafts.

I hope my system B opens enough lone holes to emit very high notes on long fingerings. The variants C, D, E, F help further.

One clear drawback is that long fingerings sound differently. About a fourth, C# to F, would be played on second mode, with nicely soft but banal timber, while some compositions seek the distinctive sound of the throat notes, with short fingerings high on the first mode.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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  • 3 weeks later...

From rare first-hand information, the cornetto plays lower and is longer than I thought, so here's my cornetto with even fingerings, version A2, and its possible aspect:


The beautiful and loud cornetto has no modern equivalent. I hope a version easier to play will help revive it. This system A2 shifts to correct height the system A already described here: all holes are independent and any note opens all holes below the main transition, so regular hole diameters and distances achieve even intonation, timbre and emission.

The few keys allow many designs. I eased the orientation of the very low right hand.

As previously, one individually controlled tone hole per semitone makes a convenient chromatic instrument and enables optimum fingerings for easier high registers. Arrows indicate the lone open holes.


Real life and narrow holes may let the fingerings differ a bit from the ideal case depicted here.

Both index could operate only one hole, if the thumbs operate three, helped by hand rests. Better hand positions, less simple keyworks.

If the usual high notes get easier with my system, slightly broader bore would ease the low notes and stabilize their height. As the cornetto's sound is mellow, reasonably broader tone holes would stabilize the intonation, with more covers if needed. Inspired by a clarinet, not a flute nor saxophone. High tone holes narrower than the low ones let losses match at register jumps and make lone open holes more efficient. The bore profile, which may need a barrel, must adjust the intervals between the registers. Rounding the hole edges at the finger and column ends should improve much.

If any necessary, chambers at the tone holes can mellow the sound. Multiple holes increase the losses at identical inductance, oblique they mellow the sound. Small holes added at the longer bell even out the lowest notes.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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  • 3 months later...

These cornetto A3 fingerings change the trills only, with two covers opened by the medium phalanges of 2L and 3L. They don't open an additional G# hole, suppressing all adjustments. The musician trills G-A by alternating the medium phalanges of 1L and 2L, quite reasonable, and Ab-Bb by synchronizing the medium phalanges of 2L and 3L. That way, the trill keys can hypothetically double to stabilize high notes as on the flute. Jumps between the levers get also faster.


The proposed minimum keyworks shall be little visible to help accept the modernized cornetto. Most covers are at the sides. Most levers and shafts are hidden by the hands. Varnish or gold plating would conceal the metal over boxwood. The cornettino might accept a bare hole for 3R while lower instruments, with an angle as in
would have more covers.

All keys use one single movement for silence but at the thumb. The pivoting key proposed here shall be more silent and robust. The trill keys shafts are concentric as on the flute. The medium phalanx 1L key passes over them and is built in after them.


How I imagine the development - but could be completely wrong:

Once a bore width and low tonehole width are chosen, a mouthpiece possibly too, the high toneholes can be computed for constant losses across the register jump. Or rather, a relationship between diameter and length, with additional freedom if the holes can be split. If the tonholes shall have chambers for mellower sound
they should be computed early as this influences the intonation.

The volume added by the toneholes could be compensated by the bore profile or by some epoxy volume in the air column. Not vital here, because my cornetto has one hole per semitone, so widening the bore profile where the column has no sideholes suffices, easier than a polyconical clarinet bore.

Once the toneholes are positioned, tune the octave through adjustments in the bore profile, especially at the barrel. Some software can help here too, to estimate corrections rather than absolute values.

Then, determine fingerings for the third octave in 3 4 mode. On the flute, the lone open hole is logically a fourth higher than the main transition, but here the high holes are narrow hence positioned too high, so experiment shall tell.

Loop on the holes' size and position ("scale"), plus the barrel and mouthpiece bore profile, to tune the first, second and third octave. Normally done by a measured matrix of sensitivity of all tone heights. Software may help, but the reactance of the lips is unknown. This step isn't trivial nor very fast, but some workshops can do it, many luthiers too.

Rounding the inner and outer edges of the toneholes should make a louder and mellower instrument. Maybe long toneholes help, I still don't know that.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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  • 2 weeks later...

The extra touchpiece for the flute's F# I proposed here on
May 19, 2018
is called a Rockstro or Brossa F-sharp key and existed a century ago
PH1e0oEiR3I - dwsolo.com

The Brossa key is located above the "D cover" as I proposed among several options, while the Rockstro key is between the E and D covers and the pre-existing trill touchpieces move one position higher. The Rockstro arrangement gives more room, the Bossa keeps flautists' habits. As the pre-existing trill touchpieces serve for high Bb, B and higher notes, with awkward slurs, comparisons between both should be patient.

The mere compatibility with existing fingerings must have prevailed, because the Brossa key exists today
flutesandflutists.com (6th pict) - pettrypiccolos.com
It's so easy, why don't I have one on my flute? At least, a good workshop can add it.

I haven't seen (yet) this F# touchpiece close G#, which may be my idea.

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Here's one design for a Brossa-Schaefer keyset for the Boehm flute. It closes the F# cover (that emits G) like the Brossa key does, and additionally it closes also the side G# key to trill F#-G# as I proposed as an option

  • The ultimate solution is my even fingering system
    scienceforums and followings
  • Boehm had designed a G# key open at rest, which was simpler, didn't need a duplicate hole that adds losses, and made easy F#-G# trills. But since Lot, we're used to G# closed at rest, alas.
  • The right hand looks simpler to me at the saxophone than at the flute. Mount the trill keys?
  • Rockstro had added the touchpiece between  the "E" and "D" covers (that emit F and E) and shifted the trill keys one position upwards. A Rockstro-Schaefer design is easier.
  • But the Brossa design survives, supposedly thanks to its compatibility, so I sketch a Brossa-Schaefer keyset.


The side G# cover keeps its position but is articulated differently and open at rest. The spring of the 4L G# lever closes it (not worse than the split E) and pressing the Brossa-Schaefer touchpiece too. Maybe the 4L G# lever can move around the same axis as the upside G and G# keys, as displayed.

Now the Brossa-Schaefer touchpiece is no more the F# key. It allows to close the side G# while the F# key doesn't. This is needed to play the third octave Eb. But the Brossa-Schaefer touchpiece closes the F# key like the F, E, D do, with similar hardware.

The Brossa-Schaefer touchpiece is pressed alone for F-Gb and E-F# trills, while the D cover is pressed alone for third octave Eb, so the exact position of the touchpiece matters. Maybe the Brossa position isn't the best one. Beyond the D cover?

The undisplayed upside G to G# connection and the split E can remain nearly like now, passing the 4L lever if needed.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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The oboe starts normally its second mode on C#, the tárogató can it too, so the even E fingerings for oboe etc start the second mode on C#, rather than on D.

The even E fingerings are like the D, just a semitone lower:

  • One cover less to synchronize, one thumb touchpiece less, welcome simplification.
  • The hands a semitone lower are close to the present position on the oboe.
  • The distances that enable bare holes stay the same, up to 2R on the cor anglais and 3R on the oboe.
  • The tárogató needs wider tone holes than presently anyway, hence covers.

The register keys aren't displayed: duplicated at the thumbs as previously. The lone open holes got colours that refer to the notes.


If the oboe could start the second register on the lowest note, it would be even better: just one touchpiece at the right thumb, only register keys at the left thumb, no hand rests, no synchronized covers, just two trill keys at left hand, as I proposed for the cornetto
On the saxophone and the flute, the second register gets bad below D, but the Stowasser holes and an adequate register hole should help the oboe and the tárogató. Or if the second register can start on the but-lowest note, the right thumb just moves two independent keys.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy


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I scaled the pictures of an oboe, a soprano saxophone and a tárogató to sound the same lowest Ab as if the oboe too transposed in Bb. Not perfectly, since the equivalent column length of the double reed probably exceeds the single reeds, and there are some end effects, but the general observations about the tárogató scale must hold.

  • To save covers at the right hand, the tone holes are very narrow and consequently even higher on the column than at the oboe.
  • At the left hand, the tone holes are somewhat narrower than on the saxophone, and about as high as at the oboe.
  • The six bare tone holes are almost equally wide.


It is catastrophic presently, so here's how I imagine to improve the tárogató's intonation, especially with my even fingerings E described just above, or the F suggested in the same message, just with one right thumb key more than depicted for the cornetto
I'm no luthier, so possibly I put nonsense.

  • A bore not as wide as at the saxophone and the present tárogató, to ease the high notes, stabilize their intonation, and extend the easy range.
  • Low tone holes much wider than at the present tárogató for stabler intonation, slightly narrower than at the saxophone for mellower sound, relatively to the bore. Use cups.
  • This combination takes less air from the musician than at the present tárogató. Matching clarinet reeds is a meaningful goal.
  • Maybe the same mouthpiece facing as a Bb clarinet, but the mouthpiece's bore must be narrower.
  • Rather no chamber in the mouthpiece, but a barrel like the clarinet has.
  • Higher tone holes regularly narrower than the lower ones, so the losses match at register jumps, like the clarinet does, more than the saxophone does. Multiple holes increase the losses at identical inductance. Software can help.
  • I still ignore if the tone holes shall be long. But softening their edges improves clarinets. The outer edges too if possible. With inserts?
  • Chambers at the high tone holes can make a mellower sound
  • The bore can be slightly narrower and shorter where my even fingerings have tone holes to compensate their volume. Not 1:1 as this increases the inductance too.
  • Adjust the bore profile, especially the barrel and the mouthpiece, for accurate octaves.
  • Decide the fingerings for the upper registers, as the ones I gave are mere indications. Multiple high holes can help here.
  • Adjust the intonation on all registers as Cooper did for the flute, from
        1) A measured matrix of sensitivity to hole positions and diameters, and
        2) A measured matrix of sensitivity to the bore profile.
        3) Software might estimate the matrices, saving measurement time.

This task takes time and the tárogató is no mass market. But my even fingerings ease much this development, the tárogató is magnificent, and more people (clarinettists) may want to play the improved instrument.

Much here applies to the development of an oboe with my even fingerings.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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Here's the aspect of a tárogató or an oboe with system E or F as already described.

The left hand could close some naked holes, the right hand too on the oboe, but covers here are easier to play, especially as 1L (=left index) and 1R attend two holes each.

The number and positions of the register holes need experimentation. The register holes combine with different tone holes on the second and higher registers, so independent keys seem better. Though, automatic register keys might be possible, with different sets for the second, third, fourth registers. If some registers open several register holes, maybe the thumb should close one of them instead of opening it.

A narrower bore, a smooth mouthpiece like the clarinet has, undercut tone holes, maybe silver tenons
shall widen the range and give a richer sound, but the sound may become strident. I believe chambers can more selectively cut the sound's strident components and keep the enriching ones
scienceforums and followings
as already suggested there, the chambers don't need complete tone holes. They could be bored, then tapped with a stiff sleeve of with water keys.

Extra local thickness where the cone is narrower need no extra material and stiffens thin wood against elliptic deformation, especially Acer pseudoplatanus, Dalbergia retusa or Buxus sempervirens, but it looks archaic.

To rotate pairs of index keys around one shaft for supposed comfort, the pillars are very tall. Bipods or tripods shall strengthen them. Doubtful choice.


The system E is depicted at the left of the staff, rather: a system E2 with left and right swapped at the thumbs, as this seems simpler on the sketch.

All keys at the upper fingers are independent. The thumb keys are duplicated, they close 4 tone holes, where any lower key closes every higher one, as suggested there

If the second-lowest note already octaviates well, the hands can sit two semitones lower, and the right thumb alone close the two remaining low keys. This simpler system F adds only two trill keys at the proximal or medium phalanges of 2L and 3L, needs no hand rests and is nearly the cornetto's A3 system I described there

But if the lowest note octaviates well, the hands can sit lower one semitone more, leaving a single low key at the right thumb. This system G is then the cornetto's A3 system, just at a different height.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

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On 5/13/2018 at 12:49 AM, Enthalpy said:

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

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

KOR (Kristian Oma Rønnes) describes a high register hole close to the bassoon's reed in his book
The Expanded Bassoon Register (2019)
a mobile cover would let it act on demand.

Demonstrated by his friend Aleksandr Ziva there
the hole also changes the timbre a lot. Shape details should improve that.

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