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Enthalpy

Woodwind Fingerings

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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.

SwapStapleMouthpReed.png.639571d2817f3d3d4d6c7f6b881a2454.png

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.

OboeEtcAutoEHolesButtons.png.d891ecada66b1986cc196ead27aee7ba.png

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.

OboeEtcAutoFHolesThroatMainLowKeys.png.e606427d2ae66902b763573442025361.png
OboeEtcAutoFLoneKeys.png.0753558f66cdd0afacbff3ef06d92dd5.png

The right hand three keys plus the dummy button can hold on a single axle like at the saxophone, with transmissions as proposed there
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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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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
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which the contrabassoon bases on, as on the following sketch.

ContrabassoonAutoBbent.png.b880d0ce8329553f4b0794c7d8b32f3d.png

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
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==========

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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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.

CornettoEvenALook.png.58d5a2ee0503b827fec0e01832d1592a.png

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?

CornettoEvenAFing.png.fd99be3e549d3cff23acec3335b4f637.png

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?
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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
la.trompette.free.fr
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.

CornettoEvenAJoints.png.a372a8a8567df8007478337f92ac6fc9.png

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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Posted (edited)

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

CornettoAltoLook.png.6120bbd4ec3ea555f487924aaaf142a7.png

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

Edited by 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.

CornettoTenorAltoLook.png.c4f2e2c037f80eceead21da5deb3c17e.png

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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I described the quasi-automatic system B for the basson family here on Jan 18, 2020
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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.
BassoonAutoBReexplain.png.ceb5f93fad950e1e46e146e7f9ba8c39.png

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
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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
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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.
OboeEtcAutoFReexplain.png.d16f07ae68f8f739130416e5771251f4.png

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
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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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