Glissando headjoint

Posted by
Erin Nichols
 January 5, 2016

Happy New Year, everyone!! I’m looking forward to some really exciting things happening in 2016. I will be heading to the NAMM show out in Anaheim, CA in just a couple weeks to check out what is new in the music and flute world, so stay tuned for more about that! In the meantime, though, here’s something really cool…

Robert Dick is a modern flutist who is revolutionizing contemporary music for the instrument. When thinking about extended techniques that are not readily accessible on the flute, Dick began experimenting with creating something like a “whammy bar” on the headjoint. What resulted was the Glissando headjoint. As described on the product’s website, it is a telescoping headjoint, with a high performance contemporary cut headjoint sliding inside a carrier tube. Two “wings” extend from the lip plate and comfortably embrace the flutist’s cheeks. Moving the flute to the right slides the headjoint from its “home position” (all the way in) and extends the length of the flute. A downward glissando can be made from every note!

Contemporary players have generally had to work around the limitations of the flute–there is only so much that a pitch can be “bent” or altered by rolling the headjoint in or out, and the “ghosting” of keys is also fairly limited. By actually changing the length of the tube, the Glissando headjoint adds so many more options for extended techniques! And of course, who better to display the use of extended techniques than Greg Pattillo! Here’s a short video of him using the headjoint. Enjoy!

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