Wednesday, May 30, 2012


What in the world is a "gizmo?"  Well, in the flute world (especially at Verne Q. Powell Flutes), the gizmo is a key on the footjoint that helps facilitate the high C.  This particular key was developed by Verne Q. Powell in 1928 after a visit with Arthur Lora, Principal Flutist with the NBC Symphony Orchestra.  Lora asked if there was a way to modify his footjoint, so Powell developed the key and named it the "gizmo."  It has been standard on Powell flutes ever since.  So, the gizmo key has been around for 84 years and was developed by Verne Q. Powell just one year after opening his own flute making business (in 1927).

Custom at top, Signature below (with blue tape)
Today, the gizmo key has a slightly different shape on Powell Custom flutes than on the Powell Signature and Conservatory models.  On the Signature and Conservatory flutes, the key is straight -- aligned perfectly with the key arm.  The gizmo key on Custom flutes is slightly angled away from the top of the footjoint.  The gizmo key does not take an additional rod or mechanism -- it is simply a different key.


1 comment:

  1. I have had several flutes with the gizmo over the decades, but I don't use it. When I'm playing high C I like to press the B and C rollers to try to temper the sharpness. The gizmo makes high C easier, but it's so sharp.


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