Sunday, September 7, 2014

Close-Up on Split-E

Split-E allows G keys to operate independently to facilitate high E.
Flutists have several options when ordering Powell flutes, and many of these are mechanical options like the split-E.  Flutes that are built with the split-E have upper and lower G keys that operate independently instead of together. When the player depresses the E key, the lower G key closes to help facilitate the high E.

Flutes with a split-E will have a few differences in the mechanism to allow the split-E to function properly.  In a previous post, we took a detailed look at the differences in mechanism tubing on flutes with a split-E.  You may read that post by following this link. Along with the tubing, there are other additional mechanism pieces for the split-E.  The most noticeable is the long, slender piece next to the lower G key.  There is also a small metal tab that extends off of the lower G key cup and a slightly different key arm, with additional pieces next to it on the mechanism tubing. These additional parts allow for the independent motion of the lower G. Because of the mechanical differences between flutes with a split-E in comparison to those without, if you are thinking about purchasing a flute with a split-E, you will definitely want to try one first to see how the different mechanism feels.  Most flutists will, of course, try flutes before buying them.  However, if you are about to purchase a flute with mechanism options that differ from the flute you currently play, you will want to make sure to test the new flute, paying close attention to how it feels.

Red rectangle around additional pieces on and next to lower G key.
Yellow box around additional parts on mechanism tubing.

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