Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Low Bb - Powell #4871

Looking through our archives this week, we spotted a very unusual flute -- Powell #4871.  It was made in 1976, and the most distinguishing feature of this flute is its low Bb!  The flute was made of sterling silver and had the following specs: soldered tone holes, .014" tubing, Cooper Scale, French cups, offset G, split-E, and a C# trill.

The low Bb is operated by a left hand lever which closes the key cup.  You'll see this outlined in the photos below.  Powell's repair technician, Rachel Baker, mentioned that it was most likely positioned there because there would not be enough room next to the C and B rollers on the footjoint.  Also, the C# trill key on this flute has a different shape and is positioned differently than a traditional C# trill key.  The C# trill key here is quite long in comparison and is located below the Bb shake (rather than above, which is where it is normally located).

Enjoy the photos below of this very unusual Powell!

Close-up on the footjoint (tone hole closest to bottom of footjoint is the Bb).
Low Bb is operated by a left hand lever (next to G# key).
No room next to B and C rollers for an extra key!

Green arrow points to low Bb key, red to Bb shake, yellow to C# trill.
A different flute for comparison.  Blue arrow points to a traditional C# trill, red arrow to Bb shake.
Close-up on serial number.

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