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Saxophones Budget sax anyone?

DavidUK

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Near Lutterworth, Leics.
I just found a piece of plastic overflow pipe which fits my alto sax crook!
PLUS... a plastic funnel for a bell!!

.... drilling tone holes as I type!

:shocked:
 

saxismyaxe

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556
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Native of the Lone Star state.
Pictures? Sound files? Now you've raised my curiosity.
For years I turned Great Highland and Borders bagpipes, as well Irish Uilleann practice and 1/2 sets in addition to many Renaissance wind instruments. The Krum horn family is very similar in construction to the Great Highland Bagpipe practice chanter, being a cylindrical bore, double reed, capped instrument.

The two areas that are critical to getting a Krum horn to play in tune are:

1. The location of the tone holes, complicated by the fact that they must be precisely drilled at an angle so that they play in tune relative to their interior position, but are positioned optimally on the outside for easy reach withing the limits of the average finger span.

2. Proper match of the double reed (again almost identical to the GHB practice chanter reed). This is not as easy as it seems, as the reed is wet blown to a degree (i.e. mouth blown) and not dry blown (as is the case with bellows blown bagpipe varieties for example). This alters both the playing characteristics as well as the pitch after a short playing time. Although various synthetic chanter and shawm/Krum horn reeds have been experimented with, nothing comes close to cane in spite of this moisture conundrum.

BTW, as you have likely noticed, I prefer the German spelling "Krum" rather than the Anglicized "Crum".
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Fascinating stuff Mike. Having never actually played a Krumhorn, my assumption based upon experience with other reed instruments is that the speed and volume of the air affect the pitch. On woodwinds where the embouchure contacts the reed(s), the player can compensate for different blowing pressures at different dynamic levels and keep the pitch constant. On the krumhorn where the embouchure control is missing, how can the player keep from going flat at the ends of phrases and going sharp when playing a crescendo?
 

saxismyaxe

Honored SOTW Ambassador
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556
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Native of the Lone Star state.
Hi John,

The simple answer is that you don't. Like many such instruments of the period, volume is pretty much optimal at one level only, and those dynamics are really not plausible. The same is true with most bagpipes, recorders, shawms, racketts etc.

As I mentioned, keeping the instrument in tune once the reeds start to become exposed to moisture is a problem as well. This is not an issue regarding the reeds with cold, dry blown instruments like bellows bagpipes (Borders, Uilleann, Northumbrian etc.).
 

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