A complete guide because that musculoskeletal health and wellness for collegiate music students enduring performance-based pain
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According to a 2011 study<1>, 95% of expert flute players experienced some kind of performance-related musculoskeletal disorder. While many injuries space a result of overuse and also muscle imbalances, play a hefty flute can add to additional problems. For many flutists, a lightweight flute can assist mitigate this imbalances, lessening the possibility of injury severity. Throughout the past 11 months, Francesca Leo and Angela McCuiston worked with Flute Specialists, Inc. And also the Flute center of new York to check 42 various flutes and headjoints throughout 14 various brands to compare the distinctions in weight versus sound quality.

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In general, the mean weight of all flutes tested was 18.09oz (1.13lb). The load comparison in between material demonstrated that the silver flutes were the lightest (average that 17.47oz), complied with by gold (18.39oz), Platinum-Clad (18.3oz), Gold-Silver fusion (18.9oz), and wooden flutes being the most difficult (19.84oz). The lightest flute to be the used Powell silver Flute 1975 design with no add-on features (14.49oz). Due to the fact that there was a drastic distinction in weight from other silver models, we deserve to conclude that the enhancement of extra keys alters the weight significantly. The lightest yellow flute to be the Muramatsu 9k Standard wall surface Flute (16.72oz), the lightest Platinum-Clad flute to be the Burkart upstream 5/95 (18.19oz) and the lightest Gold-Silver blend flute was the Powell 14k Aurumite (18.24oz).

A many the weight differences came from the thickness that the metal and also the load of the mechanisms. The split E options weighed much more than those without or those that have actually the “donut” or “high E facilitator” (a little circular ring put into the left hand G tone hole that helps stabilize the third octave E.) If girlfriend are set on a heavier flute version or material, you deserve to decrease load by requesting a design without a C# trill key or a break-up E mechanism or changing to a lighter headjoint. Over there is likewise a drastic distinction in weight between B foot and also C foot models and if girlfriend don’t require a B footjoint, switching to a C foot can help significantly.

The results of this study highlighted a few common misconceptions:

· The karat the gold used in different flute models does not constantly add more weight.

· wood flutes space not constantly lighter options, and also the weight counts on the brand and the thickness of wood. Grenadilla timber is more dense on mean than Boxwood, Cocobolo, or Mopani.

· Gold-Silver blend models room not always lighter 보다 gold flutes.

Both participants noted the difference in projection in between the heavy wall surface and lightweight models, yet there was not a drastic distinction in sound overall. Adding a yellow riser or lip plate to a lightweight silver flute expanded the depth of the sound and added resistance. According to the participants, the distinction in sound quality in between lightweight and heavy wall flutes was no drastic enough to deter the consideration of lightweight flutes. Due to the fact that each flute responds differently depending upon the player, we encourage every flutists to test a wide variety of flutes.


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Notes on Hand Size and Injury

Angela: “During the play-testing of these flutes, i was suffering from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which brought about numbness, tingling, muscle spasms and shooting electric pains under my best arm. Because that this reason, I remained in the unique position of finding myself NEEDING a lightweight flute.

I have large hands and also ergonomically found several flutes challenging to play. I uncovered the Haynes custom models an extremely easy come play, but something about the position of the thumb crucial made mine left hand start to cramp. Top top the Powell Aurumite flute, the placement of the G# vital prevented me from playing the flute at all: my third finger sat comfortably ~ above the G# crucial and I could not obtain my hands to right on the keys as they should. This can have been a specific serial number concern as i did not have the worry on any kind of other Powell flutes. As whole notes for the grenadilla headjoints were the they felt much easier on the wrists, ns did not often tend to fixed the secrets as much.

Regarding TOS symptoms, It’s exciting to keep in mind that also though both the the Burkarts to be the same weight, the 10k felt lighter than the 9k. While ns was experiencing much more severe TOS symptoms, I might play the 10k longer with no boost in symptoms. Additionally the Powell solid grenadilla flute appeared lighter weight, which assisted as I had the ability to play it throughout a an especially heavy play schedule and at a specifically painful point in mine diagnosis.”

Francesca: “I have likewise been controlling performance-related tendinitis in mine shoulder and forearm for the previous several years, and also I really noticed a difference between different brands and also models of flutes and how lock felt physically. I discovered that I had the ability to manipulate a an excellent sound on all of the flutes that we play-tested, however the flutes that felt and also sounded the best and most comfortable because that me personally to be the Muramatsu, Brannen and also Haynes flutes. I have actually very small hands, and also the Brannen flute system was among the easiest to navigate thus factor. Through gold flutes, i felt the the many comfortable play on the 9k gold Standard wall Muramatsu. This gold design did not aggravate my performance-related injury even when i played top top it for a far-ranging amount that time. Ns later uncovered that this design was actually the lightest yellow flute the end of every one of the yellow models that we weighed.

Personally ,I experienced challenges playing the wooden flute models because the tubing size felt a bit larger than silver and also gold models, and also having small hands that was challenging to with the secrets comfortably. The grenadilla wood, even if it is it to be a grenadilla flute or simply the headjoint, also included a remarkable amount the weight.”


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If girlfriend should uncover yourself needing to discover a lighter flute to carry out in a selection of settings, think about the following:

1. Consider including a denser steel headjoint (platinum, gold, fusion) to a lightweight body. Friend can also find lighter headjoints v a denser steel riser or lip plate. You may consider trying an Arista 14K climbed Gold yellow headjoint (3.07oz) on a lightweight silver flute.

2. Take into consideration removing the separation E device and add the E Facilitator instead. Also shot removing the C# trill crucial or think about switching to a C footjoint if you uncover yourself seldom using the short B footjoint.

3. Look right into lightweight pinless mechanism options. Wm. S. Haynes Co. Specifically gives this choice on their tradition flute models.

4. To compare the thickness in tubing in between different models and also look for softer silvers (925) as opposed to 950 or 997 silver. You may take into consideration trying a Muramatsu GX, a Brannen 725, a Miyazawa 602 or a Sankyo 901 as lightweight silver options.

This examine was plan to it is in as an extensive as possible, but due come the plethora of options and variations on each design this is no an exhaustive list. We encourage friend to make use of the results of this study as a overview to compare general weight differences between brands and also models.

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Flute load Database: https://flutisthealth.wixsite.com/fluteweightdatabase

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<1> Ackermann BJ, Kenny DT, happiness J. Incidence the injury and attitudes to injury monitoring in professional flute players.Work. 2011;40(3):255‐259. Doi:10.3233/WOR-2011-1227