Why on earth would I buy a polymer flute when
I could have a perfectly good wood flute for twice the price?
Polymer flutes can actually be superior in some regards to exotic
flutes. Don't believe that? Well, did you ever hear of a
magazine called Scientific American?
Yep, the one that publishes articles by Nobel prize winners and
Well, how about checking out this article,
then c'mon back and we'll talk...
So, as you now know, within reasonable limits, the material that a
is made of has little to do with the sound, except to the extent that
limits the practical dimensions of the instrument and the type of
you can put on the flute. A wood flute will never sound like a
flute because it is impractical to make a wood flute with .016" wall
And since our polymer flutes have generally the same dimensions and
as traditional Irish wood flutes, the sounds are quite similar.
exactly the same, mind you, since no two flutes have exactly the same
but the difference in sound is not primarily because of the difference
in material. The difference in sound comes primarily from the art
and skill of the flute maker.
OK, so polymer can sound as good as any wood, but why can a polymer
flute be superior to
Now, there are probably a lot of folks who don't want
to believe that polymer can be superior to exotic woods, and there are
probably even some people who don't want you
to believe this. And since how you feel about your instrument
in fact, have a great influence on how you play, there surely is
to the romantic mystique of an African blackwood flute. (Except
it requires someone to saw down an almost extinct African blackwood
Other than that, it's pretty romantic.) But in any case, Michael
Cronnolly makes excellent polymer and wood flutes, period.
#1 - Consistency
- Polymer doesn't swell or shrink with changes in temperature and
so the sound is consistent under all conditions. This includes
caused by playing, or by weather conditions.
- #2 - Durability
- Polymers do not warp or crack like wood. They are virtually
under reasonable playing conditions, and they require no special care
except an occasional washing in warm
and dish soap.
- #3 - Cost
- Polymer is a less expensive material than exotic wood, and
of the consistency of the material, there is less scrap and waste in
machining process. This means that an excellent sounding flute
less to make.
- #4 - Environmental
- I know it's hard to believe that something pumped out of the
is more environmentally friendly than something that grows out of the
but you read the Scientific American article.
Want to know more about polymer flutes? Check out this article
from Woodwind Quarterly Journal.
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and E Flutes ~ All rights reserved