Drelinger Headjoint
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The Headjoint Tube

 

 

In modern conventional transverse flutes the taper of the headjoint tube is critical. To maintain proper tuning and octave to octave uniformity, the taper must be calculated to baffle a precise volume of air at specific points throughout the headjoint’s tube.

 

 

Over the years there have been attempts to design vertical headjoints using the transverse baffle principle. Drelinger’s research concluded that even the most promising of these were unsuccessful because the designs relied on  bend and curve construction. Pictured here is a drawing  excerpted from a vertical headjoint patent issued in the early 20th

 

century.  If actually built, this design would have compromised tuning and octave uniformity. While  bend and curve construction works perfectly for many musical applications, it is inappropriate for the modern vertical Boehm system concert “C”  flute.

 

 

Interesting facts about the UpRite’s origin and its ongoing acceptance

This drawing shows that Böhm was clearly thinking about making his invention, the modern flute, play vertically. It apparently did not reach the prototype stage from which further developments were sure to evolve. If Böhm had continued experimenting and thinking through the various issues involved in creating and evolving the vertical flute, in my mind, there is no question his gift of genius would have established this alternative as the ideal combination of excellent acoustics and comfort for flutists who have ergonomic issues playing the transverse flute. This was one of the motivating factors for perfecting the UpRite, as I felt the continuation of this vital musical instrument technology is very important to having flutists, who discontinued playing for a variety of health reasons, now can resume playing flute vertically.

Click images below to enlarge

Original drawing by Theobald Böhm as authenticated and supplied by
Ludvig Böhm, a family descendant, from the Theobald Böhm Archive in Germany.

The UpRite's Heart

The acoustical design of the UpRite headjoint tube is central to its wonderful sound. Drelinger knew from the beginning that building a successful vertical headjoint demanded equaling the performance of its conventional transverse counterpart.  Five years in the making, our research and development established that the idealapproach was to create a shape using mitered step-flow technology. 


We named this design the ParabolicWaveGuide(TM), and while it is unique to the vertical headjoint, it has been used in other wind instruments for centuries.


To appreciate why the ParabolicWaveGuide(TM) works so well, it is important to understand that when a note is  sounded, it’s not the air that moves fast, but molecules vibrating  vigorously back and fourth one against the other within the air column. And while all this vigorous molecular action goes on, the air column itself moves at a very leisurely 1 to 2 feet per second, through the flute.

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