When starting to play the alto flute, you might be asking: “In what key is the alto flute pitched?” The key of an alto flute is G. This means that the alto flute is pitched in the key of G instead of C or any other note.
Transposing an alto flute
Transposing an alto flute key is easy when you know what notes to look for and how to transpose them. The key for an alto flute is G, which sounds a perfect fourth lower than the key written. To transpose an alto flute piece, you need to move the key signature up by one perfect fourth. For example, a piece written in G major with one sharp would be written in C. This way, the piece would sound like it was written in G major, but with only one sharp or flat.
The upper range of an alto flute depends on several factors, such as the bore and headjoint design. Higher pitches may require more air, and may not be possible to sustain for long. However, if you’re playing a piece that is written in G major with a sharp, you can transpose it up to C without re-tuning. For smaller players, this might be easier because the curved head makes it more comfortable to play.
Weight of an alto flute
If you’re interested in learning how to play the alto flute, the first thing you need to decide is whether you want a straight headjoint or a curved headjoint. Some alto flutes come with one of each type. Straight headjoint altos are more balanced and easier to hold than curved headjoint models. But be aware that a straight headjoint flute may be too heavy for players with shorter arms.
When comparing the two types of instruments, you should know that the alto flute is heavier than a concert flute. This will result in extra energy being required to support the instrument. The key of an alto flute is a C. A G-shaped key will sound like a C. Buttons are typically connected to the keys for ease of access. Also, the G-shaped key is usually oversized and elongated.
Fingerings on an alto flute
The basic fingerings of an alto flute are the same as the first octave and second octave, but there are slight variations. For instance, a third octave A requires more air support and, if not played correctly, produces a discordant shrieking noise. While flute fingerings are not essential to mastering a flute, they are helpful for improving breath support.
First, the flute’s neck must be level and free from interference. For the C key, the first finger on the left hand must extend past the joint connecting the foot to the center section of the alto flute. If the bass flute‘s head joint is curved, angle it back toward the player. If the D# key is curved, extend the spatula beyond the center section joint to play the note.
The alto flute is often associated with classical literature and music. The instrument features prominently in works by Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky. It also figures prominently in the opera Cyrano de Bergerac by Franco Alfano. Shostakovich used the instrument in his Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad).
Getting a good sound on an alto flute
Achieving a good sound on an alto flute is no different from learning to play any other instrument. Changing the shape of your mouth and focusing the air stream against the far side of the lip plate will affect the tone colour. These subtle differences in tone colour are more apparent on the alto flute than on the C flute, as the latter has a more varied range of tones. Depending on how you play, your alto flute can sound both hollow and airy, ranging from soft to bright and edgy.
Firstly, you should check the key placement of the Alto flute. Unlike the C flute, the Alto has keys that are not placed directly on the keys. Therefore, you should adjust the key placement on the Alto flute to get the best sound. Some Alto flutes have finger placement on the keys, which will require you to adjust the rods and moving parts more carefully. If you are unsure about the key placement, you should consult a musician or a teacher.