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14K Gold Brannen-Cooper® Kingma System Flute

The revolutionary Brannen-Cooper Kingma System flute is the result of extensive collaboration between the Dutch flutemaker, Eva Kingma, and Bickford Brannen, former President. This is the first C concert flute to offer a full quartertone scale, as well as complete multiphonic venting, for the modern flute repertoire. Moreover, flutists can also use this flute to play all of the traditional literature just as they would on any flute.

The Kingma System flute is, in all respects, a Boehm system flute with a C# trill. All of the normal touch pieces and fingerings are where you would expect them to be. This flute uses the highly stable Brannen variation of the traditional, pinned mechanism that players have found to be extremely dependable through the years.

What makes this flute so unique is that, in addition to the standard Boehm mechanism, there are six extra keys. These are made possible through the use of Ms. Kingma's patented key-on-key system that she has used successfully on her alto and bass flutes for many years. These keys are used to produce six of the seven quartertones and multiphonic vents which are "missing" on the normal French model flute. The seventh "missing" quartertone is achieved by using the C# trill key together with the normal C key. The other five quartertones are produced by using the normal, open hole keys.

This new design allows the Kingma System player to perform in remarkable new ways. The first, most obvious new possibility is to play accurate quartertone scales. While a French model flute can play quarter steps by venting the open holes and shading certain notes with alternative fingerings, the Kingma System flute is able to play a complete chromatic quartertone scale through all the registers. It is possible to half-vent every key on the Kingma System, not just the open hole keys. Therefore, a flutist can accurately play all of the quarter steps from F# to G#, for instance, and from Bb to D. This aspect of the flute makes nonwestern types of music far more accessible to any player, and it also allows some interesting effects for the jazz player.

The second acoustic advantage of this instrument is its ability to produce unique multiphonics. Because the flute is able to vent all the normally covered keys, it is able to produce chromatic progressions of multiphonics. As a result, there are some marvelous compositional opportunities built into this flute. It is possible, for example, to play "triple stops," starting with fundamentals in the low register and moving chromatically up the scale with "triple stops" as keys are sequentially vented. The practiced player can play not only chromatic scales on this flute, but chromatic quarter-steps and chromatic multiphonics as well.

The final acoustic advantage of this instrument is one that both players and listeners can appreciate: superb pitch control. For years, players have used "sensitive fingerings" on difficult notes to match pitch with other instruments. Perhaps the biggest advantage of the French model flute is that it allows the flutist to close a ring on a key in order to shade the pitch down, or to pull the finger slightly off a hole in order to shade a pitch upward. With the Kingma System flute, this possibility is developed to its fullest. With the opportunity to vent what have traditionally been closed holes, the flutist has incredible opportunities to alter pitches that would otherwise be "off." Two notes immediately come to mind: the high G and the high Ab. The Kingma System allows the player to shade these pitches down by closing rings, specifically, the F# or the G# rings, respectively. One can confidently play these notes fff without going sharp. Additionally, the Kingma System creates unique opportunities for alternative fingerings, such as on the high F#. In this case, there are at least three alternative fingerings that result in a stable high F# at various pitch/dynamic levels. For the flutist who plays in a great variety of ensembles, or circumstances, the pitch-control capabilities of this instrument are invaluable.

All Kingma System flutes are made with offset G keys, B footjoint and C# trill keys. Body tubing is available in three thicknesses of silver, 10K and 14K rose gold, 14K white gold and platinum. The mechanism and keys are always made of silver. The flutes may be pitched to A-440, A-442, A-444 or A-446.

The following options are not available on Kingma System flutes: inline G keys, plateau keys, split E mechanism, C footjoint, D# roller and left hand lever for the footjoint.

A growing number of flutists and composers throughout the world are finding that the Kingma System flute offers almost "undreamed-of" possibilities. To learn more about these musicians, many in the forefront of contemporary music, please go to Kingma System Flutists.

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