Of the major band instrument manufacturers, only Jupiter currently makes a vertical bass flute: the diMedici 1125ES.
By putting a second bend in the headjoint, the Jupiter diMedici bass flute's sound
hole points up toward the musician while the flute's barrel points down
The bass flute is pitched in the key of C, an octave lower than the concert flute. A standard bass flute has a headjoint curved like a "J" so that the tone hole is above the flute's body when it is in a horizontal playing position.
Because a bass flute is so long—57-½"—and so heavy—at least 4 times the weight of a concert flute—when it was developed in the 1920s, the vertical bass flute was intentionally configured so that performers can rest the instrument's barrel at their feet.
The bass flute actually was invented as an experiment for jazz ensembles. The larger flute's low, haunting sound makes an interesting substitute for a saxophone and offers a less forceful sound than a concert flute.
Vertical bass flutes are a rarity usually only seen in the hands of jazz flautists or those in flute choirs or ensembles. The bass flute's range starts at C3 an octave below middle C, and goes as low as 3 ranges below that—2 lines above the bass clef staff.
Sheet music for the bass flute is written an octave higher than it sounds, which is the typical concert flute range (C4 to C7). Rarely is the music written with notes above A6 because they are difficult to produce and the tone is weak.
The vertical bass flute's body is not tapered through the curves, so all notes beginning with written D6 and higher tend be sharp. An accomplished bass flute player bends the notes into tune by means of blowing techniques or alternate fingerings.
To quicken their response and make their tone brighter, more resonant and livelier, bass flutes often have a C foot rather than the B foot common to other flutes. The shorter tube reduces acoustic resistance, which quickens response and makes the bass flute somewhat lighter, reducing player fatigue and permitting longer rehearsals and practice sessions.
The Jupiter vertical bass flute has a silver-plated nickel silver body and foot, with a headjoint of silver-plated nickel silver with sterling silver lip-plate and riser.
Plateau-style closed keys of silver-plated nickel silver and French pointed arms are additional features of the Jupiter diMedici 1125ES bass flute.
There is an extensive repertoire of music for bass flute, including Two for Two by Katherine Hoover; Karuna by Bill Douglas; Obstinato by Mike Mower; A Small Sonata for Large Flute by Gary Schocker; Stone Suite by Sonny Burnett, and many others. Studies and concert etudes are also being released that address the base flute's challenges of balance, finger technique, air stream, and overblowing.
Woodwind & Brasswind is proud to offer the Jupiter diMedici 1125ES vertical bass flute to musicians of all playing styles. All musical instruments and accessories we sell are backed by The Woodwind & Brasswind's 110% Price Guarantee, assuring that you won't find your quality Jupiter diMedici 1125ES vertical flute at a lower price anywhere else.