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Also known as Grenadilla, this wood embodies a rich dark tone throughout all registers with a bit of edge and great sound projection. Blackwood is among the most dense woods found in the world and probably the most broadly used type of wood by makers of musical instruments.
The Nagahara Mini is a culmination of over 15 years of research and experimentation carried out by Kanichi Nagahara and his Staff. The creation of the Mini came from an idea to have an instrument that would be easier to transition to and from the flute with similar intonation tendencies, overall range and dynamic contrast. Thus, the design reverted back to what the piccolo was originally supposed to be: A miniature flute.
Traditionally, flutes are made with a cylindrical body shape and tapered headjoint while the piccolos are made with a conical headjoint and body shape tapering down towards the foot section. Although having a conical body on the piccolo allows for an almost instantly easy tone production on the upper register, the lower register resulted to have a shallow sound quality and the range was limited to reach only down to d5. Also, the intonation tendencies on the piccolo are often opposite from the flute, making it difficult to control and adjust during ensemble playing (especially if the piccolo is not your main instrument). Additionally, the conical shape allows less amounts of air to go through the piccolo creating pressure which often stresses and tires the player's lips after long practice sessions (which can be deteriorating for the flute's embouchure). This has all been improved in the Mini!
The Mini was created with a cylindrical body shape and a slight taper on the headjoint. This allows the Mini to play more like a flute and also gave room to extend the lower range down to b4. A special feature included in the low b foot design is the closed low B mechanism which has the effect of using the gizmo key on a flute all the time for improved intonation and more ease of tone production in the upper register.
Due to the changes done to the body shape, Kanichi Nagahara developed a new scale for the Mini with a larger tonehole size than those found in a traditional Piccolo. The placement of the toneholes also changed dramatically much like Nagahara's Full Concert Model flute, ending up with a more comfortable hand position. These changes help improve the overall intonation of the Mini, making it closer to that of a flute's. As occasionally happens with wooden instruments, the wood may have some imperfections that can cause sealing problems with the pads. To counteract this, the Mini comes with plastic inserts on all the toneholes. Not only do these plastic insert offer a better seal of the pads but also they play a big role on the enhanced resonance of the instrument. A revolutionary change and new milestone in the history of Nagahara flutes has been reached. Join us in this great adventure and make a big difference with a Nagahara Mini!