The Ebine Project

A few months ago Motoji Ohno from Japan contacted us and requested that we create a flute decorated with a Japanese orchid flower. Our flutes seem to be well liked in the Japanese market, for about 20% of our flutes are shipped to Japan.  This decoration is our way of saying thanks to Japan for all your support. The Ebine flower decoration will be our next flute decoration that we release.

Before I am flooded with requests for new decorations, I should say that we only release one or two new decorations a year. And much thought and expense is put into each pattern.

After the pattern is selected we will create the artwork. Then the original artwork sent off to a silkscreen printer. The process is similar to standard silkscreen except the ink that is used is actually a ceramic glaze or a gold bearing lacquer. First a clear lacquer coat is applied to the silkscreen. Then each separate color is hand screened on top of the lacquer then dried before the next color is applied. We usually print at minimum 100 sheets of each decoration.

After we receive the silkscreen prints back we cut out the decorations. To apply them to the flutes they are soaked in water until the lacquer coat floats off the paper. The lacquer film holding the decoration is applied to the glass and squeegeed to remove any air bubbles. Then the flutes dry overnight and then placed in a kiln and fired to about 1050 Fahrenheit. In the kiln the lacquer coat burns off and the ceramic ink melts and creates a colored glass layer on top of the flute. If this particular decoration contains gold, the gold ink adheres to the glass and leaves a 22 karat gold coating on top of the flute.

At the moment the ebine project is in the artwork phase. Ebine flowers come in many colors; we have chosen purple and white for this decoration similar to the photo above. At the moment I don’t have a release date for this decoration. I will post again after I get the artwork finished.

Many thanks to Motoji Ohno for the idea for this decoration.

Free Sheet Music

What makes crystal flute sheet music different from other sheet music:

Hall Crystal Flutes are simple six hole instruments with fingering system very similar to Irish flute, bamboo flute or tinwhistle.  And like the Irish flute or tinwhistle regardless of the actual key of the instrument the music is usually written in the key of D and a D fingering chart is used to play them. Essentially this transposes the music to the middle of the music staff and makes it much easier to read. There are some exceptions, if you come from a background of recorder playing then the keys of C or F may be a better choice.

While playing in the key of D is the simplest choice, the key of G is also easily played on a crystal flute. A full chromatic scale is also possible but it is not built-in to the instrument and must be played by using half holes. This means playing in other keys will make the piece much more difficult to play.

So Hall crystal flute sheet music is best in the key of D or the key of G, it should be written using only the treble clef and the lowest note of the piece should not go below D above middle C for this is the lowest note playable on a D crystal flute.

For non-musicians or beginning flute players this means that regardless of which size Hall crystal flute you own using the D fingering chart and music in the key of D or G will make it easier for you to learn.  Hall crystal flutes now come with two charts a transposing D chart and a chart for the actual key of the instrument.

If you need an updated fingering chart you can view and/or print the most recent Hall crystal flute fingering charts here.

Finger patterns:

Finger patterns are of course optional for crystal flute sheet music. For people that are just beginning to learn to read music or if they are unfamiliar with the Hall crystal flute fingering finger patterns can be a big help in learning the piece much more quickly. After a piece is mastered it can then easily be played without the finger patterns.

Above is a sample of an Irish tune optimized for the Hall crystal flute. It was created using ABCexplorer with the Hall crystal flute format file. ( hall_flute.fmt )


ABCExplorer is a free Windows-based software package that reads simple ABC notation and converts it into sheet music with optional finger patterns. ABCexplorer is available here for free download.

ABCExplorer Screenshot
ABC notation:

T:Train to Dublin
S:B.Breathnach:"Ceol Rince na hEireann" IV/146 (gan ainm)
FAdA FAdA|BG (3AGF GE E2|FAdA FAdA|(3Bcd eg fd d2:|
g2 bg f2 af|efed cAAc|dABG FAAf|afeg fd d2:|

ABCexplorer uses ABC notation files there are literally thousands of legally free ABC notation files available for free download throughout the web. You can either search for “ABC notation” on Google or you can go to the main home page for all things relating to ABC notation here. The types of music available are varied ranging from folk tunes from all over the world, classical pieces, or Renaissance and other historical items. You won’t find the latest Disney tunes. Most ABC notation files will be public domain.

 Future posts:

This article is still in the rough draft stage. When I can find the time I will add the following posts:

  • Installing and using ABCExplorer with the Hall crystal flute.
  • Using ABCExplorer with the Clarke tinwhistle.
  • Using ABCExplorer with a song stone ocarina.
  • What is ABC notation?