The Nagahara Mini
(US Patent #6,259,010 B1, #7,439,428 B1, #9,040,794 B1, #9,236,037 B1)
The evolution of the Piccolo continued!
At last -the Nagahara Mini has arrived with a revolutionary new design bound to change the way you think about the piccolo! After nearly twenty years of research and experimentation, the Nagahara Flutes staff developed an instrument with improved dynamic contrast, better blending capabilities, an extended range, and much more! Whether you are an orchestral player, member of a flute or woodwind ensemble, or a soloist, the Mini is the perfect choice - raising the bar and setting new musical standards for the Piccolo!
The concept of the Mini emerged from the desire to have an instrument that would be closer to what we see as the original intention of the piccolo: a miniature flute.
Traditionally, flutes are made with a cylindrical bore profile on the body and tapered headjoint, while piccolos are made essentially the opposite way - with a tapered body profile that narrows down towards the foot section. Although having a conical shape on the piccolo allows for an easy tone production on the top register, the lower register is often weak and limited. This bore design also makes the intonation tendencies on the piccolo opposite from the flute, making it difficult to control and adjust during ensemble playing (especially if the piccolo is not your main instrument). The traditional conical shape also limits the amount of air that can flow through the instrument, creating pressure known to stress and tire the lips after long practice sessions, and often affects the player’s flute embouchure as well. These issues have all been improved in the design of the New Nagahara Mini!
The Nagahara Mini was created with a slight taper on the headjoint and an enlarged cylindrical body, allowing it to play more like a flute. The innovative B-footjoint design extends the range of the low register down to b4 using a patented key mechanism system called the “B-key touch”. This special design keeps the low B-key closed unless playing low C# or C, giving the effect of a "permanent" gizmo key (just like a flute!) for improved intonation and greater ease of tone production in the upper register.
Additionally, Kanichi Nagahara developed a new scale for the Mini including an increase in the diameter of the tonehole size making them more than twice as big as those found on a traditional Piccolo. The extra ventilation expands the possibilities of musical expression , offering a wider range of dynamic contrast and broader tone color palette.
A new milestone in the history of the flute has been reached with the creation of the Mini. Join us in this great adventure and make a big difference with a Nagahara Mini!