Glissando Headjoint


Photo credit: Canadian Flute Association

The Glissando Headjoint is a fun bit of flute equipment invented by flutist Robert Dick. Check out his page for a lot of fantastic info about its use. His Youtube channel is also full of useful information.

The Glissando Headjoint is available from Flute Specialists in Clawson, Michigan. When the headjoint is in “home” position, it sounds and acts just like a standard C flute. However, the two wings (seen in the photo above), allow the player to slide the headjoint in the carrier tube to distort the fingered pitch. The interval to which the pitch can be distorted depends on what note is being fingered. However, the absolute lowest pitch possible (without bending) is a low A.

A variety of interesting sounds can be created, besides those slides between notes. Multiphonics, harmonics, flutter tonguing, percussive sounds – all of those “extended techniques” possible on flute can be transferred over to the Glissando Headjoint with the addition of the ability to slide between those extended sounds.

Performers of the Glissando Headjoint include:
Lisa Bost
Robert Dick
Rachel Hacker 
Melissa Keeling
Angus McPherson
Tammy Evans Yonce

Besides works by Robert Dick, the repertoire for Glissando Headjoint is growing.

Glissando Headjoint works I have commissioned include:
Dreams Grow Like Slow Ice for Glissando Headjoint and electronics (2013) by Jay Batzner
Follow Your Gliss for Glissando Headjoint and piano (2014) by John Griffin
Fire Walk for solo Glissando Headjoint (2014) by Jay Batzner
Highways for solo Glissando Headjoint (2015) by Andrew Rodriguez
Used Illusions for Glissando Headjoint and wind ensemble (2016) by Jay Batzner
Angularities for solo Glissando Headjoint (2016) by David Mitchell
The Dream Has Ended in Death for solo Glissando Headjoint (2017) by Aaron Jay Myers
Urban Legends X: Mothman for Glissando Headjoint and trombone (2017) by Wes Flinn
Pura Besakih for flute and Glissando Headjoint (2017) by Alan Theisen

Other Glissando Headjoint works:
i/o for Glissando Headjoint, piano, and marimba by Dan Tramte. Video. [commissioned by InterSpheres Trio]
Dualith for Glissando Headjoint, piano, and marimba by Balázs Horváth. Video.[commissioned by InterSpheres Trio]
Utthistha for Glissando Headjoint and piano by Asha Srinivasan. [commissioned by Lisa Bost]
Invocation 3 for Glissando Headjoint by Beat Furrer. Video.
Rács (Grid) for Glissando Headjoint, piano, and percussion by Balázs Horváth. [commissioned by InterSpheres Trio]

If you have written or commissioned works for the Glissando Headjoint, contact me to have them listed.