Gandalfe buys a Shakulute!

Yesterday after some research I purchased this recorder type mouthpiece for my Gemeinhardt flute. Here is the most stuff that I have seen about this instrument that is a bit a rarity:

The Shakulute! Bamboo Head Joint for Silver Concert Flute offered by Ancient Sounds Ethnic Instruments.


Amazing innovation by Monty H. Levenson of Tai Hei Shakuhachi.  Achieves many of the stunning tonal dynamics of a Shakuhachi and adds a new pallet of interesting tonal colors, for Standard Concert Silver Flutes.  Retains the flute fingerings you already know!   Plays in a vertical forward direction, easy on the back and neck.

Classic Japanese KINKO Style Mouthpiece, with Protective Rattan Bindings  Fits Both Std ‘C’- or ‘B’-Footed Flutes of Most Flute Brands.  It’s silver tenon is sized just under the size of most flute bodies (0.78” = 19.8 mm outer diameter) and thus it most typically only needs to be shimmed to block air leaks to mount.  Otherwise standard swedging methods can size the tenon for exact fit, whether the diameter needs expansion or reduction (see mounting description below), which is a standard service offered by many local band instrument repair shops.  The shakulute is then fined tuned by how much you slide in it’s tenon length.  

Hear Shakulute Excerpts as Played by Tanifuji Kozan from “Shakulute Live In Concert” CD * click links below

from “Pastoral”:

from “Wind Patterns on the Sand”:

from “The Bamboo and the Mulberry”:

from “Taken with Dancing Snow”:

from “A Talk with a One-Legged Gateway”:

from “In the Space Between the Forest & the Lake”:

Finest grade shakuhachi bamboo (Golden Madaki) with beautiful classic natural color and finest recessed rattan bindings. The craftsmanship level is fantastic.  Monty Levenson is second to none in his level of attention to detail and design. Using Castbore Technology and Multiple Bindings at the Time of Production, Make it Possible to Produce a Very Stable Headjoint, with Little Chance of Cracking, and little likelihood of Falling Out of Service, if by Chance it Did!

  • Gorgeous Highest Grade Golden Madaki Bamboo
  • Classic Kinko Style Utaguchi Mouthpiece
  • Blowing Edge with Gold Metal Border
  • Gorgeous Highest Grade Golden Madaki Bamboo
  • Precision Tapered Bore, Black Resin Filled
  • Finest Quality Inlayed Rattan Protective Bindings
  • Professional Sterling Silver Head Joint Tenon**
  • Signature Stamp:  Tai Hei (Monty Levenson’s Oriental Symbol Stamp Imprint for ‘Tai Hei’ Shakuhachi)

** All headjoints are fabricated with professional seamless tenons made of solid sterling silver (as opposed to brass, copper or plated material).  This material is easily serviceable by most local instrument shops that repair band instruments or mount custom headjoints.

Shakuhachi are said by many to be able to create all the sounds of nature, wind, storms, animals and more.  Their roots hail from Zen Master Buddhist Monks in Japan, who perfected them from ancient designs originating in mainland China, and the Middle East before that.  Playing a shakuhachi is considered a form of meditation … literally blowing Zen

A significant portion of the tonal dynamics and multiple octaves possible from a shakuhachi is generated by the nature of the artful, deceptively simple-looking blowing edge.  Combined with a silver flute fingering mechanism … a Shakulute’s expressive ability is essentially limitless

We find the is not a ‘compromise’ concept in any sense.  The full dynamics and volume possible from your flute are delivered!  In many ways, we find a shakulute even a stronger, more impressive dynamic playing headjoint, than the standard transverse head, which comes with your flute!  The design is fully fine tunable (by sliding the joint distance into your flute), it only needs to be shimmed to fit your flute.


The shakulute is easily mounted to any standard-sized Boehm design concert flute body socket, either locally so you don’t have to send your flute out.  Or send the flute to Monty Levensen and pay return shipping and he will mount your shakulute headjoint, at no additional cost.  The mounting method is as for other headjoints.  The tenon is sized to be slightly smaller than most flute bodies.  The joint is then mounted either by just using tape as shim, the silver tenon can be exactly sized by slightly expanding it’s diameter in a standard instrument shop.  If the tenon is larger than your flute body, a standard swedge vise is used to slightly compress the tenon’s diameter.  If you change flutes later, the headjoint can be resized again in the future.  Thus, tenon resizing is possible because the high grade of silver tenon has appropriately mallable silver.

Audition:  Our 100% 14-Day purchase price refund guarantee, serves as an audition, giving time to adequately test the instrument in your hands.  Please do not purchase this unless you are serious about obtaining a fine shakuhachi headjoint.

Since they first were created … musical instruments have been under continual design and developed over the centuries.  Museums could be filled by those that worked for awhile, but just didn’t make it.

We believe the Shakulute is a winner.  It offers the shakuhachi player another basic tool for more easily playing certain scales in other forms of music, for instance in Jazz and modern music.  And it offers the dedicated silver concert flute player astounding new playing dynamics using fingerings they already know … in a relaxed projected forward facing playing style, easy on the back!

We have formed a collaboration with Monty Levenson, where we commission and have Shakulute head joints built, then feature those exact pictured head joints, for our valued Customers.  The exact head joint you see featured here is the one you get.

 Monty’s Description: “This headjoint for the silver flute is a completely new concept in woodwinds developed by Tai Hei Shakuhachi.  It replaces the side-blown headjoint of the western transverse flute with that of an end-blown shakuhachi headjoint to create an innovative new sound and style of music.  This hybrid instrument allows the player to employ blowing styles and techniques distinctive to the traditional Japanese shakuhachi while using fingerings common to the western classical Boehm flute.  The resulting sound is a unique blend of East and West that can be achieved on no other instrument.  It is perfect for the western flautist interested in producing music with a Japanese touch as well as the traditional shakuhachi player who wants to experiment with western scales and intonation.”


About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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4 Responses to Gandalfe buys a Shakulute!

  1. Rambling says:

    You are too good to us.  I mean this with all my heart!  I can’t wait to hear it.

  2. Laoch says:

    Extremely cool

  3. coco says:

    it looks like a amazed instrument. thank you for shareing with us

  4. Elizabeth says:

    That’s a pretty big flute. 😉

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