Nagahara Full Concert flute for sale

UPDATE Dec 20, 2016: The flute has been sold!

I am selling my beloved Nagahara Full Concert model flute that I've had since 2005. This flute and I have recorded 4 full-length CDs (and many smaller recording projects) and performed many concerts all over the United States together. I am the first and only owner. I picked out the 14k gold head joint made by Kanichi Nagahara at the Nagahara headquarters near Boston. This flute has been loved and it has served me very well. I am so sad to part with this beautiful instrument but I must for financial reasons.

Right now, I'm hoping for a local (San Francisco Bay Area) buyer but I will consider any serious offers in the USA.

This flute is perfect for solo playing. It projects beautifully over an orchestra and I would keep it for playing concerti if I could afford to. I have had much luck playing it in chamber music settings and it blends really well with other flutes and woodwinds too. There's a reason why Nagahara Flutes have such a solid reputation. The mechanism is the absolute best. Kanichi Nagahara is one of the best headjoint makers in the world. I hope someone else can give it a good home and perform many more concerts with it. 

More details:

  • Price: $16,000 (A new flute with the same specifications, made in 2016, would cost $22,720)
  • Nagahara Full Concert model flute
  • Serial #449
  • 0.950 silver body with 14k gold head joint ("DA" cut, I think).
  • open hole (French style) keys
  • Custom C# touch piece (made by Nagahara)
  • soldered tone holes
  • pointed key arms
  • A=442
  • off-set G
  • C# trill key
  • D# roller
  • low B foot with gizmo key
  • Comes with original case and case cover in good condition.
  • Bonus: Includes additional custom-made locking double case made by Wiseman Cases which will fit this Nagahara Full Concert flute plus a metal piccolo (I never used this as a double case with piccolo so please try it out w/ your piccolo to confirm.).

The flute is in excellent mechanical/playing condition and there are no dents. Overhauled by Nagahara Flutes in 2015. There are very minor cosmetic scratches that do not effect the sound/mechanism and they are not noticeable unless you are looking for them. There is one section of the body with stubborn tarnish.  

Please contact me at if interested.

For your GRAMMY consideration

My album is on the first round ballot for the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. 

PHEROMONE is on the ballot for:

Classical Instrumental Solo

Track Number 1, Fractus III: Aerophoneme for flute and live electronic sound by Eli Fieldsteel is on the ballot for: 

Contemporary Classical Composition

Blueprint - a location specific piece for the Soundwave Biennial

First panel of  Blueprint .

First panel of Blueprint.

Last week, I had the wonderful experience of hearing/performing my graphic notion piece, Blueprint. It was "written" for the Soundwave ((7)) Architecture performance at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. I was lucky enough to design the piece with the following amazing musicians in mind: Kris King on Contraforte, Michael Hernandez on Soprano Sax, and Kassey Plaha on Flute. 

It's sometimes difficult to hear the contrabass flute in the last movement but the recording came out pretty well! 

Live recording: Friday, August 5, 2016, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA. Meerenai Shim Quartet: Michael Hernandez, soprano sax - Kassey Plaha, flute - Meerenai Shim, contrabass flute - Kris King, contraforte

As you can see from the first panel above, the orientation to the score is different for each instrument. It continues the same way in the 2nd panel. In the 3rd, everyone but the contrabass/bass flute reads the piece the same way. 

Second panel of  Blueprint .

Second panel of Blueprint.

I had a few objectives/constraints for this piece based on the venue, instrumentation, and logistics/time: 
1) In April I found out when/where my piece will be presented so I didn't have that much time to finish the piece or schedule time with my performers.
2) It was written to be performed inside Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, which is a very live space, so I decided that the piece should not require interlocking rhythms or tight ensemble work.
3) All of my performers have very busy summers so I needed the piece to work with minimal rehearsal time.
4) The piece had to work with the theme of Architecture. This was the biggest challenge. Since my piece was to be performed at Grace Cathedral, I chose instruments that reflect the pipe organs in the church. I also spent an afternoon sitting in the church and walking the outdoor labyrinth there. If you really think about it, all notated music is like a blueprint for music. I tried to take the blueprint idea and try to marry aspects of architectural blueprints with graphic notation. 
5) The final constraint I gave myself was that the performers should be able to interpret the scores without much written instruction. My pet peeve is when the written instructions are longer than the score or if the score doesn't convey almost everything that the performer needs to perform the piece. This was tough in the last movement and I ended up writing instructions. 😕 I am convinced that I could have gotten away from written instructions if I used animated notation for the last movement.

Third panel of  Blueprint .

Third panel of Blueprint.

Pre-order "Variety Show" - the A/B Duo album

My flute and percussion duo, A/B Duo, is one of my biggest ongoing projects. We have a Kickstarter project going on right now through July 20th to pay for our first full-length album. It includes music for contrabass flute by Ned McGowan, a piece that requires the Robert Dick Glissando Headjoint®, and lots of percussion, of course!  We just finished tracking the pieces this week. The rough mixes sound really great (even if I do say so myself!) and I'm so proud to share these recordings with the world.

Quick tip: Tongue Ram or Tongue Thrust

Here's a quick tip regarding the extended technique known as the Tongue Ram (also known as "Tongue Thrust" or "Tongue Stop"). 

To achieve a Tongue Ram, the flutist vibrates the air inside the flute by quickly plugging the embochure hole with the tongue. It's only possible on the lowest octave of the flute. The flutist completely covers the lip plate with their mouth, then "stops" the tongue into the embouchure hole and plugs it up. Blowing fast air into the flute followed by the stop can yield a louder effect. The result is a percussive thud with a pitch that can sound a major 7th to minor 7th lower than the written note.

At the lowest end of the flute, the sounding pitch is a major 7th below the fingered note. Due to the variation in conical head joint design of different flutes, the sounding pitch will become a minor 7th lower than the fingered note as the notes fingered get higher. In the examples below, you will hear that my particular Bass flute sounds a minor 7th lower than fingered note starting at Ab. My C flute flips to minor 7th at A-natural. 

It can be notated like this:

Tongue Ram notation example

Tongue Ram notation example

It sounds like this (1st time = Bass Flute, 2nd time = C Flute):



  • To play a loud Tongue Stop note, you do need to blow harder right before the Stop. If you find that you are getting a Jet Whistle sound, you can try "rolling in" with the flute and it should help reduce the Whistle. 
  • If you are still getting too much air sound or too much jet whistle action, and not enough percussive "thud" sound, you might be trying too hard. It's tempting to ram forcefully but it's usually counterproductive to use a lot of force for this technique (and for most techniques, actually). Aim for a resonant sound rather than a loud one and you might find that the most resonant sound usually yields the loudest and most effective sound. 


  • This technique will never really be as loud as a normally blown note (unless the flutist is Robert Dick). Always get a live demonstration from a flutist friend instead of relying on recordings such as the one on this blog, since you have no context for dynamics and acoustics in a space.
  • The flutist needs time to prepare before and after a Tongue Ram note. We can only effectively switch from a regularly played note to a tongue ram note (and vice versa) if you give us time to do so. 
  • "Slap Tongue" is a single-reed instrument technique and it is not useful to use this term on any flute part. 
Creative Commons License
This Blog Post (including Image and Sound Recording) by Meerenai Shim is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

For more useful tips for flutists and composers, please check out Helen Bledsoe's excellent website. It's one of my favorite flutists' blogs. And of course, the modern flutists' bible: Robert Dick's The Other Flute.

Media round-up

Also known as shameless self-promotion: Here are some of my latest CD reviews and interviews.

DePaul Magazine , the DePaul University alumni publication, has a little profile on me in the Spring 2016 issue.

DePaul Magazine, the DePaul University alumni publication, has a little profile on me in the Spring 2016 issue.

Bassist and radio host Gahlord Dewald was kind enough to invite me on his show Bleep Boop Beep on WRUV 90.1 (Burlington, VT) to talk about performing with electronics. Read more and listen to it here.

I had a really fun time as a guest on the two-hour long geekbeatradio show on March 7th. We talked about A/B Duo, chiptunes, and other geeky stuff. You can download the podcast here or listen to it from their website.

Pianist Jai Jeffries came to my November recital in Brooklyn and write a very nice review of my show and Pheromone.

“Rarely do I enjoy a concert with a pleasure so rich and so complete as the pleasure I experienced at the Pheromone preview. Put a flute in the hands of Meerenai Shim and she is a sorceress.”

Flutist Tammy Evans Yonce reviewed Pheromone in the December 2015 issue of The Flute View.

“Her first two albums are fantastic but Shim has outdone herself with this latest release. Pheromone takes her playing to a completely new level.”

Daniel Barbiero of Avant Music News reviewed Pheromone.

"a fine collection of new electroacoustic works, all but one of which were commissioned for this recording. The six compositions encompass their composers’ individual approaches to integrating the flute with electronics of various types, and reflect Shim’s own genre-challenging, eclectic engagement with new music.”

Flutist Amanda Cook reviewed Pheromone in I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.

“…Pheromone stands in a class of its own. This album’s dedication to all electro-acoustic compositions definitively breaks from traditional repertoire and instrumentation, unapologetically plays to Shim’s strengths, and highlights her incredible versatility as a contemporary artist.”