Benefits of the C# Trill
B to C# in the First and Second Octaves:
By providing the C# with a full-sized tone hole, the intonation is better. Additionally, the two-finger trill is avoided.
C to C# in the First and Second Octaves:
Moved from the first finger left hand to the first finger right hand, the trill is generally faster and better in tune.
High G to A in the Third Octave:
Perhaps the better name for the C# trill key would be the High G to A trill key. Finger high G and trill the C# trill and the upper trill key. An otherwise awkward, treacherous, and too-common trill is made easy.
High G to Ab:
Better in tune and much more comfortable.
High F# to G#:
Finger high F# and trill the C# Trill Key. Much easier than the conventional fingering.
High Ab to Bb:
A Mahler favorite. Finger the high Ab and trill both trill keys and the C# Trill Key.
Tremolos and Shakes:
All the first octave, left-hand notes can be tremoloed with C# by just using the C# Trill Key. The same notes can be tremoloed with D natural by using the C# Trill Key and the upper trill key together.
Pianissimo high Ab:
Play second octave Ab with all the left hand keys depressed, add the C# Trill and the high Ab will appear softly and in tune.
Other Musical Benefits:
John Wummer once showed Jim Phelan his favorite use for the C# Trill Key. In Debussy’s “L’apres-midi d’une faune”, he would play the opening C# with the conventional fingering (all open) with no vibrato and pianissimo. Developing the phrase, he would return to the C# playing it with the C# Trill Key with vibrato and louder. This illustrates something important; the small C# tone hole, first finger left hand, serves two purposes. It, of course, produces the pitch C#. It also acts as the vent for the production of second and third octave notes that are harmonics of pitches in the first octave. Unfortunately, a vent should be small and a tonehole for a C# should be large. The C# Trill tone hole is exactly a larger tone hole for an in-tune, sonorous C#.
Construction: There are several ways to build a C# Trill Key and we have repaired them all. The Burkart Flute is built with two additional support posts, a guide post, a separate steel rod, and spring for the C# Trill. It is our experience that this mechanism is far superior to any other. The C# Trill lever is placed forward of the Bb shake lever and is not in the way, yet still convenient. Through careful comparison, Burkart has determined that the C# Trill tone hole in no way affects any other notes or the intonation and timbre of the flute as a whole.