Tucked into a corner of County Mayo, Knockmullen View is the home of Michael and Evelyn Cronnolly. As a young flute player, Michael built his first flute from an oak wheel spoke. (“The Spoke”, as it is fondly referred to locally, is on display at the Michael Coleman Irish Music Center, in Gorteen, Mayo). Over the past thirty years, Cronnolly has moved beyond woods and has developed designs and processes for constructing traditional Irish style flutes using durable polymer materials. Cronnolly continues to experiment with new designs, materials, and techniques for providing rugged flutes with excellent sound at affordable prices.
M and E Flutes specializes in keyless Irish flutes in the key of D, the standard flute for traditional Irish music. Our D flutes are modeled after the classic Rudall and Rose style of traditional Irish flute. Michael also makes flutes in the keys of F and Eb, and can also provide keys on the standard D flutes. We usually have several polymer keyless D flutes that can be sent as soon as your order is received . Other versions are built to order – please contact Michael directly for delivery time. You can order all of our keyless flutes by mailing in our order form or by contacting Michael Cronnolly by phone or e-mail. Go to our Products page for coplete descriptions of all of our instruments. For keyed flutes, see this note.
Irish flutes are typically made from woods like African blackwood. But all woods eventually warp and crack. The polymers used by Cronnolly are almost indestructible under even extreme temperature and humidity conditions, and produce flutes which can last lifetimes with virtually no maintenance. In addition to exceptional durability, the inherent uniformity and dimensional stability of polymers mean that M and E flutes perform consistently and stay in tune under all playing conditions. Polymers are lower in cost and more easily machined than hardwoods, allowing our polymer flutes to be more reasonably priced.
That being said, Michael does make wood flutes. These instruments are recommended only for players that live in a relatively stable climate or with experience in caring for wood flutes. Please contact Michael to determine what wood types are available at the time of your order.
M and E polymer flutes are machined from solid polymer rod stock. Tools and techniques used to make our polymer flutes are essentially identical to those used for our wood flutes.
M and E polymer flutes are especially well suited to beginners, students, and younger players. Durability, consistency, and the excellent sound and range of these flutes insure that the student’s progress is not limited by an inferior “beginner” instrument. These features also eliminate the need to move up to more expensive flutes as the student’s skills improve.
M and E polymer flutes are also an excellent choice for advanced players and professionals. The reasonable price of these flutes allows accomplished players to supplement their “prize” flute with a rugged session workhorse. Advanced players are especially enthusiastic about the strength of our flute’s lowest notes.