Cooperman McDonagh Models
The profiled bores of the Cooperman Concert Fifes and the Cooperman McDonagh Fifes bring improved intonation to the traditional fife. The two piece design allows for these bore designs, as well as for fine tuning at the joint and the use of additional tone holes to address the half-hole issues. The distinction between a “fife” and a “band flute” in period records is vague; although most will agree that military field music “fifes” were more likely one piece, six hole instruments like our Traditional Fife above, the two piece fife has enjoyed great popularity in fife & drum corps since at least the early nineteen-sixties. For material and key information, see Basics.
The McDonagh fife was developed in New York by the renowned fifer, instructor, and composer John McDonagh over 50 years ago and remains a widely popular instrument; we are honored to have Mr. McDonagh’s support in making this classic fife available. The McDonagh Model fifes differ from the Cooperman Concert Models in the design of the bore and the placement of the finger holes, and are perhaps most well-known for their full low register.
This fife has the popular and traditional 6 tone holes, with several notes of the chromatic scale requiring the use of half-holes.
The addition of the extra holes allows the fifer to play without half-hole fingerings, which some fifers feel allows for improved speed and accuracy. This McDonagh Model features the 6 main tone holes along with 2 pinky register holes, a double hole at the fifth finger position, and one thumb register hole. See (link to Cooperman Concert Models) for an alternative hole layout.