Flute History

By: Kyra, Natalie, and Leilani

Flutes from B.C. and A.D.

The flute was made in many different cultures and they have different names and some of them are: cross flute, German flute, transverse flute, and flauto traverso. The flute was found in 900 B.C. in China. There are flutes around the world and we will show them.

Different B.C. and A.D. Flutes

The 200 B.C. and A.D. flutes was a Roman artifact but only the Romans and Etruscans were the only ones that could play it.The flute seems to disappear with the destruction of rome, and only seems to reappear in the 10th and 11th centries. It is probable that the instrument was introduced into Western Europe by way of Germany from Byzantium.By the 14th century, the flute began to appear in non-Germanic European countries, which included Spain, France and Flanders.

Some B.C. and A.D. Flutes

Is the Flute the Oldest Instrument?

Yes It Is!

The flute is the oldest instrument. It has been in our lives for centuries. The oldest flute is called the bird bone flute.

1000 A.D.

The flute seems to disappear with the destruction of Rome, and only seems to reappear in the 10th and 11th centuries. It is probable that the instrument was introduced into Western Europe by way of Germany from Byzantium.By the 14th century, the flute began to appear in non-Germanic European countries.

1500 A.D.


Throughout the 16th century flutes were one of the most popular instruments in all of Italian music. This popularity was also echoed in England as was obvious from Henry VIII's large collection of flutes. Flutes were extremely simple in construction, consisting of a cylindrical tube with a cork stopper in one end, a blow hole and six finger holes. Their range was limited, as they were constructed in different sizes in order to handle the complete range of the music being performed.


1820

Theobald Boehm (1794-1881) is considered to have created the most important evolution of the flute in its entire history. Boehm was born in Munich and was trained as a jeweler and goldsmith. His aptitude for music was very apparent as a young child, and by 1818 he was dividing his careers among that of goldsmith, flutemaker and professional flutist in the orchestra of the royal court in Munich. By 1828, Boehm had put together a workshop to manufacture instruments. In 1831, while visiting London, Boehm attended a concert of Charles Nicholson whose flute had unusually large finger holes which produced an exceptionally large and fine tone.
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1832

Realizing that the flutes tone would have to be imitated for a concert flutist to be successful, and understanding that the tone holes would have to be spaced for good intonation rather than for the convenience of the fingers of the player, Boehm designed a new mechanism that functioned as an extension of the fingers. This conical flute of 1832 was gradually accepted by the most important players of the time, and by 1843 Boehm had licensed flute makers in London and Paris to manufacture this new instrument. In 1846, Boehm continued to perfect the flute while studying acoustics with Carl von Schafhautl at the University of Munich.

1847

In 1847, Boehm produced a radically different instrument with a cylindrical body, a foot joint and a parabolic head joint. The tone holes on this instrument were even larger than the 1832 instrument and Boehm had to design padded cups for each hole. This new instrument has received only a few relatively unimportant modifications throughout the 20th century and it is a tribute to his genius that Boehm's flute will remain unchanged into the 21st century.

1900

Arthur Gemeinhardt trained under Emil Rittershausen in Berlin. Mr. Rittershausen was a Boehm flute specialist who trained under Boehm and his partner Carl Mendler Sr. in Munich. So, the tradition and origin of the Gemeinhardt flute can be traced directly to the 19th century and Theobald Boehm's factory.