|Hobgoblin Music - FLUTES|
The side blown flute is traditional all around the world, though the earliest examples were found in Asia. In Europe the old cylindrical bore Renaissance flutes began to be replaced towards the end of the 17th century by instruments with a conical bore, and a brighter sound. These Baroque flutes, often made from boxwood usually had one brass key, later examples at the end of the 18th C. had up to 4 keys. John Rutzen makes good copies of this style. The Concert Flute, currently used for Irish traditional music, was introduced around the middle of the 19th century, and was the standard orchestral instrument until the introduction of the Boehm system instruments. The D Flute has 6 open holes, and up to 8 keys, but these are often not used, as the notes can be found by cross fingering. A slide head is useful to tune in with other players. This kind of instrument produces a much more earthy sound than modern metal instruments, and plays easily in the keys of D, and G.
The Baroque flute was perfected by makers such as Milhouse and Potter in London in the late 1700s. The design was developed in the Classical period, again in London by Nicholson, Pratten, Ruddall Rose and others. Most of the flutes produced in the late 1800's came from Saxony and can usually be identified by the pin mounted keys. Most English makers used block mounts.
The Irish traditional style of playing still uses the 8 key wooden instrument perfected in the 19th century. Listen to Seamus Tansey, Matt Molloy, Frankie Kennedy of Altan and others to hear the style.
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