Histoire de la flûte

Voici une liste des facteurs de flûte au cours de l’histoire, ce sont des notes que j’avais prises quand j’étais à l’école de lutherie à partir de sites internet et de livres. Elle n’est pas traduite en français, désolée. Merci de me signaler toute erreur ou renseignements, il y a beaucoup à rajouter.

I hope this helps understand the transition from the Baroque flute through to what we consider the Irish flute to the modern Classical. This is not a Dictionary of flute makers. If you would like a good dictionary buy "The Langwill Index" by William Waterhouse / Tony Bingham. Tony Bingham offers it on his site.

The Irish Flute

The « Irish Flute », was the conical bore flute played by classical musicians of the Romantic Era. The eight keyed simple system flute was in it’s prime in the first half of the 19th century. Charles Nicholson, was an English flute Virtuoso, who worked with Thomas Prowse and Clementi to produce the famous "Nicholson Perfected" models, large bore flutes with enlargened tone holes for greater power. Nicholson is noted as the greatest English soloist around the 1830s, mostly for his power and tone. He had a enormous influence on the evolution of the transverse flute.

The large bore models bearing Nicholson’s name were very popular at the time and were played by many professionals in the 1830s/40s.

Robert Sydney Pratten was another notable flutist composer, who is also associated with the largest bore models. PRATTEN designed his own simple system flute in 1852, and had them made by BOOSEY & Co in 1856. They are very powerful with a large bore and large tone holes. - Considered good instruments for Irish music, but are also generally considered to have less timbre than those of Rudall and Rose.

Of all the flute makers working in the 1830s/40s perhaps the most reputed are the famous firm RUDALL & ROSE, which have become the standard popular model of flute used in Irish music. It was not until the second part of the eighteen hundreds that the Irish, who were present in England as laborers at the time, would be able to take advantage of these flutes, which had been rejected by many classical musicians who were starting to use the BOEHM system.


Today most professional flutes are made to the specifications to the Cooper scale, with B foot extending the range.

1967 J. MOORE
A. Murray collaborates with G.Moore, well known maker with the Armstrong company. In 1972 they bring out production model flutes and piccolos.Other advances : - duplicate G# lever “gizmo key”, split E key.

1961 J. MOORE
Murray’s next model, - the “MARK I” appears.

1948 A. COOPER
Murray, - flutist and teacher collaborates with Cooper and ELMER COLE, based on the Cooper scale with corrected C# key.

Merge together.

1917 – 1956 BUTLER London
Large quantities of flutes, - mostly fifes. Also Irish warpipes !!!!!!

1914 MARIGAUX Paris
Worked with LOREE in 1940. Joined STRASSER & LEMAIRE. Many well made flutes.

1900 CASOLI Milan
Inventive maker of keywork. Worked for flute maker BARLASSINA.

End of the 19th Century
The flute appears in the orchestral scores of Brahms, Strauss and Tchaikovsky. Solo literature expands rapidly with virtuosic showpieces becoming the fashion. Flutes are able to play music that was technically demanding for pre. BOEHM instruments. The extended range used by composers of the romantic era, demands a flute which can play an excess of three octaves.

circa 1890 C. Whitaker specialised in Siccama system flutes. See SICCAMA, there is an image of a WHITAKER. There are more than one WHITAKER. Amongst others there was an H. WHITAKER who worked for RUDALL & ROSE, and who also made flutes under his own name.

1890 SCHAFFNER Italy - Florence
Made experimental end blown flutes for GIORGI. Plated metal.

1880 HAYNES U.S.A. Boston
First to introduce drone toneholes. (Saddles drawn from the flutes body). In 1914 made aluminium bodied flutes. In 1935 they made a gold flute for G. Barrère. One of the leading flute makers this century.
1878 BERGONZI Italy
He patented an end blown head joint flute. Normal lip plate with a spherical plug mounted on the head. Held vertically.

1877 BOEHM
Perfects his “modern silver flute” the Macauley flute is silver with gold embouchure, gold springs, a B foot and is “unsurpassed by any of BOEHM’s creations”

1877 -1899 RIVE & cie. Paris
Won many medals in Paris.

1870 RUDALL & CARTE Liverpool
Made Radcliffe’s own model.

1862 LAFLEUR London
Importers of musical instruments. Taken over by BOOSEY & HAWKES in 1940.

1860 BOEHM
Flutes adopted as the official instruments of the Conservatoire de Paris.

1860 HAWKES London
Woodwind and brass maker merged with BOOSEY in 1955, took over RUDALL & CARTE in 1930 and aquired BUFFET CRAMPON in 1981.

1855 CLINTON a teacher at the Royal Academy of music. Later a flute manufacturer. He begins to make a BOEHM system in 1862 : Model with cylindrical bore and equally graduated tone holes, diminishing in size towards the head joint. The idea had already been tried with BOEHM who had decided not to include it in his final models.

1855 BOEHM
BOEHM Flute wins gold medal at Paris exhibition, to general acclaim. New players make great advances thanks to BOEHM’s mechanical breakthrough.

1852 – 1868 SICCAMA / BOOSEY & Co.
In 1848 PRATTEN (A musician) changed his 8 keyed RUDALL & ROSE for a SICCAMA. PRATTEN designed his own flute in 1852, and had them made by BOOSEY & Co. in 1856. They were little different from the common 8 keyed flute. As he had an aversion to extra keywork, believing it had a detrimental effect on the tonal qualities, however he later developed flute with a cylindrical bore, large tone holes and with up to 17 keys ! This was his “Perfected flute”. In spite of it’s clumsyness it was a popular model. PRATTEN Experemented with interchangeable body sections. Attempted to solve problems of varying pitches. He is reputed for a very powerful tone and execution.

New F# key. Helped by the musician CARTE.

BRICCIALDI’s Bb thumb plate.

1848 - 1928 WALLIS Joseph London.
Established his firm in London 1848. Father and the later son made patent "Giorgi" flutes and piccolos.

CLICK on small images to enlarge

Giorgi patent flute by Wallis in Eb. (Ebonite)
This is a Giorgi patent end blown flute in Eb that I picked up in England. It has a tuning slide. It has an open key that plays D, and C# when closed. There 10 holes, (2 on the back for the thumbs). The key is operated by the side of the base of the first finger. Wallis also made piccolos like this. It is not easy to play, with it’s big holes spread all over it....Bigger hands would help !

1847 BOEHM
Sells rights of manufacture to RUDALL & ROSE, GODFROY & LOUIS LOT in Paris. Published the famous “Flute and Flute playing in acoustical technical and artistic aspect”. BOEHM Flute imported to New York.

1845 Doctor BURGHLEY London
Angled wood head joint Flute in Mahogony and decorative wood. Keys made of wood ! Angled head joint made to be played at 45 degrees across the body.

1845 GAUTROT Paris
Made many French style BOEHM flutes. In 1884 business merged with COUESNON.

1846 BOEHM
Experiments with cylindrical bore, based on a “parabolic curve”, (17mm diameter in top of instrument to 19mm in middle of body). Enlarges the embouchure to quadrangular shape, producing fuller, clearer tone. Compiles his Schema for finger hole placement. Pads are improved by covering the inside of closed key with felt and the rims of open keys with skins which are held together by screws and washers. He experiments with different metals, decides on silver for the best tone quality and least fatiguing to play.

1844 – 1882 BLACKMAN London
Made several 8 keyed flutes

1844 – 1874 BRETON Paris
Learned from LAURENT, many flutes in glass highly prized by collectors

1841 SICCAMA London
SICCAMA patented a model with 2 extra keys operated by the third fingers of each hand. These keys allowed the holes to be better placed. (10 keyed flute - an evolution on the simple system - The SICCAMA system, was an alternative to the relatively new BOEHM system. RICHARDSON (a student of Charles Nicholson junior), & PRATTEN another soloist composer, Played his model but soon opted for BOEHMS models. MAHILLON made his models in Brussels in 1850 and HUDSON too.

Late Siccama system. circa 1890. Unstamped but probably by C. Whitaker

1840 – 1872 PASK London
Woodind and Brass maker. Associated with composer KOENIG. Made a flute of plated brass. Bore extremely conical, 8 keys. Foot joint with pewter plugs made in 1850.

The Flute payers Ribas (Spain) and Richardson (London)
Ribas played 8 keyed flutes all his career, (1796 – 1861), with powerful tone. Richardson (1814 – 1862), studied with Nicholson. Played on SICCAMA Diatonic flutes, - called “THE ENGLISH DROUET”. They were both famous for double tongueing, and production of glide effects by sliding fingers on toneholes.

Begin Manufacturing BOEHM flutes in London along with C. GODFROY in Paris.

1839 WARD Liverpool
Manufactures BOEHM’s flute in London.

1838 – 1880 WYLDE London
Flute and oboe maker. He worked for RUDALL & ROSE in 1831.

1838 BUFFET Paris
BUFFET and collaborator COCHE (Paris). COCHE studied flute under TULOU, one of the first to adopt BOEHM’s system. BUFFET add D# trill and DORAS another maker ads G# key.

1837 BUFEET Paris
Improves on BOEHM. Changing axles, hole placements, lugs, rods, sleeves. (The latter holds rods and axles together).

1834 BOEHM
BOEHM’s flute gains popularity in France and Germany with professional flutists.

1833 – 1839 GORDON Paris
Experimental diatonic flute. Crescent shaped touch-piece. Studied flute under DROUET in 1831. RUDALL & ROSE made models to his design. GORDON had probably influenced BOEHM for linkages.

1832 - 1836 WOOD George. London
George WOOD made various woodwind instruments. Later became WOOD & IVY 1837 - 1847.

4 keyed flute in Brass, Boxwood & Ivory. This is a high pitch flute A 455Hz. Stamped "Geoe Wood New Compton Strt LONDON"
This flute was made before the asso. WOOD & IVY. This flute flute is very similar to the D’ALMAINE & Co. pictured in this list. It is however better made, with a screw cap and well fitted delicate keys. The tuning is much better than the D’ALMAINE.

1832 BOEHM
Inspired by hearing Nicholson junior. Changes from standard covered holes to ring keys, (See F. NOLAN 1808), - “open holes” producing clearer tone and better intonation. He also aids finger action by adding a thumb crutch for the left hand.

Theobald Freidrich BOEHM 1794 - 1881

1831 BOEHM
Presents his new model in Paris and London Performances.

1830 BOEHM
New model finished.

1829 BOEHM
Finger holes still too far apart, new fingering system, builds his own machine for boring holes. He uses pillars, posts, flat gold springs and rods.

Ascotiation of WILLIS and GOODLAD

1828 – 1850 KOSH Vienna
Excellent flute maker.

1826 – 1856 BILTON London
Good workmanship.

1821 – 1827 KAUFFMANN London
8 keyed flutes in Ivory. 7 keys in bone. His mark is a birds head.

1824 POTTGIESSEN Germany
He added ring keys to 7 keyed model. His first model was with 1 key, larger bore, shorter length. Second model included ring key for C# hole. It was a ring and crescent design, reduced the size of C# hole improving intonation of forked F natural. He also suggested roler for thumb keys. It was rejected but used later.

Made flutes we now use and copy for Irish music. Usually 8 keyed with bore expanding on the tenons. They made small holes for uniformity of sound. (Ex. No 592 edinburgh made in 1845). Second model with bigger holes for more power (Ex. Bate collection no. 132 made in 1830).

1821 WILLIS Made their first flute.

Enlarged embouchure for more volume of sound. “NICHOLSON’s improved” sold by CLEMENTI & Co. and PROWSE.

1814 – 1842 BELLISENT Paris
Made a flute for TULOU with 8 keys in silver (keys).

1813 – 1826 WHEATSTONE London
Maker and teacher. Designed a mouth piece for directing the air o the cutting edge, later he took TOWNLEY’s Idea to play the flute vertically.

1815 -1821 TREXLER Vienna
Many of his flutes were of unusual design. He produced a 17 key model – “Panaulon”. Many had keys to low G.

1814 – 1847 J. WOOD London
Makes 3 telescopic tuning slides for for changing pitch by a semitone. The tube was marked with sharp (#), natural and flat (b) calibrations. He associated with IVY.

1810 HUSSEY Dublin
There is a Patrick HUSSEY recorded as making musical instruments at this date.

A 1 key baroque style flute stamped "HUSSEY DUBLIN" circa 1810. A 430Hz.
This flute is in Boxwood, with a silver key. It is nice flute with "relatively good" tuning.

1810 MILLER London
Starts making metal flute.

1809 – 1839 MONZANI London
Tuning slide in the barrel and introduce a new pad fixed in place with a washer and a nut like modern classical flutes. This made the pads easier to seat. He also composed duets and trios for the flute.

1808 – 1845 GEROCK London
He made a quantity of instruments with WOLF.

1808 F. NOLAN Essex
Invents open holes (Rim only, finger pad covers hole). Constuction of open standing keys, with a single lever or a linked pair.

He made 2 levers operated by the left hand thumb, to lengthen and shorten the tuning slide whilst playing. He also made a mouthpiece to be fitted at the end of the flute to play it vertically. Extra key to close small hole when sounding low D, to assist the tone.

1806 – 1848 LAURENT Paris
Makes 3, 4 and 7 keyed glass flutes. One of the first to use forged steel springs. Glass for the tube, silver strengthening tenon for the joints. Longer springs and pillars, mounted on plates, screwed to the glass tube.

1805 – 1870 WARD Liverpool
Worked with MONZANI before setting up his own workshop in 1842. Made a flute with needle springs, 5 keys operated by the left thumb to assist the tone. Creative and good instruments.

1802 CLEMENTI an Italian in London
Excellent quality instruments. In 1830 it becomes CLEMENTI COLLARD & COLLARD. Later in 1818 he enlargers the holes for NICHOLSON. CLEMENTI were also a publisher and dealer.

1800 Flutes start appearing in Beethoven’s symphonies

1763 – 1836 MILHOUSE Newark !
Highly important woodwind maker in Nottinghamshire. Later he went to London. Good instruments.

Working circa 1800 Thomas D’ALMAINE. The business was taken over by his nephew Thomas Mckinley in 1847 when he retired. 1798 – 1866 D’ALMAINE London was asso. with GOULDING. 1834 - 1867 became DALMAINE & Co. - The music seller and publisher, maker and dealer. They made and/or dealt in woodwind, brass, pianos and even string instruments.

A 4 keyed flute in Brass, Boxwood and Ivory, stamped "D’ALMAINE & Co". This is a high pitch flute. A is around 450 - 455Hz depending where you postion the cork...
The stamp reads
This flute is very similar to the George WOOD also pictured in this list. The George wood is better made, this D’ALMAINE & Co. has Wobbley badly fitted keys and the tuning is very, very bad, where as the WOOD is playable with a bit of practice.

1790 – 1838 ASHE
(A musician from Ireland)
Played a 1 keyed flute and after a POTTER. Great soloist and teacher.

1790 METZLER London
With his son G. RICHARD, the firm became one of the biggest music houses in London until the 20 century.

1790 Four keyed flutes appear in the symphonic orchestra of MOZART and HAYDN.

1789 WILSON Scotland
A Shoe maker in Glasgow made a flute out of leather !

1777 – 1795 PROSER London
T. BOEHM started playing his flute when he was a boy. 1 keyed in boxwood.

1782 J.H. RIBOCK Germany
Adds closed C key.

1785 – 1848 W. POTTER London
Made a moveable tuning slide on the foot joint. His son W.H. POTTER made sliding keys to enable glide effect used by NICHOLSON. His Son took the business. They made enormous quantities of flutes with 8 keys. The firm S. POTTER now in Hampshire may be related but now they specialise in Military instruments. Charles Nicholson Junior liked Potter flutes, (and Astor), even though at the time Monzani were considered to be the best quality.

1778 – 1836 ASTOR London
Made good instruments with a strong clear sound. Charles Nicholson senior enlargened the tone holes of an Astor flute. This was the flute preferred by Charles Nicholson Junior up until he designed a new model with Clementi. He played this flute when he came back from the Napoleonic wars and set up as a flute teacher in London.

1765 – 1793 COLLIER London
Good quality instruments succeeded by J. HALE

1760 – 1794 COTTON London
Well made and good playing quality instrument.

1760 – 1795 FLORIO Italy
The first musician to adopt the 8 keyed flute. Great player and rival of J. TACET. His name is stamped on the flute but it’s not sure that he was the maker.

1754 – 1769 C. GEDNEY London
Sucsessor of STANESBY. He produced the earliest version of six keyed flutes in 1769.

1755 – 1816 CAHUSAC FATHER & SON

1750 D. NOBLET Paris
Founder of the famous woodwind making firm. Flutes by F. Noblet bear the mark of a Nightingale. Business sold to G. LEBLANC in 1904.

1744 ROTTENBURGH Brussels
Important family of woodwind makers. High quality flutes and recorders.

1741 – 1726 VILLARS Paris

1736 HALLET London

1726 – 1756 SCHUCHART London

1726 BIGLIONI Rome
Made a flute with a C# key on footjoint, - Quantz considered this key to be detrimental to tone and tuning.

1726 QUANTZ (died 1773)
Had added to his flute whilst in Paris the Eb and D# key, plus a screw stopper to help when playing softly instead of covering the hole with the lips.

1722 QUANTZ Hanover (musician)
Adds tuning Corks in the head joint and C# key on the foot joint. Corps de rechange. As many as 7 sections were provided by some makers, - to change pitch. Two keys added.

1716 – 1752 BIZEY France
Important Woodwind maker in Paris. He made four section flutes in Ivory.

1720 HOTTETERRE Normandy
Corps de rechange. The first to make flutes in sections. (Development from their bagpipe making days). The bore has broken profile. Cone and cylinder may meet end to end, or bores of two joints may meet in an abrupt step. Renaissance turnery was applied to the thickenings left in the wood or Ivory to give strength to the sockets where the various joints meet.

1700 – 1724 BRESSAN England
Important flute and recorder maker. High quality and greatly prized by collectors and recorder performers.

1700 – 1754 STANESBY England
Important woodwind maker. Fine instruments including Bassoons recorders, oboes and flutes. Taken over by C. GEDNEY in 1754.

1690 – 1715 RIPPERT France
Worked with HOTTETERRE and produced some very fine instruments.

1670 CHEVALLIER France
Earliest known example of 1 key fitted D#. Conical bores. Tapers down to middle, placing holes closer together and smaller finger holes.

1636 Flute Allemandes (German) appear. Keys of G and D with new Cylindrical bore.

1619 “Syntagma Musicum” German composer PRAETORIUS earliest work to show transverse flute in differing size. Portrays “3 Querflotten” with two octave ranges.

1529 DESCANT Alto, Tenor and Bass versions appear.

1511 Zwerchpfeiff Popular flute in alpine regions. Extended body length mostly at head joint.

1320 Early one piece wooden flute appears in drawings.