Instrument: Transverse flute
Work: Sonata in A minor. Allegro.
Composer: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
Performer: Emmanuel Pahud
Source: Audio originally published on the Louisiana Music Videos Youtube channel with the title “Emmanuel Pahud | CPE Bach · Allegro from Sonata in A minor”.
Instrument: Transverse flute
Work: Partita in A minor, BWV 1013
Composer: J.S. Bach
Interpreter: Alexandra Grot (transversal flute)
Source: Video originally published by the grotsasha channel titled “J S Bach Partita for flute solo”. Recording held in Munich in February 18th, 2008.
The instrument has a cylindrical tube made of French silver and a very thin wall – turning the flute quite light. It has one segment with keys mechanism and the head with the mouthpiece. The instrument’s keys mechanism corresponds to the Boehm system. The instrument is not transposing. The flute’s range is generally from C3 (B3 in some flutes) and covers three or more octaves.
The term flute comprises instruments of different cultures. In general, flutes have holes and may or may not have keys; the tubes are hollow and can be made of bone, wood, metal, galalith, plastic, brass or other materials. The instrument’s sound is produced by the blow of the musician into a bevel – in the case of the recorder and other similar instruments – or laterally onto the edge of the hole –like the transversal flute. This current agitates the air column present inside the tube, producing sounds. Each note corresponds to a determinate length of air column, controlled by the closing or not of the holes. The oldest flute ever discovered was found in Germany and is made of swan’s bone; the instrument is from the Paleolithic period and is about 36.000 years old. The flutes closer to those used in present orchestras date of the 10th and 11th centuries. On the 16th century, the flutes appeared in pictorial and literary sources all over Western Europe, which shows the instrument’s great popularity during the period. Up until the 17th century, the flutes used to have only holes, which hindered the reproduction of a wide range of notes, and made tuning very hard. To overcome these obstacles, the musician used flutes of various sizes and, therefore, which were able to play different notes. The later use of keys enabled the increase of the instrument’s extension, the improvement on the intonation and the access to all the chromatic scale. On the 19th century, Theobald Boehm, builder, goldsmith and flute player, has done improvements on the instrument that made his flute to be the most used flute in the world. Boehm redesigned the instrument and created ring shaped keys. Each key surrounded a hole and also operated a second hole, which enabled that a finger to cover two or more holes simultaneously. All these modifications made the sonority of the flute stronger and more uniform. Intonation was also improved and the chromatic notes were made more accessible. After much experimentation, Boehm reached his ultimate model in 1847; this flute, with small changes, keeps on being the standard model. This museum item was built by this famous maker. The inventory of 1974 of the Delgado de Carvalho Instruments Museum informs that this specimen was part of the Universal Exhibition of 1867, held in Paris.
BETHENCOURT; BORDAS; CANO; CARVAJAL; SOUZA; DIAS; LUENGO; PALACIUS; PIQUER, ROCHA, RODRIGUEZ; RUBIALES; RUIZ, 2012.
Consulting Franklin Correa da Silva Neto (2014).