Early Baroque flute after Hotteterre@Graz, Berlin

Early baroque flute after Hotterre

Early baroque flute after Hotterre

I don’t have the technical drawing of this surviving original @ Graz.
We can see the some data from Ardal Powell’s web site http://www.flutehistory.com.

We can get a technical drawing from Berlin Musical instrument Museum and J.F.Beaudin’s technical drawing 106 includes Graz’s data of the out side mainly.

Still this year, I had not been able to make replica of early baroque flute. Because the bore shrinks very much and I couldn’t find good one from the technical drawings.

This time, I studied some 3 piece early baroque flute by Hotteterre, Naust, Ripper and I chose the foot joint of replica of Hotteterre’s flute @ Berlin, some point of diameter of the body joint @ Graz’s and the measurements of the outside from Berlin’s and J.F.Beaudin’s 106.

Head cap made from Imitation ivory

Head cap made from Imitation ivory

I can’t say my this replica is same to the surviving original. The surviving one’s condition isn’t good as I wrote above. Some of this replica was made on the data from the surviving original, left ones was re designed by myself.

Pitch
This one sounds at 379. However This surviving original is introduced and sounds at about 392 in page 38 of the book which title is “The Early Flute” by John Solum Oxford University Press. Why is the difference caused ?

  • One reason, my replica has wide bore than shrank surviving original, so it sounds flat.
  • The other reason, I choose the bore dimension of the foot joint of Berlin’s. it’s narrower than Graz’s. This also makes the pitch flat.

Why do I chose Berlin’s foot joint bore ?
Head and foot are cylindrical, body has conical bore. We can read such explanation of early baroque flute in the book which title is “woodwind and the history” by Anthony Bains.
I saw a few technical drawings of 3 pieces early baroque flute. Their foot joint has almost cylindrical bore. Graz’s ,too.
However I chose Berlin’s. Because Graz’s narrowest bore isn’t enough narrow. If this part is narrower, the flute make more resistance to blowing air. This means that the flute becomes easy to play has attractive sound.
The other reason, Berlin’s bore dimension of foot joint is similar to Stanesby Jr.’s. If this bore dimension is added to Graz’s, it may be perfect combination.
In my tuning phase, the foot joint’s bore dimension, Length are decided after deciding the position of the head cork.
When the cork is set far from the embouchure, High D and Mid D matches easier. Left problem is Low D. Then, The bore dimension are adjusted to match to the other 2 Ds.
It is possible to widen bore and same length to raise Low D to fit the other Ds.
A few the surviving original were used this way probably.
Berlin’s has short foot joint and the bore is narrow. This one is tuned Low D by the length of foot joint.
Any way, I needed to have a experiment to confirm my idea.
I had an experiment about that and made a movie.

How does the ornamental parts work ?
This is my major theme. I think that the parts which are thought the ornamentation affects to the potential as the musical instrument through my experiments. This time, I made 3 head caps, 3 barrels, 3 foot joints. Then I made some movies which I play this replica with above various parts.

Head caps made from various material

Head caps made from various material

Barrels made from various material

Barrels made from various material

Foot joints made from various material

Foot joints made from various material

This is a link of the playlist:

This playlist includes my previous experiment with my replica of the early classical flute.
Unfortunately, We can’t listen how the player monitor own sound, that’s also an important element.

Oval embouchure hole across the head joint
We can see the circle embouchure hole and the oval embouchure hole along the head joint on the late baroque flute. Why do 3 piece early baroque flute have the Oval embouchure hole across the head joint ? I think the reason is that it isn’t easy to attack the lowest note with big volume. So as the solution, the embouchure hole would be modified such oval form. Some of 3 pieces baroque flute with the foot joint with cylindrical bore also has such Oval embouchure. So the foot joint’s bore form doesn’t relate to attacking lowest D, I think. I had an experiment about the bore of the foot joint. Berlin’s has complex bore made from conical, cylindrical, conical. Graz’s has cylindrical. Graz’s can sound loud lowest D. But the flute lost the attractive sound in all range. Berlin’s can be make attractive sound, but it isn’t easy to sound loud Lowest D.
I think the foot joint with cylindrical bore is for sounding lowest D, But this improving way is failure.
The attractive sound also is made by the bore of the foot joint. That’s interesting.

Less undercutting of the tone holes
This replica also can have less undercutting than late baroque flute with alternative joints. Actually, the surviving original with less undercutting exists. The fingering is almost based on that Hotteterre wrote in his book “Principes de la flute traversiere, de la Flute a Bec, et du Haut-bois” 1707, but I had to different ones for some notes.
I also have made some kinds of the baroque flutes which original ones have alternative joints to play various pitches. My replicas are tuned to be played at only one pitch with less undercutting like this this my replica of the early baroque flute not to lose focus of the sound. By that, the fingering changes to Hotteterre’s and they get better balance of the intonation in the all range.

I can say now, my baroque flutes are tuned like 3 piece early baroque flute with less undercutting.

Large undercutting of the early baroque flute
What does mean that ? I know one example in the early baroque flute by Ripper. The 1st and 2nd tone hole have large undercutting. It has some space in the barrel, when the head and body are connected, the length of the space is 2.95 mm. This space may affect to the intonation of Middle C# and C flat. Quantz says that in his book “Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen” 1752. for that, those 2 tone holes might get large undercutting.
On my replica, I made a step in the barrel not to happen this problem.

Barrel with step inside for early baroque flute

Barrel with step inside for early baroque flute

When the length of the barrel almost equals to the length the both tenons of head joint and body joint, This step isn’t needed.

Flat High Eb and E
Flat High Eb and E are solved by enlarging the bore of head joint. By that, High B (1– -56) becomes available and the cork position becomes near from the center of the embouchure.

Deeper position of head cork
The position of head cork is about 30 mm in my first head joint for this replica. I made the other one with a little larger bore. The position moved to 24 mm. Deeper position makes deep sound, but Flat High Eb and E also was problem.
Deeper position of the head cork than the diameter of the bore around embouchure hole is the special point of the baroque flute ?
My the other replica after Kirst’s, after Lot III’s head corks are placed at at same length of the diameter of the bore around embouchure hole. They have loud sound and quick clear response, but loses deep attractive sound.

The sound of this my replica is attractive for me and I love lower pitch. I can’t recommend my replica of early classical flute to play at 415. It loses the beauty of the sound.

Fingerings
I set some fingerings which are different to Hotteterre’s.

  • High B (1-3 45- -)
  • High B (1– -56 -) a little flat
  • High C (-23 45– 7)