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Cornell University Library 
ML 936.B67 1922 

The flute and flute-playing in acoustica 

3 1924 021 743 822 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 




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Royal Bavarian Court-Musician 

Originally Published in German in 1871 

Second English Edition, Revised and Enlarged 
translated and annotated by 


Professor of Physics in Case School of Applied Science 


Case School of Applied Science 


Copyright, 1908, 1922, by 





Munich, August 6th, 1908 

Dear Mr. Miller: — 

/ wish to express my, and my sister s, 
great pleasure and satisfaction for your labor of 
love, which you have undertaken in the good 
intention to honor my grandfather. For this we 
can be only very thankful to you; and I believe 
I express the sentiment of the whole family of 
my grandfather in giving you our approval of 
the publishing of your translation of his book: 
"Die Flote und das Flotenspiel." 

Yours very truly 

Theobald Bohm 

[The above is an extract from a personal letter; the 
original is written in English.'} 


SHORTLY after the publication of the first Eng- 
lish edition of "The Flute and Flute-Playing," 
the translator received a letter dated at Preston, 
Cuba, April 7, 1909, a portion of which is as fol- 

"Dear Sir : — I saw the notice of your work on the Flute, 
and it interested me for I lived in Munich for three years 
(beginning May, 1871) and studied flute under Mr. Boehm. 
I also worked one winter (1872-73) in the shop with 
Mendler. At that time I translated Mr. Boehm's work 
on the flute, "Die Flote und das Flotenspiel," and for 
doing this he gave me the original manuscript in his own 
hand writing. Sincerely, 

James S. Wilkins, II." 

An interesting correspondence developed, and 
extracts from later letters are as follows : 

"I appreciate your efforts in d'oing reverence to Boehm, 
to the extent that, at the first safe opportunity I shall 
send you the original manuscript of "Die Flote und das 
Flotenspiel," as a token, in Boehm's name, of my appre- 
ciation of the labor you have devoted to his work, and for 
your excellent translation. I know it would have pleased 
Mr. Boehm for you to receive it. * * *. I also send you 
as a part of your collection, a box-wood "Alt-flote" tube, 
without keys, made in Mendler's shop; this was given to 
me by Boehm; it is a sample of a thinned-woor ti be with 
raised finger holes. * * * i am sending a it ; ^oehm 
wrote me during a visit to Paris, as well as some leaves 
from my diary that may interest you — one has Mr. 
Boehm's autograph with an inscription. * * * i am also 
sending a biographical article wluch I wrote in Phila- 
delphia in 1900. 

With highest esteem, I am sincerely, 

James S. Wilkins, II." 

Thus the translator came into possession of these 
most interesting mementos of Boehm, in May, 


1909, shortly before the death of Mr. Wilk 
The necessity for a second edition of "The Fluti 
and Flute-Playing, " makes it possible to take ad- 
vantage of this new material. 

Boehm's manuscript in German is complete, and 
nas been compared, paragraph by paragraph, with 
the printed edition; the differences are very few 
and are of no importance. Boehm's hand writing 
and his manus'*-" muf are exceedingly neat and 
legible, as is y 'reproductions of sev- 

eral pages in this nook. ' ^ 

The text here giver is k fjii >fb\ and usually a 
very literal, translation of the Jc -man. For the 
second edition the translatioii has been thoroughly 
revised so that it reads more sritiJothly, several hun- 
dred minor alterations having been made. Since 
Boehm's writings possess both a historical and a 
scientific interest, and his inventions have been 
the subject of much controversy, it has seemed de- 
sirable, in giving his descriptions and explanations, 
to retain as far as possible, the forms of expres- 
sion and even the wording of the original. Some 
traces of the Gf constructions, no doubt re- 

main. While a ii ^. cranslation might be pre- 
ferred by some, it is ^' '"-'ed the one given is 
always intelligible and icit. There has been 

a slight rearrangement of subject matter and of 
paragraphing. The use of emphasis — indicated by 
italics in English — which is very frequent in the 
original, has been omitted. 

Eight errors in the original lithographed Tables 
of Fingerings, and a few typographical errors in 


., a tables of acoustical numbers have been cor- 
ected; no other corrections have been found nec- 
i ssary. <• 

All of the original illustrations, twelve line draw- 
ings and several note diagrams, are reproduced 
with only such alterations as are noted in the de-' 
scriptive matter; the niusical illustrations in Part 
II have been copied photographically from the 
German edition. The fi ; Er"^sji, edition con- 
tained, in addition, o j; several note- 
diagrams, pictures of si., utes, lii-j^a tnree portraits. 
This edition contain i fift/-six illustrations, includ- 
ing the twelve o,.i^^ial diawings, pictures of twen- 
ty-two flutes, views of Boehm's home, six por- 
traits and facsimiJ'^s of manuscripts. There are 
also several additional drawings and note-dia- 
grams in the text. Two of the three portraits 
which appeared in the previous edition have been 
reengraved from newly found originals. The 
sources of the portraits are given in the List of 
Illustrations. All of the pictures of flutes (ex- 
cepting the two drawings from Boehm's pamphlet 
of 1847) are photographic rp*^ reactions from in- 
struments in the translator .^atorical collection. 

For this edition ihf^^^ "troduction has been re- 
written, and four ap , ices have been added; 
the latter contain biographical notes, a revised 
list of Boehm's musical compositions, a price-list 
of flutes as made by Boehm, and a short list of cur- 
rent books relating to the flute. 

In order that the full effect of Boehm's contribu- 
tions during his life-time, and also that the rela- 


tions of these to the flute as it is today, may be 
made evident, many annotations and illustrations 
have been added to the original text, all such added 
matter is enclosed in square brackets, [ J. 
Twenty-five or more important annotations and 
additions, besides numerous smaller ones, appear 
for the first time in this edition. The annotations 
have been confined, for the most part, to matters 
of fact; while exception has been taken to some 
of the opinions expressed by Boehm, this is not 
the place for discussion which might lead to con- 
troversy. The additions relate largely to details 
of dimensions and constructions of the flutes as 
made by Boehm & Mendler when these instru- 
ments had attained their greatest perfection, in 
the years from 1870 to 1880. Nothwithstanding it 
is forty years since the death of Boehm, yet there 
is published now for the first time, all the essential 
dimensions of the flute as Boehm himself made it. 
The dimensions are given both for the flute in C 
and the flute in G. 

While the preparation of this book has involved 
much labor, it has been a genuine labor of love; 
the volume has become almost a memorial to the 
Flute of Boehm. It is hoped that the book will 
make still better known Boehm's very careful and 
complete investigations, and that it will lead to a 
deeper appreciation of the debt of gratitude which 
all flutists owe him for the remarkable mechanical 
and artistic developments which have resulted 
from his efforts. 

The writer wishes to express his thanks to Theo- 
bald Boehm and his sisters, of Munich, grandchil- 


dreh of the inventor of the flute; when the writer 
first visited them, some years ago, they gave ap- 
proval of this English edition, and they have very 
kindly expressed this sentiment in a letter, a por- 
tion of which precedes this preface. These friends 
have also given other assistance which is highly 
appreciated. He also wishes to thank his many 
friends who have very enthusiastically assisted in 
the collection of historical material, instruments, 
and illustrations, and whose interest in the flute 
has been a source of great inspiration and encour- 


Case School of Applied Science, 
Cleveland, Ohio, June, 1922. 


Translator's Introduction xxi 

PART I — The Flute 


I. Introduction 3 

II. The Acoustical Proportions of the Flute 14 

III. Explanation of the Schema 38 

IV. The Material 53 

V. The System of Fingering : 

(a) General Description 59 

(b) The G# Key 62 

VI. Taeles of Fingering 72 

VII. Description of the Key Mechanism 79 

VIII. Care of the Mechanism : 

(a) Repairs - 100 

(b) The Keys - -100 

(c) The Key Pads 104 

(rf) The Springs 106 

(e) The Gork in the Head Joint 108 

IX. Treatment of the Flute in General — 111 

X. On the Blowing of New Flutes 114 

XI. The Embouchure 117 

XII. The Bass Flute in G: 

(a) Its Musical Characteristics 119 

(6) Dimensions of the Bass Flute 124 

(c) Mechanism of the Bass Flute 128 

(d) Special Fingerings for the Bass Flute.. 128 


Part II— Flute-Playing 


XIII. The Development OF Tone 135 

XIV. Finger Exercises 138 

XV. The Method OF Practicing 140 

XVI. MusiCAi. Interpretation 145 

XVII. Conclusion — 161 


Appendix : 

(a) Biographical Notes 165 

(b) Price List of Flutes 178 

(c) List of Boehm's Musical Compositions 181 

(d) Short List of Books on the Flute 189 

Index 191 




I. Portrait of Boehm at the age of 83. This has 
been copiedl from the print given in Welch's 
"History of the Boehm Flute," and was prob- 
ably taken in the year 1877. The autograph 
signature, of the date 1872, is from the orig- 
inal in the translator's collection. Boehm 
published "Die Plote und das Flotenspiel" in 
1871 Frontispiece 

II. Portrait of Boehm at the age of 31. From an 
original lithograph signed Fr. Rehberg ad 
viv: del. With autographs. The translator's 
copy was presented by Mr. John Finn, facing 59 

III. Portrait of .Boehm at the age of 33. From a 

miniature on ivory. The original was 
painted by Brandmiiller, of Munich, in 1827, 
and is in the possession of Boehm's grandchil- 
dren. An exact copy of the original, painted 
on ivory, was made for the translator in 
1906 by Mr. Emil Boehm, a grandson. The 
reproduction is from the latter, and is of the 
exact size of the original, facing 111 

IV. Portrait of Boehm at the age of 35 (about). 

From an original lithograph. Ad viv: del. M. 
Brandmiiller, facing 117 

V. Portrait of Boehm at the age of 60. From an 
original large-size photographic portrait, 
made in 1854, by Hanfstaengl of Munich. 


Presented to the translator by Miss Anna 
Boehm, a granddaughter of Boehm. This was 
Boehm's favorite portrait, and it has been 
•widely distributed in a small-size phoitograph 
and by many reproductions, facing 133 

VI. Portrait of Boehm at the age of 65 (about). 
From a photograph taken with Antoine 
Sachetti, an Italian Flutist, facing 145 



1. Facsimile of parts of the title pages of the orig- 

inal German manuscript of this work 2 

2. Boehm's first flute 4 

3. Boehm's Flute. Old System, 1829 9 

4. Boehm's Flute. New System, 1832 9 

5. Old-System Flute by Boehm & Greve. Model of 

1829 11 

6. Boehm-System Flute by Godfroy 11 

7. Flute No. 1 9, made by Boehm about 1850 11 

8. The Parabolic Head-Joint 18 

9. Elliptical Embouchure. Rudall, Carte & Co 22 

10. Rectangular Embouchure. Boehm & Mendler.. 22 

11. Emibouchure of a Boehm & Mendler flute. Sec- 

tions -- - --. 23 

12. Schema for determining the positions of the 

tone-holes 41 

13. A portion of the Schema. Full size 45 

14. A set of instruments for measuring flutes 51 

15. Dorus Closed Gt Key, details 65 

16. Boehm's Open Gt Key 67 

17. Dorus Closed GJ Key 67 

18. Closed Gt Key 67 

19. Boehm's Closed G# Key 67 

20. Key Mechanism. Full-sized plan 78 

21. Detail of keyncup 79 

22. Detail of clutch 79 

23. Detail of hinge-tube and axle 79 

24. Briccialdi's thumb levers, details 85 

25. Boehm's thumb levers, details 85 

26. Briccialdi's thumb-keys 87 

27. Boehm's thumb-keys and crutch, silver flute 87 

28. Boehm's thumb-keys and crutch, wooden flute. . 87 




29. Foot-joint to Bli. Plan of mechanism 89 

30. The Boehra & Mendler labels 92 

31. Collection of Boehm & Mendler flutes 94 

32. The Shippen Flute, silver body, wood head 97 

33. The Wehner Flute, grenadilla wood 97 

34. The Macauley Flute, silver trimmed with gold-- 97 

35. Fork for setting springs 101 

36. Screw Driver 101 

37. Tweezers 103 

38. Clamp for the pads 106 

39. Pincers 107 

40. Gage for setting the cork 108 

41. Bass Flute, Boehim & Mendler 121 

42. Bass Flute, Rudall, Carte & Co. 121 

43. Mechanism of the Bass Flute 127 

44. Facsimile of Boehm's autograph 137 

45. Facsimile of Boehm's manuscript music 160 

46. Boehm's Home, Street view 164 

47. Boehm's Home, Inner court 164 

4S. Facsimile of a letter written by Boehm 172 

49. Device for transmitting rotatory motion 175 

50. Facsimile of a Boehm & Memdler Price List 177 


THEOBALD BOEHM, of Munich— born on April 
9, 1794, died on November 25, 1881— a cele- 
brated Royal Bavarian Court-Musician, and in- 
ventor of the modern flute, described his inven- 
tions in a treatise "Die Flote und das Flotenspiel," 
which vi^as published in pamphlet form, in Munich, 
in 1871. In the introduction to this work Boehm 
says : "My treatise, 'Ueber deij Flotenbau und die 
neuesten Verbesserungen desselben,' (1847), seems 
to have had but little influence. There is need, 
therefore, of this work in which is given as com- 
plete a description as is possible of my flutes and 
instructions for handling them, and which also 
contains instructions upon the art of playing the 
flute with a pure tone and a good style." 

In a letter to Mr. Broadwood, dated November 
15, 1868, Boehm wrote: "I have at length fin- 
ished it (this treatise) and will see about a pub- 
lisher. There ought properly to be both a French 
and an English translation, but I cannot myself 
undertake them * * * . My treatise will contain 
chapters as follows: * * * ; and the history of all 
my work and all my experience during a period 
of sixty years will be contained in one little book." 

"Die Flote und das Flotenspiel," was read with 
great interest by the writer, and while upon a 
holiday some years ago, it was translated; others 
having expressed a desire to read the work in Eng- 

XXII translator's introduction 

lish, its publication was undertaken, the first Eng- 
lish edition appearing in November, 1908. 

While much has been written about the Boehm 
flute, Boehm's own publications seem not to have 
received the attention they deserve. Boehm sub- 
mitted his new system flute of 1832 to the Paris 
Academy of Sciences, where its proper recogni- 
tion was effectively prevented by the professional 
jealousy of Coche, who at the same time pre- 
tended to be giving friendly assistance. In 1847 
Boehm published a small book of 59 pages en- 
titled "Ueber den Flotenbau und die neuesten Ver- 
besserungen desselben." A French translation of 
this work was published in 1848. Boehm himself 
prepared an English version which was published 
in London in 1882, under the title "An Essay on the 
Construction of Flutes," edited by W. S. Broad- 
wood. Boehm exhibited his new flute with cylin- 
drical bore at the London Exhibitions of 1851 and 
1862, and at the Paris Expositions of 1855 and 
1867. With the exhibits of 1862 and 1867 he sub- 
mitted his Schema for locating the tone-holes ac- 
cording to a scientific method, the first ever ap- 
plied to such an instrument. The judges, not ap- 
preciating the significance of the Schema, refused 
to recognize it as a meritorious contribution, thus 
again depriving Boehm of his just rewards. The 
Schema having been discredited by the judges, 
Boehm's only publication of it was a quite inef- 
fective one in the journal of a local engineering 
society of Munich, in 1868. In 1871 Boehm pub- 
lished a second work in pamphlet form, "Die Flote 


und das Flotenspiel," the work herewith presented 
in translation. After Boehm's death, one of the 
judges of the 1867 Exposition, re-examined the 
Schema and published, in 1882, his belated con- 
clusion that its method is entirely correct and that 
it was actually the basis of Boehm's own con- 

Several years after Boehm had made known his 
flute of 1832 with the new system of fingering, he 
was accused, particularly by Coche of Paris, of 
having taken important features of his system 
from the work of an enthusiastic amateur experi- 
menter by the name of Gordon. In answer to this 
accusation Boehm wrote in his work of 1847 as 
follows : "The surest proof of the authenticity of 
my invention, I believe will be given by describ- 
ing the motives which led me to its development, 
and by explaining the acoustical and mechanical 
principles of which I made application; for he 
alone is capable of carrying out a rational work, 
who is able to give a complete account of the why 
and wherefore of every detail from its conception 
to its completion." Judged by this criterion, Boehm 
deserves the highest credit, for he has given an 
account almost beyond criticism, and perhaps the 
best ever given for any musical instrument, of 
the why and wherefore of the flute. 

After Boehm's de^th, the charge of misappro- 
priating Gordon's invention was renewed in a bit- 
ter attack by Rockstro in his "Treatise on the 
Flute." A very complete account of this contro- 
versy and of the historical events mentioned 

XXIV translator's introduction 

above, together with a critical analysis of all the 
evidence, is given in Welch's "History of the 
Boehm Flute." Welch's investigations comple.tely 
exonerate Boehm of any improper use of Gor- 
don's work, and fully establish his title to the 
system which bears his name. 

In the pamphlet of 1847 stress was put upon the 
so-called scientific construction of the flute; in the 
present treatise the treatment is more complete 
and practical and the scientific portions appear 
in truer relations to the subject. To one who reads 
understandingly it is evident that, while the gen- 
eral treatment of the principles of the flute is a 
scientific one, the actual dimensions for construc- 
tion are based upon experiment. Having deter- 
mined by experiment, the fundamental length of 
the octave with a flute tube of given dimensions, 
the locations of all the holes for a flute of any de- 
sired pitch are found by the application of sim- 
ple laws of acoustics. Although no complete set 
of laws has yet been formulated which enable one 
to calculate all the dimensions of a flute, this fact 
in no way lessens the value of Boehm's work. 
While his greatest desire was to elevate the art 
of music, he was possessed of the true scien- 
tific spirit; his purposes were conceived and 
carried out according to scientific methods; 
his finished work was the best practical re- 
alization of his ideals and he has described his 
designs and practical constructions very ex- 
plicitly. The flute which he revolutionized and 
developed within a period of fifty years, has not 


been essentially improved during the subsequent 
fifty years. 

The full consideration of Boehm's contributions 
must be left for a later work; but to him we cer- 
tainly owe the present system of fingering — ^an 
astonishingly perfect one — the cylinder bore, the 
silver tube and much of the beautiful mechanism 
which have completely revolutionized the instru- 
ment and have made the Boehm flute one of the 
most perfect of musical instruments. When one 
remembers that the flute has been known since 
prehistoric time, and that its form in the year 1800 
is fairly represented by the picture of Boehm's first 
flute, then a mere glance at the illustration of 
Boehm's perfected silver flute of 1878, makes it 
seem almost impossible that such a development 
could have taken place within the life-time of one 
man, much less that it could have resulted largely 
from the investigations and efforts of one man. 
The musical effects of the flute as perceived by the 
ear have been improved quite as much as have the 
mechanical features as seen by the eye. The flute 
has thus become not only more useful to the pro- 
fessional nausician, but it has become an exceed- 
ingly attractive and delightful instniment for the 
amateur. The Boehm flute is, par excellence, the 
instrument for the enthusiastic lover of chamber 

The flute has always been a favorite instrument 
with gentlemen performers; it is today, more than 
ever before, the gentleman's instrument. But the 
flute of Boehm, made of silver, has an artistic 

XXVI translator's introduction 

symmetry and beauty, combined with lightness, 
which renders it as attractive in appearance as it 
is rich in tone. The sound is produced with the 
slightest effort; one has only to breathe into the 
embouchure. The natural position in holding the 
instrument is characterized by an easy graceful- 
ness; its manipulation in general requires delicacy 
of manner. Boehm's improvements have greatly 
enhanced these qualities, and now the flute is pre- 
eminently suited for use as a lady's instrument. 

One of Boehm's real contributions which the 
musical world has been slow to appreciate, is the 
flute in G, the Bass Flute. Boehm made this instru- 
ment entirely practicable for musical purposes, 
and it has tonal qualities that should have given 
it prominence long ago. It is hoped that not only 
flutists, but composers, directors, and auditors, 
will very soon realize the beauties of this instru- 
ment, and that its use will be greatly stimulated. 

While this work is devoted to the flute, yet flut- 
ists will the better realize the value of Boehm's 
contributions, by keeping in "^ mind the fact that 
they were of wide application. His researches in 
connection with the flute and its theory played an 
important part in the development of other instru- 
ments, such as the clarinet, oboe, and bassoon. No 
history of these instruments can be complete with- 
out including references to Boehm's work. He 
contributed to a very important phase of the de- 
velopment of the modern piano, the method of 
"overstringing." Boehm spent several years in 
investigations quite foreign to the world of mu- 


sic, in the development of improved methods for 
the puritication of iron and for the manufacture 
of steel directly from iron; his contributions were 
certainly of fundamental importance. He also 
invented a new device for transmitting rotatory 
motion, which, if not important, is interesting and 
was deemed worthy of a silver medal. Several 
of these diverse interests are referred to in the Ap- 

Boehm was an extraordinary artist, and he was 
possessed of the true scientific spirit of research; 
he was a man of great versatility and of profound 
mental ability: he is more than worthy of all the 
honor that he has received. 



y^ tf/ec^iy ^ae-^fi^. 


Fjg. 1. 

f.-fio "^^'^ P^^*f ^^ \ photographic reproduction, slightly reduced in size, of the 
title page and part of page 1 of the original manuscript in Boehm's hand- 
writing, of the work here presented. How this came into the translator's 
possession is told m the preface. «-idnsiatora 







IT is now more than sixty years since I began 
to play upon the first flute of my own construc- 
tion. I was at that time a proficient goldsmith 
and was also skilled in the mechanic arts. I soon 
endeavored to make essential improvements in the 
keys, springs, and -pads of my flute; but, notwith- 
standing all my efforts, equality of tone and per- 
fection of tuning were impossible, because the 
proper spacing of the tone-holes required too great 
a spreading of the fingers. In order that the tone- 
holes might be made of proper size and be placed 
at the acoustically correct points, it was necessary 
to devise an entirely new system of fingering. The 
application of this system required a remodeling 
of the flute which I was unable to accomplish 
without sacrificing my facility in playing which 
had been acquired by twenty years of practice. 
["As a child Boehm was charmed by music, and 
he learned by himself to play the flageolet; when 

Fig. 2. 

Boehni's first flute, played by him when 

he was about fifteen years ojd 


this no longer satisfied him, he took up the flute." 
Fig. 2 is a picture of what was probably Boehm's 
first flute, here referred to. This instrument has 
recently been obtained from Mr. Franz Rath of 
San Diego, California, and is now in the trans- 
lator's historical collection of flutes. Mr. Rath 
supplies the following information. Boehm owned 
this flute in his boyhood; as his proficiency de- 
veloped he needed a flute with more keys, and 
about 1810, when he was sixteen years old, he 
sold this one to his chum, Ferinand Marker. Herr 
Marker removed to Vienna about 1820, and later 
taught his grandson, Franz Rath, to play the flute 
and gave him the old flute of Boehm's about 1874. 
Mr. Rath came to America in 1887 bringing the 
flute with him, and it has remained in his pos- 
session till the present time, 1920. The flute is of 
boxwood, stained and cracked, as might be ex- 
pected after having served several young flute 
players. The maker's name, proser, is stamped on 
each joint. "At the age of sixteen years (in 1810) 
he made for himself an instrument patterned after 
one with four keys, (from the workshop of the 
celebrated Karl August Grenser of Dresden), 
which had been loaned him by a friend. Then 
he began to blow the flute with gleeful enthusiasm 
in all his spare time, not especially to the delight 
of his friends and neighbors. Among them was 
Johann Nepomuk Capeller, at that time flutist in 
the Court Orchestra, who, one day, happened to 
meet the budding virtuoso on the stairway and 
he laughingly said : 'You, young flute-player, I can- 
not endure your noisy blowing any longer; come 


to me and I will show you how it ought to be done.' 
Naturally it was not necessary to say this twice to 
young Boehm. He became Capeller's most zealous 
pupil and, notwithstanding he had but little time 
to devote to the flute, his passionate fondness for 
the instrument caused such rapid progress that, 
after scarcely two years of practice, he created 
astonishment by public performances." — The 
quoted sentences have been translated from the 
privately-printed booklet, Zur Erinnerung an 
Theobald Boehm, presented by Boehm's grand- 
children. Much the same account is given in 
Schafhautl's "Life of Boehm," which is a part 
of Welch's "History of the Boehm Flute."] 

["With my progress in flute-playing there devel- 
oped, naturally, a desire for better instruments. 
In 1812 I was already the first flutist in the Royal 
Isarthor Theater in Munich. In the years between 
this and 1817, by using the facilities of my gold- 
smith's shop which had the usual equipment and 
which was further supplied with the necessary 
machinery, I made many flutes, for myself and 
others, according to the best models of the time 
and also with many original improvements * * 
such as new types of springs, linings and corks 
for the joints, a moveable gold embouchure, and 
others. After I obtained my appointment to the 
Royal Court Chapel in 1818 the business of gold- 
smith was given up and I devoted myself entirely 
to music. For some years, because of the lack of 
my own shop, I had flutes made according to my 
designs by other makers; however, the instruments 
thus obtained were not satisfactory, and, finallv 


in order to carry out my own ideas without hin- 
drance, I decided to establish my own flute factory. 
In October, 1828, I was again at work in my well- 
equipped shop, and began to construct various ma- 
chines and appliances for making with more facil- 
ity and accuracy a better key mechanism than had 
previously been in use. Among these devices was 
one for screwing the metal posts into the wood 
accurately in the line of radius of the bore; an- 
other was for boring the holes in the spherical 
heads of the pillars. These and numerous other 
devices secured the easy and certain operation of 
all parts of the mechanism. By the end of the year 
the first flute was finished, having a new key 
mechanism which was both solid and elegant in 
construction, and the flute met with general 
approbation as to quality of tone and intonation, 
and was widely adopted. In the year 1831 I played 
in Paris and London upon such a flute of the ordi- 
nary system which had been made in my work- 
shop in Munich." — ^From Boehm's pamphlet of 
1847, Ueber den Flotenhau and die neuesten Ver- 
besserungen desselben. Fig. 3 is the drawing of 
this flute which accompanies the above description, 
and to which Boehm has attached the date 1829. 
In February, 1922, the translator received from Mr. 
Arthur Gemeinhardt of Markneukirchen, a rare 
specimen of this identical type, made in Boehm's 
shop, which is shown in Fig. 5. This flute is of 
cocus-wood, with silver keys and flat gold springs, 
with workmanship and finish which are perfect; 
it is certainly superior to any other contemporary 
flute which has been examined, and comparable 


with the later instruments of Boehm & Mendler. 
The tone is very beautiful, sweet and mellow, and, 
of course, not powerful; the tuning is astonishingly 
good considering that it is a flute of the old sys- 
tem. The flute bears the inscription boehm & 
GREVE A MUNICH. Greve was Boehm's chief work- 
man and partner, and is known to have been with 
him at least from 1830 to 1843.] 

Notwithstanding all my success as an artist, the 
defects of my instrument remained perceptible, 
and finally I decided, in 1832, to construct my ring- 
keyed flute, upon which I played in London and 
Paris in the following year, where its advantages 
were at once recognized by the greatest artists and 
by I'Academie des sciences. 

[In a letter to Mr. Broadwood, dated August, 
1871, Boehm writes: "I did as well as any conti- 
nental flutist could have done, in London, in 1831, 
but I could not match Nicholson in power of tone, 
wherefore I set to work to remodel my flute. Had 
I not heard him, probably the Boehm flute would 
never have been made."] 

As compared with the old flute, this one was 
unquestionably much nearer perfection. The tone- 
holes were placed in their acoustically correct po- 
sition and, through my new system of fingering, 
one could play all possible tone combinations 
clearly and surely. As regards the sounding and 
the quality of the lower and the higher tones, there 
was yet much to be desired, but further improve- 
ments could be secured only by a complete change 
in the bore of the flute tube. 


Fig. 3. Boehm's Flute 
Old System. 1829. 

Fig. 4. Boehm's Flute 
New System. 1832. 


[The drawing, Fig. 4, is reproduced from 
Boehm's pamphlet of 1847, and shows the first 
Boehm-System Flute, originated in 1832, with ring- 
keys and conical bore. Boehm made arrangements 
to have his new-system flute manufactured in Lon- 
don by Rudall and Rose and in Paris by Godfroy. 
Fig. 6 shows an excellent specimen of this type 
made by Godfroy about 1840. It differs from 
Boehm's own model only in that it has the Dorus 
G# key (see page 64) instead of the open Gt key.] 

The method of boring, with a cylindrical head 
and a conical contraction in the lower part, which 
was first applied by Christopher Denner of Nur- 
emberg (born in 1655, died in 1707), and later was 
improved by Quantz [1697-1773], Tromhtz [1726- 
1805] , and others, was nevertheless far from being 
in accordance with acoustical principles, as the 
positions of the finger-holes had been borrowed 
from the primitive Schwegel or Querpfeife. This 
conical bore was in use for more than a century 
and a half, during which time no one was able to 
devise a better form. 

I was never able to understand why, of all wind 
instruments with tone-holes and conical bore, the 
flute alone should be blown at its wider end; it 
seems much more natural that, with a rising pitch 
and shorter length of air column, the diameter 
should become smaller. I experimented with 
tubes of various bores but I soon found that, with 
only empirical experiments, a satisfactory result 
would be difficult of attainment. 

[The flute of 1832 with conical bore and ring 

Fig. S. 

Old-System Flute 

by Boehm & Greve 

Model of 1829 

Fig. 6. 

Boelim-System Flute 

by Godfroy 

Model of 1840 

Fig. 7. 

Cylinder Flute No. 19 

by Th. Boehm 

Model of 1850 


keys, therefore, remained unchanged for fifteen 
years. Boehm says in his treatise of 1847 : "With 
regard to all the other alterations or improvements 
which have since been made in the flute (between 
the years 1832 and 1846), whose value or worth- 
lessness I leave for others to decide, I had no part 
in them. From the year 1833 to the year 1846 I 
was unable to devote my time to the manufacture 
of instruments, being otherwise engaged [in iron 
and steel work] and for this reason my flute fac- 
tory was -given up eight years ago, in 1839."] 

I finally called science to my aid and gave two 
years [1846-1847] to the study of the principles of 
acoustics under the excellent guidance of Herr 
Professor Dr. Carl von Schafhautl [of the Uni- 
versity of Munich. An account of Schafhautl's life 
and work by Herr Ludwig Boehm appeared in 
the Bayer Industrie iind Gewerhehlatt, No. 17, 
1890. A translation of this memoir is given in 
Welch's "History of the Boehm Flute," pages 348- 
372]. After making many experiments, as pre- 
cise as possible, I finished a flute in the later part 
of 1847, founded upon scientific principles, for 
which I received the highest prize at the World's 
Expositions, in London in 1851, and in Paris in 

[Fig. 7 is a picture of the metal flute with cylin- 
drical bore and covered keys invented in 1847. 
This instrument, made by Boehm himself, is No. 
19 of the series beginning in 1847. It belonged to 
Edward Martin Heindl, one of Boehm's most fa- 
mous pupils, who lived with Boehm for four years 
from 1847 to 1851. Heindl came to America in 


1864, bringing this flute, which is probably the tirst 
cylinder-bore, metal Boehm flute used in this coun- 
try. Heindl played this instrument for miany years 
while he was a member of the Mendelssohn Quin- 
tette Club of Boston, and after he became first 
flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, upon its 
organization in 1881. See pages 28, 95 and 99.] 

Since this time my flutes have come to be played 
in all the countries of the world, yet my treatise, 
Ueber den Flotenbau und die neuesten Verbesser- 
ungen desselben, published before that time [in 
1847] by B. Schott's Sohne of Mainz, which con- 
tains complete explanations of my system with the 
dimensions and numerical proportions, seems to 
have had but little influence. Because of the many 
questions which are continually being asked of 
me concerning the advantages and management 
of my flute, it is evident that the acoustical pro- 
portions and key mechanism are not sufficiently 
well understood to enable one to help himself in 
case of accidental troubles and derangementi?. 

There is need, therefore, of this work, which will 
be welcomed by all flute players, in which is given 
as complete a description as is possible of my 
flutes, and instructions for handling them, and 
which also contains instructions upon the art of 
playing the flute with a pure tone and a good 


[The original manuscript of this work contains 
a page which has been crossed out by a pencil 
mark, and which does not appear in the first 
printed edition. While this portion, consisting of 
the first three following paragraphs, is not im- 
portant, nevertheless it forms an appropriate in- 
troduction to this chapter.] 

A LL of my flutes consist of three pieces, the 
■**■ head- joint, the middle- joint, and the foot. 
When these pieces are joined together they form the 
tube of the flute, which is closed above the mouth- 
hole by a cork plug. The main part of the tube 
is cylindrical, with an inside diameter of 19 milli- 
meters. The bore of the head- joint is gradually 
reduced in diameter by two millimeters, from the 
joint upwards to the cork. The free speech of the 
tone and the correct tuning of the higher octaves 
depend upon the particular form of this curvil- 
inear reduction in the diameter. 

The air column enclosed by the tube of the flute 
is set into vibration by blowing across the mouth- 
hole, causing the fundamental tone to sound. The 
pitch of this tone depends upon the total length 
of the vibrating column of air measured from the 
cork to the lower end of the tube. The higher 


tones of the first octave are obtained by shortening 
the length of the vibrating column of air, for 
which purpose lateral tone-holes are bored in the 
tube. The holes should be as large as is possible, 
since the effective shortening of the tube is pro- 
portional to the ratio of the size of the hole to the 
diameter of the bore. 

The correct intonation of a tone depends, con- 
sequently, not only upon the distance of the hole 
from the upper end of the air column, but also 
upon its size, and therefore the exact place where 
the hole is located must be determined by accurate 
computation. All the formulae for these calcula- 
tions, as well as other theoretical explanations 
have previously been given in my treatise Ueber 
den Flotenbau, already mentioned. 

[The metric system is used throughout in giving 
the dimensions of the flute. For conversion, the 
following equivalents may be used : 1 inch=25.40 
millimeters; 1 millimeter=0.03937 inch; 1 ounce 
avoirdupois=28.35 grams; 1 ounce Troy=31.10 
grams] . 

All wind instruments with tone- or finger-holes, 
whose construction requires very accurate pro- 
portions, can be improved only through the inves- 
tigation of the principles of both the good and 
the bad of existing instruments, and through a 
rational application of the results; the greatest 
possible perfection will be obtained only when 
theory and practice go hand in hand. When the 
calculation of the required data is undertaken, the 
questions first to be investigated are the dimen- 


sions and numerical proportions of the air columns 
and tone-holes of each separate instrument. 

For this purpose I had prepared, in 1846, a great 
number of conical and cylindrical tubes of various 
dimensions, and of many metals and several kinds 
of wood, so that the relative fitness of each as 
to pitch, ease of sounding and quality of tone, 
could be fundamentally investigated. 

The most desirable proportions of the air 
column, that is, the dimensions of bore best 
suited for bringing out the fundamental tones at 
various pitches, were soon found. These experi- 
ments show : 

1. That the strength, as well as the full, clear 
quality of the fundamental tone, is proportional 
to the volume of the air set in vibration. 

2. That a more or less important contraction in 
the bore of the upper part of the flute tube, and 
a shortening or lengthening of this contraction, 
have an important influence upon the production 
of the tones and upon the tuning of the octaves. 

3. That this contraction must be made in a 
certain geometrical proportion, which is closely 
approached by the curve of the parabola. 

4. That the formation of the nodes and segments 
of the sound waves takes place most easily and 
perfectly in a cylindrical flute tube, the length of 
which is thirty times its diameter, and in which 
the contraction begins in the upper fourth part 
of the length of the tube, continuing to the cork 
where the diameter is reduced one tenth part. 


[Perhaps flutists are more puzzled by the 
"parabolic head-joint" than by any other feature 
of the modern flute. The contraction in the bore 
is undoubtedly determined by experiment, and not 
by any mathematical calculation based upon the 
properties of the parabola. The translator has 
measured and plotted the curves of perhaps a 
hundred flutes, among which are specimens of 
nearly every celebrated make. Most of these 
curves do not in any way resemble a parabola; 
such resemblance as is possessed by the few may 
be described by saying that the curve which at 
first departs but little from the straight line, bends 
more and more rapidly as it progresses. But 
sometimes the portion with the greatest curvature 
is next to the cork and sometimes next to the 
tuning slide!] 

[The "parabolic" contraction in the head-joint 
of an excellent specimen of Boehm & Mendler flute 
is shown in Fig. 8. At the right is the section of 
the tube, drawn in full size. The length of the 
tapered portion is 134 millimeters. Starting at the 
cork, where the diameter of the bore is 17.1 
millimeters, the horizontal dotted lines indicate 
the sections increasing in diameter, successively, 
by 0.1 millimeter, up to 19.0 millimeters, near the 
tuning slide. The figures on the dotted lines are 
the diameters of the tube at the various sections. 
At the left is an exaggerated diagram of the actual 
contraction in this specimen of flute; the horizontal 
scale for this part of the figure is 50 times the 
vertical scale. If the bore of the tube were 

1 1 1 1 [ r r I t: 


) Tmn 0.5 i 
b ~ -Jd" 




L-- 17 J -1 


J I. 



■••.. / 



■jt - 

/ / 






el 1 


1 I c 





/O rt 




lU.U -J) 

Fig. S 

The Parabolic Head-Joint SLIDE 


cylindrical, one side of it would be represented by 
the line ab; if it contracted by a straight taper, the 
line acd would represent the inner surface of the 
tube; the "parabolic" curve actually existing is 
shown by the curved line aed.] 

Since the dimensions most suitable for the 
formation of the fundamental tones correspond 
closely to those of theory, a flute of these dimen- 
sions, the length of the air column being 606 
millimeters and the diameter 20 millimeters, 
[because of the larger diameter, the length of tube 
required is somewhat less than that given on page 
35 for a tube 19 millimeters in diameter] would 
certainly be perfect as regards a pure, full tone 
and ease of sounding through a compass of about 
two octaves. But in order to extend the compass 
to three full octav as now required [in flute 
music] I decide or the sake of freedom in the 
upper tones iduce the diameter to 19 milli- 

meters, no* ; anding that this injured to some 
extent the y of the tones of the first two 


[In a letter written in 1867 Boehm says : "I have 
made several flutes with a bore 20 millimeters in 
diameter, therefore one millimeter wider than 
usual; the first and second octaves were better, 
but of course the third octave was not so good. 
I could, indeed still play up to C^, but from F^* 
upwards the notes were sounded with difficulty, 
and if my lip did not happen to be in good order, 
1 could not sound the higher notes piano at all. 
The flute, whether in the orchestra or in solo play- 


ing, is treated as the next highest instrument after 
the piccolo; modern composers do not hesitate 
to write for it up to Ce; therefore the bore of 19 
millimeters diameter is certainly the best for 
general purposes."] 

[The silver flute with a wood head-joint which 
is shown in Fig. 32 has a bore of 20 millimeters; 
it is the only flute in C of this bore which the trans- 
lator has seen. Its tone quality has been directly 
compared with that of other Boehm & Mendler 
flutes having a bore of 19 millimeters. The result 
of the comparison was to corroborate the opinions 
of Boehm as expressed above.] 

[Before the year 1865 Boehm had developed the 
"Alt-Flote," commonly called the "Bass Flute," 
which is described in Chapter XII; the tube of this 
instrument has an inside diameter of 26 milli- 
meters. Messrs. Rudall, Carte and Company have 
long made such bass flutes and also the "Alto 
Flute" in Bb, having a bore of 20.5 millimeters. 
These instruments are altogether practicable and 
have the beautiful tone quality in the lower oc- 
taves, referred to above.] 

A second obstacle which compelled me to depart 
from the theory was the impossibility of making 
a movable cork or stopper in the upper end of 
the flute, so that its distance from the center of 
the embouchure might be decreased or increased 
in proportion to the pitch of each tone; a medium 
position for it must therefore be chosen which 
will best serve for both the highest and the lowest 
tones; this position was found to be 17 millimeters 
from the center of the embouchure. 


Next, the size and form of the mouth-hole 
(embouchure) must be determined. The tone- 
producing current of air must be blown against 
the sharp edge of the mouth-hole, at an angle 
which varies with the pitch of the tone. When 
the air stream strikes the edge of the hole it is 
broken, or rather divided, so that one part of it 
goes over or beyond the bole, while the greater 
part, especially with a good embouchure, produces 
tone and acts upon the column of air enclosed by 
the tube, setting it into vibration. 

By this means the molecular vibrations [see 
page 53] of the tube are excited, producing a tone 
as long as the air stream is maintained; it follows 
therefore that the tone will be stronger the greater 
the number of the air particles acting upon the 
tone-producing air column in a given time. The 
opening between the lips through which the stream 
of air passes is in the form of a slit, and a mouth- 
hole in shape like an elongated rectangle with 
rounded corners, presenting a long edge to the 
wide air stream, will allow more air to be effective 
than would a round or oval hole of equal size. 

[Figs. 9 and 10 are photographs of the embou- 
chures of two excellent flutes, shown somewhat 
larger than full size, representing the oval and 
rounded-square shapes. The latter is a perfedt 
specimen of the Boehm & Mendler type. The 
selection of shape and size of embouchure seems 
to be largely one of individual choice or habit; an 
embouchure which one performer finds to be 
excellent another cannot use.] 

Fig. 9. 

Elliptical Embouchure 

Rudall, Carte & Co. 

Fig. 10. 

Rectangular Embouchure 

Boehm & Mendler 


For the same reason a larger mouth-hole will 
produce a louder tone than a smaller one, but this 
requires a greater strength in the muscles of the 
lip, because there is formed a hollow space under 
the lip which is unsupported. More than this, it is 
cften difficult to keep the air current directed at 
the proper angle, upon which the intonation and 
the tone quality for the most part depend. 

By a greater depression of the air stream towards 
the middle of the hole, the tone becomes deeper 
and more pungent, while a greater elevation 
makes the tone higher and more hollow. Con- 
sequently the angle between the sides of the 
mouth-hole and the longitudinal section through 
the axis of the air column, as well as the height 
of these sides, has an important influence upon 
the easy production of the tone. In my opinion 
an angle of 7 degrees is best adapted to the entire 
compass of tones, the walls being 4.2 millimeters 

I. ii.llMI l iMI III III 

O 10 20 

Scokie : mi lliweters 


Fig. 11. Embouchure of a Boehm & Mendler flute. 
Transverse and longitudinal sections. 


thick; and a mouth-hole 10 millimeters wide and 
12 millimeters long, is best suited to most flute 

[The measurements of many Boehm & Mendler 
flutes show sizes slightly larger than that men- 
tioned, the average being 10.4 millimeters by 12.2 
millimeters (0.409 inch by 0.480 inch).] 

[The shape of a blow-hole may be clearly seen 
from a wax impression; Fig. 11 shows transverse 
and longitudinal sections of a gold embouchure 
on a Boehm & Mendler flute. The cut is made 
photographically from the actual wax casts, and 
is slightly larger than full size. This blow-hole 
has sides which are straight and nearly parallel. 
The 7° of undercutting mentioned by Boehm, 
indicated by the solid line in the figure, is not 
present. Some of the earlier flutes by Boehm 
show a slight undercutting, but the later ones, 
both of wood and silver, have the sides nearly 
parallel, as shown in this instance.] 

Upon the completion of these experiments 
I constructed many thin, hard-drawn tubes of 
brass upon which the fundamental tone C3, 


and also higher notes, could be produced by a 
breath and be brought to any desired strength 
without their rising in pitch. 

The fact that the hissing noise heard in other 
flutes was not perceptible convinced me that the 
correct dimensions of the tube, and its smooth 


inner surface permitted the formation of the sound 
waves without noticeable friction. From this as 
well as from the fine quality of tone of the 
harmonics or acoustical over-tones, can be inferred 
the perfect fitness of my tube for the flute; and 
with this I began the determination of the amount 
of shortening or cutting of the air column, required 
for producing the intervals of the first octave. 

The simplest and shortest method is, naturally, 
successively to cut off from the lower end of the 
flute tube so much as will make the length of the 
air column correspond to each tone of the 
chromatic scale. In order that these proportions 
might be accurately verified, I made a tube in 
which all the twelve tone sections could be taken 
off and again put together, and which was pro- 
vided with a sliding joint in the upper part of 
the tube to correct for any defects in tuning. 

Since a flute cannot be made to consist of many 
separate pieces, all the tone lengths must be com- 
bined in one tube and these lengths must be 
determined by laterally bored holes; the air 
column may be considered as disconnected or cut 
off by these holes in a degree determined by the 
ratio between the diameters of the holes and of 
the tube. 

The effective air column, however, is not as 
much shortened by a tone-hole as it would be by 
cutting the tube at the same point. Even if the size 
of the hole is equal to the diameter of the tube, yet 
the air waves will not pass out of the hole at 
a right angle as freely as along the axis. 


The waves meet with a resistance from the air 
contained in the lo\Yer part of the tube, which 
is so considerable that all the tones are much 
too flat when they come from holes placed at 
the points determined by actually cutting the tube. 
And, moreover, the height of the sides of the holes 
adds to the flattening effect. The tone-holes must, 
therefore, be placed nearer the mouth-hole the 
smaller their diameter and the higher their sides. 

Although one octave can be correctly tuned in 
this manner using small holes, yet for the follow- 
ing reasons it is greatly to be desired that the 
tone-holes should be as large as possible. 

1. Free and therefore powerful tones can be 
obtained only from large holes which are placed 
as nearly as possible in their acoustically correct 

2. If the holes are small and are considerably 
removed from their proper places, the formation 
of the nodes of vibration is disturbed and rendered 
uncertain; the tone is produced with difficulty, and 
often breaks into other tones corresponding to 
the other aliquot parts of the air column 

3. The smaller the holes, the more distorted 
become the tone waves, rendering the tone dull 
and of poor quality. 

4. The pure intonation of the third octave 
depends particularly upon the correct position of 
the holes. 

From accurate investigations it is shown that the 
disadvantages just mentioned, become impercep- 


tible only when the size of the holes is, at the least, 
three-fourths of the diameter of the tube [141/4 
millimeters]. But in the manufacture of wooden 
flutes, the making of holes of such a size causes 
considerable difficulty. At first it appeared very 
desirable to make the holes of gradually increas- 
ing size from the upper to the lower ones; later 
this proved to be very disadvantageous and again 
I concluded that a medium course is the best. 
Therefore I finally chose a constant diameter for 
all the twelve tone-holes from C3S to (H^, which for 
silver flutes is 13.5 millimeters, and for wooden 
flutes 13 millimeters. 

[Actual measurements of many Boehm & Men- 
dler flutes usually show tone-holes for both the 
body and foot-joints of wooden flutes which are 
uniformly 12.8 millimeters in diameter. A few 
flutes only have holes full 13 millimeters in 
diameter. The largest size of hole found on the 
body-joint of a silver flute is 13.4 millimeters, 
while the usual size is 13.2 millimeters for both 
body and foot-joint. The Macauley flute, Fig. 31, 
No.- 12, and also Fig. 34, has holes on the body 
(nine holes) 13.2 millimeters in diameter, while 
the four holes on the B^ foot-joint are 14.5 milli- 
meters in diameter. This enlargement of the holes 
on the foot-joint is seldom found on Boehm's 
flutes, but it is common in flutes of modern manu- 
facture. The Shippen flute, Fig. 31, No. 13, and 
also Fig. 32, with a bore 20 millimeters, has the 
five upper holes on the body (G#, A, A*, B, and C 
thumb-key) of a diameter of 14.0 millimeters while 


the four lower holes on the body and the four 
holes on the B^i foot-joint have a uniform diameter 
of 15 millimeters.] 

[The Heindl flute, illustrated in Fig. 7 and in 
the group picture. Fig. 31, was made about 1850, 
and has graduated tone-holes. The thumb-key 
hole for C^ is 11.4 millimeters in diameter, and the 
low Cft hole is 13.6 millimeters in diameter; the 
sizes of the holes increase uniformly, each being 
0.2 millimeter larger in diameter than the preced- 
ing hole. A letter written by Boehm, in 1862, to 
Louis Lot, the celebrated flute-maker of Paris, 
says regarding graduated tone-holes: "The flute- 
playing world knows that for six years I made all 
my silver flutes with graduated holes. During 
my stay in London in 1851, 1, myself, used a flute 
with graduated holes. The smallest, the thumb- 
key hole for C^ was 12 millimeters in diameter, and 
the largest, that for CgS, 15 millimeters, a constant 
gradation of a quarter of a millimeter. The 
graduated holes are in my opinion the best, but 
the ditference is scarcely appreciable. I have dis- 
continued making them on account of the greater 
difficulty in the manufacture." The last sentence 
seems to state three facts regarding graduated 
holes; they are the best; their superiority is slight; 
the cost of manufacture is greater. Today nearly 
all makers use at least two sizes of holes, and 
some use three or more sizes, for the regular 
tone-holes. J 

With these dimensions, in order to produce the 
correct pitch, the center of the C^^ hole must be 


moved 5 millimeters above the point at which the 
tube would have to be cut off in order to produce 
the same tone. The amount of removal increases 
with each hole in the ascending scale, so that the 
C4 hole [thumb-key hole] must be placed 12 milli- 
meters above the point of section of the air column. 
In this manner the correct positions of the holes 
are obtained, and the tuning of all the notes of 
the first octave is rendered, to the ear, as perfect 
as possible. 

The notes of the second octave are produced, as 
it were, by overblowing the tones of the first, by 
narrowing the opening in the lips, and by changing 
the angle and increasing the speed of the stream 
of air; this results in the formation of shorter 

In order to secure a greater compass of tones 
[in the higher octaves], it is necessary to use a 
narrower tube than is best suited to the lower 
tones, or, in other words, a tube which has a 
diameter too small in proportion to its length. 
From this it results that the tones D^ and DJt 


[being sounded as harmonics of a long, slender 
tube] are of different quality from the next follow- 
ing tones, and it is first with the tone E^ that a 
suitable relation between the length and width 
of the tube is again restored. 

The flute properly should have three additional 
large holes for the tones CJr, D^, DJf. 




Following the theory, the octave holes for 
D4 and D^Jf would also serve as vent holes for the 
twelfths, G5S and Ag, giving all of these tones a 
better quality, a purer intonation, and a freer 
sounding. But there is only one finger available, 
and this must be used for C^S; and as I was 
unwilling to make my key system still more com- 
plicated, the C4S hole must be so placed that it 
may serve at the same time as a so-called vent 
hole for the tones, D^, DJt, Dg, G5S, and A5. 

[^ ^ 



[Thus the theoretical position of the (ZJi hole 
was abandoned] and it was necessary to determine 
by experiment a size and position for the CJi hole 
which would satisfy all of these demands. It was 
found that the CJi hole, as well as the two small 
holes for the D4 and D^Jf trill-keys, must therefore 
be placed considerably above their true positions, 
and must be made correspondingly smaller. [The 
sizes and positions of these holes are given on 
page 35.] 

For the exact determination of these positions 
and the other tuning proportions, I had a flute 
made with movable holes, and was thus enabled 
to adjust all the tones higher or lower at pleasure. 
In this way I could easily determine the best posi- 


tions of the upper three small holes, but it was 
not possible to determine the tuning of the other 
tones as perfectly as I desired; for, in endeavoring 
to produce an entire true scale in one key, the 
tones were always thrown out of the proportions 
of the equal temperament, without which the best 
possible tuning of wind instruments with tone- 
holes cannot be obtained. 

Therefore, in order to determine with perfect 
accuracy the points at which the tone-holes shall 
be bored, one must avail himself of the help of 
theory. To form a basis for all the calculations 
of dimensions, and for the easy understanding of 
this, it seems not out of place to give as simply 
as possible an explanation of the fundamental 
acoustical laws. 

As is known, the acuteness or graveness of a tone 
depends upon the length and volume of the 
sounding body, being proportional to the velocity 
of vibration which can be impressed upon the 
body. For the entire compass of musical tones, 
these fixed relative proportions have long been 
known with mathematical precision; the follow- 
ing Table I gives these relations for all the tones 
of the equally tempered scale in the form of 
vibration numbers and string lengths. [The ratio 
of the number of vibrations of any tone in the 
equally tempered scale to the number of vibrations 
of the preceding tone is the twelfth root of 2; the 
numerical value of this ratio is 1.059463. As the 
numbers in this table are useful for various 
acoustical computations, they have been recom- 


puted by the translator, and several typographical 
errors in Boehm's figures have been corrected.] 





Vibration Numbers 

String Lengrths 







Bb or A# 






Ab or G# 






Gb or F# 









Eb or DS 






Db or CS 





i. 000000 

Here is shown the geometrical progression in 
which the vibration frequency of Cx, which is des- 
ignated the fundamental, is constantly increased 
throughout the scale, so that the number of vibra- 
tions of the octave, Cx+ 1 has become double that of 
Cx; at the same time, shortening in equal progres- 
sion, the string length is reduced from 1.0 to 0.5. 

With these relative numbers it is a simple matter 
to calculate the absolute vibration-numbers corre- 
sponding to any desired pitch, since any given 
vibration number bears to each of the other 
intervals exactly the same proportion, as the rela- 
tive number corresponding to this tone bears to 
the relative numbers of these other intervals. 


For example, to calculate the number of vibra- 
tions of the tone C3, knowing the absolute number 
of vibrations of the Normal A3 to be 435 vibrations 
per second we have the following proportion: . 
relative A, : relative Cg^absolute A3 : absolute C3 
1.681793 : 1.000000=435 : x 


= 258.65 


If now this absolute number 258.65 be multiplied 
by each of the relative vibration numbers of the 
above table, one obtains the absolute vibration 
numbers of all the tones in one octave of the 
normal scale from C3 to C^ [see Table II, page 35] . 
In this way one avoids the division by numbers 
of many places, which is necessary in the direct 
method of calculation. 

In a similar way one calculates measurements 
of length, as soon as the theoretical length of the 
air column in any given system, corresponding to 
the string length 1.000000, is determined. 

While the vibration numbers and theoretical 
proportions of lengths for all instruments remain 
always the same, yet the actual lengths of the air 
columns are very different, because each wind 
instrument has its own peculiar length in con- 
sequence of its method of tone formation. For 
example, an oboe and likewise a clarinet (on 
account of the flattening effect upon the tone of 
the tube and mouth-piece) are much shorter than 
a flute of the same pitch; and even in the flute 
the actual length of the air column is less than 
the theoretical length corresponding to the given 


tone. The same is true to a less extent of a simple 
tube or a mouth-piece alone. Hence it happens 
that a wind instrument cut in two in its middle 
does not given the octave of its fundamental, but 
a considerably flatter tone. 

In the case of the flute the flattening influence 
of the cork, the mouth-hole, the tone-holes, and 
the dimensions of bore is such that, altogether, it 
amounts to an air column of 51.5 millimeters in 
length, which in the calculation must be con- 
sidered theoretically as existing, in order that the 
length of the air column shall exactly correspond 
to the length of the string of the monochord deter- 
mined from the numbers and proportions of the 

It will be found that the actual length of the air 
column (and therefore also of the flute tube) from 
the center of a C3 hole, bored in the side of a long 
flute tube [or, from the center of the Ci hole in 
a B*! or a Bb foot-joint] to the face of the cork is 
618.5 millimeters, and that the length of the first 
octave from the center of the hole for C3 to the 
center of the hole for C^ is 335 millimeters; thus 
the upper portion is 51.5 millimeters shorter than 
the lower, and in calculating, this quantity (51.5 
millimeters), must be taken into consideration. 
[This quantity may be called the "closed-end 
correction" for this particular size of tube (see 
page 42.] 

By doubling the length of the octave one obtains 
as the theoretical air column the length of 670 
millimeters, which serves as the unit of calcula- 
tion, and from which, corresponding to the normal 



pitch [A=435], are obtained the following absolute 
vibration-numbers and the relative and the actual 
length-measures. [All the dimensions in this table 
and throughout this text, which refer to the posi- 
tions of tone-holes are measured from the centers 
of the holes. The numbers in this table have been 
recomputed by the translator. The numbers of 
vibrations for the tones for the next lower octave 
are obtained by dividing the numbers in the first 
column by two, and for the higher octave by 
multiplying by two; the theoretical lengths of the 
air column for the next lower octave are obtained 
from the second column by multiplying by two, 
and for the higher octave by dividing by two. The 
actual lengths of air column for other octaves can- 
not be obtained by this simple process, but must 
be determined by experiment.] 







Lenjzrths of 

Lenf^the of 


Air Column 

Air Column 









B3b A3« 








A3b G3S 








Gsb F3« 












£3^ D3« 








D,\> C,» 









Evidently for the practical application, 51.5 
millimeters must be subtracted from each of the 
theoretical lengths to obtain the actual lengths, 
given in the third column, which determine the 
distances between the face of the cork and the 
center points for boring the tone-holes. [See the 
diagram on page 41. J 

[The center of the blow-hole is 17.00 millimeters 
from the face of the cork. The center of the C^ 
hole (the thumb-key hole) is 283.50 millimeters 
from the cork. The distance of 618.50 millimeters 
for the Cs hole is for a lateral tone-hole in a tube 
which extends downwards to B*? or lower. If the 
flute is in C, then this tone is given by the open 
end. As mentioned on page 29, the dislance 
between the center of the CgS hole and the end 
of the tube is found by experiment to be 
5 millimeters greater than the distance to the 
center of a hole for Cg located by the simple theory, 
hence it follows that the open end for C3 is 
618.50+5.00=623.50 millimeters from the face of 
the cork. J 

[The center of a tone-hole for Cg is 618.50 milli- 
meters from the cork. Extending the Schema, the 
distance of the center of a lateral tone-hole for 
B^ (foot-joint) is 658.32 millimeters. If this tone 
is given by the open end, the correction is -[-5.30 
millimeters, and the distance of the open end of 
a B1 foot-joint is thus 663.62 millimeters from the 
cork. As mentioned on page 48, Boehm usually 
made the head-joint about 2 millimeters short 
at the tuning slide. This should be taken into 
account when measuring actual flutes.] 


[In the system of fingering devised by Boehm, 
now in general use, the tone Fff is obtained by 
pressing down with either the third, or second 
finger of the right hand, with the result that there 
is one closed hole below the open hole from which 
the tone Ft is being emitted. This closed hole 
has the effect of slightly lowering the pitch of the 
tone. To compensate for this flattening the tone- 
hole for FS is usually placed a little above 
the position indicated in Table II. This dis- 
placement is about 1.2 millimeters, which gives 
422.26-1.20=421.06 millimeters from the cork as 
the compensated position of the center of the Flf 

[In order to complete the dimensions of a flute, 
it is necessary to add data for the upper C* hole, 
and for the trill-key holes for D^i and D*. There 
is no formula for calculating these quantities. A 
study of ten selected Boehm & Mendler flutes 
gives the following dimensions: 

Distance of 


center form cork 

DS trill-key hole 



D^ trill-key hole 



C* small tone-hole 



Occasionally a flute 

is found 

with these small 

holes of a dift'erent diameter, and with correspond- 
ing changes in their positions; but the data given 
represent Boehm's later instruments.] 

[The dimensions given in this section correspond 
to the pitch A=435, and for tone-holes 13.2 milli- 
meters in diameter, having a maximum rise above 
the edge of the hole of about 3 milhmeters; the 
data for any other pitch may be determined by 
the method described in the next section.] 


IN Table II there is given only one set of normal 
dimensions; since the normal pitch [now 
known as International or low pitch: A=435] is 
by no means in universal use, it is often necessary 
to have measurements corresponding to various 
given pitches, but the labor required to make the 
necessary calculations of dimensions involves 
much time and trouble. 

These inconveniences have caused me to design 
a Schema in which the basis of all the calculations 
for measurements of length is graphically rep- 
resented. In this diagram the geometrical propor- 
tions of the lengths of a string, corresponding to 
the reciprocals of the vibration numbers in the 
equally tempered scale, are represented by the 
intersections of horizontal and vertical lines ; while 
diagonal lines indicate the geometrical progression 
in which the measures of length may be varied 
without disturbing their reciprocal proportions to 
the vibration numbers. 

This graphic method was suggested by the plan 
of a monochord, on which, by means of a move- 
able bridge, the stretched string may be succes- 
sively shortened to half of its original length, 
thereby producing all the intervals of one octave. 

Now these proportions remain constant from the 
highest to the lowest musical tones, and the tran- 


sition from one interval lo the next can therefore 
be represented graphically, and my Schema has 
been founded upon these considerations. With 
its help and without calculation, the centers of 
the tone holes of all wind instruments constructed 
on my system, as well as the positions of the so- 
called frets of guitars, mandolins, zithers, etc., 
may be easily and quickly determined. 

[The Schema seems to have developed grad- 
ually during Boehm's study of the dimensions of 
the flute. The first definite reference to it is in 
connection with the London Exhibition of 1862. 
Mr. Wm. Pole reports (Welch, pp. 154, 157.) : "He 
has sent for exhibition a geometrical diagram, with 
explanations, by which makers of tubular instru- 
ments can, with the greatest readiness and accu- 
racy, construct their instruments according to any 
of the recognized pitches." Boehm later sent a 
copy of the Schema to the Paris Exposition of 1887, 
but the jury said they were not competent to de- 
cide upon the merits of a production which was 
scientific rather than artistic. In a letter to Mr. 
Broadwood, dated November 15, 1868, Boehm 
says: "At the Paris Exposition, unfortunately, 
the jurors, being unfamiliar with the subject, de- 
clined to go into it; wherefore, at the request of the 
committee of the Bavarian Polytechnic Society, 
I had my diagrams published in their Kunst and 
Gewerbeblatt." The account was given in the Kunst 
and Gewerbeblatt, a periodical published in Mun- 
ich, in October, 1868, and a copy of the original,, 
in German, is in the translator's collection. A. 


complete English translation of this description 
of the Schema has been given by Mr. Broadwood 
("Essay on the Boehm Flute," pages 62-69). The 
explanation give by Boehm in "Die Flote und das 
Flotenspiel," differs from that in the Kunst und 
Gewerbeblatt mainly in the omission of a figure 
showing details of the diagram; this figure has 
been reproduced in this edition as Fig. 12. A criti- 
cal discussion of the Schema, as submitted to the 
Paris Exposition, has been given by M. Cavaille- 
Coll (Welch, "History of the Boehm Flute," pages 

My diagram. Fig. 12, consists of three parallel, 
horizontal lines of three different lengths, which 
start from a common vertical line, and are des- 
ignated hj A, B, and C. [In the original this dia- 
gram is given in half-size scale; it is here repro- 
duced about one-fifth full size. In either case, for 
actual use, it would need to be redrawn accurately 
to full size. The dimensions shown on the dia- 
gram have been added by the translator, to make 
the construction plain; all of the dimensions are 
given in Table II. A portion of the Schema, drawn 
to full size, is shown in Fig. 13, on page 45.] 

The central line represents the air column of a 
cylindrical flute tube, open at both ends, corre- 
sponding to the stretched string of the monochord, 
whose fundamental tone is C3 of the scale founded 
on the normal pitch A3=435 vibrations. The en- 
tire length of this air column, and therefore of the 
line B, for the fundamental tone C3 is 670 milli- 
meters. The sectional lengths for the tones of the 





2\ ■" 
























chromatic scale, calculated from the absolute vi- 
bration numbers for this pitch, and expressed in 
millimeters [see Table II], are given by the points 
of intersection of the line B with the vertical lines. 
There is thus represented a standard of meas- 
urement, expressed in millimeters, to be taken from 
the upper end of the diagram along the line B. 
This diagram gives the actual dimensions of my 
flute, measured from the cork, if from each rela- 
tive measure is subtracted the 51.5 millimeters 
(represented by the small cross line) which was 
previously added to complete the theoretical air 
column [see page 34]. More than this, all the 
data for calculation are present, if the absolute 
vibration numbers are written beneath the points 
of intersection of the length measures. 

Since these standard measures correspond only 
to the normal pitch, it is necessary to be able to 
lengthen or shorten the relative distances of the 
tone-holes to correspond to varying pitches, with 
ease and without disturbing their reciprocal pro- 

This can be accomplished without computation 
by means of diagonal lines on the diagram which 
pass through the points of intersection of the ver- 
tical lines with the line B, both upwards and down- 
wards to the points where the vertical lines end 
in the two parallel lines A and C. In this way are 
shown two new sets of measures, one correspond- 
ing to a pitch a h^lf tone sharper, the other to 
one a half tom j^latter. 

[The cOTstruction may be carried out graphic- 


ally as follows: After the several vertical lines 
have been drawn through the points of intersec- 
tion on B, the line A is drawn parallel to B at 
any convenient distance; a diagonal line is drawn 
through each intersection of a vertical line with 
A to the intersection of the next lower vertical 
line with B, and is continued until it intersects 
the second lower vertical line below B; the line C 
is then determined by the last intersections of the 
diagonal and vertical lines. If these intersections 
do not all fall on a straight line parallel to B, 
there has been a mistake in the construction of the 
diagram; as Boehm says, "the accuracy of the 
drawing is self-controlled." Obviously, the ratio 
of the distances between the parallel lines A, B, 
and C, must be the same as that of the distances 
between any three successive vertical lines, which 
is the ratio of the semi-tone intervals of the equally 
tempered scale, 1.0595. In Fig. 12, these distances 
have been taken equal to those between the 
vertical line for G and 'Ft, and F# and F, 26.59 
millimeters and 28.17 millimeters, respectively. 
Any other pair of distances between tone-holes, 
would give a diagram with diagonal lines of a 
different slope, but all would lead to the same 
dimensions for the flute.] 

A flute made to the shortened measurements of 
line A, will be exactly half a tone sharper than 
the normal pitch, while one made upon the longer 
dimensions of line C, will be exactly a half tone 
lower than the normal pitch. Now as these di- 
agonal lines may be looked u :fl i as continuous 
series of tone-hole centers, which, in geometrical 


progression, gradually approach each other above, 
and in the same way recede from each other be- 
low, it follows that the relative proportions of the 
distances of these points remain continually un- 
changed, wherever the diagonal lines are inter- 
sected by a new line parallel to the line B. 

It is possible, therefore, as shown in the dia- 
gram, to draw six additional parallel lines be- 
tween A and C, which, together with B, will give 
dimensions diifering in pitch by one-eighth of a 
tone; and at will many other lines may be drawn, 
the intersections of each of which with the di- 
agonal lines will give correct dimensions. The 
only remaining question is how such a line shall 
be drawn so that it shall correspond exactly to 
any given pitch. 

In order to answer this question one must first 
express the pitch difference between the given 
pitch and the normal, in millimeters, which will 
give the difference between the length of the air 
column of the given tone, and the length for the 
same tone in normal pitch shown on line B. This 
will also determine the position of a new vertical 
section line crossing the line B, corresponding to 
the given tone. 

If the desired pitch is higher than the normal, 
the vertical section line through the point on line 
B, corresponding to the new pitch, is to be ex- 
tendedupwardtowardil/whileif the pitch is lower 
than the normal, the vertical line is to be extended 
downward toward C. 

In either case the intersection of the vertical 



line with a diagonal line is the point through 
which a new line parallel to B is to be drawn. 
The conversion of pitch difference into longitud- 
inal measurement may be carried out as fol- 
lows. The pitch to which an instrument is to be 
constructed may be given by a tuning fork, a tun- 
ing pipe, or by the number of vibrations, and in 
the Schema either an A or a C may be used. 

For example, let there be given by a tuning fork 
an A3 of 430 vibrations, which is 5 vibrations flatter 
than the normal A3 of 435 vibrations, for which 
pitch the positions of all the tone-holes are re- 
quired. In this case it is necessary merely to draw 





Fig. 13. A portion of the Schema. 
Full size. 

out the head joint of a normal flute until it is 
exactly in tune with the tuning fork (which nat- 


urallj" the ear determines) in which case the length 
drawn out will be found to be 4.63 millimeters. 
If, however, the given pitch is higher than the 
normal, for example A3=445 vibrations, then, 
since the flute cannot be shortened, the head joint 
is to be drawn out till the tone Bb is in unison with 
the A3 of the fork. The length drawn out will be 
found to be 13.40 millimeters; and since the dis- 
tance between the centers of the Bgb and A3 holes 
of the normal flute is 22.36 millimeters, it follows 
that the air column corresponding to the A3 of the 
fork is shorter than that of the normal flute by 8.96 

If the pitch differences are given by vibration 
numbers, then the conversion into millimeter 
measures must be calculated. The vibration num- 
bers are inversely proportional to the lengths ; and 
the vibration numbers A3=430 and A3=445 are 
to the normal vibration number A3=435, as the 
relative normal length 398.38 milimeters is to 
the required lengths. If now the numbers 435 and 
398.38 are multiplied together, and the resulting 
product is divided by the numbers 430 and 445, the 
quotients are 403.01 and 389.42 which then repre- 
sent the numbers of millimeters in the relative 
lengths, to which the vibration numbers have been 
converted. If these measurements correspond to 
the given vibration numbers 430 and 445, then 
the differences between them and the length of 
the normal A3, 4.63 and 8.96 millimeters, must 
correspond to the vibration differences of 5 and 
10 vibrations, respectively. 


Therefore a vertical section line drawn through 
the line B at a point 4.63 millimeters distant from 
the center of the A3 hole in the direction of Ajb, 
will correspond to A3=430 vibrations; and a sec- 
tion line 8.96 taillimeters distant from the A3 
hole in the direction of A3* will correspond to A3 
=445 vibrations. 

[In Boehm's original description of the Schema 
in the Kunst und Gewerbehlatt, a diagram accom- 
panies the preceding explanation, which is 
omitted in "Die Flote und das Flotenspiel." This 
drawing, given in Fig. 13, vdth some elaboration 
and with dimensions added, shows a portion of the 
Schema drawn accurately to full scale.] 

The desired points of intersection will, in the 
manner mentioned above, be obtained from the 
diagonals leading upward or downward, and the 
results of this method of procedure will be found 
to be perfectly accurate. 

Since the relative proportions of the vibration 
numbers and the measurements remain unchanged 
throughout the diagram, it is immaterial whether 
the given tone is an A, a C, or any other; and if 
the diagram is not sufficiently long for lower tones, 
it can be extended at will. 

For each successive lower octave one has only 
to double all the dimensions; the accuracy of the 
drawing controls itself, for any error made would 
be at once evident by the drawing of the diagonal 

From this explanation it is evident that a flute 
can be in perfect tune at one pitch only, and that 


any shortening or lengthening of the tube above 
the tone-holes must work disadvantageously upon 
the intonation; in the first case the higher tones 
as compared with the lower are too sharp, and in 
the second case [drawing the tuning side], on the 
contrary, the lower tones are too sharp as com- 
pared with the higher. 

Obviously, these difficulties are no more over- 
come by a longer or shorter head-joint, tlian by a 
simple drawing of the slide ; this drawing-out must 
not be more than two millimeters. Small dif- 
ferences of pitch can, indeed, be compensated, so 
far as the ear is concerned, by a good embouchure. 
Accordingly I make the head-joints of my flutes 
about two millimeters shorter than is required 
for perfect tuning, so that one may not only draw 
out the head to lower the pitch, but that he may 
also make it somewhat sharper. However, it is 
best in ordering a flute to specify the pitch as ac- 
curately as possible, and at the same time to men- 
tion whether the player directs his embouchure 
inward or outward, as this also produces a con- 
siderable eff'ect on the pitch. 

[A study of eleven specimens verifies the state- 
ment made above. Four of these head-joints 
are exactly two millimeters short; two of them are 
three millimeters short. The average amount of 
shortening is 2.4 millimeters. Unfortunately the 
variation in pitch within the last fifty years has 
led many owners of Boehm's flutes to have them 
purposely altered; and often there are repairs 
to the head, or slide-joint, which alter the length. 
No instrument has ever been found which differs 


from the specified dimensions, which does not 
also show evidence of having been altered.] 

[There has been a great deal of discussion as to 
the validity and utility of the Schema. It has been 
stated that Boehm himself did not follow the 
Schema; that flute makers in general do not use 
it; that a flute made according to the Schema 
would be so badly out of tune as to be unusable. 
(Rockstro, "The Flute," p. 169; Welch, "History 
of the Boehm Flute," p. 297) . Much study has been 
given to the design of the scale of the flute, in- 
volving the accurate measurement of several hun- 
dred specimens, among which have been, perhaps, 
fifty made by Boehm. These flutes by Boehm 
represent all stages of his work from the year 1850 
to 1880, and are of all sizes; there are bass flutes 
in G, military flutes in Db, orchestra flutes of vari- 
ous pitches, and several with B^i foot-joints. Every 
flute from Boehm's shops so far examined has 
been constructed accurately upon the dimensions 
explained in connection with the Schema. There 
is little need for argument regarding the tuning 
of these instruments: for fifty years many of the 
most eminent artists have used Boehm's flutes in 
some of the finest orchestras of the world, where 
the requirements of accurate tuning are the most 
exacting. At the time of writing (1921) the trans- 
lator is using a Boehm & Mendler silver flute, made 
according to the Schem.a for the pitch A = 435. 
This has been played in direct comparison with 
several other instruments of the very highest qual- 
ity recently made by the most eminent makers in 
America and abroad; and also in comparison with 


a flute constructed upon the translator's own im- 
proved (?) scale. Each flute has its individual 
characteristics, but in general Boehm's Schema is 
fully justified.] 

[The Schema is certainly based upon rational 
principles, that is, it is "scientific;" it consists of 
the application of the laws of the musical scale 
to quantitive measurements. The fundamental in- 
terval of the octave is found only by experiment, 
and Boehm's value is the result of his years of 
experience. Any change in the diameter of the 
bore, in the size of the blow-hole, in the size of the 
tone-holes, in the length of the tube avound the 
holes; any change in the rise of the keys, in the 
hardness of the pads, in the diameter of the metal 
washer holding the pads in place; any change in 
the manner of blowing, or even in the physical 
condition of the player himself — any of th^ese 
changes would alter the fundamental interval and 
lead to a set of dimensions ditferent from those 
given by Boehm. Nevertheless, the Schema is 
quite correct for a flute played as Boehm intended 
it to be played. Many performers wish modifica- 
tions to favor or correct certain tones, or to suit 
their personal idiosyncrasies, and makers have 
adopted such changes, thus departing in detail 
from Boehm's measures. Such a change may be 
acceptable to one player and not to another; in 
any case they do not invalidate the Schema. 
In examining old flutes account must be taken of 
possible alterations. For instance the Heindl 
Flute, No. 19, (page 99) has the tone-holes spaced 
according to the Schema for the scale of A=445, 


but the slide-joint has been shortened by 8 milli- 
meters, raising the pitch to A=452. Evidence of 
this change is very plain when looked for.J 

[A set of instruments for the accurate and con- 
venient measurement of flutes, is shown in Fig. 
14. With the exception of three pieces these tools 
were especially made for this purpose. There is a 
special caliper for measuring the diameters of the 
tone-holes without removing the keys; a jointed 
measuring rod, 1000 millimeters long, with vernier 
and with a special compensation, adjustable to 
any flute so that all measurements of length are 
referred to the center of the embouchure; a set 
of 170 standard disks for diameters of bore and 
of holes, differing by tenths of a millimeter (0.004 
inch) ; a caliper for inside, outside, and depth 
measures; a standard micrometer caliper; and a 
delicate spring balance for weighing the parts.] 


THAT the tones of a flute may not only be 
easily produced, but shall also possess a bril- 
liant, and sonorous quality, it is necessary that the 
molecules of the flute tube shall be set into vibra- 
tion at the same time as the air column, and that 
these shall, as it were, mutually assist one another. 
The material must possess this requisite vibration 
ability, which is either a natural property of the 
body, for example as in bell-metal, glass and vari- 
ous kinds of wood, or has been artificially pro- 
.duced, as in the case of hardened steel springs 
and hard-drawn metal wire. [Undoubtedly the 
material of which a wind instrument is made 
sometimes affects the tone quality, but the man- 
ner in which this influence is exerted has not been 
explained; it is doubtful whether it is correct to 
ascribe it to the molecular vibrations of the mate- 

Now in both cases the excitation of the vibra- 
tions requires the expenditure of energy propor- 
tional to the mass of the material. Consequently 
the tones of a flute will be more easily produced 
and the development of their full strength will 
require less effort in blowing, the less the weight 
of the flute tube. 

Upon a silver flute, therefore, the thin and hard 
drawn tube of which weighs only 129 grams, the 


brightest and fullest tone can be brought out and 
maintained much longer without fatiguing blow- 
ing, than can be done on a wood flute, which even 
when made as thin as possible still has double 
the weight, namely 2271/2 grams. [The; silver 
tubes used by Boehm have a thickness of about 
0.28 millimeters and the wooden tubes are 3.7 
miUimeters thick. The silver flute complete 
weighs about 330 grams and the wooden flute 
about 440 grams.] 

Any variation in the hardness or brittleness of 
the material has a very great effect upon the tim- 
bre or quality of tone. Upon this point much ex- 
perience is at hand, for flutes have been made of 
various kinds of wood, of ivory, crystal-glass, por- 
celain, rubber, papier-mache, and even of wax, and 
in every conceivable way to secure the various 
desired results. Heretofore all of these researches 
have led back to the selection of very hard wood, 
until I succeeded in making flutes of silver and 
German silver, which now for twenty years have 
rivaled the wood flute. [Silver flutes were first 
introduced by Boehm in 1847.] Notwithstanding 
this it is not possible to give a decisive answer to 
the question "Which is the best?" 

The silver flute is preferable for playin,g in very 
large rooms because of its great ability for .tone 
modulation, and for the unsurpassed brilliancy 
and sonorousness of its tone. But on account of its 
unusually easy tone-production, very often it is 
overblown, causing the tone to become hard and 
shrill; hence its advantages are fully realized only 


through a very good embouchure and diligent 
tone-practice. For this reason wooden flutes on 
my system are also made, which are better adapted 
to the embouchures of most flute players; and 
the wood flutes possess a full and pleasant qual- 
ity of tone, which is valued especially in Ger- 

The silver flutes are made of a %o fine alloy 
[United States coin silver is %o fine; sterling silver 
is '•^^iooo fine] ; and for the manufacture of wood 
flutes I usually employ either the so-called cocus 
wood, or the grenadilla wood of South America. 
The first, of dark or red-brown color, is especially 
desirable because of its brilliant tone, notwith- 
standing that this wood contains a resin, which, in 
very rare cases, induces an inflammation of the 
skin of the lip. To obviate this difficulty, as well 
as to secure a very pleasant ringing quality of tone 
in the high notes, many will prefer black grena- 
dilla wood. Ebony and boxwood are now used 
only for the cheaper grades of instruments. 

In the construction of my flutes only selected 
wood of the finest quality is used, and if a piece 
develops a defect during the working, it is at once 
cast aside, that no more time and labor may be 

However, a flute which is entirely free from de- 
fects may become cracked by improper handling, 
against which no guarantee is possible. Both the 
cause and the means of preventing such accidents 
should be understood, and I will therefore return 
to this subject later, under the heading. Treatment 
of the Flute in General. 


[Boehm frequently combined two materials, 
making the body of silver and the head of wood. 
It was in his later years that he most strongly ad- 
vocated this combination, though he had con- 
structed such flutes in his earlier years, certainly 
as early as 1865. Three such instruments are 
shown in Figs. 7, 32, and 41; the latter two have 
heads of "thinned" wood. Notwithstanding 
Boehm's recommendation, such composite instru- 
ments have not grown in favor.] 



■i^-tf-i-^ -fi^-trry -V^*-*'^^ 



(a) General Description 

HAVING determined the dimensions and ma- 
terial best suited for the flute tube, it was 
then necessary to devise a system of fingering by 
which all scales, passages, and trills in the twenty- 
four keys could be played, clearly, certainly, and 
with the greatest possible ease. [The chronolog- 
ical order is not accurately stated, for the sys- 
tem of fingering was practically completed in 1832, 
while the dimensions and material, as described 
above, were altered by the introduction, in 1847, 
of the silver flute with cylinder bore.] 

This task I endeavored to ac,complish in the fol- 
lowing manner. Since the fifteen tone-holes of 
my flute tube could not be covered by means of the 
fingers, because the holes were too large and in 
some instances too far apart, it was necessary to 
furnish them all with keys which had then to be 
so arranged that they could be opened or closed 
at will. 

For this purpose but nine fingers are available, 
since the thumb of the right hand is indispensable 
for holding the flute. The deficiency in fingers 
must therefore be made up by mechanism, whose 
systematic coupling makes it possible to close 
several keys at the same time with one finger. 
I have accomplished this by means of moveable 


axles, to which some of the keys are rigidly fas- 
tened, and on which other keys are merely hinged; 
by means of clutches underneath, the latter may 
be made to act upon the axles. 

These axles may be lengthened as desired, so 
that the attached keys are manipulated at points 
within easy reach of the fingers; the means for 
accomplishing this had to be sought in the design 
of the key mechanism. After mature considera- 
tion of all the possible tone combinations and fin- 
ger movements I made many sketches of mechan- 
isms, in my effort to find the best methods of 
key connections. In such matters only actual trial 
can determine which is best. I constructed flutes 
on three entirely ditferent models and after care- 
ful trial of all the advantages and disadvantages, 
that model of my flute which has since become 
well known proved itself in all respects the most 

I have retained the three foot keys for CJt, 
D3, DgJf, for the little finger of the right hand, in 
the form already well established. The two trill 
keys for D4 and D^* are brought into use only for 
the highest tones Bgb and B^. Hence the number 
of keys to be arranged for in the regular scheme 
of fingering is reduced from fifteen to ten for the 
playing of which there are still eight fingers avail- 

There then arose the question, "Which method 
of construction, that with open keys or that with 
closed keys, is the most practicable ?" 

I chose the open keys, as giving the greatest 


possible ease in playing, since they easily follow 
the movement of the fingers, and only weak 
springs are required to raise them quickly. On 
the contrary, closed keys require strong springs in 
order that large holes may be stopped airtight, 
and their motions are contrary to those of the 
fingers, [that is, when the finger is pressed down- 
ward the key over the hole moves upward] . 

After the ten holes from E to CS were provided 
with separate, easily moving keys, the eight fin- 
gers were placed upon them in the most practical 
arrangement which permitted the holding of the 
flute in a natural manner; then as many keys 
were closed as could be done with entire con- 
venience; there remained open only the two holes 
for G and B [which, when closed, give F# and Bb], 
and for the closing of these the lack of fingers must 
be made up by mechanical contrivances. 

For this two key combinations were necessary, 
namely the clutches for connecting the E, F, and 
F# keys with the lengthened movable axle of the 
G key, and the clutches of the Bb and the F* keys 
connecting with the axle of the B key. 

As is shown in the following drawing (Fig. 20), 
the two keys G and B may be closed by means 
of the connected keys, without changing the lay 
of the fingers, and when the fingers are hfted the 
keys open of themselves by means of their own 
springs; thus one can play them at will. 

In this way the very troublesome sliding from 
keys and tone-holes which is required on the old 
flute is entirely done away with, and one can cer- 


tainly and easily play all possible tone combina- 
tions from low D3 to high A^. In my system each 
scale requires the use of all the fingers, and con- 
sequently they are all equally exercised, thus a 
player is in a condition to play in all keys with 
equal accuracy, certainty and ease. 

In the following table of fingerings [page 72], 
those designated "irregular" may be used not only 
for facilitating certain passages, but they may also 
be employed in many cases for enharmonic 
differences, such as between F# and Gb. 

The practicability of my system of fingering has 
long demonstrated itself not only in its use by 
artists, but also by beginning students who learn 
to play the scales and trills in all keys in much 
shorter time than was possible on the old flute. 

The changing from the old flute to the new is not 
nearly so difficult as most players imagine. Ordi- 
narily it requires only about two weeks for one 
to become familiar with the mechanism and the 
table of fingerings; and one will find compensation 
for the trouble involved in the clear, smooth and 
easy production of the tones. 

(b) The G# Key 

In the planning of my system of fingering, I made 
the G# key to stand open, like all the rest, only 
after mature consideration of all the advantages 
and disadvantages in acoustical, mechanical, and 
technical respects. The open key is advantageous 
because its motion is the same as that of the little 
finger of the left hand, and because of the weak 


spring required, its "play" is very light and 

Since the unlearning of the former lingering 
appears to be a great difficulty to many [who would 
change from the ordinary flute to the new], artists 
and instrument makers have endeavored to adapt 
the fingering of the old flute, either wholly or in 
part, to my flute tube. For this reason there has 
been made in Paris, for many years, an alteration 
of my open GS key, which makes it like the closed 
G# key in its action. The use of this has spread 
somewhat, since it accommodates players of the 
old flute who can thus retain the former fingerings 
for G and GS. * 

[The earliest type of G# key, first applied to 
the old system flute about 1775, is a simple key 
which is normally kept closed by a spring; this 
key is opened by the little finger of the left hand 
to produce the tone G*. Boehm's system of 1832 
required open keys and he devised the equally 
simple "Open G* Key." The earliest form of this 
key is shown in Fig. 4. After the invention of the 
cylinder bore and large, covered keys, in 1847, the 
key was given the form shown in Fig. 7, the A and 
Gt keys being hinged on a short rod on the left 
(outer) side of the tube. Later all of the 
mechanism was attached to the inner side of the 
tube and the G*f key took its present form as shown 
in Fig. 16. The A and Gff keys are independently 
hinged on a short rod and each is an open-standing 
key. The third finger of the left hand plays directly 
on the A key and when the key is closed the tone 


G* is produced. When the little finger of the left 
hand is pressed on the lever attached to the G* 
key this key is closed, making the tone G*!. The 
little finger must continue to close this key for 
the lower tones, F«, F, E, etc. With the open GS 
key the little finger is in action to close the key 
for twenty-one notes of the thirty-nine notes which 
make the compass of the regular scale. With the 
closed Gt key the little finger is required to open 
the key for five notes out of the thirty-nine notes 
in the scale. This more frequent use of the little 
finger, however, is so simple and logical and so 
directly in accord with the movements of the other 
fingers, that the open G* systeni, when once 
acquired, is quite as easy as any other.] 

[Coche, of Paris, a teacher of the flute, brought 
out in 1838 the "Coche Perfected Model" which he 
announced as an improvement upon the Boehm 
system. One of the "improvements" was the adop- 
tion of a new type of closed GS key, devised about 
this time by Dorus, another flutist of Paris. A 
conical-bore flute by Godfroy, shown in Fig. 6, is 
provided with a Dorus GS key of the early form. 
This type of key as applied to the cylinder-bore 
flute of later type is shown in Fig. 17, as made 
by Louis Lot, and Fig. 15 is a diagram illustrating 
its operation. There is but one GS tone-hole which 
is opened and closed automatically with the A hole. 
When the A hole is closed, and with it the GS 
hole, the latter may be independently opened by 
pressing upon the GS lever with the little finger 
of the left hand. There is a lug, Z, attached to the 
hinge tube of the A key which extends under the 



stem of the G# key; a strong spring, s„ attached to 
the GJf key rests against the under side of the lug 
so that the two keys move together, while, 
normally, both are held open by the weak spring, 
s^. The adjustment of the key is such that when the 
A key is pressed to close its hole, the G# key 
totiches the flute first; a slight further pressure 
of the A key closes the A hole and carries the 

Fig. is. The Dorus Closed GS Key- 
ing below the stem of the G* key so that the strong 
spring, s„ firmly closes the G# hole. While the 
A key is held closed by the third finger, and the 
G# key is closed by the spring, the little finger 
may be pressed upon the GS lever and thus open 
the G# hole, producing the tone G* as in the old 
system. When the little, finger is raised the G* 
key closes, making G^; when the third finger is 


raised both keys rise together through the action 
of the lug and the tone A is produced. This type 
of key operates satisfactorily on a flute with 
conical bore and small tone-holes, but on a flute 
of cylinder-bore and large holes the proper clos- 
ing of the key is more difficult. The Dorus con- 
struction requires the location of the posts and 
hinge-tubes on the outer side of the flute.] 

[The operation of the Dorus G* key is not 
always satisfactory and the necessity of placing 
the posts and axles of the keys on the outer side 
of the tube is particularly objectionable on flutes 
with cylindrical bore and large tone-holes. The 
Dorus key has largely been displaced by the 
duplicate-hole, closed Gt key, Fig. 18, now in very 
general use. The GS tone-hole is placed on the 
inner side of the flute tube and is covered with a 
closed key, the manipulation of which is like that 
of the old system. In order that there may be 
no closed holes below the one from which the 
tone is being emitted, a duplicate GS tone-hole 
is used, located as in Boehm's construction; this 
is closed by a key rigidly attached to the A key; 
thus the duplicate hole opens and closes with the 
A hole, and G# is produced by pressing on the G* 
key. For certain tones it is desirable to close the 
G* hole while the A hole remains open. This is 
not possible with the closed G* key.] 

[Boehm is said to have declined to make flutes 
with the closed G* key. However, he did in a 
few instances provide such instruments for 
players of the old flute. The translator has never 

Figs. 16, 17, 18, 19. 
Open and closed GjF keys 


seen but one closed GJ key made in Boehm's shop; 
nearly all the closed keys found on these flutes 
have been added by other makers. The one excep- 
tion is the Macauley flute shown in Fig. 34. The 
closed key proper is exactly like Boehm's open G* 
key excepting that the spring is made strong and 
is so bent that it keeps the key closed. The lever 
is cut in two a little way from the axle as shown 
at a, Fig. 19, and the finger piece is then pivoted 
on a fulcrum, h, held in a silver guide attached 
to the tube. This key is played exactly as is the 
ordinary closed G* key; it can be opened and 
closed independently of the A key; thus it obviates 
the objections which Boehm urges against the 
other forms of closed key. Inasmuch as this key 
is normally closed, it would tend to flatten the 
tone A, just as the tone F# is flattened by the 
closing of a lower tone-hole. Boehm has cor- 
rected this effect upon the tone A by placing the 
A hole 1.2 millimeters above its Schema position, 
just as he and other makers correct the FS tone- 
hole. This plan of Boehm's is probably the 
simplest and perhaps the best form of closed G# 
key which has yet been made.] 

[Various other schemes for a closed G* key 
have been devised but they are more or less com- 
plicated and have not found general acceptance. 
Boehm's arguments regarding the advantages of 
the open-key system are given in the following 

A combination of a closed GS key with an open 
A key would cause not only an entirely unneces- 


sary complication in the key mechanism, and be 
a disadvantage from an acoustical aspect, but it 
would at the same time increase the difficulties 
of playing. 

In order that a closed GS key may stop the large 
tone-hole air tight it must be provided with a 
strong spring, and it follows that the opening of 
the same requires a correspondingly greater force 
in the little finger of the left hand, than the press- 
ing down of an open key which is held up only 
by a weak spring. But of still greater importance 
is the strength required in the third or ring finger 
in closing the A key, since this finger must over- 
come not only the spring required quickly to raise 
both of the combined keys, but at the same time 
it must overcome the strong closing-spring of the 
GS key. [The last sentence applies only to the 
Dorus GS key.] 

It is easily seen that there is thus a loss in 
facility of playing in general, and, further, that 
all trills with these keys, and especially the trill 
GS with A, become much more difficult, than with 
the easy-moving, open-standing keys. Moreover, 
in the frequent combinations of the tones GS or 
Ab with the lower tones FS, F, E, Eb, and D, the 
little finger of the left hand must move in a direc- 
tion contrary to that in which the fingers of the 
right hand are moving at the same time. That it 
is easier to make similar motions with the fingers 
of both hands simultaneously, rather than con- 
trary motions, and therefore that playing with a 


closed G# key is the more difficult, no one will 

Yet there is another difficulty from an acoustical 
aspect. Because of the connection of the GS key 
with the A key, the A hole cannot be opened by 
itself, the GS hole being always open at the same 
time; this causes the Eg to be too sharp, and its 
production is interfered with. The production of 
this tone is a little more certain, when the G# hole 
remains closed; and in rapid alternations, also in 
delicate slurring together of the Eg with other tones 
such as GJt, A4, A5, A3, etc., the advantage is very 

Finally, this complication of the mechanism [for 
any type of closed GJf key] is wholly superfluous, 
since each one of these two keys has its own proper 
finger, and each can be easily opened or closed 
in the most natural and simplest way in my sys- 
tem. The above mentioned difficulties appear to 
have long been apparent in Paris, since a special 
lever has been added so that the difficult trills 
may be made with the strong first finger of the 
right hand. 

And yet again a second G8 hole has sometimes 
been bored in the flute tube and provided with 
an independent GS key. In both of these cases 
the mechanism is rendered still more complicated. 
I have no objection to make, if amateurs, with 
little time or zeal for practice, and who will be 
satisfied with playing in a few keys only, when 
changing from the old flute to the new, believe 
they will find the closed G# key the easier; yet 


I hold that it is wrong to instruct beginners in 
this way, since they will learn to play in all keys 
more easily, and consequently more quickly, by 
following my system as finally perfected. 

[Rockstro, in his "Treatise on the Flute," pages 
191, 359, and 389, argues eloquently and at length 
in favor of the open Gt key; he says: "Not many 
years ago some opposition was raised to the 
frequent use of the left thumb on the flute. We 
do not now hear much of this * * * but there is 
still rife, in some quarters, a strong prejudice 
against the use of the little finger of the same 
hand * * *. No one has ever objected to the 
continued use of the right little finger * * *. 
Theobald Boehm deserved much credit for his 
courageous and persistant efforts to bring this 
finger into activity. * * *"] 

[The translator first learned to play a flute of 
the old-system and then for ten years he used a 
Boehm system flute with closed Gt key; later 
several flutes with open Git keys were added to his 
collection and for the last twenty years he has 
played mostly upon these. After many years of 
experience, during which excellent flutes of all 
three types of GS keys were constantly in his pos- 
session, and after the most careful and long con- 
tinued trials, he is firmly convinced that Boehm's 
arguments are fully justified. The advantages of 
the open Glf key are largely mechanical, and may 
not be sufficient to justify an established performer 
in changing, but they are such that every beginner 
and everyone changing from the old to the Boehm 
system, should choose the open GS key.] 









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3rd " 









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2nd " 









3rd " 










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For facility in playing, the two Bbs 
can be taken with fingering for B'!. 



if the B key is closed by the thumb pressing on 
the Bb lever. 

The irregular fingerings may be used not only 
for facilitating certain passages, but also they may 
be made valuable in many cases for enharmonic 
differences, such as between F# and Gb. 

[The use of the octave-key on the ordinary flute 
is the same as with the bass flute, which is 
explained on pages 128 and 129; see also page 86.] 





K 1 


K 1 



















































































. tr tr tr tr tr ir tr tr tr tr tr ^tr tr 

I K ih 11,^. II..K lir lljrilJHLt'll-f:', JlllJlhJlJlA.^#& 










1- * 



■ f- 






































































































































The trills marked with a * are to be made with the B key 
closed by the thumb lever. [The ? indicates that the trilling of 
the corresponding hole is optional.] 














































The trills marked with a * are to be made with the B key- 
closed by the thumb lever. [The ? indicates that the trilling of 
the corresponding hole is optional.] 
























4^^ 'H^it #^| ^1 ^«|#^|#|||| 

















10 5 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 

Fig. 20. Key Mfchanism. 


T N order to give a clear idea and explanation 
■*■ of the key mechanism of my flute, I have 
represented it in full size. Fig. 20, projected on 
a plane, and below I have shown a side view of 
the inner parts which are not visible to the eye. 

In the latter view metal strips are shown, which 
in the metal flute are soldered to the body, and 
in the wooden flute are screwed on, forming the 
supporting points for the mechanism. Below 
these strips, and exactly corresponding with the 
drawing above, are dotted lines and figures which 
indicate all the joints of the mechanism, and the 
dimensions of the axles of the separate keys and 

The key mechanism is divided into four groups 
which are designated in Fig. 20 by il, B, C, and D. 
Fig. 21 is a cross section of one key. Fig. 22 is a 

Fig. 21 Fig. 22 Fig. 23 

Details of Key Mechanism. 

clutch with its pin, and Fig. 23 represents one of 
the movable hinge tubes slipped off from its axle. 
We will first explain the mechanism of the key- 
group A of the drawing. 


In the upper line the foot keys I, II, and III are 
represented, and in the side view beneath, the 
separate joints of the mechanism are shown, the 
lengths of which are indicated by the perpen- 
dicular dotted lines below the metal strip, desig- 
nated by the figures 1 to 7. 

The three pillars with spherical heads, a, b, c, 
which form the supporting points of the mech- 
anism, are united to the ntietal strip and soldered, 
while the strip is soldered or screwed onto the 
foot joint. 

Pointed screws are threaded in the spheres 
a and b, forming the pivots on which turns a steel 
axle (from 1 to 5) the ends of which have conical 

The Ct key, I, turns upon this axle; this key is 
soldered to the hinge tube 1 to 2, and by means 
of a loop it connects with the hinge 3 to 4 which 
carries the lever arm (C lever), all being joined 
into one continuous piece. The D key II is like- 
wise soldered to a hinge (2 to 3) and being placed 
inside of the loop, the two keys are slipped over 
the axle; the key II is then made fast to the axle 
by a small pin passing through both. On the 
upper end of the axle (at 4 to 5) a lever arm is 
soldered, so that the axle and the D key move 
with it. These two keys are provided with springs 
which hold them open, and with rollers screwed 
onto the lever arms at right angles; by pressing 
on the rollers one can at will close one key, or 
through their coupling at the loop, both may be 
closed together. 


The closed D* key III is provided with a strong 
spring, and moves on an axle, screwed into the 
sphere b; the sharpened end of this axle (at 5) 
forms the pivot of the movable axle of the lower 

The springs for the keys I and II are firmly in- 
serted in the little posts marked thus, *, and push 
against the hinges by means of small blocks which 
are soldered fast; the spring for key III is fastened 
in the spherical pillar c. 

The key-group B contains two movable axles 
from 8 to 15 and from 16 to 20. The G key VII is 
soldered to the axle, at 14 and 15, which turns on 
the pivots of the pillars d and e. Next to this key 
is the hinge tube 13-14 to which the FS key "VI 
and a half of the loop clutch is soldered. 

The other half of the loop is fastened to the 
second movable axle, and since the two half-loops 
touch one another, the two movable axles may be 
coupled together. 

This F8 key is played by the first or index finger 
of the right hand. 

Next to this is the small hinge piece 12-13, which 
is fastened to the steel axle by means of a small 
pin. On this hinge piece there is soldered a side 
wing, against which presses an adjustable screw 
attached to the shank of key VI. This screw must 
be so adjusted that when pressing down the Ft 
key VI the steel axle is turned and through this 
the attached key G VII is closed. 

If now the two other keys F V and E IV, which 
are played by the second and third fingers, are 


mounted in exactly the same fashion and are 
each coupled with the steel axle, then by pressing 
down either of these keys, separately or together, 
the G key VII will be closed each time [producing 
the tone F*] ; thus four keys and consequently four 
tone-holes can be opened or closed at will by three 
fingers. It is by this contrivance that one of the 
lacking fingers is replaced. [The arrangement, 
however, is not perfect, for the hole next below 
that from which the tone is being emitted is closed. 
This lowers the pitch perceptibly and muffles the 
tone very slightly. A partial compensation is 
obtained by placing the tone-hole for F# slightly 
above its true position, as explained on page 37.] 

We come now to the upper half of this group. 

Upon the steel axle which turns between the 
two pivots at 16 and 20 there is soldered a hinge, 
which extends from 16 to 18 and upon which at 
16 there is the half loop for coupling with the 
lower steel axle, and at 17 and 18 is attached a 
sphere which serves as an ornament. 

The A# key X is soldered to the hinge tube 18-19, 
and placed next to this sphere. This key is played 
by the middle finger of the left hand, and by 
means of its adjusting screw presses upon the 
wing of the hinge 19-20, through which the B 
key XI is closed. 

Since the B key XI is connected to the steel axle 
by a pin near 19, and is coupled at 19 with the 
A# key X by the clutch, and at the same time it is 
coupled with the lower steel axle by the loop at 
14-15, this key is itself closed by each pressing of 


the AC key X and also by pressing the F» key VI. 
It is clear that by these couplings still another 
finger is replaced, and consequently by means of 
this mechanism [together with that described in 
the next two paragraphs] six keys can be played 
entirely at will by four fingers [and the thumb]. 

Into the upper side of the spherical pillar / is 
screwed an axle, the point of which forms the 
pivot at 20. Moving on this axle are the two keys 
C XII and C« XIII. The first is soldered to the 
hinge tube 21-22 and is played by the thumb of 
the left hand. The second key C» XIII, and its 
lever are soldered to the hinge tube 22-23; the key 
played by the first or index finger of thp left hand 
acting on the lever. 

The group C consists of two separate keys, which 
move on the axle screwed into the spherical pillar 
h. The Gif key VIII and its lever, upon which 
presses the fourth or little finger of the left hand, 
are soldered to the hinge 24-25. The A key IX 
which is played by the third finger, is soldered 
to the hinge tube 25-26. 

The group D likewise contains only two keys, 
namely the two trill keys for D and DS. The D* 
key XV and its spring hook are soldered to the 
hinge tube 29-30, and this tube in turn is soldered 
to the upper end of the long steel axle which turns 
on the pivots of the two spherical pillars k and I. 
On the lower end of this axle is the short piece of 
tube 27-28, which is connected with the axle by a 
pin; soldered to this tube is the Dt lever which is 
played by the third finger of the right hand. 


Between these two pieces is placed a long hinge 
tube which reaches from 28 to 29. Upon the upper 
end is soldered the D key XIV and at the lower 
end the corresponding D lever, which is played 
by the second finger. Both keys are provided with 
strong closing springs at 29 and 30. 

Besides these keys there is still to be provided 
a Bb lever next to the C key XII, which can be 
pressed with the thumb of the left hand, at the 
same time that the C key is closed, thus closing 
the B key XI also [and producing the tone Bb]. 
This lever is provided with its axle and spring, 
and serves in many cases to facilitate the playing. 

Further, as the drawings show, all the springs, 
with the exception of that for closing the lower 
D* key III [and for the Bb thumb lever], are 
fastened in the little pillars designated with an * ; 
these springs press upon little hooks soldered to 
the hinge tubes, in such a way as to close the two 
trill keys D and DS, and to hold all the other 
keys open. 

These explanations correspond to all the styles 
of flutes made by the firm "Th. Boehm & Mendler 
in Miinchen." 

[The original Boehm-system flute, including the 
models both of 1832 and of 1847, did not have a Bb 
thumb lever. This attachment was devised by 
Briccialdi, an Italian flutist then resident in 
London, and was first applied to his own flute by 
Rudall and Rose in 1849. This lever, essentially 
in its original form, marked Bb in Figs. 24 and 26, 
is in very general use at the present time. Soon 



Fig. 24. Briccialdi's Bb Thumb Levers. 

after Briccialdi's invention, Boehm devised the Bb 
thumb lever described in the preceding paragraph 
and marked Bb, in Figs. 25, 27 and 28.J 

Fig. 25. Boehm's Bb Thumb Levers. 

[A lever for making the trill of B and C, B tr 
in Figs. 24, 25, 26 and 27, played with the first 
finger of the right hand, has been combined with 
each of these arrangements. Boehm seems never 
to have considered these levers as essential parts of 
his system, but rather as extra attachments ; this is 
indicated by the fact that they are used only 


incidentally in the Tables of Fingerings. Boehm 
considered his own arrangement more rational 
than that of Briccialdi, since the thumb is placed 
on the key B, Figs. 25, 27 and 28, to produce the 
tone B, and to produce the next lower tone Bb, the 
thumb is moved downwards to the lever Bh. On 
the contrary, in Briccialdi's arrangement, the 
thumb is placed on B, Figs. 24 and 26, to produce 
the tone B, and to produce the lower tone Bb, the 
thumb is moved upwards to the lever Bb.] 

[In addition to the mechanism described, Boehm 
recommended the "Schleifklappe," referred to in 
the original only in connection with the Bass Flute. 
The schleif-key, usually called the "octave-key" or 
the "whisper-key," is simply a small vent-key, 
which assists in the formation of a loop in the 
sound wave, or, what is of the same effect, it 
prevents the formation of a node at the place 
where the hole is located, thus giving freer speech 
and greater purity of tone. It is an adaptation of 
a similar octave-key which is required on all reed 
instruments, in which the formation of the over- 
tones is not as certain as on the flute. The octave- 
key is a small closed key, the touch of which is 
at S, Figs. 27 and 28, just above the thumb key; 
it is always played in connection with the thumb 
key and is easily opened by a slight rolling motion 
of the thumb. The hole for this key on a C flute 
is from 4.5 to 5.0 millimeters in diameter and is 
placed about 7 millimeters above the Ct hole. 
The applications of the fingerings for the flute, in 
C are the same as for the bass flute, which are 

Figs. 26, 27, and 28. 
Briccialdi and Boelim thumb keys 


given in the supplementary tables of fingerings on 
page 129. Boehm writes in a letter dated Novem- 
ber 8, 1873 (Broadwood, p. 59) : "I find this little 
key very useful if the player wishes always to be in 
perfect tune in the following notes: 

i.' - n'^r^ 

These tones always have a tendency to get a little 
flat if played pianissimo, while if you open the 
little octave-key they are not only perfectly correct, 
but also sound very easily."] 

[In the translator's collection are several Boehm 
& Mendler flutes having the octave-key, one of 
them being the bass flute in G. After many trials 
extending over a period of years the conclusion 
is that, for several of the notes mentioned in the 
supplementary tables of fingerings, the influence 
of the key cannot even be detected, while for the 
other notes its effect is very small, so small as to 
be entirely negligible. This, no doubt, accounts 
for the fact that the octave key has not been gen- 
erally adopted.] 

[Fig. 29 is a plan, drawn full size, of the keys 
for a foot-joint to B^, as often made by Boehm & 
Mendler. The action of the low B^i key is carried 
around the Cf and C* keys, and is pivoted on an 
extension of the axle which passes through the 
DJt key. The other details are the same as ex- 
plained for the d foot-joint.] 




[The mechanism is substantially the same for 
flutes of both wood and silver. The walls of the 
tube of the wooden flute are 3.7 millimeters thick, 
and the silver tubes are about 0.3 millimeter thick. 
The "straps," or action plates to which the posts 
are attached are about 1.2 millimeters thick. The 
centers of the spherical heads of the action posts, 
that is the points of the pivot-screws, are about 
6.1 millimeters above the plate for the main body 
and foot-joint keys of a wooden flute, and 6.9 
millimeters high for trill keys. For a silver flute 
the pivots on the body joint are about 8.2 milli- 
meters above the action plate, and on the foot- 
joint 6.2 millimeters above the action plate. The 
posts for the A and GJf keys and for the thumb 
keys are shorter and vary somewhat in different 

[From 1812 to 1817 Boehm had a goldsmith's 
shop in which he constructed flutes on the old 
system. In 1828, he established his first real flute 
shop where he made improved old-system flutes 
and where he worked out the ideas for the Boehm 
System of fingering which were embodied in the 
first properly so-called Boehm flute of 1832. Very 
few flutes were made after 1832 and the shop was 
entirely given up in 1839. During this period the 
gentiine Boehm flutes were made by Rudall and 
Rose in London and by Godfroy in Paris, under 
specific arrangements with Boehm. In 1847 Boehm 
announced the new flute with cylinder bore, 
metal body and covered keys, and he again es- 
tablished his own factory for the manufacture of 


flutes which continued in the same place for over 
fifty years. (See the appendix.) Patents were 
obtained in England and France covering the 
cylinder bore and the parabolic head-joint, and 
the above-mentioned firms were given licenses 
to make Boehm flutes. The flutes made in 
Boehm's own shops from 1847 to 1867 were marked 
"Th. Boehm in Munchen," and bore serial num- 
bers. In 1854 Carl Mendler, a watchmaker, be- 
came a workman in Boehm's shop. In 1862 he 
was made foreman and he was made a partner 
in 1867, the firm being known as "Th. Boehm & 
Mendler." The flutes were marked with the firm 
name in two styles, as shown in Fig. 30; silver 
flutes have the name engraved on the barrel of 
the slide-joint; wooden flutes are marked on a 
silver ferrule on the t6non of the slide-joint, which 
is usually covered by the socket on the head- 
joint. The name is not repeated on other parts 
of the flute. There are no serial numbers. After 
Boehm's death, in 1881, the business was carried 
on by Carl Mendler but the flutes continued to 
be marked Boehm & Mendler. Carl Mendler 
was succeeded by his son Carl Mendler, about 
1895, who later gave up the manufacture of flutes.] 
[Under Mendler's direction thejlutes of Boehm 
& Mendler were constructed with workmanship 
of the most excellent quality, rarely equalled; 
they were beautifully designed, exquisitely fin- 
ished, and their adjustment was perfect. The 
translator's historical collection of flutes contains, 
in January, 1922, about two hundred and fifty in- 

Figs. 30. 
The Boehm & Mendler labels 


struments of all types. Among them are sixteen 
specimens of various styles and scales from 
Boehm's own work-shop ; these flutes are shown in 
the group picture. Fig. 31. Three particularly fine 
instruments, Nos. 13, 5 and 12, which were made 
for Rev. Rush R. Shippen, Mr. Carl Wehjier, and 
General Daniel Macauley, respectively, are shown 
in larger size in Figs. 32, 33 and 34. The Heindl 
flute. No. 9, and the bass flute. No. 14, are shown 
in Figs. 7 and 41, respectively. These flutes, and 
also many others of Boehm's make, have been 
studied critically and have been measured in mi- 
nute detail. These investigations have developed 
the greatest admiration for the painstaking care 
in the details of the scales, for the superb work- 
manship, and for the exquisite finish of these in- 
struments. The Macauley flute (No. 12 in the 
group) fully exemplifies this praise. With the 
exception of the first instrument, which was never 
furnished with keys, and number nine, the Heindl 
flute, which has had excessive wear, these flutes 
are in good order; in fact, most of them are in as 
perfect condition as when new. The flutes 10, 12, 
14 and 16 in the group, are much used for musical 
purposes, with perfect satisfaction. Some details 
regarding the several instruments are given in the 
following list: 

No. 1 — Flute in G. A=440. Boxwood. Tube of thinned 
wood with raised finger-holes, to which keys have 
never been attached. Given by Boehm to James S. 
Wilkins, Jr., in 1873, and presented to the translator 
by Mr. Wilkins in 1909. 


No. 2— Flute in C. A=450. Grenadilla wood. Silver 
keys, gold springs. Mechanism of an unusual type, 
made by Boehm about 1860. Brought to America by 
Gustave Oeschsle, in 1864, who used it in the New York 
Academy of Music and in Gilmore's Band. It was later 
used by Mr. H. H. Honeyman. 

No. 3 — Flute in C. A=440. Grenadilla wood. Silver 
keys, gold springs. This flute was obtained from Boehm 
by Mr. Edward Martin Heindl. It was used by Mr. 
Frank Wadsworth, and later for eleven years by Mr. 
Louis Fritze, in Sousa's Band, and played in the 
"around^he-world" tour. The Bti foot-joint was used 
by Mr. William Schade. 

No. 4— Flute in C. A=435. Grenadilla wood. Silver 
keys, steel springs. History unknown. 

No. 5 — ^Flute in C. A=445. Cocus-wood. Silver keys, 
gold springs. With extra foot-joint to Bk. Belonged to 
Mr. Carl Wehner. Shown separately in Fig. 33. 

No. 6 — Flute in C. A=:450. Cocus-wood. Silver keys, 
gold springs. With the octave key. With a dupli- 
cate-hole GJ key, added by Wm. R. Meinell. History 

No. 7 — Flute in Dt>. A=450. Grenadilla wood. Silver 
keys, gold springs. Foot to DN. 

No. 8 — Piccolo in Db. A=450. Grenadilla wood. Silver 
keys, steel springs. Cylinder bore. Used by Edward 
Martin Heindl. 

No. 9 — ^Flute in C. A:=445. German Silver, silver plated. 
With graduated tone-holes. No. 19, made by Boehm 
about 1850. Brought to America in 1864 by Edward 
Martin Heindl, and used by him in the famous Men- 
delssohn Quintette Club, and in the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra upon its organization in 1881. This is prob- 
ably the first metal Boehm flute to be brought to Amer- 
ica. It is provided with both silver and wood heads. 
The mechanism on the middle joint has been partly 
rebuilt. This flute originally had no Bb thumb key, and 
a special attachment for this was added by Mr. George 
W. Haynes in 1886, who also used the flute for a time. 
Shown separately in Fig. 7. 


No. 10 — Flute in C. A=438. Silver. Gold embouchure, 
steel springs. The trill lever for the right, first finger 
operates on the Bt| key on the upper side of the flute, 
instead of on the thumb key. This flute was played in 
Buffalo Bill's "Wild West Show on its European Tour, 
and later was used by Mr. W. H. Guyon. 

No. 11 — Flute in C. A=448. Silver. Gold embouchure, 
gold springs, octave key, foot-joint to B^l. Made in 1877 
for Mr. 0. F. Chaffee of Detroit. 

No. 12 — Flute in C. A=445. Silver. Two sizes of tone- 
holes. Gold embouchure, gold springs, raised gold 
plates in center of each key, gold ferrules and tips; 
octave key, and special form of closed GS key (see page 
68), ivory crutch. This superb flute is a remarkably 
beautiful specimen of flute workmanship, and it is in 
a perfect state of preservation. It was made in 1877, 
and was on exhibition in Berlin and in Paris for some 
time (probably in the Paris Exposition of 1878). It 
was made upon order for General Daniel Macauley at 
one time Mayor of Indianapolis. The delivery of the 
flute was delayed nearly a year, while it was being ex- 
hibited. Boehm wrote, in sending the flute, that it was 
"the last flute I shall ever make and the best I have 
ever made; it is the 'last child of my life' with which 
I hate to part." Shown separately in Fig. 34. 

No. 13— Flute in C. A=450. Silver. Bore 20 millimeters. 
Holes spaced to the scale A=455, but sounding A=450 
because of the large bore. Two sizes of holes. Head 
of thinned wood, octave key, gold springs; foot-joint to 
BH. Made in 1879 for Rev. Rush R. Shippen. Shown 
separately in Fig. 32. 

No. 14 — Flute in C. A=435. Silver. Gold embouchure, 
gold springs, octave key, foot-joint to Bti. This flute 
evidently was made about the year 1877. It is in as 
perfect condition as wihen new, and is used by the 
translator for musical purposes perhaps more than is 
any other instrument in his collection. While it may 
be equalled as to musical qualities by two or three 



Fig. 32. Fig. 33. Fig. 34. 

The Shippen Flute The Wehner Flute The Macauley Flute 


modern instruments of the most celebrated makes, yet 
it is not surpassed by any, and the same may be said 
with respect to the beauty of design and perfection of 
worlcmanship of the instrument as a whole. 

No. 15 — Flute in G. A=443. Silver. Ebonite embouch- 
ure, octave key, steel springs. 

No. 16 — Flute in G. A=440. Silver. Thinned-wood head, 
octave key, steel springs. Used by Carl Wehner. Shown 
separately in Fig. 41. A more complete description 
with dimensions, is given in Chapter XII.] 

[Statements have frequently been made by both 
makers and players of the flute that Boehm's own 
instruments were not accurate in scale and were 
not in accordance with his published descriptions. 
Such opinions are explicitly stated by Rockstro 
in his "Treatise on the Flute." This remarkable and 
otherwise excellent work is, sadly marred by the 
author's intense prejudice against Boehm and by 
his efforts to belittle Boehm's contributions. Rock- 
stro makes certain specific statements about 
Boehm's flutes which must be in error. He illus- 
trates and describes a flute made by Boehm, (pages 
374, 375, 390, 391) of which he says: "The di- 
ameter of the holes of a German silver flute that 
he made about the year 1851 vary, very irreg- 
ularly from 0.46 inch (11.7 mm.) for the C^ hole 
to 0.539 inch (13.7mm.) for DJt hole. The dis- 
tances between the holes are also extremely ir- 
regular, so much so that I have not thought it 
worth while to give an account of them. The tone 
of this flute is very poor and thin, not nearly equal 
to that of an eight-keyed flute of average excel- 
lence." Nothwithstanding Rockstro's measures 


are given to the thousandth of an inch, yet it is 
believed that his general statement must be in 
error. In support of this opinion, and in justice 
to Boehm, certain even more specific statements 
of facts may be made regarding the Heindl flute, 
Boehm's No. 19 made about 1850, and illustrated as 
No. 9 in the group picture, and also in Fig. 7. 
No. 19 is apparently exactly like the flute illus- 
trated in Rockstro's Treatise. No. 19 has grad- 
uated holes, the thumb-key hole is 11.4 millimeters 
in diameter, and the low.CS hole is 13.6 millimeters 
in diameter. The holes increase in diameter, with 
perfect regularity from the smaller to the larger, 
each hole being exactly 0.2 millimeter larger than 
the preceeding one. The holes are spaced with 
perfect regularity, and exactly to the scale A=445, 
no hole deviating from the precise position re- 
quired by Boehm's Schema by so much as half of 
a hundredth of an inch (there being the usual 
correction for the FS hole). The fact that Heindl 
used this flute for solo playing with the famous 
Mendelssohn Quintette Club and with the Boston 
Symphony Orchestra for many years is sufficient 
argument as to its quality of tone and correctness 
of tuning.] 


(a) Repairs 

EVEN though kept from . violent injuries, the 
flute, like other mechanisms, will occasion- 
ally need repairs. 

In practical use the keys move up and down a 
countless number of times, and all metal being 
subject to wear, the appearance of defects from 
this cause is unavoidable, even in the most solidly 
constructed mechanisms. 

A spring may break or lose its elasticity, the 
oil, with which the axles and pivots must be cov- 
ered, will become thick and sticky with time, and 
especially by the entering of dust, thus hindering 
the easy movement of the keys ; or it may be neces- 
sary to replace an injured pad. 

In all these cases it is necessary to remove the 
keys from the body and sometimes to take the 
mechanism to pieces. A person with some ex- 
perience who has made himself familiar with the 
construction, and who is provided with the few 
tools which are required, will have no difficulty 
in doing this. Every flutist should be in a posi- 
tion, therefore, himself to undertake small re- 
pairs, and he should not trust his instrument to 
incapable hands. 

(b) The Keys 
The unscrewing and taking apart of the key 
mechanism may be performed in the manner de- 
scribed in the following paragraphs. 


First, all of the springs, designated by a *, Fig. 
20, in each key group in which one or more keys 
are to be taken away, must be unhooked. This 
may be accomplished by means of the little fork 
represented in Fig. 35, with which the outer ends 



Fig. 35. Fork for setting springs. 

of the springs can be pushed far enough back- 
wards to disconnect them from the little hooks. 

For removing the foot keys of group A, Fig. 20, 
turn the pointed screw a backwards so that the steel 
axle with the C* I and D II keys attached can be 
taken out. A screwdriver of the form shown in 
Fig. 33 is convenient for turning the screws. 



Fig. 36. Screw Driver. 

If the pin of the D key II, which projects a lit- 
tle below, be drawn out, both keys are loosened 
and can be pushed off the axle. [The translator 
would advise, unless there is urgent need, that 
these pins should not be removed. For the pur- 
poses of cleaning, it is sufficient to remove the 
several groups of keys from the body, and to clean 
these groups without separating them into single 
pieces.] By unscrewing the small steel axles on 
which the rollers turn, these may also be removed 
from the lever arms. 

To remove the Dff key III, unscrew the steel axle 
and draw it out of the hinge. 


By unscrewing the pointed screw d the lower 
section 8 to 15 of group B may be taken off, and 
likewise the upper section 16 to 20 may be re- 
moved by unscrewing the upper steel axle which 
forms the pivot at' 20. The keys can be slipped 
off the moveable steel axles as soon as the pins 
through the clutch joints are pushed out. 

To remove the C key XII, partly draw out the 
steel axle which goes entirely through the C* 
key XIII. 

In the group C the two keys Gt VIII and A IX, 
in similar fashion, are taken off by withdrawing, 
partially or wholly, the steel axle which is screwed 
into the sphere h. 

For the removal of the two trill keys D XIV 
and D* XV of group D, loosen the pointed screw 
in the spherical pillar I. The D key XIV as well 
as its hinge can be drawn off the steel axle as soon 
as the pin through the lever arm at 28 (DS lever) 
is pushed out. 

When taking off and separating the key mech- 
anism, it. is best to lay each separate piece in its 
proper order on a sheet of paper; this will much 
facilitate the putting together, and it will not be so 
easy to interchange or lose anything. Each piece 
can then be readily cleaned and polished. 

All the surfaces may be cleaned with a cloth or 
chamois skin, and the inside of the hinge tubes 
with a small feather or a tuft of cotton which may 
be pushed through the little tubes with q small 
stick of wood, etc. [or be drawn through with a 
fine copper wire] . 


After this cleaning the surfaces may best be 
polished with a piece of fine glove leather 
[chamois skin] and a fine polishing brush with the 
application of a little rouge, such as is used by 

When putting the mechanism together again, 
all the places at which rubbing occurs must be 
properly oiled. For this purpose watch oil is best, 
but one may also use neats-foot oil or perfectly 
pure olive oil which has stood in the sun for a time 
and thereby been purified by sedimentary precipi- 

The steel axles should be wiped with a little 
piece of cloth slightly wet with oil, and the pointed 
screws (pivots) are best oiled with the point of a 
wooden toothpick. One should not use more oil 
than is really necessary for the protection of the 
rubbing surfaces. 

In putting together and screwing on the mechan- 
ism, as is self-evident, one must in each particular 
follow exactly the reverse order to that which was 
used in taking the instrument apart. It is neces- 
sary in each key group first to joint the pieces, 
after sliding them over the steel axles, by tightly 
inserting the pins; the separate groups of keys are 
screwed on, and finally the springs are hooked. 

Fig. 37. Tweezers. 

For holding the little screws, pins and springs, 
tweezers such as are shown in Fig. 37, are useful. 


For cementing leather or cloth [or cork] linings 
which have fallen off the keys, etc., a proper so- 
lution of shellac in alcohol serves best. 

(c) The Key Pads 

The most careful attention must be given to the 
proper construction and adjustment of the key 
pads. The pads are made from a strong cloth- 
like stuff of fine wool [felt]. In order that the 
pads made close the holes air tight, these felt disks 
are covered with a fine membrane (skin) ; this 
memberane is usually doubled, so that any ac- 
cidental injury to the pad shall not become trou- 
blesome all at once. 

The pads are covered over on the back side with 
little sheets of card and a hole is punched through 
the center, so that they may be screwed fast in 
the key cups. It is hardly possible to make the 
key cups always come exactly to the edge of the 
tone-holes, the pads are therefore made of such 
thickness that there is left a little space, then by 
underlaying of card or paper disks this may be 
filled till the pad fits perfectly all around. The 
failure of the pad to close the hole at particular 
points can be remedied by using pieces of paper 
cut in crescent shape. 

The pads are held by screws, the nuts being 
soldered to the key cups, and under the heads of 
the little screws there are silver washers, which 
must be allowed to press the pad neither too tightly 
nor too lightly; in the first case little wrinkles are 
formed in the skin of the pad which interfere with 


the air tight closing, in the second case air may 
escape through the cup. 

If a washer is too loosely held by its screw, it 
may be set in vibration by certain tones, producing 
an audible buzz which is inexplicable to many. It 
has happened that flutes have been sent from dis- 
tances of several hundred miles for repairs on 
which there was nothing wrong except that one 
single screw was not sufficiently tight. 

The main point about the pads is that each sep- 
arate key must close the corresponding hole per- 
fectly air tight; and when one key is required 
to operate upon another this can be accurately 
adjusted by means of the regulating screws ap- 
plied by me. 

When one key acts upon another, as the E key 
upon the G key, one can determine by seeing 
light between the pad and its seat or by the pres- 
sure of the finger whether one key presses too 
hard or too lightly; the regulating screw must 
be turned backward or forward until the two keys 
close together. 

In the case of the double connected keys, where 
the F» key works the G key and the B key to- 
gether, first turn the adjusting screw in the clutch 
of the F* key, and regulate the action of the G 
key, and then, afterwards adjust the action of the 
B key. 

To prove that all the keys on the middle joint 
or on the foot joint close perfectly, stop one end 
with a fine cork, and blow into the other end, 
while all the keys are closed with the fingers; one 


can then determine whether or not the air leaks 
out. By strongly blowing in tobacco smoke it will 
be easily seen which key leaks. But, a more cer- 
tain way is to draw out the air, after which the 
fingers are removed; if then all the keys remain 
closed of themselves, it is a sure indication no air 
leaks in. 

Fig. 38 is a clamp made of steel wire with which 
the keys can be pressed upon the flute until the 
pads become perfectly seated. 

Fig. 38. Clamp for the pads. 

Upon removing a pad which is still useful, one 
should designate its correct position in relation to 
the key stem by a mark, so that upon replacing 
it, it will come exactly into its former position. 

I have given these explanations so minutely, 
because the certain speaking and pure quality of 
tone of a flute depends in a great measure upon a 
perfect closing of the key, and this again upon a 
good padding. Well made pads, which I have in 
stock, can easily be sent in letters as "samples 
without value." 

(d) The Springs 

Of all metals, steel, undoubtedly, is the best for 
making springs. The genuine English darning 
or sewing needles of fine cast steel, well hard- 
ened, perfectly polished, which can be had in all 



required lengths and thicknesses, the best fulfill 
all the requirements of good key springs. 

Their preparation is quite simple. When it is 
necessary to replace a hroken spring by a new 
one, select a needle of the proper length and of 
exactly the same thickness as the broken one, 
accurately fitting the hole in the spring post, so 
that it may be drawn in tight without being drawn 
through. When a proper needle is found, lay it 
on a thin piece of sheet iron, and hold it over 
an alcohol flame long enough for it to become uni- 
formly of a beautiful blue or dark violet color. 
It thus loses its too great brittleness, and it can be 
easily bent as much as is necessary for obtaining 
the required tension, without danger of breaking. 
The needle may then be notched with a file at the 
right length and the superfluous end broken off. 
For this a fine sharp edged file is useful. The 
bending and inserting of the springs is accom- 
plished by means of small pincers, Fig. 39. 


If steel springs break, it is almost always be- 
cause of rust, which readily forms in damp air 


or from the perspiration of the fingers. A sud- 
den breaking of a spring while playing is very 
disagreeable. To prevent this, I have sometimes 
made springs of hard-drawn gold wire, which 
cost only 4 Thalers extra; these are next to steel 
springs in elasticity, and for many years have 
proved themselves very durable. 

(e) The Cork in the Head Joint 
Since the perfect tuning of the octaves depends 
upon the proper closing of the air column by the 
cork, it is necessary to smear it well with tallow 
each time it is drawn out for wiping the head 

If the cork fits too tightly, it can be made a little 
smaller by rolling between two smooth surfaces 
such as a table top and small board. Conversely 
the cork may be made shorter and consequently 
thicker by means of a cabinet maker's screw 


Fig. 40. Gage for setting the cork. 

That one may always place the cork exactly at 
the correct distance of 17 millimeters [about H 
inch] from the center of the mouth-hole, it is best 
to have a mark on the projecting end of the cork 
screw, and for verification to have also an ac- 
curate measuring stick such as is shown in Fig. 


Aged ;^3 years 

From a, miniature painted on ivory by Brandmuller 


IN order that a flute may remain in good con- 
dition as long as possible, it must be handled 
with care and cleanliness. Generally one has 
only himself to blame for the larger repairs re- 
quired, for cracks in the wood or breaks in the 
mechanism are usually the result of carelessness 
and neglect of cleanliness. Such accidents are 
easily prevented. If the cork coverings of both 
joints of the middle part of a wood flute are well 
rubbed with pure tallow, they will then remain 
soft and will tightly close the joints against mois- 
ture; and the application of undue force when 
putting the parts together will become unnecessary. 
For the same reason, the draw tube of the head 
joint, and the socket tube on the lower end of the 
middle joint of a silver flute must always be cov- 
ered with tallow. 

To avoid injury to the key mechanism, the mid- 
dle joint should always be grasped by the upper 
end, and never in the middle; and similarly the 
foot-joint should be grasped with the hand on 
the lower end. 

The three pieces should be so put toegther that 
the flute may be held in a natural position. The 
mouth-hole, the centers of the upper holes on the 
middle joint, and the axles of the foot keys should 
coincide in one straight line. The crutch should 


be inserted and so turned that the weight of the 
flute rests between the thumb and index finger 
of the left hand, then the movements of the fin- 
gers will be much freer than when the thumb is 
used for holding the flute. [The crutch is shown at 
C in Figs. 27 and 28, and also in Fig. 33.] 

[The translator agrees with Rockstro, who, in 
his "Treatise on the Flute," says: "The crutch 
is a cumbersome and unsightly appendage, and 
is useless to those who have properly constructed 
flutes, and who know how to hold them. It ser- 
iously cramps the action of the left hand fingers, 
especially the thumb, while it is unproductive of 
a single advantage. Happily it is now almost 

Further, one should be certain that the flute 
is so held in the hand that no water can flow 
into the tone-holes, since pads covered with mois- 
ture easily stick to the edges of the holes. 

When the flute is laid down out of the hand, 
the crutch should be turned at right angles to the 
flute tube so that it will form a firm support for 
the flute as it rests upon a horizontal plane, the 
flute tube itself inclining downwards. 

If a pad should become accidentally wet and for 
this reason or because of dirt, should stick, push 
a strip of printing paper under the pad and again 
draw it out-while gently pressing down on the key. 
In this way the moisture and dirt will be rubbed 
off" the smooth skin of the pad, and will adhere 
to the rough surface of the paper. 

If one takes the further slight trouble, each 


time the flute is laid down, to wipe the perspira- 
tion of the fingers from the keys, the oxidation of 
the metal will be retarded, and the flute will re- 
main clean and bright for a long time. 

The most important matter in the care of flutes, 
especially of new wooden ones, is the wiping out 
of the tube. The warping out of shape of the 
wood, which alters the proportions of the bore, 
and causes most of the cracks, is the result of 
moisture, which collects in the flute tube during 
the blowing. This produces an unequal expan- 
sion, the consequence of which is often the forma-, 
tion of superficial ridges, and frequently the com- 
plete bursting of the wood. 

Consequently after each blowing the flute tube 
must be wiped perfectly clean and dry, for which 
purpose one had best use an old silk or fine linen 
handkerchief and a thin swab stick of the length 
of the middle joint. Fold one end of the corner 
of the cloth over the stick and push it through 
the flute, till the upper end can be taken hold of. 
Then by slowly drawing the cloth through, all the 
drops of the liquid will be taken up by the first 
part of the cloth while the following part which 
is yet dry will completely remove any remaining 

Upon repeating this operation many times the 
bore will become polished, facilitating the full 
and easy production of tone; and this also makes 
it entirely superfluous to oil the flute tube, which 
is both disagreeable and injurious to the pads. 


EXPERIENCE shows that all wood-wind instru- 
ments are affected by the manner of blow- 
ing so that they become either better or worse 
with regard to the tones and their production. 
Though the tuning proportions remain unaltered, 
yet the player can accustom himself to blow sin- 
gle tones higher or lower. 

The reasons for this have never yet been satis- 
factorily explained. But it is known, that even 
after all swellings and deformations of the wood 
are removed from the flute tube as much as pos- 
sible by the most careful swabbings, the influence 
of the manner of blowing still remains perceptible. 
The best flute loses an easy speech by overblow- 
ing and its bright clear quality of tone by a bad 
embouchure, and conversely gains in speech and 
tone by a correct handling and a good embouch- 

The formation of a good embouchure is there- 
fore not only of the utmost importance for flute 
playing in general, but especially for the blow- 
ing of new flutes. Consequently a knowledge of 
the origin of the tone will be helpful. 


Aged 35 years 
At the time of the development of the conical bore, ring-key, flute 


THE column of air enclosed by the tube of the 
flute is exactly comparable with a stretched 
violin string. As the string is set into transverse 
vibrations by the bow and thus is made to sound, 
so the longitudinal vibrations of the air column 
of the flute are produced by the blowing. 

Further, as the clear quality of tone of the vio- 
lin depends upon a proper manipulation of the 
bow, so also the pure flute tone depends upon the 
direction in which the air stream is blown against 
the edge of the mouth-hole. 

Depending upon whether the air stream is di- 
rected more or less below the horizontal as it is 
blown across the flute, there develops from the fun- 
damental tone of the flute tube, with all the holes, 
closed, the so-called aliquot or harmonic over- 
tones; e. g., for the fundamental tone C3, the ali- 
quot tones are C^, G^, C5, E5, G5, (Bjb), and C^. 

Each octave therefore requires a different di- 
rection of the air stream, and when the correct 
one is found, not merely will a fine quality of tone 
be brought out, but by increasing the force of the 
air blast, the tone may be brought to the greatest 
possible strength without any deterioration in 
quality or pitch. 

However, by overblowing, that is by violently 


forcing the air, any tone can be made to break 
over into the higher tones, even when only a por- 
tion of the air goes in the right direction. Not 
only through the air thus wasted, but also because 
of the poor embouchure, the tone loses in purity, 
and there is produced at the same time a buzzing 
and rushing noise. 


(a) Its Musical Characteristics 

IN closing [in the original this section appeared 
at the end of the "Conclusion"] I feel that I 
ought to mention one of the most recently per- 
fected, and therefore little known, developments 
of the flute, to the construction of which I was led 
by tne great facility of vibration and easy speech 
of my silver flute in C; I refer to the "Alt-Flote" 
in G [Bass Flute] which is pitched a major fourth 
below the flute in C. 

The long felt need for deeper, stronger, and at 
the same time more sonorous flute tones has not 
been satisfactorily provided for either by the for- 
mer "Flute d'amour" or by the extension to the 
foot of a C flute, since the tones thus obtained 
are weak and uncertain, and their combination 
difficult and entirely unpracticable. There must 
be created an entirely new instrument in the fam- 
ily of flutes of deeper pitch, similar to the basset- 
horn and the English horn. 

[The exact date of the origin of the bass flute 
is uncertain. The booklet, "Zur Erinnerung an 
Theobald Boehm," states: "In his sixtieth year 
Boehm made his Alt-Flote which produces a re- 
markable effect." This would make the year 1854 
or 1855. In several letters dated in 1865, Boehm 
refers to the flute in G as being well established.] 


[Fig. 41 shows a bass flute in G made by Boehm 
and Mendler, acording to their most approved 
design. Fig. 42 is an instrument of the same kind 
with slight improvements in the mechanism, made 
by Rudall, Carte and Company.] 

Because of the great facility for modulation of 
the full, sonorous tones of this flute, it is adapted 
to music in the song style, and for accompanying 
a soprano voice. A player will, after a very little 
practice, be in a position to bring out genre effects 
which are impossible upon the C flute. « 

[Flutists have sometimes misunderstood the 
purpose of the flute in G, thinking it ought to be 
like the flute in C in quality but lower in pitch. 
It was Boehm's purpose to produce "an entirely 
new instrument," with a quality distinctly differ- 
ent from that of the flute in C even when tones 
of the same pitch were sounded on both flutes. 
The difference is similar to that between a true 
soprano voice and a true contralto. The qual- 
ity of the lower register of the flute in G some- 
times mildly suggests tones of the same pitch of 
the violin, or the French horn, or the saxophone 
played softly.] 

[Flutes of low pitch have long been made by 
many makers, often descending a full octave be- 
low middle C, as in the so-called contra-bass flutes. 
An account of flutes of lower pitch is given in 
Chapter VIII of Fitzgibbon's "Story of the Flute," 
reprinted in the Flutist magazine for November, 
1920, page 244. Boehm's distinct contribution 
was in so proportioning the tube as to secure the 

Fig. 41. 

Bass Flute 

Boehm & Mendler 


Fig. 42. 

Bass Flute 

-Rudall, Carte & Co. 


desired characteristic tone-quality, and in so ar- 
ranging the key mechanism that the fingering re- 
mains the same as for the Flute in C, and so that 
the operation is as certain and easy. The flute 
in G plays very easily, with an embouchure a lit- 
tle more relaxed than for the flute in C, and with 
gentler blowing; the mechanism is so Reliable 
that the execution is just as clear and certain as 
for the flute in C, though on account of the larger 
size of the keys, it is not suitable for very rapid 
passages. Its effective compass is about two and 
a half octaves. A Flute in F becomes so long 
that the mechanism is less satisfactory in opera- 
tion. On the other hand the Alto Flute in Bb is 
as playable as the flute in C, and is intermediate 
between this and the flute in G as regards tone 

[In a letter to Mr. Broadwood dated August, 
1871, (Broadwood, "Essay," page 59), Boehm 
writes: "My ideal of tone, large, sonorous, and 
powerful, admitting of every gradation from 
pianissimo to fortissimo, is still the tone of my 
silver flute in G. The effect I have repeatedly 
produced, when playing it, although now I am an 
old man of 78l^ years, is such that I only regret 
that I did not make this flute forty years ago. 
With a silver head-joint and a gold embouchure, 
the tone is very brilliant, and no room is too large 
for it; while with a wood embouchure on the sil- 
ver head-joint, the tone gains in richness without 
losing in power. Once when I played in church 
on this flute, accompanying a soprano, it was mis- 


taken for a French horn." In another letter dated 
February, 1873, he writes: "My eightieth birth- 
day will be in a few weeks, nevertheless I play 
every morning on my flute in G and people like to 
hear it." The translator has used a flute in G for 
over twenty years, and very much prefers it to the 
flute in C for music in the song style.] 

[Notwithstanding its beautiful tone quality the 
flute in G has been used but little. However, 
modem orchestral composers are now scoring for 
it, parts being found in the following composi- 
tions: Ravel, Daphnis et Chloe; Weingarten, Die 
Gefilde der Seligen; Mahler, Symphonies; Hol- 
brooke, Children of Don and Dylan; Stanford, var- 
ious compositions; Hahn, A Ballet; Schmid, Joseph 
and His Brethren; Stravinsky, Le Coeur de Prin- 
temps; Rimsky-Karsakow, Ballet Mlada, and Ivan 
the Terrible; Glazunow, various compositions; 
Atterberg, Ocean Symphony.] 

[The flute in G is particularly suited to cham- 
ber music, solos, duets, trios, etc., and yet very 
little music has ever been published for it. Rudall, 
Carte and Company, of London, have issued the 
following pieces for the flute in G and piano: 
Beethoven, Adelaide; Mendelssohn, Elijah, If With 
All Your Hearts and O, Rest in the Lord; Mozart, 
Aria, II mio tesoro, and Andante (arranged by 
Boehm) ; Schubert, Serenade. Boehm arranged 
a number of pieces but these have remained in 
manuscript with the single exception noted above; 
a list of these arrangements is given in the ap- 
pendix, and probably any flutist can himself re- 


arrange them from other available scores. Violin 
music of the song style is especially suitable, as 
the flute in G begins on the same tone as the G 
string of the violin. The part for the violin may 
be easily transposed. The following pieces have 
been found very effective: Bach, Air for the G 
String (Wilhelmj) ; Godard, Adagio Pathetique; 
Schumann, Traumeri and Abendgebet; Godard, 
Berceuse from Jocelyn; Terschak, Romance Itali- 
enne. Many trios for Flute, Violin, and Piano are 
beautifully rendered when the Flute in G takes 
the violin part; an effective number of this kind is 
the Romanza by Fuchs.J 

(b) Dimensions of the Bass Flute 
As early as 1847 I had made flute tubes giving 
an easy and certain speech for the tone Eg 


but the difficulties connected with the construction 
and playing of the keys led me to choose the 
tone G, 


as the fundamental of my bass flute. 

In the calculation of the proportions of the air 
column, I gave preference to ihe deeper tones; 
the speech is easy and certain, and lends itself to 
a surprisingly strong crescendo; hence the bass 
flute is suitable for playing in the largest room or 
in the salon. 


[Boehm submitted a flute in G, together with an 
explanation of his Schema to the Paris Exposition 
of 1867, and as a part of the exhibit there were 
tables of the actual dimensions of his flutes in C 
and G. The table for the flute in C is given on 
page 35 of this work; the table for the Flute in G 
was not included by Boehm in "Die Flote und das 
Flotenspiel," but for the sake of completeness and 
because of increasing interest, it seems desirable to 
include it in this edition. Comments on the ex- 
hibit at the Paris Exhibition are given on pages 309 
to 313 of Welch's "History of the Boehm Flute."] 

[As made by Boehm the flute in G has a tube 
with an inside diameter of 26 millimeters; the 
tone-holes are 19.3 millimeters in diameter and the 
rise of the keys is about 6 millimeters; the em- 
bouchure is a trifle larger than for the flute in C, 
being about 11.0 by 13.0 millimeters; the distance 
of the face of the cork from the center of the 
embouchure is 20.5 millimeters; Table III gives 
the scale for such a flute corresponding to the pitch 
A^435. From these dimensions a Schema diagram 
for the flute in G at various pitches can be con- 
structed in the manner described for the flute in C, 
on pages 35 to 47. The "actual length of air col- 
umn" for any tone is the distance, measured from 
the face of the cork to the center of the correspond- 
ing lateral tone-hole having a diameter of 19.3 
millimeters. This length is 68 millimeters less 
than the corresponding "theoretical length"; the 
quantity, 68 millimeters, is the "closed-end correc- 
tion" for this size of tube (see pages 34 and 42.] 








Lengrths of 
Air Column 


Lengths of 
Air Column 


Gsb F,» 












E^b Da* 








D.b Calf 












Bjb A,lt 








A,b G^* 








[Other practical details of the dimensions, for 
the pitch A=435, are as follows: The "correction 
for the open end" is 10.5 millimeters, so that the 
distance from the cork, to the end giving the low- 
est tone, G2, is 817+10.5=827.5 millimeters. The 
correction for the FS hole is — 2.3 millimeters, giv- 
ing for the actual location of this hole, 557.8- 2.3= 
555.5 millimeters from the cork. The CJf hole is 
10 millimeters in diameter and it is at a distance 
of 333.0 millimeters from the cork. The D*! trill- 
key hole has a diameter of 10.5 millimeters and it 
is 315.2 millimeters from the cork. The octave- 
key hole is 5.0 millimeters in diameter and is 13.9 
millimeters above the Ct hole.] 

[The bass flute shown in Fig. 41 is constructed 
according to the Schema based upon the dimen- 
sions of Table III, and is for the pitch A=440.] 








(c) Mechanism of the Bass Flute 

Being made with G for its fundamental tone, 
there is required no alteration in the system of 
fingering, since the upper half of the key mechan- 
ism can be arranged to be played very conven- 
iently by the left hand, through extensions of the 
axles, as shown in Fig. 43, and the lower half re- 
quires only slight alterations. 

A very conveniently arranged "schleifklappe" 
[octave-key], marked S and with a * in Fig. 43, 
may be opened by the thumb; it serves to give 
freer speech and greater purity of tone to the 
notes DJf, EJ), D^, Dg*, E^b and Ag. [This key is de- 
scribed and illustrated, as applied to the flute in C, 
on page 86.J 

The trill key, marked D and * * in Fig. 43, is a 
substitute for the long D trill key in all cases where 
this would be used on the C flute. 

[The mechanism of the flute shown in Fig. 41 
is arranged exactly as shown in the diagram Fig. 
43, and explained in the preceding paragraphs. 
The mechanism of the flute shown in Fig. 42 is the 
same in general, except that there are trill keys 
for D and DS, to be played by the fingers of the 
right hand as on the ordinary C flute, and there 
is no octave-key. This construction for the trill 
keys is the one now usually employed.] 

(d) Special Fingerings for the Bass Flute 
All the fingerings of the C flute from C3 to A, 
are applicable to the bass flute; but since the Cj 
sounds as G2, of course the music for the bass flute 




1 ♦ • o 

1 o o o 


--| O C)« • O 

o • m -Q. 


1 O • O 

1 o o o 


o • • • 


1 o s- o 

1 o o o 


o So o o 

1 o o o 

1 o o o 



**■"■ m^ • • • 

1 • .i" 

1 o o o 

1 • • • 

1 o o o 


1 -^ 

■■'■■ o qo o o 

1 o o o 

1 o o o 



.'■-- • PHO o o* 

1 o o o 

1 o o o 


• '^o • • 

o • • 

1 o o o 

iV-* ' ' 


^11 II 

• o • 

[ • o o 


r o ^o o • 


<ll 11 

o so* 

• o • 

1 • O 



• • o • 

• • o 

o o o 


• • • o 


• • • 

o o o 


o • • • 


o o 

o o o 


% • • • 

• • o 

o o o 

o • • • 

• • • 

o o o 

f-l >iH 

Z o 

S c 

u o 

ij •- 

tw "3, 

I S " 

i I 

w o 

S .2 

Oi Hi 

p .a 


must be written a fourth higher, that is, be trans- 
posed. [The tables of regular fingerings for the C 
flute are given on page 72.] 

There follow two supplementary tables of fin- 
gerings; the first shows the application of the oc- 
tave-key *, Fig. 43; the second table indicates the 
special uses of the D trill key, * *, Fig. 43. [As 
mentioned above, the bass flute is usually con- 
structed with trill keys placed as on the C flute, in 
which case the fingerings for the latter are directly 



Aged 60 years 

At the time of the perfection of the cylinder bore, covered hole, flute 

His favorite portrait 




UPON the supposition that the student has had 
elementary musical instruction in regard to 
notes, time, keys, etc., such as may be found in 
any printed Flute Instructor (especially in that 
of Hugot and Wunderlich, Jos. Aibl, Munich) I 
will proceed to a consideration of the playing of 
the flute itself, and shall begin with what I believe 
to be the essential requisite, the tone formation. 

A good embouchure depends for the most part 
upon a normal formation of the lips and teeth. 
However, if one has a defective embouchure, and 
also lacks a proper appreciation of beautiful tone 
quality, that is if he does not have a proper tone 
sense, both of these faults can be considerably im- 
proved by exercising in the following manner. 

Since a gradual transition is best in all things, by 
passing from the easy to the more difficult, so one, 
in blowing a new flute, should not begin with the 
higher and lower tones which are more difficult 
to produce, but he should begin in the middle reg- 
ister, in which the tone C4 is best produced by a 
beginner. [This tone is produced when the first 
finger of the left hand only is placed on its key.] 

When one has found the proper embouchure 
by which this tone can be clearly sounded in a 
delicate piano, one should gradually, without rais- 



ing the pitch, swell it to a forte, and then bring it 
back again to the faintest pianissimo. 

When this is fully accomplished one passes in 
the following manner to the next lower tone. 
"While sounding the ,0^ with a beautiful, clear, and 
pure tone, close the C key by a quick motion [of 
the left thumb], but without making any alteration 
in the embouchure or in the force of the wind. 


The tone B thus obtained should continue, un- 
altered, the quality and purity of the preceding 
tone C. Then sound the B alone, [with crescendo 

and diminuendo], and after breathing again, pro- 
ceed [in like manner] to the tone Bb. 

l^ <=> \ ^° I I 

Continuing in this way and with the least pos- 
sible alteration of the embouchure, gradually, cer- 
tainly and without exertion proceed to the lower 
tones successively, and in a similar manner prac- 
tice the tones from C4 upwards to the highest. 
Since each tone is always developed out of the 


preceding tone, which is already as perfect as 
possible, all of the tones will remain equally per- 
fect in quality, strength and purity. 

As soon as one obtains a certainty in the em- 
bouchure, he should next practice all the major 
and minor scales ; then intervals of thirds, fourths, 
fifths, sixths, sevenths, and octaves; the embouchure 
will thus become accustomed to the making of 
increasing intervals, and soon one will be in a 
position to take the greatest skips with the proper 
embouchure, and consequently with certainty. 

^^£. ff^-re^ ot^ff fCk'^^ eoC'te^, ir-it/ 

Fig. 44. 
Facsimile of Boehm's autograph. 


SINCE the certain production of the tone de- 
pends not only upon the embouchure, but al- 
so upon a quick and smooth movement of the fin- 
gers, in this exercise all the tones should be slurred 
together, for in staccato playing one observes less 
easily whether all the fingers move up and down 
precisely together. 

A portion of one's attention is always lost in 
reading notes, tberefore, it is very important to 
play "by heart" as much as possible, so that the 
formation of the embouchure and tone may have 
the undivided attention. To do this will, of course, 
be difficult for the untrained musician. The best 
method for impressing upon the memory the 
proper sequence of tones in the scales and 
chords of all keys, is first to learn by heart 
the tones of one scale or one chord in only 
a single octave; then one will soon learn to play 
the flute in all keys and through its entire com- 
pass. Furthermore I have come to the conclu- 
sion from my own practice as well as from my 
many years of experience as a teacher,''that pupils 
advance most rapidly who take the trouble to 
practice patiently the complicated finger changes 
of a single difficult phrase until it can be played 
smoothly and clearly. One acquires in this way. 


SO to speak, wealth which is laid by, and which 
is always increasing by additions. 

When a short phrase is found difficult, it is 
evidently a waste of time to repeat the entire pas- 
sage containing the "stumbling block" in the 
greater part of which one has already acquired 
facility; one should practice the few troublesome 
notes till the difficult tone-combination is mas- 

By such a judicious use of time I have brought 
many scholars in a year's practice to a thoroughly 
correct interpretation (execution) of a piece of 
music which others with far greater talent, but 
without patience and perseverance, would never 

An answer is needed to the question which is so 
frequently put to me, "What and how should one 
first practice in learning my flute?" Notwith- 
standing this work makes no claim to the title of 
a Flute-School, yet this is an appropriate place for 
the answer and the many interested flute players 
will welcome it. 


ABOVE all one should endeavor, at the begin- 
ning of each practice period, to secure a good 
embouchure, in the manner previously described, 
for without a clear tone, nothing can be well and 
beautifully played. The tone is the voice without 
which one cannot even begin to sing. 

When the embouchure has become good and 
certain, one should study the scales and chords in 
all the keys, for these are the foundation of all 
passages, and when one has once learned to play 
them with precise finger movements (which can 
be easily determined by the ear) all the other tone 
figures will be quickly and easily mastered. 

As has been said, it is only a waste of time to 
repeat anything that can already be played with- 
out stumbling. Difiicult finger movements, on the 
contrary, must be gone over very slowly at first, 
so that in the slurred tone-combinations no inter- 
polated tones are audible, and no lack of purity 
is noticeable. Especially, one must train the fin- 
gers to a perfectly smooth movement by the trill 
exercises, so that no one tone predominates, and 
so that no bleating or so-called "bockstriller" [goat 
trill] is produced. 

To secure this smoothness, there must be no per- 
ceptible cramping tension of the muscles, in either 


the hand or arm, this cramping results from an 
entirely unnecessary expenditure of force. 

If one only forms the idea that a thing is not 
diflScult, it becomes much easier. 

Further, many flute players have the bad habit 
of raising the fingers not only much too high, but 
also to unequal heights, whereby complicated fin- 
ger movements become unnecessarily difficult; 
since when several keys are closed at the same 
time, if one finger must move much farther than 
another, it is perfectly evident that they cannot 
reach the end at the same time. 

The raising of the fingers too high has another 
disadvantage, since in rapidly closing the keys a 
very audible and disagreeable clap or rattle is pro- 
duced, and at the same time the key receives a 
blow and the mechanism a reaction which clearly 
work disadvantageously to them. On the con- 
trary, if the fingers are held directly over the keys 
a forcible closing of them will be nearly or wholly 
inaudible, and there will be produced only a pres- 
sure without rebound. 

The fingers therefore should be held at equal 
heights, and no higher than is necessary above 
the keys. To secure this, and especially as most 
players do not realize how high they have raised 
their fingers, I advise all my pupils, when prac- 
ticing the scales, to stand before a mirror. They 
are then in a position to see not only the finger 
movements and the whole manner of holding the 
flute, but also to detect many bad habits, such as 


distortion of the features, and unnecessary move- 
ments of the head, arms and body. 

If one cannot express his feelings through the 
style of tone, he surely is not in a position to do 
so by head or body movements. A calm, firm 
attitude certainly presents a much more pleasing 
appearance to the hearer than visible exertions, or 
affected, sentimental movements. 

Since bad habits are very difficult to overcome, 
they ought to be removed in their beginnings. It 
is very short sighted to economize in the begin- 
ning, for in the end the best teacher is also the 
cheapest. It is impossible for everyone to find a 
good teacher, and in all the flute-schools known 
to me the methods of style are treated in a very 
superficial manner; therefore, I believe that my 
views upon this subject, founded upon many years 
of experience as an artist and teacher, should 
be given. 



HE .who, like myself, has been fortunate enough 
to have heard, for more than fifty years, all 
the greatest singers and songstresses of the time, 
will never forget the names of Rrizzi, Sesi, Cata- 
lani, Velluti, Lablache, Tamburini, Rubini, Mali- 
bran, Pasta, etc. It fills me with joy to remember 
their artistic and splendid performances; they 
have all come forth from the good old Italian 
school of song, which today, as in the past hun- 
dred years, gives the foundation for a good voice 
formation, and leads to a correct understanding 
of style, which is an essential for the instrument- 
alist as well as for the singer. 

The interpretation of a piece of music should 
evidently give to the hearer what the composer 
has endeavored to express in notes. The player 
himself must therefore, in order to be intelligible, 
first clearly comprehend the sense and spirit of 
the composition. 

But the means which the composer has at hand 
are not always sufficient to clearly convey his 
ideas. All the customary designations of the 
tempo from largo to prestissimo being without 
metronomic determinations give rather indefinite 
ideas; and the articulations, accents, and nuances 
of the tone strength, especially in older or care- 
lessly copied music, are designated at the best 


in a very faulty way and often not at all. Much is 
left therefore to the discretion and individual com- 
prehension of the performer, in which respects, 
as is known, even thorough musicians will differ 

In the orchestra, naturally the interpretation of 
the director is followed and the flutist who plays 
each note according to the dictated directions, 
clearly, with a good and pure tone, has accom- 
plished much, and his playing is at least correct. 

In solo playing, on the other hand, where the 
player himself appears, the overcoming of tech- 
nical difficulties is mainly accomplished by an ex- 
traordinary amount of practice, after which the 
genuine artist should endeavor to bring out a defi- 
nite expression of feeling. It is much easier to 
win applause by a brilliant execution, than to 
reach the hearts of the hearers through a canta- 

For example, to play well an adagio with all the 
possible colorature, the player must not only be 
a perfect master of his instrument, but he must 
also have the power to transform the tones, as 
it were, into words, by which he will be able to 
give his feelings a clear expression. The com- 
poser of vocal music endeavors to make the tones 
express the emotions described by the words, and 
the singer is most easily led to a correct musical 
interpretation through the words connected with 
the tones; likewise, the flute player must learn to 
sing upon his instrument. 

If the composer under the influence of the words 


of the poem has been enabled to express his feel- 
ings in tone, and to form his melodies upon the 
laws of rhythm and declamation, so also the 
thoughtful instrumentalist can perceive the cor- 
rect interpretation of the music of an aria or a 
song in its text. 

He will learn by the study of good song music 
when and why a note should be played staccato, 
or be slurred with the next following; and when 
an accent or a crescendo or diminuendo in the tone 
strength, is necessary to bestow upon the music 
an expression corresponding to the words; and 
when a breath can be taken without breaking the 
correct declamation. 

The text will clearly show him the phrases and 
will indicate to him the points for which the full 
strength of the tone must be saved, for producing 
the greatest effects, as is done by the points of 
highest light in a good painting. 

The following examples will serve as a clearer 
explanation of what has been said, as well as to 
explain the portamento di voce which is indis- 
pensable to a good style of cantabile. 

Since it is only possible to indicate the declama- 
tion or correct expression of the words of a text 
on an instrument by means of articulation, that 
is by striking the notes according to the meaning 
or syllable-beginnings of the words, it is import- 
ant to learn the necesary art of tonguing and its 
proper application. This is indicated in three dif- 
ferent ways, namely a short staccato by little lines 



( f r r j ; less staccato by points ( f f f ) 

and an entirely smooth staccato by points over 
which there is a slur ( f f f ) , indicating that 

the tone is to have merely a new impulse, but that 
the air stream is not to be interrupted. 

This tonguing should sound as softly as the 
second syllable "de" [te] for example, in speaking 
the word "Beide" [bl-te], which serves very satis- 
factorily for the making of separate syllables. In 
many cases the expression can be further in- 
creased, as is indicated in the following example. 

LarghettO. fSia^alimmeJ 


Dieas BildniBB istbezaubGrDdscb&D,wienoclikeinAu-ge je ge- Behnlich fQhIeB, ich ftkhl eB, wiedj 

GOt-ter-bild inein Herz mit neu-er Regnng follt, mein Herz mit nen - cr Rfigung fflllt. 


^ft-^£^^^ - ^ ^ l^^ ^-£^^j^: 


[The musical illustrations have been photo- 
graphically reproduced from the German edition. 
The line above the words is the music as written 
for the voice, while the line below indicates the 
interpretation for the flute.J 

The correct articulation follows here of itself 
from the declamation of the words. 



By means of the soft tonguing of the four notes 
Eb, D, C, and Bb of the first bar, as well as the notes 
D, C, Bb and Ab of the third bar, there is given 
to the words "ist bezaubernd schon," and "kein 
Auge je gesehn," considerably more expression 
than if they were entirely slurred together. The 
breathing places are indicated thus: v. 

Further, it is evident that it is not allowable to 
slur any note over to the first note of the next 
measure, since it almost always happens that the 
note falling in the so-called strong part of the 
measure must be tongued, in order that the word 
depending upon it may receive its proper accent. 
The slurring of a note to the following measure 
is always a fault, unless it is justified for some 
special reason, as in dance music or comic songs, 
where it may be used to produce a piquant or 
bizarre effect. For example: 

But in song music this tying over from the 
weak to the strong beat of a measure is allowable 
only when employed as syncopation, as in canon 
or fugue, to bring out an increased expression. For 
example in the following illustration where the 

l^rgo. (SimgUimmt.) 

Xus „Joseph", 

Nurmei-ne Eio-der lui glQeklicliflt6tssehi,Darmei-De ElD*der laHriftckUcbitetBWUL 
Bendsheu-reuxmei eji-(iui8,ezauu map^itol-Rends I6s lieDreax,reiidBliH l»o * moe. 
(Ftolt.) — =^ 



word "nur" is repeated in the third measure, the 
anticipation of the E by a quarter note constitutes 
a syncopation, by means of which the effect is in- 

The following examples will furnish, through a 
reading of the text, a clear idea of the rhythmic 
and declamatory significance of each note. 

The methods of interpretation which I have here 
given for playing on the flute, will serve as guides 
by which anyone may learn to judge correctly 
why and in what manner a note should be tongued 
or intoned, so that it shall give the sense and 
expression of the word for which it is a substitute, 
or whether it should be considered merely as a 
syllable without significance, and should therefore 
be slurred together with other notes. 


Der LiDdenbaum. ScbuberL 


p^f4r-^^-i-^l-9=p=?t^^"^^fe3=d-f- J J-^=?Jbri 

Am Brunnen jor den Thore, 

da Btebt ein Lio-denbaum, icb tr&umtiii sei-oem Scbatten bo 
V 3 V V 

MH ,|-f^ 'S^iU^ 

^-^nhi^T^^.ir 'J ^ j\i^m 

man-Gheo aOa-Beo Traam; icb Bcbaittia sei - ae> Riu-de so mfin-ebeft lie -be Wort,' ei 



Upon the repetition of a strophe, on the con- 
trary, where the theme would become somewhat 
monotonous in the absence of words, the player 
may be allowed to take some license, and add 
little ornaments in suitable places; especially in 
bright and light melodies. In the last of the fol- 
lowing songs, "Das Fischermadchen," for exam- 
ple, a heightening of the expression will result, if 
the ornaments are performed not heavily, but 
lightly and gracefully. 

In the preceding song the triplets, and also the 
sixteenth notes of the second, fourth and sixth 
measures of the following, may be slurred; how- 
ever, in my opinion, a soft tonguing gives a more 
definite effect. 

Ziemlich langsaoi. (Singstimme.) 

Trockene Blumfln. 

Behtihr al ■ 1e mich an bo weh, aJs ob ihr wasatet, vie mir ge-BcIieh?ihrfilQmIeui alle, wie 


Massif {Siagilimme.} 


H A'^'riJi 

^H^ efe|3 

Lei-ie Bs-ben mef-ne Lie-der durchdieNach'tzu dir, in dea aUI- lea pain her - ail • 


^ ^^S^^ 3 f±^'.^ ^ ^^-ri. r- p i ^;f ^^^ 

Liebchen.kommznniir. FJilBteindschlaDke Wipfel rtu-BCbeo ia des Hon-des Licht, in desMon-des 

Licht; des Ver- ra- thersfeiodlichLauBcheD fflrchte Hoi • de nicht, farjhte Hoi - de nichL 

The triplets may also be slurred together, in the 
above song. 

Etwas geschwind. [Smgalimnu^.) 

Das Fischerniadchen. 

kLU_Lj g I A-T^ I ^^g— ;^ 

n mTT 

ko aea Euid in Hand, wir ko - sen Hand in Huid. 

The great wealth of beautiful German songs of 
Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and 


others are almost inexhaustible sources of studies 
for the formation of a correct interpretation and 
a good style. 

From the words of the poems of the popular 
songs of other nations, such as Scottish, Irish, 
Swedish and Slavish, one may also learn a good 

One should begin with songs which are simple 
but full of expression in word and melody, then 
one will soon learn to comprehend compositions, 
which, as Beethoven's "Adelaide," are written in 
the highest dramatic style, and form a transition 
to the arias for the interpretation of which a 
knowledge of all the arts of ornamentation and 
colorature is necessary. 

All coloratures may be considered a diversifi- 
cation of a single note, whose time value is par- 
tially or wholly consumed in executing the orna- 

The simplest ornament is the accented appog- 
giatura which moves either upwards or downwards, 
and is designated by a small note; and for equally 
divided notes it takes one-half of the time value 
of the principal note, and for unequal division it 
takes one-third. 

i^t& ^'^^^^ ^ ^ ^ ^^m^m^^ 


[The musical ornaments are first given "as 
written," and then "as played;" in some instances 
the name or interpretation seems to be incor- 



The double appoggiatura, consisting of two or 
three small notes, is to be treated in a similar 
manner. This may form a triplet, as in the exam- 

The double appoggiatura is to be distinguished 
from the "schneller" or half -mordent in which the 
first of the two small notes is always the same as 
the principal note; for example: 

The true mordent (gruppetto) is a group of 
three or four small notes which move within the 
compass of a minor third, and consists, both in 
ascending and descending, of a note first above 
and then below the given note. For example: 

A very effective, and at the same time the most 
difficult vocal ornament is the trill, a thoroughly 
good execution of which is, at the present time, 
unfortunately, very rarely heard. The trill con- 
sists in the alternation of two adjacent tones, a 
major or a minor second part, which are to be 
smoothly and rapidly repeated. Following the 
best old Italian school of song, the trill should 
commence upon the principal note, and not upon 
the auxiliary note; the two notes must have equal 
tone strength, and exactly equal time value, and 



the alternation should be slower in Adagio, and 
more rapid in Allegro. For a final cadence, or a 
fermata, it should gradually increase in speed, and 
there should be a swelling out and a diminishing 
of the tone strength. Further, every trill must 
end with a resolution which is formed of the prin- 
cipal note preceded by the next lower note. The 
"Pralltriller" [inverted mordent] is the only ex- 
ception to this rule. For a cadence trill the end- 
ing may have a variety of forms, according to the 
taste of the performer. 

Cadence trilL 

Prall trill 

ir tr ir Ir 

According to my idea, all trills not resting upon 
the note of the harmony, such as the last preceding 

mordent trills, and trills consisting in the multi- 
plication of an appoggiatura, should begin with 



the auxiliary note, and proceed by means of a 
final resolution. 

All trills must begin slowly, and very gradually 
become more rapid, a perfect equality of the tones 
being maintained throughout, and the production 
of a so-called bleating or bockstriller" must be 

Equally useful are the ornaments produced by 
runs, which are also developed by the diversifica- 
tion of a fundamental tone and which must there- 
fore be played exactly within the time and in the 
manner of expression of this note; either with 
equal tone value {tenuto) or with increasing 
strength (crescendo) or diminishing strength 
(diminuendo) . For example : 

Since the time of Mozart, and especially by Ros- 
sini, all the vocal ornaments have been accurately 
written out by composers, hence one will find in 
operas and concert arias a large selection of taste- 
ful and effective coloratures, which will serve as 
models for practice. 

Many arias also contain the most beautiful melo- 
dies for the study of cantabile which in aesthetic 
respects will remain the best examples, and for 
the rendering of which the flute player must have 


all the qualifications which characterize the gen- 
uine artist. These qualifications are an intelligent 
comprehension of the composition, a deep feeling 
and a cultivated taste, correctly timed breathing, 
and a perfectly formed tone, for without these a 
good interpretation of a cantabile with portamento 
(gliding voice) is impossible. 

Although the proper portamento di voce, namely 
the gliding over from one tone to another while 
speaking two different syllables, is adapted to the 
human voice alone, and consequently seldom 
seems good and appropriate on string instruments, 
yet it is sometimes desired to imitate it upon wind 
instruments with tone holes. On account of defec- 
tive execution, however, the effect is often repul- 
sive and suggests "cat music" on the house tops, 
rather than a beautifully sung cantilena. 

The significance, often misunderstood, of the 
word portamento, seems to me to consist in a 
development of the legato derived from the Italian 
cantare legato in which all the intermediate tones 
are delicately and smoothly connected together, 
like a series of pearls by a connecting thread, the 
latter being figuratively represented by the air 
stream. For example: 

The following extract from the aria of Donna 
Anna in Mozart's "Don Juan" serves as a com- 
bination of the above described song-studies, 



since the cantibile of the Larghetto ends with 
simple runs and mordent ornaments, and the 
Allegretto contains mordent trills, roulades, and a 
closing trill, and has practically all of the arts of 

In the lower line, designed to be played upon 
the flute, all of the legato places are designated 
by slur marks, the moderate articulations by 
points and the sharply tongued notes by lines. 
The places where breath should be taken are 
designated by large breathing signs, and the places 
where it may be taken if necessary by small signs. 
[In the original edition there are no staccatissimo 
lines, and the breathing signs are all alike.] The 
explanation of the trills which occur has already 
been given above. 

iJ^, a r tT^vi—i.. - 


Don Jnan. 

~ . r 1 ... K- 

1. j|-| 


Hon - mi 

-11 fefefaj* 

dir, bel - 


dol mi - (T 

cbe BOD i 


n " '^ 1 [^ ^ * 1 J * 1 

. era-dot eoo - te 


+-4 »j - • 

-^— ' 

;> 1 f^. }^ 


— p 7 C 1 f'a /3 1 J i 1 

1 r bMLf 


— a-i-tf-- 

If ? 1 1 

^ T ^ |[^ «^ 1 J t 1 

■^ neiia voce. 

■ ^'kr 




^^^^^g^^^^^ s^^^^^ 

co-rs BfiO'ti - ra 




QUlf. g.jJ.l^/f,,,. i,,U^,iti4^^ — 

Fig. 4S. 

A photographic reproduction of No. 1 of the 12 Uebungen, in Boehm's 
own hand-writing. 


1 BELIEVE that I have now pointed out the surest 
way in which one may acquire a correct and 
elegant style of playing, so that he may be pre- 
pared to delight himseff and others not only with 
difficult compositions, but also with simple and 
beautifully played songs. 

Moreover, attention to my instructions will lead 
to a correct technical execution, and to facilitate 
this there has been printed as a supplement to 
this work and published by Jos. Aibl in Munich, 
"12 Uebungsstucke in alien Tonarten." These 
practice pieces form a transition to the following 
studies which were composed earlier and in 
which are to be found nearly all the practicable 
difficulties for the flute. 

1. 12 Etudes pour la Flute, propres a egaliser le 

doigte dans toutes les gammes, op. 15; 
Falter & Sohn, Munich; [Rudall, Carte & 
Co., London; Carl Fischer, New York.] 

2. 24 Caprices-Etudes pour la Flute, op. 28; B. 

Schott's Sohne, Mainz; Richault, Paris; 
Rudall, Carte & Co., London; [Carl 
Fischer, New York.] 

3. 24 Etudes pour la Flute seule ou avec accom- 

pagnement du Piano, op. 37; B. Schott's 
Sohne, Mainz; [Rudall, Carte & Co., 
London; Carl Fischer, New York.] 


[The original manuscript of this work, men- 
tioned in the Preface, contains the first six of the 
Uebungsstiicke. No. 1 of the series is photo- 
graphically reproduced in Fig. 45, and shows the 
neatness of Boehm's musical hand-writing. These 
studies, are published by the G. Schirmer Com- 
pany, New York, in the "Library of Musical 
Classics," Vol. 122, under the title : "Twelve Prac- 
tice Pieces for Flute for acquiring a smooth and 
even finger-movement in all keys."] 

[Boehm was not only a famous teacher and a 
member of the Bavarian Boyal Court Orchestra, 
but he was also widely known for his solo playing 
in concerts. He frequently appeared in many of 
the principal music centers of Germany, Hungary, 
Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and England, 
and the printed accounts of his performances are 
most complimentary. They show that Boehm 
himself achieved in a remarkable degree the style 
of playing which he advocates in this treatise. A 
published account of one of his concerts in Nurem- 
berg contains the following appreciation: "His 
playing shows a tender, elegiac sentiment, a 
beautiful, romantic longing; his singing upon his 
instrument is inspired by the deepest feeling. His 
mastership in seizing all nuances, the melancholy 
pathos of his style, wins him the first place among 
the flutists of Europe. One hesitates to breathe for 
fear the tenderness and soulfulness of the blended 
tones will be disturbed and the magic spell will 
be broken." Of a concert given in Leipzig it is 
written: "The playing of Herr Boehm is firm. 

boehm's last composition 163 

especially pure and technically efficient, with a 
beautiful, tender, and yet very full tone. The very 
difficult task in Drouet's 'Variations' he gave with 
so much finish and good taste that we owe the 
artist our thanks for an evening full of enjoy- 

[Boehm wrote over sixty compositions for the 
flute, including original pieces in various styles 
and arrangements of the classics, with both piano 
and orchestral accompaniments. A complete, 
revised list of Boehm's published compositions is 
given in the Appendix (c). One of his best com- 
positions is also his last, the Elegie, opus 47, 
published in 1881. Schafhautl, in his "Life of 
Boehm," speaks thus of it: "His swan-song bears 
the very characteristic title of 'Elegie.' It is 
written in the key of Ab major; a sweet melancholy 
rises through forty bars to a bitter lamentation, 
only to sink back by degrees to a peaceful resigna- 
tion. It is the aged man, who, already ailing, once 
said in his eighty-seventh year: 'I would that I 
might yet live to the ninetieth year; but as God 
wills.' The Elegie is composed for full orchestra. 
The orchestra raises the composition to a work 
of true magnificence, developing here and there, in 
a most effective way, what the singing flute-voice 
only suggests."] 

Fig. 46. 
The house at 20 Altheimereck, Munich, where Boehm lived 

Fig. 47. 
Inner court, looking toward Boehm's home and shop 


(a) Biographical Notes 

Theobald Boehm was born in Munich, Bavaria, 
on April 9, 1794. He was born, lived, worked, and 
died in the same house, at No. 20 Altheimereck. 
The Boehm family occupied a flat in a building 
which had once formed part of one of the religious 
houses in which before the suppression of such 
institutions in Bavaria, Munich abounded. It had 
been the residence of Boehm's father, and his de- 
scendants continued to live there. Fig. 46 shows 
this house, as seen from the street, from a photo- 
graph taken by the translator in 1905. The en- 
trance (in the center, at the left of the lamp post) 
leads into the inner court, and from this court 
there are various doors and stairways leading to 
numerous apartments which constitute the build- 
ing as a whole. Fig. 47 is a view taken in this 
inner court, looking toward Boehm's apartment. 
The family lived on the third floor, and the work- 
shops of "Th. Boehm & Mendler" were on the 
fourth floor just over the living rooms. He was 
married in 1820. In 1870 there was a celebration 
of the Golden Wedding, with a family consisting 
of seven sons, one daughter, seven daughters-in- 
law, and thirty grandchildren. Boehm died on 
November 25, 1881, in his eighty-eighth year. In 


this house on April 9, 1894, there was held a family 
celebration to commemorate the centenary of 
Boehm's birth. 

Professor Dr. Carl von Schafhautl, of the Uni- 
versity of Munich, was a life-long friend and com- 
panion of Boehm, having lived for years in 
Boehm's home. In 1882 Schafhautl wrote a series 
of articles entitled, "Theobald Boehm: The Life 
of a Remarkable Artist," which appeared in the 
AUgemeine Musikalische Zeitung of Leipzig. A 
translation of this life of Boehm is given in 
Welch's "History of the Boehm Flute," and fills 
102 pages. Welch also gives a "Memoir of Dr. 
Schafhautl" which fills 24 pages. 

In 1909, as stated in the Preface, the translator 
received from Mr. James S. Wilkins, Jr., an account 
of Boehm's life-work written by Mr. Wilkins in 
1900. This gives the impressions of Boehm's per- 
sonal characteristics as received by an Anaerican 
pupil who was closely associated with Boehm for 
more than three years, and it also gives some 
opinions expressed by Boehm which have not been 
found elsewhere. Extracts from this account are 
therefore given here; the parts omitted are mostly 
descriptions of Boehm's experiments and conclu- 
sions which are given by Boehm himself in this 
treatise, and accounts of his work in connection 
with the iron and steel industry, which are given 
in full by Schafhautl. 






It was the good fortune of the writer to become the 

pupil of Theobald Boehm in May, 1871, and to enjoy 

the inestimable honor of being made a close friend and 

companion by him for more than three years. 

During the writer's sojourn in Munich, he translated 
into English Mr. Boehm's work on the flute, "Die Flote 
und das Flotenspiel" (which remained in Boehm's posses- 
sion, unpublished). It was suggested at this time that 
Mr. Boehm's biography would be of interest as an intro- 
duction to the translation, but he was opposed to this. .His 
life was devoted to study and investigation, carried out 
in the systematic manner so characteristic of the German 
student and scholar. He was naturally modest and of a re- 
tiring nature; his was a character that could not tolerate 
superficiality or ostentation. 

It is only with a desire to give to the lovers of the flute 
and to admirers of the man who created such a revo- 
lution in the instrument, a clearer understanding of the 
one who has accomplished this result, and to set forth 
the character of this truly great man, that this sketch 
of his life is now written. 

* * * 

Mr. Boehm was about 5 feet, 10 inches in height, of 
well knit frame and strong constitution. His eyes were 
a striking feature; they were brown in color, of a wonder- 
ful brightness and intelligence, and beaming with kind- 
ness. He was full of genial, quiet humor, but with the 
air of energy and determination which his life bore out. 
He was highly cultured and had a fund of interesting 
reminiscence rarely met with. 

He was ever ready to encourage the ambitious scholar 
with advice and assistance, and he did so in a manner 
to win him the admiration, love, and respect of all with 
whom he came in contact. It was instinctive with him 


to bring out all the best qualities of his pupils. His was 
a great nature — full of charity and human kindness. 

As an illustration of Mr. Boehm's method I may give a 
personal incident. I learned to play all of Boehpi's com- 
positions in concert, from memory; in fact, at the close 
of my three years of study with him, I had a repertoire 
■of 500 solos, memorized! I went to 20 Altheiinereck every 
day, at 9 o'clock, a. m., Mr. Boehm would say to me: 
"I have a new piece" — placing it on the music stand 
and giving tempo — "play it." When I had finished the 
last page, he would turn the music upside down, and 
repeat: "Play it." This meant that I should play all that 
I could remember. In this way I became able to memor- 
ize a piece at first reading, and it also taught me to read 
many bars ahead. 

Mr. Boehm's school of tone stands supreme, and his 
pupils have demonstrated this fact. With him tone was 
of the first importance, all else became secondary; and, 
while the development of tone meant drudgery, yet the 
results compensated for all the labor entailed. 

* * * 

All this time the natural obstacles to the creation of a 
perfect flute confronted Mr. Boehm. The human hands 
have but ten fingers and the musical scale has thirteen 
tones, and the proper operation of the flute could only be 
accomplished by mechanical means. For years Mr. 
Boehm labored on this problem and the hundreds of de- 
signs he made in experimentation can hardly be re- 
alized. He continued the experiments until he reluct- 
antly decided that any device that could be created for 
an ideal flute would be so complicated and so subject 
to disarrangement that it would be impractical. The 
present flute is not perfect, and Mr. Boehm fully realized 
this fact. The creation of a mechanism of easy and sim- 
ple operation, the adoption of dimensions best suited 
to the scope of the instrument required that some of the 
tone-holes be located out of their correct acoustical posi- 
tions. They were established only by experiment. It is 
impossible to have an adequate realization of the immense 


amount of labor Mr. Boehm devoted to the determination 
of such proportions as have given us the wonderful 
flute that we now have. None but a person of his char- 
acter would have devoted a life-time to the accomplish- 
ment of his ideals. 

The writer with the approval of Mr. Boehm worked 
nine months in his flute factory and learned the prac- 
tical making of the instrument. Consequently he had 
many conversations with his preceptor on the reasons 
that influenced him to establish the present construction 
of the fluie as the most feasible. One of the greatest dif- 
ficulties he had to contend with was the opposition that 
players of the old flute had to any innovation or change. 

* * * 

The tone-holes of wooden flutes are smaller than those 
made of metal, because of the counter-boring for the pad 
seats in the former, while the metal flutes have raised 
edges around the holes. The ideal flute is one of 
wood with raised tone-holes. The wood of the main 
part of the lube being cut away for lightness; this permits 
using full-sized tone-holes. Mr. Boehm did make some 
few flutes of this kind, and they were splendid instru- 
ments, but the greatly increased cost and the danger of 
splitting made them too expensive, and few players ap- 
preciated the real advantages to be derived from their 
use. (The bass flute tube shown in Fig. 31, presented by 
Mr. Wilkins, shows such a "thinned wood" tube). 

* * * 

When he was about sixty years of age Mr. Boehm cre- 
ated his Alt-FlSte in G. This was the pride of his life, 
and during the last twenty j^ears of his life he played 
on this instrument altogether. The principal obstacle 
to the popularity of this flute is the fact that no music is 
arranged for it. It is to be regretted that so little is 
known of this magnificent instrument. 

* * * 

One of the great drawbacks to the early adoption of the 
Boehm System by flute players was the changing of the 


fingering from the old to the new; this was particularly 
true as regards the closed Gt key. The fallacy of the 
closed G# key, strange to say, prevails at the present time 
to no small extent. Even pupils are taught the false 
fingering by their teachers who happen themselves to 
use the old style. This was extremely annoying to Mr. 
Boehm, who remarked: "If a player goes to the trouble 
of changing his instrument and system of fingering he 
should not do so in part. The natural action of the 
pressing down of the finger on a key is to close the key. 
Then why, when no mechanical reason prevents, should 
this Gtt key be left to the unreliable force of a spring to 
close it, when the direct pressure of the finger will act 
so positively?" In later years Mr. Boehm would not 
humor this absurd notion and he refused to make the 

closed GS key for any one. 

* * * 

It was always Mr. Boehm's hope that the tone qualities 
and possibilities of the flute could be realized as part of 
the orchestral forces. He maintained that the first two 
octaves contain the true and natural qualities of the 
instrument. The third octave is always unsatisfactory; it 
is seldom that a player who has a fine quality of tone 
in the third octave, has an equally excellent lower tone, 
and conversely. Therefore it was Mr. Boehm's wish to 
create an orchestral set of flutes, composed of flutes in 
G, in C, and in F, each designed to have a compass of 
two octaves of the ideal tone quality. But as this would 
increase the number of flute players in the orchestra 
there is hardly any possibility of its realization; not 
that it is impossible but because there is a general indif- 
ference to the question. 

It is evident from the character of the music at present 
available for the flute, that very little of it is composed 
with a full icomprehension of the character of the in- 
strument. The prevailing music is nearly all of a florid 
nature, quite foreign to the acoustical quality of the flute. 
There is no question that the third octave is false and 
thin as compared with the lower ones, and, in fact, these 


lower octaves are purposely injured in order to develop 
the third or artificial octave. (See page 19. These argu- 
ments do not apply to the flute in G made on Boehm's 
dimensions). The proof of this fact is found in the 
irregular fingering that must be used to produce the third 
octave. The elimination of the eifort to produce three 
full octaves of tones would permit the development of 
the full, rich tone of the two lower octaves which give 
the qualities that tend to make the flute the beautiful 
instrument that it is. Development along these natural 
lines is the ideal to be sought. 

* * * 

Mr. Boehm had seven sons and one daughter, and once 
when speaking of his family, said: "I have raised a good 
family and have given them all a good education to fit 
them to make their way in the world." This was true; 
one son became Manager of the Bavarian State Railways, 
another Manager of a locomotive factory, a third Manager 
of the Stuttgart gas works, one was secretary to Prince 
Charles, two held positions of trust in municipal of- 
fices in Munich, and one carried on the family business 
of goldsmith and jeweler, all being men of prominent 
position in their communities. The daughter never mar- 
ried and lived at home. 

Mr. Boehm's affliction in later years was the failure of 
his eye-sight. This was not caused alone by advancing 
years, but was the result mainly of the years of hard 
work spent in experiments in making steel from iron 
directly. The constant watching of the metal and the 

heat of the intense fires seriously affected his eyes. 

* ♦ * 

It was remarkable that a man who had been so active 
as Mr. Boehm had been for many years, should retain 
his faculties in such a marked degree tp the time of his 
death. In 1872, when he was in his seventy-seventh year, 
he was as companionable as the average man of sixty 
years, and his mind was as bright. This was probably 
due to the well regulated life he led. Until his death, in 
1881, he always dwelt upon the improvement of the flute 
or upon the arrangement of some music for it. 

^ jt^a^ '*^*^ >*^'V'^*? "^ ^--t-Tf-^. Tf*-^^ ^'V**- a^f-Jp 9k4 . ({ir£^^^ 

^;^ -^tf-*-^ ^A-»-«- ■^W*/ ^V>-CA-' -^^m*-- ^if-^lC a''pC'f*>^ »»*«^ /y 
yu/^^rk' -7i*^ ^^c-r^ C-if-i^t^ ^ Vi^ «.»«^ -f^ ^pife, '^at^ */'^^^.»^i-^x-^--' 

•^0^^ ^ 4taiir^ -*^V»i-»*^, -K^-cnl^Pji^^ ^/M^^U*/. 

A^ /!« 4-f < A-^-^^ «%«k4. J^^^ €4 ^C %%^9AJ,g 

Flc. 48. Facsimile of a letter in Boehm's handwriting. 


A letter written by Boehm to Mr. Wilkins when 
the latter was visiting Paris, is reproduced in fac- 
simile on the opposite page. This letter throws an 
interesting side-light upon Boehm's personal quali- 
ties. While there are traces of his multi-lingual 
accomplishments, yet it shows that he was very 
competent in English composition, and it shows 
him to be the man of courtesy and culture to 
which Mr. Wilkins and others have abundantly 
attested. Mr. Wilkins was accompanied by his 
mother during his stay in Europe, and it is to her 
that Boehm refers in the opening and closing sen- 

Boehm's researches in acoustics, while mostly 
applicable to the flute, are fundamental, and they 
have influenced the development of other wind in- 
struments with keys, such as the clarinet, oboe, 
bassoon, etc. Some features of Boehm's key mech- 
anism are in general use with these instruments, 
and are referred to by his name. The location 
of the holes, however, cannot be carried out for 
these instruments, according* to the Schema, be- 
cause of the modifying influence of the reed. 

Boehm's attempt, in 1831, to improve the piano- 
forte shows that he approached the subject in a 
thoroughly rational manner; his method was cor- 
rect, and is now universally adopted; he failed 
temporarily, because he had no facilities to carry 
on the work. The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th 
edition, article "Pianoforte," says, "The first sug- 
gestion for the overstringing in the piano, was 
made by the celebrated flute-player and inventor 


Theobald Boehm, who carried it beyond theory 
in London, in 1831, by employing a small firm 
located in Cheapside, Gerock & Wolf, to make 
some overstrung pianos for him. Boehm expected 
to gain in tone. Pape, an ingenious mechanician 
in Paris, tried a like experiment to gain economy 
in dimensions. Tomkinson in London continued 
Pape's model, but neither Boehm's nor Pape's 
took permanent root. Later in 1855, Henry Engel- 
hard Steinway, who had emigrated from Bruns- 
wick to New York in 1849, and had established 
the firm of Steinway & Sons in 1853 in that city, 
effected a combination of an overstrung scale 
with the American iron frame * * * leading ulti- 
mately to important results. The Chickering firm 
claim to have anticipated the Steinways in this 

Boehm devised a new method of transmitting 
rotatory motion. A model of this was presented 
before the Society of Arts, Manufactures and Com- 
merce, of London, and on June 8, 1835, the presi- 
dent of the Society, the Duke of Sussex, presented 
Boehm with the Silver Medal of the Society. The 
record is found in the Transactions of the Society, 
Vol. L, Part II, for the Session 1834-35, pages 82 
and 83. It begins as follows: "Method of Com- 
municating Rotatory Motion. The Silver Medal 
was presented to Mr. Theobald Boehm, member 
of the Royal Chapel at Munich, in Bavaria, for his 
Method of Communicating Rotatory Motion; a 
Model of which has been placed in the Society's 
Repository. The usual modes of communicating 



rotatory motion from the first mover, are by means 
either of wheels and pinions, or of two plane cyl- 
inders connected by a band. Mr. Boehm has sug- 
gested another method, described in the annexed 
figures." Then follows a technical description of 
the figures; these figures are reproduced in Fig. 
49, from which the nature of the device can be 
easily inferred, without further description. 


Fig. 49. Device for transmitting 
rotatory motion. 

Boehm received many medals, decorations, and 
prizes. Mr. Welch says: "So many prize medals 
and similar distinctions did he succeed in obtain- 


ing, that he had a drawer specially devoted to 
them. The old man seemed quite pleased when, 
only a few weeks before his death, he opened 
it and showed me his trophies." He received three 
Grand First Prize Gold Medals for his flutes, at 
the London Exhibition of 1851, at the German 
Industrial Exhibition, Munich, in 1854, and at the 
Paris Exhibition of 1855. In 1835 he was awarded 
the Silver Medal of the Society of Arts of Lon- 
don for the method of transmitting rotatory mo- 
tion, described in the preceding paragraph. In 
1839 the King of Bavaria bestowed the Cross of 
the Knights of the Order of Merit of St. Michael, 
for Boehm's introduction into the iron-works of 
Bavaria of improved puddling processes for the 
manufacture of steel. 


Theobald Bohm & Mendier in Munchen. 

No. 1. Kine SilberMOtc (in C) mit Embouchure von flold . ■ '• ^ /A (^ 

Dito mit H-Fuss \.^J^\^ 

II. FlSto von Cocus- odor Gienadillo-Holz mit Silber . \-0}^\ - 

Dito mit H-Fu.?s ... '^^^ /O' - 

„ JII. Holzflute mil Nousilbur ... ... 90ff I -• 

„ IV. PlOtc von Ncusilboi- mit Holit-Kmbouchure ... 

„ V. Eine AltHntc (in G) von Silber mit Gold-Embouchure '^0\ - 

nito von Nen.silbcr mit Holz-Embonchure . . 'fSif' — 

„ VI. Piccolo von Silbor mit Holz-Embouchnre . . COO' - 

Dito von Holz mit Silber ... ; J^J'O ^ 

Dito von Holz mit Noiisilber 

Zn den Fluton No. 1 und II wird aut' Verlfingen noch ^emacht: ;j 

a) Ein Trillerhebel zur c-Klapjic . . ... . . ' \:^1 ■^ 

•b) Eino Schleifklaiipr \- fS -^ 

c) Fcdern von Gold ... .... . // -^ 

Requisiton: Eine Garnitur Klappenpolster ■" . ■.■ . -^ ' 

Scluiiubenziehrr und Federnhiickclion . . . i) " 

Stopselmass . . . . ... 'f "^ 

^ (irifl'tabcllo • • • • 3 "" 

Emballagi- mit Uolzkistclien . (.' . ; . . Z ^ 

Bemcrkunsoii. * .WittcM dor aohr bequenien Schlcifklappo komicn Jii- Tiino: 
: 5 3 J ?. H .1 s 

dis-cs. d, dis-es, e, a nnd b. iiuch im Pianissimo voUkomnieii n'in und 

■iiohor gespiolt werden. 

Vorson.lungen wrden nur gogen erfolgte Baarziihlungen oder Wcchset 
.■»ul bckannto iloutsclic UankhSiiscr gemiulit. 

Fig. so. A facsimile of Boehm and Mendler's Price List of Flutes, of 
the year 1877. 


(b) Descriptive Price List of Boehm & Mendler 
The manuscript copy of "Die Flote und das 
Flotenspiel" concludes with a descriptive cata- 
logue of the various styles of flutes manufactured 
by Boehm & Mendler. This part, however, has 
been crossed out, indicating Boehm's decision not 
to publish it. In the translator's collection there 
are several of the original price-lists of Boehm & 
Mendler and of Carl Mendler; a photographic re- 
production of one of these is shown in Fig. 50. 
This was sent, in 1877, by Boehm himself to Mr. 
Chaffee of Detroit, who purchased the flute de- 
scribed in the Group, Fig. 31, No. 10. Shafhautl's 
"Life of Boehm," in the German edition, gives a 
catalogue, which is much the same as Boehm's list, 
except that it is more detailed and is expressed in 
language almost liaive. Since the English version 
of Schafhautl's "Life" does not contain this mat- 
ter, it is given below, with the addition of a few 
minor items for the sake of completeness, taken 
from a Carl Mendler price-list. 

Herr Carl Mendler, who took over Boehm's flute-making 
estahlishment in 1862, continues the manufacture of the 
Boehm flutes in all their newest developments. 

A flute in C of cocus or grenadilla wood with silver 
keys is provided for 375 marks. If one wishes a B^ foot- 
joint, the price is increased to 410 marks; while if the 
foot descends only to Dli the price of the flute is but 
320 marks. 

With this flute there is furnished an elegant case, which 
contains not only the flute, but also the necessary tools 
with which to take the flute apart when the mechan- 
ism needs cleaning, or a key pad needs changing, or, 


perchance, to remedy some disturbance in the operation 
of the mechanism. These requisites consist of: one set 
of key pads, 3 marks; a screw driver with a spring hook, 
3 marks; a stopper measure by which the cork can be 
replaced in the correct position, 1 mark; tables of fin- 
gerings, 3 marks; cost of packing the flute in a wooden 
box, 2 marks. These items together amount to 12 marks. 

An extra foot-joint to Bti costs 95 marks, one to C 
costs 65 marks, and one to B^ only costs 30 marks. An 
extra head-joint of silver or of wood costs 50 marks. 

A flute in C, of silver with gold embouchure, costs 410 
marks. The same instrument with a Blf foot-joint is 450 
marks, or with a DN foot it is 360 marks. 

The same flute of the newest system with a large diam- 
eter of bore, 20 millimeters, giving a fuller tone, with a 
foot to C, costs 485 marks, or with a foot to Bt| the price 
is 525 marks. 

There is still Boehm's latest improvement, the above 
silver flute of 20 millimeters bore with a head-joint of 
grenadilla wood, the price of which is 475 marks with a 
C foot, or 515 marks with a Bt| foot. By means of this 
head-joint of wood, the flute acquires the character of tone 
of the wood flute. 

In accordance with the old system of flute, and espe- 
cially to conform to the French style, there will be sup- 
plied, instead of the Boehm open GS key, a closed G8 
key at an extra cost of 20 marks. One may also have a 
trill lever for the C key (thumb key) which can be 
played by the first finger of the right hand; Mendler fur- 
nishes this for 24 marks. 

Mendler also provides his flutes with the octave-key 
by which certain tones can easily and surely be pro- 
duced in pianissimo. The price of this is 18 marks. 

If one wishes gold springs instead of steel springs, 
the extra cost is 18 marks. And little gold plates may 
be put on the keys where the fingers press, for 50 marks. 

A flute of cocus or grenadilla wood with keys of Ger- 
man silver, with steel springs, open G* key and C foot. 


costs 300 marks; with Bti foot, 320 marks, and with foot 
to D!l, 270 marks. 

A bass flute in G (Alt-FIote) of silver with a gold em- 
bouchure costs 650 marks. A similar flute of German sil- 
ver with an embouchure of wood costs only 450 marks. 

A piccolo of silver with embouchure of wood costs 
300 marks, while the price of a piccolo made of cocus 
or grenadilla wood, with keys of silver, is 250 marks. 

Unless it is otherwise desired, all of these flutes are 
provided with the thumb rest (the crutch for the left 
, These prices may seem high; however, it is not pos- 
sible, because of the complicated and delicate mechan- 
ism, to secure its accurate working by means of the 
cheaper w^orkmanship. The correct adjustment of this 
complicated mechanism requires the skill of an excep- 
tional mechanic. Boehm had at one time a mechanic 
from the celebrated workshop of Ertel, but his work 
was not sufficiently accurate. The same was the case 
with a mechanic from the celebrated optical establish- 
ment of Merz. 

It was not until the year 1854, when the present pro- 
prietor of the factory, the exceptionally skilled watch- 
maker, Carl Mendler, became foreman, that it was pos- 
sible to make the mechanism of the required perfection. 

Flutes on Boehm's system are to be found in the market 
at cheaper prices; but one must not be misled; the clos- 
ing of the keys, for example, will be very imperfect, or 
the flute itself will be unmanageable, and the instrument 
will be found more often in the hands of the repairer 
than in those of the artist. 


(c) List of Boehm's Compositions 

Schafhautl in his "Life of Boehm" (Welch: 
"History of the Boehm Flute"), gives a list of 
Boehm's compositions, prepared from his personal 
papers. In this list there are numerous errors and 
omissions. The translator's collection contains 
copies, in the original editions, of all of Boehm's 
published compositions and arrangements (ex- 
cepting Op. 14). The following list gives the com- 
plete titles as they appear on the printed music. 
Wherever this list differs from that of Schafhautl 
and Welch this one may be taken as correct. In 
the absence of other information, Schafhautl has 
been followed. 

Schafhautl, in the German edition, gives the 
following sentences as an introduction to the List 
of Compositions : "In order that our picture of the 
man whose methods and works we have followed 
through various fields of human endeavor, may 
be made complete and well filled-out, we must 
also keep in view the man as an artist in his crea- 
tions. From his first composition, which ap- 
peared in the year 1822, to his last which was pub- 
lished in 1881, there flows continuously the living 
spirit; and even in the most difficult etudes for the 
virtuoso there is always a vivifying musical 
thought. Throughout all of his many-sided com- 
positions for the flute, we find that he holds truly 
and steadfastly to an aesthetic unity which gives 
them an enduring value." 

182 LIST OF boehm's compositions 

When a title in the following list is followed 
by an asterisk, *, it signifies that there is an ac- 
companiment for the pianoforte; two asterisks, **, 
signify an accompaniment for the pianoforte and 
also for the orchestra ; the obelisk, f, indicates that 
the accompaniment is for the orchestra only; the 
absence of a mark indicates that the composition 
is for the flute alone. 

I. Original Compositions with Opus Numbers 
Opus Date Title Key 

1 1822 Concerto pour la Flute, dedie a 

Monsieur A. B. Fiirstenau G maj. * ' 

2 La Sentinelle Air Favori Varie 

dedie a son Eleve Monsieur 

Guillaume Zink Gmaj. * * 

3 , Andante und Polonaise 

A maj. and D maj. * * 

4 Nel cor piu non mi sento, theme 

varie Gmaj. * * 

5 Potpouri sur des Melodies 

Suisses, Duo concertant Gmaj. * 

6' Divertissement sur un Air de 
Caraffa, dedi6 a Monsieur de 
Manostetter Gmaj. * * 

7 Concertante pour deux Flutes, 

(with orchestral accompani- 
ment only) Gmaj. t 

8 Polonaise de Caraffa D maj. * * 

9 Variations sur un theme de 

rOpera : Robin-de-Bois (Der 
Freyschiitz) de Weber, dediees 
a son ami Fr. Hoffmann D maj. * * 

10 Divertissement sur un theme 

favori de Rovelli dedie a Mon- 
sieur Kriiger D maj. * * 

11 Divertissement sur deux themes 

favoris suisses C maj. and Gmaj. * * 

12 RondJo Brilliant, dedie a Son 

Ami Charles Keller, (with or- 
chestral accompaniment only) D maj. t 


13 Divertissement sur I'air favori 

intitule Almalied, par Baron 
de Poissl introduit dans 
rOpera Donauweibchen, dedie 
a Son Eleve Monsieur David 
Marx Gmaj. * * 

14 "Boehm et Ogden." Fantaisie 

concert sur un theme ecossais D maj. " 

15 12 Etudes pour la Flute, propres 

a egaliser le doigte dans toutes 
les gammes 

16 Grande Polonaise, dediee a Mon- 

sieur Camus D maj. * * 

17 Variations sur la marche de 

rOpera Moise, dediees a Mon- 
sieur Tulou D maj. ' * 

18 I — Erstes W a 1 z e r Poitpourri, 

nach Franz Schubert'schen 
und anderen beliebten Mo- 
tiven (various) * 

II — Andante und Polonaise nach 
Motiven von Caraifa. Dedi- 
cated to Mr. Alfred Croshaw 
Johnson (various) * 

19 Choix d'Airs de I'Opera "Mac- 

beth" par A, H. Chelard 

20 1838 Variations sur un Air Tyrolien 

(Swiss Boy) dediees a Mon- 
sieur Prosper Amtmann C maj. * * 

21 1838 Fantaisie sur un air de Beetho- 

ven. (Sehnsuchtswalzer) Ab maj. ' ' 

22 1840 Variations brillantes sur I'air 

allemand "Du, du liegst mir 

im Herzen" Emaj. * * 

23 1845 Fantaisie sur des themes suisses. 

dediee a Mr. J. Clinton Fmaj. * * 

24 1845 Fantaisie sur ides themes suisses 

dediee a Mr. L. Dorus Emaj. * * 

25 1852 Fantaisie sur des airs ecossais Cmaj. * * 

26 1852 Twenty-four Capricios, dedi- 

cated to Edward Jekyll, Esqre. 

27 1853 Souvenir des Alpes; I. Andante 

cantabile Eb maj. 

184 LIST OF boehm's compositions 

28 1853 Souvenir des Alpes; II. Rondo- 

Allegro C maj. 

29 1853 Souvenir des Alpes; III. Andan- 

tino, Romance D maj. 

30 1853 Souvenir des Alpes; IV. Rondo- 

Allegretto D maj. 

31 1853 Souvenir des Alpes; V. Andante 

pastorale G maj. 

32 1853 Souvenir des Alpes; VI. Rondo- 

Landler E maj. 

Andante B maj. 

A la Tarantella, dediee a Mon- 
sieur Antoine Sacchetti E min. 

Larghetto, dedie a Monsieur 
Louis Dorus Ab maj. 

Rondo a la Mazurka C maj. 

24 Etudes, avec accomp. de 
Piano. En 4 Suites 




















Fantasie iiber Motive einer 
Sonate von F. H. Himmel, a 
Hernn Camille Thierry C maj. 

(This work appears as No. 12 in 
the list, II, of "Compositionen 
beriihmter Meister," and bears 
the opus number on the first 
page of musiic and not on the 
title page.) 

46 1880 Andante aus der Serenade, Op. 

25, von L. van Beethoven. To 
Herrn Eugen Weiner in New 
York Gmaj. 

47 1881 Elegie, dediee a Monsieur le Dr. 

F. Jsenscihmid Ab maj. 


1-13 VoUstandige Sammlung der Con- 

cert Compo'sitionen fiir die 
Flote mit Hinweglassung der 
Begleitung. (Contains solo 
parts only of Op. 1 to 13 in- 
clusive, with the exception of 
Op. 5.) 

II. Transcriptions Without Opus Numhers 

This group of transcriptions for the flute and piano 
appears under the general title: Compositionen beriihm- 
ter Meister. 

No. Date Title Key 

1 1872 Adagio, (Largo, Pianoforte Con- 

certo, Op. 15), von L. V. 
Beethoven C maj. * 

2 1872 Adagio, von Mozart. Aus der 

Clavier-Sonate Op. 16 Bb maj. * 

3 1872 Rondo-Andante von Mozart Amin. * 

4 1872 Standcihen. Lied von Franz 

Schubert D min. * 

5 1872 Das Fischermadchen. Lied von 

Franz Schubert D maj. * 

6 1872 Tre giorni. Aria von Pergolese Cmin. * 

7 1872 Cantabile von Vogler D maj. * 

8 1872 Aria cantabile von J. S. Bach--- Dmaj. * 

9 1876 Marcia, Adagio, Menuetto, Alle- 

gretto alia Polacca und Tema 
con Variazioni aus L. v. 
Beethoven's Serenade Op. 8. 
(Original for Violin, Viola and 
Violincello.) Gerwidmit Herrn _ ^ 

M. Schweninger D ma]. 

10 1876 Romanze von L. v. Beethoven, _ ^ 

Op. 50 Fmaj. 

11 1876 Variationen von Haydn iiber das 

Thema: Gott erhalte Franz . ^ 

den Kaiser G maj. 

(The List printed on the cover of the music of this 
series contains twelve numbers, b-t No. 12 is clearly 
marked "Opus 45," and is now entered in group I only.) 

186 LIST OF boehm's compositions 

III. Miscellaneous Works Without Numbers 

There is no available record of the titles to which 
Boehm intended to attach the seven opus numbers from 
38 to 44, inclusive. There remain just seven published 
works which bear no opus or serial numbers, and whose 
dates of publication correspond with those appropriate 
to the (missing opera. It is suggested that these works 
are the ones which should bear the opus numbers from 
38 to 44, inclusive: 

No. Opus Date Title Key 

1 (38) 1863 Andante de Mozart, Op. 86. 

(Arranged from the orig- 
inal MS. score, for the 
flute and piano, and for 
the flute in G and piano) C maj. * 

2 (39) 1868 Arie aus Orpheus: "Che 

faro senza Euridice," 
von Gluck. Au Colonel 
Comte A. Vargas de 
Bedemar Eb maj. * 

3 (40) 1868 Cujus Animam. Celebre 

Air du Stabat Mater de 
Rossini. Deidie a Mr. 
Hermann Kohlke Ab maj. * 

4 (41) 1871 12 Uebungstii'cke fiir die 

Flote zur Erlangung 
e i n e r gleichmassigen 
Fingerbewegung in alien 
Tonarten. Zugleicli als 
Anhang zu dessen theor. 
Werke: Die Flote und 
das Flotenspiel in akus- 
tischer, technischer und 
artistischer Bezieihung. _ 

5 (42) 1876' Adagio aus dem Qulntetto 

fiir Clarinette von 

Mozart Gmaj. * 

6 (43) 3 Duos pour deux Flutes 

tires des oeuvres de F. 
Mendelssohn Bartholdy 
et de Fr. Lachner. 
No. 1. Sur Melodies de 

Mendelssohn -^ Bb maj. * 


No. 2. Sur Melodies de 

Mendelssohn Ebmaj. * 

No. 3. Sur Melodies de 

Lachner F maj. * 

(This series of three duets, 
published in Paris, is 
clearly marked "Opus 
33." Possibly this is a 
misprint for "Opus 43.") 
7 (44) "My Native Home." (Sehn- 

sucht nach dem Rigi.) 
Song with flute obbligato. 

IV. Unpublished Arrangements for the Flute in G 
There is no evidence that there are any unpublished 
original compositions by Boehm. The group of pieces 
listed below consists of arrangements with parts for the 
flute in G. In nearly all of the numbers, the "arrange- 
ment" seemingly required is merely the transposition 
of a part into a suitable key for the flute in G. The list 
is very interesting as indicating the selections which 
Boehm had found especially adapted to this instrument. 
The publication of these works at the present time, in 
"album" form, might stimulate the interest in this beauti- 
ful instrument. 

The kej'S in this list are those given by Schafhautl. 
These would indicate that in some instances the solo part 
has been transposed, while in other cases it is the ac- 
companiment that has been rewritten. Twelve of the 
numbers seem to be the same compositions as are repre- 
sented by twelve of the published works; the numbers in 
parenthesis refer to the corresponding groups and num- 

For Flute in G and Pianoforte 
No. Title Key 

1 Beethoven. Adagio. Largo from the Piano- 

forte Concerto, Op. 15. (II-l) Ab maj. 

2 Beethoven. Sonata, Op. 17. The original 

for Horn and Pianoforte F maj. 

3 Beethoven. Serenade, Op. 25. The original 

for Flute, Violin and Viola. (I-Op. 46)..- 

4 Haydn. Variations on "God Preserve the 

Emperor." The original for String Quar- 
tette. (11-11) 

188 LIST OF boehm's compositions 

5 Himmel. Rondo. From a Sonata originally 

for Flute and Pianoforte. (I-Op. 45, and 

11-12) Gmaj. 

6 Mozart. Adagio. From the Pianoforte Son- 

ata, Op. 16. (II-2) Bbmaj. 

7 Mozart. Rondo Andante, Op. 71. The orig- 

inal for the Pianoforte alone. (II-3) 

8 Mozart. Sonata. The original for Violin 

and Pianoforte Gmaj. 

9 Mozart. Adagio from the Clarinet Quintette. 

(III-5) Dmaj. 

10 Schubert. Song: "Das Standchen." (Ser- 

enade.) (II-5) Dmin. 

11 Schubert. Song: "Das Fischermadchen." 

(II-5) Amaj. 

12 Schubert. Song: "Am Meer." Gmaj. 

13 Vogler. Cantabile. Adagio from an Organ 

Prelude. (II-7) Dmin. 

Duets for Flute in G and Flute in C, with Pianoforte 

14 Rossini. Duo: Soirees Musicales Amaj. 

15 Rossini. Duo: Soirees Musicales Dmaj. 

16. Weber. Romance F maj. 

17 Weber. Andantino Gmaj. 

18 Weber. Allegretto Gmaj. 

Trios for Flute in G and Two Flutes in C 

19 Beethoven. Trio, Op. 87. The original for 

two Oboes and Cor Anglais F maj. 

20 Vogler. Cantabile. Adagio from an Organ 

Prelude. (II-7, and IV-6) Dmaj. 

For Flute in G and Soprano Voice, with 


21 Scheidemayer. Graduale. With Latin text 

for church use, and also with German text. 

With Pianoforte accompaniment C maj. 

22 Walter. Graduale. For Solo Piute in G, 

Vocal Quartette, and aocompaniment for 

two Violins, Viola, Cello and Bass E maj. 


(d) Bibliography 

There follows a very brief and incomplete list 

of current books relating to the flute. Older 

treatises of historical value, instructors, books of 

music, and books treating of musical instruments 

in general have not been included. More extended 

bibliographies are given by Rockstro, Welch, and 

Fitzgibbon, in the works mentioned below. 

BoEHM, Theobald. — An Essay on the Construction of 
Flutes. Edited by W. S. Broadwood. This book is 
Boehm's own English version of his treatise of 1847, 
Ueber den Flotenbau und die neuesten Verbesserungen 
desselben, to which the editor has added an account 
of the Schema, andi numerous letters of interest. Lon- 
don: Rudall, Carte & Co., 1882. Octavo, X+ 78 pages. 

RocKSTRo, R. S. — ^A Treatise on the Construction, the 
History, and the Practice of the Flute. London: Ru- 
dall, Carte & Co., 1890. Octavo, XLII + 664 pages. 

Welch, Christopher. — History of the Boehm Flute, with 
Schafhautl's Life of Boehm. London : Rudall, Carte 
& Co.; New York, G. Schirmer; 3rd ediUon, 1896. Oc- 
tavo, XXni + 504 pages. 

Fitzgibbon, H. Macaulay. — The Story of the Flute. Lon- 
don, Walter Scott PubUshdng Co.; New York, Charles 
Scribner's Sons. 1914. Duodecimo, XVI + 292 pages. 

Welch, Christopher. — Six Lectures on the Recorder and 
Other Flutes in Relation to Literature. London: Ox- 
ford University Press, 1911. Octavo, XVI + 457 pages. 

Ehrlich, D.— The History of the Flute. New York: D. 

Ehrlich, 1921. Duodecimo, XI + 107 pages. 
ScHWEDLER, Maximilian. — Katechismus der Flote und des 

Flotenspiels. Leipzig: J. J. Weber, 3rd edition, 1914. 

Sexto-decimo, 112 pages and tables. 
Squarzoni, Francesco. — II Flauto, Cenno Storico. Fer- 

rara, Itaha, G. Bresciani. 1917. Octavo, 48 pages. 
The Flutist. — A monthly magazine devoted exclusively 

to the flujte and flute playing. It is of interest and 

value alike to the professional and the amateur flutist. 

Edited and published by Emil Medicus, Asheville, 

North Carolina. 


Academie des sciences, xxii, 

Accents, 145, 149, 150; see 

Acoustical numbers, 32, 35, 

Acoustical proportions of 

flute, 14; see Air-column, 

Acoustics, science of. xxiv, 

12, 31, 35, 173. 
"Adelaide," 123, 153. 
Adjusting the keys, 82, 105; 

joints of the flute, 111. 
Aibl, publisher, 135, 161. 
Air column, diameter of, 14, 

16-20, 25, 29, 126; length 

of, 19, 25, 30, 31-37, 125, 

126'; see Bore, Tone- 
"Allgemeine Musikalische 

Zeitung," 166. 
Alt-Flote, see Bass flute. 
Alto flute in Bb, 20, 122. 
Appoggiatura, 153, 154, 155. 
Articulation, 145; 147-150, 

Atterberg, composer, 123. 
Autograph, Boeh m's. 

Frontispiece, 2, 58, 137, 

160, 172, 177. 

Bb lever, 74, 84, 85. 

Bl! foot-joint, 34, 36, 88, 89. 

Bach, composer, 124. 

Bass Flute in G, ix, xii, 
XXVI, 20, 93, 98, 119, 169, 
180; fingerings for, 128, 
129; mechanism of, 86, 
127, 128; music for, 123, 
187, 188. 

Basset-horn, tone quality 
of, 119. 

Bassoon, xxvi, 173. 

Bavarian Polytechnic So- 
ciety, 39. 

Beethoven, 123, 152, 153. 

Bibliography on the flute, 

Blowing New Flutes, 114, 

"Bockstriller," 140, 156. 

Boehm, Emit (grandson), 
artist, xvii. 

Boehm, Ludwig (son), 12. 

Boehm, Miss Anna, (grand- 
daughter), VII, XII, XVIII, 6. 

Boehm, Theobald (grand- 
son), VII, XII, 6. 

Boehm, Theobald, bio- 
graphical notes, XXI, 165; 
portraits, see List of Por- 
traits, xvii; family, 12, 
171; grandchildren, vii, 
xii, xvii, 6; his home and 
shop, 164, 165; goldsmith, 
3, 6, 90; autograph, see 
Facsimile; method of 
teaching, 168; style of 
playing, 6, 122, 162, 168; 
compositions, 123, 160- 
163, 171, 181; medals and 
prizes, xxvii, 12, 174-176; 
iron and steel work, 
XXVII, 12, 166; advances 
made by, xxii-xxvi, 3, 
Appendix (a); experi- 
ments made by, 16, 24, 
30, 59, 60, 61, 168; his 
first flute, 3, 4, 5; early 
flutes by, 3-11; his "last" 
flute, 96, 90-98. 



Boehm & Greve, makers, 8. 

Boehm & Mendler, partner- 
ship and shop, ix, 8, 84, 
91, 165, 177, 178; flutes 
by, 17, 20-24, 27, 37, 40, 
88, 91-98, 120, 124. 

Bore, conical, 10, 16; cyl- 
indrical, XXV, 12, 14, l6, 
59; diameter of, 8, 10, 14, 
16, 19, 20, 29, 125; 179; 
see Air column. 

Boxwood ilute, 5, 55. 

Brandmiiller, artist, xvii. 

Breathing, 149, 157, 158. 

Briccialdi, his Bb lever, 84, 

Brizzi, singer, 145. 

Broadwood, Essay, xxii, 40, 
189; Letters, xxi, 8, 39, 88, 

Broadwood, W. S., xxi, xxii, 
8, 39, 40. 88, 122, 189. 

Buffalo Bill's Band, 96. 

Cf hole, 29, 30, 37; of bass 

flute, 126. 
Capeller, teacher, 5. 
Care of flute, 100, 111. 
Catalani, a singer, 145. 
Cavaille-Coll, organ builder, 

Cement for cork, 104. 
Chaffee, 0. F., 96, 178. 
Chickering. piano forte 

maker, 174. 
Clarinet, xxvi, 33, 173. 
Cleaning flute, 100-103, 112, 

Closed-end correction, 33, 

34, 36, 42, 125. 
Closed vs. open keys, 60, 62, 

69, 70, 71. 
Clutches, 60, 61, 81, 82. 
Cocus-wood flute, .55. 
Coloratures, 151, 156, 158. 
Compositions, Boehm's, 123, 

160-163. 171, 181. 
Conclusion, 119, 161. 

Contra-bass flute, 120. 

Cork (stopper), eff'ect of, 
34; fitting, 108; moveable, 
20; position of, 20, 108. 

Cork gage, 108. 

Cork joints, to keep in or- 
der, 111. 

Corrections, see : end cor- 
rections. Ft hole, GS 

Cracking of flute, 55, 111. 

Crutch for flute, 87, 96, 97, 
111, 112,180. 

Cvlinider bore, xxv, 12, 14, 
' 16, 59. 

D and DS trill keys and 

holes, 29, 30, 37, 60, 83; 

for bass flute, 126, 128, 

Denner, early flutist, 10. 
Development of tone, 135. 
Diagram {schema), 41, 45. 
Diary, Wilkins, ix. 
"Don Juan" (music), 157, 

Dorus, his GS key, 10, 64-66, 

Double tonguing, 148. 
Drouet, his "Variations," 


Ebonite (rubber) flute, 54. 
Ebony flute, 55. 
Ehrlich, D., flutist, 189. 
filegie, Boehm's "Swan- 
Song." 163. 
Embouchure (lips), 19, 29, 

48, 55, 114, 117, 135, 138, 

Embouchure (mouth-hole), 

20-24, 34, 111, 125. 
"EncyclopiEdia B r i t a n- 

nica"' 173. 
End corrections, closed 

end, 33, 34, 36, 42, 125; 

open end, 29, 36. 
English horn, tone quality 

of, 119. 



Equally tempered scale, 31, 

35, 38. 
Ertel, 180. 
Essay on Construction of 

Flutes, see Broad'wood. 
Exercises, Finger, 138, 140, 

Expositions, London and 

Paris, XXII, xxiii, 12, 39, 

40, 96, 125, 176. 

FS hole, compensation, 37, 
82, 126. 

Facsimile of Boehm's manu- 
script. Frontispiece, 2, 58, 
137, 160, 172, 177. 

Falter & Sohn, publishers, 

Finger Exercises, 138, 140, 

Fingers, raised too high, 

Finger-holes, see Tone- 

Fingering, System of, xxv, 
59; Tables of, 72, 74, 75, 
129; regular, 72; irregu- 
lar, 62, 74; for bass flute, 
128-130; for octave key, 
129; for trills, 74-76, 129, 

Finn, John, flutist and au- 
thor, XVII. 

First flute, Boehm's, 3, 4. 

Fischer, Carl, publisher, 

"Fischermadchen" (music) , 

Fiizgibbon, H. Macaulay, 
author, 120, 189. 

Flageolet, 3. 

"Flote und das Flotenspiel, 
Die," IX, XXI, XXII, 40, 125, 
167, 178. 

"Floten-bau," pamphlet of 
1847, XI, XXI, XXII, 7, 10, 
13, 15, 189. 

Flute, alto in Bb, 20, 122; 
in Db, 95; in F, 122; in 
G, see Bass Flute; contra 
bass, 120; Boehm's early, 
3, 5, 7, 8; Boehm's later, 
90-98; old system, 7. 

Flute d'amour, 119. 

Flute-Playing, Part II, 135. 

Flutist Magazine, The, 120, 

Foot-joint to Bt|, 34, 36, 88, 
89, 178, 179. 

Foot-keys, 60, 80, 88, 89, 
95, 101, 105, 111, 119, 179. 

French horn, 120, 123. 

Fritze, Louis, flutist, 95. 

Fuchs, composer, 124. 

GJ key, 62; open vs. closed, 
62-71, 170; open, 63; 
Dorus closed, 10, 64-66, 
69; duplicate closed, 63, 
66; Boehm's closed, 68. 

Gemeinhardt, Arthur, mak- 
er, 7. 

German silver flute, 54, 95, 

Gilmore's Band, 95. 

Glass flute, 54. 

Glazunow, composer, 123. 

Godard, composer, 124. 

Godfroy, maker, 10, 64, 90. 

Gold embouchure, flute 
with, 24, 122. 

Gold springs, 108. 

Gordon, inventor, xxiii. 

Graduated holes, 27, 28, 99. 

Graphic location of holes, 

Grease for joints. 111. 

Grenadilla wood flute, 55. 

Grenser, maker, 5. 

Greve, maker, 8. 

Gruppetto, 154. 

Guitar, location of frets of, 

Guyon, W. H., flutist, 96. 



Habits, bad, 141, 142. 
Hahn, composer, 123. 
Hanfstaengl, photographer, 


Harmonics, 25, 117. 

Haynes, George W., maker, 

Head joint, cylindrical, 10; 
parabolic, 16-18; wood on 
silver body, 20, 56, 95, 96, 
98; lor changing pitch, 
48; see Tuning slide. 

Heindl, E. M., flutist, 12, 28, 
50, 93, 95, 99. 

Holbrooke, composer, 123. 

Holes, see Mouth-hole, Tone- 
holes, Vent-holes. 

Honeyman, H. H., flutist, 

Hugot, "Flute Instructor," 

Illustrations, List of, xvii. 
"Industrie und Gerverbe- 

blatt," 12. 
International or low pitch, 

33, 35, 37, 38, 40, 45, 126. 
Interpretation of music, 

145, 152. 
Intonation, 15, 26, 48; see 

Introdliction, author's, 3 ; 

Translator's, xxi. 
Iron and steel work by 

Boehm, xxvii, 12, 166, 

171, 176. 
Irregular fingerings, 62, 74. 
Italian school of song, 145, 

Ivory flute, 54. 

"Joseph" (music) , 149. 

Kapellar, see Capeller. 

Key Mechanism, 79. 

Keys, general description, 

59, 79; open vs. closed, 

60, 62; adjusting, 82, 105; 
cleaning, 100; covered 
12; repairs to, 100; re- 

moving, 100; ring, 10; 
rise of, 37, 125; testing, 
105; trill, 85, 177; see C# 
key, D and D( keys, Gl 
key, Dorus Git key. Oc- 
tave key, Bb lever. 
"Kunst und Gewerbeblatt," 
39, 40, 47. 

Lablache, singer, 145. 
"Life of Boehm," see Welch. 
"Lindenbaum" (m u s ic ), 

Lips, made sore by wood, 

55; see Embouchure. 
London, Exhibitions, xxii, 

12, 39, 176; visits to, 7, 
8, 28, 162, 174. 

Loop, part of action, 60, 61, 

81, 82. 
Lot, Louis, flute maker, 28, 

64, 172. 

Macauley, Gen. Daniel, his 
flute, 27, 68, 93, 96. 

"Magic Flute" (music), 148. 

Mahler, composer, 123. 

Malibran, singer, 145. 

Mandolin, location of frets 
of, 39. 

Manuscript, Boehm's, ix, x. 

Marker, Ferdinand, flutist, 

Materials, best, 54; com- 
bined, 56; various, 53, 54. 

Measuring tools for flutes, 
51, 52. 

Mechanism, description of, 
59, 79, 90; care of, 100, 
111; of bass flute, 127, 

Medals to Boehm, xxvii, 12, 
174, 175. 176. 

Medicus, Emil, author and 
editor, 120, 189. 

Mehul, 149. 

Meinell. Wm. R., maker, 95. 

Mendelssohn, 123, 152. 

Mendelssohn Quintette Clab, 

13, 95, 99. 



Mendler, Carl, B o e h m's 
partner, ix, 91, 178, 179, 
180; see Boehm & Men- 

Merz, optician, 180. 

Method of Practicing, 140. 

Metric System, 15. 

Molecules, vibration of, 21, 

Monochord, 34, 38, 40. 

Mordent, 154, 155. 

Mouth-hole, see Embou- 

Mozart, 123, 148, 152, 156, 
157, 158. 

Music bv Boehm, 123, 160- 
163, 171, 181. 

Musical Interpretation, 145. 

Nicholson. Charles, flutist, 

Oboe, XXVI, 33, 173. 
Octave key, 74, 86, 126, 128, 

129, 130. 
Oeschsle, Giistau, flutist, 95. 
Oiling flute, 102, 111, 113. 
Old-System flute by Boehm, 

Old System flute, 3-9, 11, 

61-63, 70, 71. 
Open-end correction, 29, 36. 
Open vs. closed keys, 60-62. 
Open Gtt key, arguments in 

favor of, 62, 69, 70, 71, 

Ornaments, musical, 151, 

153, 156; see Coloratures, 

Trill, etc. 
Overblowing flute, 29, 54, 

114, 118. 
Overstrung piano, xxvi, 173. 

Pads, adjusting, 104, 105; 
how made, 104; replac- 
ing, 104, 106; sticking, to 
prevent, 112; testing ad- 
justment of, 106. 

Pape, inventor, 174. 

Papier-mache flute, 54. 

Parabolic head joint, 14, 15, 

16, 17, 18. 
Paris, Expositions, xxii, 

xxm, 12, 39, 40, 96, 125, 

176; visits, 7, 8, 162. 
Pasta, a singer, 145. 
Patents, Boehm's, 91. 
Phrasing, 147. 
Pianoforte, xxvi, 173. 
Piccolo, 95, 180. 
Pitch, International or low, 

33, 35, 37, 38, 40, 45, 126. 
Pitch of flute, 32, 33, 35, 37, 

38-52, 126. 
Pole, Wm., author, 39. 
Porcelain flute, 54. 
Portamento di voce, 147, 

Portraits of Boehm, see List 

of, XVII. 

Practice pieces, by Boehm, 

160, 161, 181. 
Practicing, Method of, 140. 
"Pralltriller," 155. 
Price List, Boehm's, 177, 

Prizes, see Medals. 
Proportions, Acoustical, of 

flute, see Air-column, 

Bore, Tone-holes. 
Proser, maker, 5. 

Quality of tone; upon what 
it depends, 14, 21, 23, 29, 
114; of particular flutes, 
8, 20, 96', 98, 99, 170; of 
bass flute, xxvi, 20, 119- 
123; as aflfected by mate- 
rial, 53-56. 

Quantz, 10. 

Querpfeife, 10. 

Rath, Franz, flutist, 5. 
Ravel, composer, 123. 
Regulating screws, 81, 82, 

Rehberg, Fr., artist, xvii. 
Repairs, 100. 

Respiration, 149, 157, 158. 
Richaulf, publisher, 161. 



Rimsky-Karsakoiv, c o m- 
poser, 123. 

Ring-keys, 10. 

Rise of keys, 37, 125. 

Rockstro, R. S., flutist and 
author, xxiii, 49, 71, 98, 
112, 189. 

Rossini, 156. 

Rotatory motion, xxvi, 174, 

Rubber (ebonite) flute, 54. 

Rubini, singer, 145. 

Rudall and Rose, makers, 
10, 90. 

Rudall. Carte & Co., mak- 
ers, 20, 22, 120, 123, 161. 

Rhythm, 150. 

Sachetti, Antoine, flutist, 
XVIII, 145. 

Saxophone, 120. 

Scale, of A=435, vibrations 
of, 35; locating holes by 
calculation, 31-36, 46; lo- 
cating holes by diagram, 
38; locating holes by 
trial, 25, 30; locating 
holes for various pitohes, 
32, 38, 42; lengths of air 
columns, 35; relative fre- 
quency of tones, 32; rela- 
tive lengths of strings, 
32; practicing, musical, 
136, 137, 138, 140; Tables 
of Fingerings for chro- 
matic, 72. 

Schade, Wm., flutist, 95. 

Schafhautl, 12, 163, 166, 
178, 181, 189. 

Schema, xxii, 36, 38, 40, 
173; validity of, 49, 99; 
for bass flute, 125. 

Schirmer, publisher, 162. 

Schleif-key, see Octave key. 

Schmid, composer, 123. 

tSchott's Sohne, piiblishers, 
13, 161. 

Schubert, 123, 150, 151, 152. 

Schumann, composer, 124. 
Schwedler, Maxmilian, au- 
thor, 189. 
Schwegel, 10. 
Screws, adjusting, 81, 82, 

"Serenade," Schubert, 

(music), 152. 
Sessi, a singer, 145. 
Shake, see Trill. 
Shellac, for cementing, 104. 
Shippen, Rev,. Rush R., his 

flute, 20, 27, 93, 96, 97. 
Silver flute, xxv, 20, 27, 28, 

53-56, 90, 111, 179. 
"Singing" on the flute, 140, 

146, 153, 156. 
Slide-joint, shortening at, 

36, 48, 52, 111. 
Slurs, 140, 149, 150, 151. 
Societij of Arts, London, 

174, 176. 
Solo playing, 146. 
Sousa's Band, 95. 
Springs, action of, 81, 84; 

gold, 108; gold vs. steel, 

106, 108; making, 107; 

unhooking, 101. 
Squarzoni, F., author, 189. 
"Standchen," Schubert, 

(music), 152. 
Stanford, composer, 123. 
Steel and iron work, 

Boehm's, xxvii, 12, 166, 

171, 176. 
Steinway, pianoforte mak- 
er, 174. 
Stopper, see Cork. 
Straps, action, 90. 
Stravinsky, composer, 123. 
String lengths, tempered 

scale, 32. 
Sussex, Duke of, 174. 
Swab, how used, 113. 
Syncopation, 149. 
System of Fingering, xxv, 




Tamburini, singer, 145. 

Tempered scale, see Scale. 

Terschak, A., composer, 

Theory applied to flute, see 

Thickness of tube, 54, 90. 

Thinned wood for head- 
joint, 56, 93, 98, 169. 

Thumb key, see Bb lever. 

Timbre, see Quality. 

Tomkinson, pianoforte 
maker, 174. 

Tone, how produced, 14, 21, 
23, 53, 117. 

Tone Development, 135. 

Tone-holes, 15; location of, 
25-37; schema for graphic 
location of, 38-52; for 
various pitches, 42-46; 
large vs. small, 25-27; 
size of, 26, 27; graduated 
sizes, 27, 28, 99; effect of 
sizes of, 26, 34; vent 
holes, 30; see C# hole, D 
and DS holes. 

Tone-quality, see Quality. 

Tonguing, 145, 147-149, 158. 

Tools for measuring flutes, 
51, 52. 

Tools for repairing flute, 
100, 178. 

Transposing, of scale, 32, 
42; by bass flute, 130. 

Treatment of Flute in Gen- 
eral 111. 

Trills,' 154-156; fingerings 
for, 74-76, 129, 130; keys, 
85, 177; see D and Dit 

Tromlitz, early flutist, 10. 

"Trockene B 1 u m e n" 
(music), 151. 

Tube, 14; weight of, 53, 54; 
thickness, 54, 90; see Air- 
column, Bore, Materials. 

Tuning slide, 36, 48, 52, 111. 

"U e b e r den Flotenbau," 
pamphlet of 1847, xi, xxi, 
XXII, 7, 10, 13, 15, 189. 

"Uebungstiicke," by Boehm, 

Undercutting of blow-hole, 
23, 24. 

Velluti, singer, 145. 

Vent holes, 30; see Octave 

Violin, 117, 120, 124. 

Wadsworth, Frank, flutist, 

Wax" flute. 54. 
Wehner, Carl, flutist, 93, 95, 

Weight of flute and tube, 

53, 54. 
Weingarten, composer, 123. 
Welch, "History of the 

Boehm Flute," xvii, xxiv, 

6, 12, 39, 40, 49, 125, 166, 

175, 181, 189. 
Whisper key, see octave 

Wilkins, James S., flutist, ix, 

93, 166, 167, 172, 173. 
Wind instruments, 10, 15. 

33, 39, 114. 
Wood flute, 27, 54, 55, 111, 

113, 114, 169, 178. 
Wood head joint, 20, 56, 95, 

96, 98. 179. 
Work shop, see Boehm & 

Wunderlich, flutist, 135. 

"Zauberflote" (music), 148. 
Zither, location of frets of, 

"Zur Erinnerung an Theo- 

bold Boehm," 6, 119.