Flageolet

Last updated
Flageolet
French and english flageolets.jpg
Classification
Related instruments

The flageolet is a woodwind instrument and a member of the fipple flute family which includes recorders and tin whistles. Its invention was erroneously [1] ascribed to the 16th-century Sieur Juvigny in 1581. [2] There are two basic forms of the instrument: the French, having four finger holes on the front and two thumb holes on the back; and the English, having six finger holes on the front and sometimes a single thumb hole on the back. The latter was developed by English instrument maker William Bainbridge, resulting in the "improved English flageolet" in 1803. [3] There are also double and triple flageolets, having two or three bodies that allowed for a drone and countermelody. Flageolets were made until the 19th century. [4]

Contents

Flageolets have varied greatly during the last 400 years. The first flageolets were called "French flageolets", and have four tone-holes on the front and two on the back. This instrument was played by Hector Berlioz, Frédéric Chalon, Samuel Pepys, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Henry Purcell and George Frideric Handel both wrote pieces for it. An early collection of manuscript Lessons for the Flajolet, dating from about 1676, is preserved in the British Library. [5]

Small versions of this instrument, called bird flageolets, were also made and were used for teaching birds to sing. These tiny flageolets have, like the French flageolet, four finger holes on the front and two thumb holes on the back.

The number of keys on French flageolets ranges from none to seven, the exception being the Boehm system French flageolet made by Buffet Crampon which had thirteen keys. The arrangement of the tone holes on the flageolet yields a scale different from that on the whistle or recorder. Whereas the whistle's basic scale is D-E-F#-G-A-B-C#-d, the flageolet's basic scale is D-E-F-G-A-B-C-d. Cross-fingerings and keys are required to fill in the gaps.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, certain English instrument makers started to make flageolets with six finger-holes on the front. These instruments are called "English flageolets" and were eventually produced in metal as tin whistles. The keys number between none and six. Some were produced with changeable top joints which allowed the flageolet to be played as a flute or fife. [6]

An English maker, William Bainbridge, in around 1810 patented a double flageolet [7] which consisted of two English flageolets joined together so that the player could harmonise the tunes that he played. He also produced a triple flageolet which added a third, drone pipe which was fingered in a similar way to an ocarina.

The flageolet was eventually entirely replaced by the tin whistle and is rarely played today. [4] However, it is a very easy instrument to play and the tone is soft and gentle. It has a range of about two octaves.

The flageolet is composed of several parts: the ivory beak serves as the instrument's mouthpiece; the windway is a gradually expanding part that leads to the barrel. The barrel contains the fipple and together they form the wind channel which focusses the stream of air across the window and onto the labium (lip) where the stream is split, giving rise to a musical sound. Finally, there is the body (or bodies, in a double or triple flageolet) which contains the finger holes and keys. The beak, windway and barrel do not contribute to sound production and the instrument can be played if these parts are missing.

Bird Flageolet - Private collection Elemtilas Bird flageolet.jpg
Bird Flageolet - Private collection Elemtilas
Flageolet XIXe - Private collection Dominique Enon Flageolet ebene, argent et nacre.JPG
Flageolet XIXe - Private collection Dominique Enon

See also

Related Research Articles

Bassoon Musical instrument

The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that plays music written in the bass and tenor clefs, and occasionally the treble. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band, and chamber music literature. It is known for its distinctive tone colour, wide range, variety of character, and agility. The modern bassoon exists in two forms; Buffet and Heckel systems. One who plays a bassoon of either system is called a bassoonist.

Clarinet type of woodwind instrument

The clarinet is a family of woodwind instruments. It has a single-reed mouthpiece, a straight, cylindrical tube with an almost cylindrical bore, and a flared bell. A person who plays a clarinet is called a clarinetist.

Flute Musical instrument of the woodwind family

The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flautist, flutist or, less commonly, fluter or flutenist.

Recorder (musical instrument) Woodwind musical instrument

The recorder is a family of woodwind musical instruments in the group known as internal duct flutes—flutes with a whistle mouthpiece, also known as fipple flutes. A recorder can be distinguished from other duct flutes by the presence of a thumb-hole for the upper hand and seven finger-holes: three for the upper hand and four for the lower. It is the most prominent duct flute in the western classical tradition.

Tin whistle Six-holed woodwind instrument

The tin whistle, also called the penny whistle, flageolet, English flageolet, Scottish penny whistle, tin flageolet, Irish whistle, Belfast Hornpipe, feadóg stáin and Clarke London Flageolet is a simple, six-holed woodwind instrument. It is a type of fipple flute, putting it in the same class as the recorder, Native American flute, and other woodwind instruments that meet such criteria. A tin whistle player is called a whistler. The tin whistle is closely associated with Celtic and Australian folk music.

Ocarina Ancient wind musical instrument

The ocarina is an ancient wind musical instrument—a type of vessel flute. Variations exist, but a typical ocarina is an enclosed space with four to twelve finger holes and a mouthpiece that projects from the body. It is traditionally made from clay or ceramic, but other materials are also used—such as plastic, wood, glass, metal, or bone.

Galician gaita Traditional bagpipe of Galicia and northern Portugal

The Galician gaita is the traditional instrument of Galicia and northern Portugal.

The low whistle, or concert whistle, is a variation of the traditional tin whistle/pennywhistle, distinguished by its lower pitch and larger size. It is most closely associated with the performances of British and Irish artists such as Finbar Furey and his son Martin Furey, Old Blind Dogs, Michael McGoldrick, Riverdance, Lunasa, Donie Keyes and Davy Spillane, and is increasingly accepted as a feature of Celtic music. The low whistle is often used for the playing of airs and slow melodies due to its haunting and delicate sound. However, it is also becoming used more often for the playing of jigs, reels and hornpipes from the Irish, Scottish, Manx, Welsh and English traditions. A reason put forward for this being, it's easier to produce some ornamentation on the whistle, due to the size of the finger holes.

Chalumeau Woodwind instrument; predecessor of modern clarinet

The chalumeau is a single-reed woodwind instrument of the late baroque and early classical eras. The chalumeau is a folk instrument that is the predecessor to the modern-day clarinet. It has a cylindrical bore with eight tone holes and a broad mouthpiece with a single heteroglot reed made of cane. Similar to the clarinet, the chalumeau overblows a twelfth.

Fipple

A fipple is a constricted mouthpiece common to many end-blown flutes, such as the tin whistle and the recorder. These instruments are known as fipple flutes and are indicated by the code 421.2 in the Hornbostel–Sachs classification.

Kaval

The kaval is a chromatic end-blown flute traditionally played throughout the Balkans and Anatolia. The kaval is primarily associated with mountain shepherds.

Gemshorn

The gemshorn is an instrument of the ocarina family that was historically made from the horn of a chamois, goat, or other suitable animal. The gemshorn receives its name from the German language, and means a "chamois horn".

Flabiol

The flabiol is a Catalan woodwind musical instrument of the family known as fipple flutes. It is one of the 12 instruments of the cobla. The flabiol measures about 25 centimeters in length and has five or six holes on its front face and three underneath.

Pipe (instrument)

A pipe is a tubular wind instrument in general, or various specific wind instruments. The word is an onomatopoeia, and comes from the tone which can resemble that of a bird chirping.

Pipe and tabor

Pipe and tabor is a pair of instruments played by a single player, consisting of a three-hole pipe played with one hand, and a small drum played with the other. The tabor (drum) hangs on the performer's left arm or around the neck, leaving the hands free to beat the drum with a stick in the right hand and play the pipe with thumb and first two fingers of the left hand.

In music, fingering, or on stringed instruments stopping, is the choice of which fingers and hand positions to use when playing certain musical instruments. Fingering typically changes throughout a piece; the challenge of choosing good fingering for a piece is to make the hand movements as comfortable as possible without changing hand position too often. A fingering can be the result of the working process of the composer, who puts it into the manuscript, an editor, who adds it into the printed score, or the performer, who puts his or her own fingering in the score or in performance.

Fingering...also stopping...(1) A system of symbols for the fingers of the hand used to associate specific notes with specific fingers....(2)Control of finger movements and position to achieve physiological efficiency, acoustical accuracy [frequency and amplitude] and musical articulation.

Zuffolo

Zuffolo (also chiufolo, ciufolo) is an Italian fipple flute. First described in the 14th century, it has a rear thumb-hole, two front finger-holes, and a conical bore. It is approximately 8 cm in length and has a range of over two octaves, from B3 to C6 (Marcuse 1975c). A larger instrument of the same name, with a lowest note of C5 appeared in the early 17th century (Fuller-Maitland, Baines, and Térey-Smith 2001).

Three-hole pipe

The three-hole pipe, also commonly known as tabor pipe, is a wind instrument designed to be played by one hand, leaving the other hand free to play a tabor drum, bell, psalterium or tambourin à cordes, bones, triangle or other percussive instrument.

The Turkish ney is an end-blown reed flute, an Ottoman variation on the ancient ney. Together with the Turkish tanbur lute and Turkish kemençe fiddle are considered the most typical instruments of Classical Turkish music. The ney also plays a primary role in the music of the Mevlevi Sufi rites (semâ).

Dilli kaval

The dilli kaval is a traditional fipple flute from Turkey and Azerbaijan. It is typically made of plum, ebony, or apricot wood. It has seven holes on the front and a thumb hole on the back; the lowest hole on the front is seldom, if ever, covered while playing. Similar to a penny whistle, the register can be controlled by the force of breath. The word "dilli" is Turkish for "tongued" and alludes to the fact that this flute has a duct or "fipple" rather than being rim-blown like a conventional kaval.

References

  1. Head, Jacob. "Biographies of famous Flageolet Players". Flageolets.com. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  2. Stanley Sadie (editor). Norton/Grove The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1980/1995 ISBN   1-56159-174-2
  3. Head, Jacob. "William Bainbridge". Flageolets.com. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  4. 1 2 others, Jacob Head and. "The Pleasant Companion—The Flageolet Site". Flageolets.com. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  5. British Library Sloane MS 1145, ff. 35–39.
  6. The Pleasant Companion: The Flageolets Site "The Flageolet Family" Archived 2008-01-16 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Waterhouse, William (1 January 1999). "The Double Flageolet - Made in England". 52: 172–182. doi:10.2307/842521. JSTOR   842521.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)