Monographs, essays, reviews, letters and advertisements from nineteenth-century London.
Selected and edited with an introduction by Robert Bigio.
It was estimated in 1829 that one man in ten in London played the
flute. Players, teachers, composers and makers competed for their
share of the vast market for anything to do with the flute.
Much of the published history of the flute in the nineteenth century
is based on the works in this collection, which includes descriptions
of newly-invented flutes, arguments about their relative merits and
some extraordinary battles between rival makers and players.
This collection contains the full texts of these most important
nineteenth-century works on the flute:
Charles Nicholson “A Word or Two” to Mr. W. N. James (1829)
W. N. James Mr. James’s Answer to Mr. Nicholson (1829)
William Annand A Few Words on the Flute (1843)
Cornelius Ward The Flute Explained (1844)
John Clinton A Treatise Upon the Mechanism and General
Principles of the Flute(1851)
Richard Carte Sketch of the Successive Improvements made in the
John Clinton A Few Practical Hints to Flute Players (1855)
T. C. Skeffington “The Flute” in its Transition State (1862)
Theobald Böhm Essay on the Construction of Flutes (1847, first
published in 1882 with notes by W. S. Broadwood)
With a Miscellany of essays, letters, reviews and advertisements from the daily press and from
musical journals plus personal letters from George Rudall and John Clinton to Theobald
Böhm:George Hogarth on the flute; Philo-Flauto; Letter from an amateur flute player; Charles
Nicholson appointed Flutist to the King; The death of Nicholson; Bucher and Boehm; Richardson
and Card; ‘My Dear Phunniwistl’; The Paris Conservatoire and the Boehm flute; Prowse and the
Nicholson flute; On the Tone of the Flute; Monzani and Wylde; Flute-mania; Hodgkinson;
Review of Clinton’s Boehm flute tutor; Carte’s advertisement; Card’s advertisement; Acrostic on
Richardson’s name; The Boehm flute controversy; Advertisements by Prowse, Ward and Clinton;
More Boehm flute controversy; Review of Carte’s Boehm flute tutor; ‘To Make a Flute Solo’;
Clinton’s letter to Boehm; Siccama’s advertisement; Carte’s advertisement; Rudall’s letter to
Boehm; Carte and the metal Boehm flute in Newcastle; Madame Dulcken and Mr. Carte;
Richardson and Pratten; The flute controversy continues; Card’s Melodion; The Great Exhibition;
Review of Clinton’s Practical Hints; Clinton and Carte caution flute players in advertisements in The
Illustrated with more than thirty engravings, photographs and line drawings.First published 2006.
Third impression 2011. Paper bound. 234mm by 156mm. 368 pages. Price £30 (30 GBP).
Available from the publisher, Tony Bingham (www.oldmusicalinstruments.co.uk) or from the
author (Robert@bigio.com), and from the usual specialist booksellers and flute shops.
Reviews of Readings in the History of the Flute
The Galpin Society Journal LX (April 2007) pp. 246–247. Please click here for a PDF.
The Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, 2009. Please click here for a PDF.
Readings in the History of the Flute