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First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Baroque flutes

A revolution in flute making took place in the second half of the 17th century. The instrument emerged as the 'baroque flute' with significant modifications including a conical bore, the addition of a key for the right hand little finger, and a more ornate body made in several pieces. It was now fully chromatic (in large part because of the key), but more significantly, it was better suited tonally for a role as a soloist (primarily because of the bore change). The bore change made a big difference in sound—improving the intonation and increasing the volume in the lowest notes, in particular—and incidently allowed the finger holes to be placed higher on the tube, making it slightly easier to handle with small hands than a renaissance flute at the same pitch.


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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.