Readings in the History of the Flute
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
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 Flute (1851)
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). ISBN 978-0-
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.
Robert Bigio flute pages
Articles on the flute
Books by Robert Bigio