Ardal Powell's 18th-century Flute Database

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Advanced search capability has been added as of January 2009.

I promised in The Keyed Flute by Johann George Tromlitz (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996, p. 261) to make available the index of flute information I compiled for that study. You are welcome to make use of it, as long as you send me new material and correct any mistakes you find. Please note that I am not systematically updating or improving the database: it's presented here, for what it's worth, in form and content already 10 years out of date. If anyone would like to make an ongoing project of it, please contact me.

The database file contains listings for about 1800 instruments, with details of attribution, maker's mark, materials, keys, and reports in the literature. (My own copy also lists drawings made by other researchers, and materials (drawings, photos, mouldings) in the collection of Folkers & Powell.)

Locations are given as:
Country Code, City -- Collection, Catalog Number.

Example:
US Boston -- MFA 1989.136

indicates the instrument that appears under accession number 1989.136 in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The Collection name is abbreviated or omitted where is it is widely known, e.g. DCM refers the Dayton C. Miller Collection in the Music Division at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA; Vienna refers to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in that city; Hague refers to the Haags Gemeentemuseum. Locations such as D Aachen -- W. Wilems refer to private collections in the city indicated.

The database was compiled from various sources, including Phillip T. Young's two Indices (cited as Y2500 and Y4900), Sotheby's auction catalogs in the collection of Tony Bingham, and a pitch database kindly provided to me by Bruce Haynes. It contains many shorthand references to the literature on musical instruments: I regret I can't offer to expand these in the database or offer other support for its use, but with a bit of guesswork you can look them up here.