You can order our renaissance flutes at any practical pitch
This page gives people who have special requirements detailed
information about choosing a pitch. Unless you are concerned
with historical pitch-relationships it will probably not interest
you very much. Please go directly to the pages for Rafi
and Lissieu flutes, or for Bassano,
Rafi, and Schrattenbach
consorts where recommended options are preset in the order
For easy comparison, historical pitches are given with approximate
reference to a "cornett pitch" known in Italy as
mezzo punto. The most usual pitch for flutes seems
to have been a whole tone below this, so that the tenor flute's
lowest note (6 fingers down) sounds as C at a=460 but as D
at a=408. The latter pitch, known as tuono corista,
was the level at which many choirs sang, at least from the
late 16th to the late 17th centuries.
The modern pitch of a=440 seems to have been known in 16th-
and 17th-century Italy and elsewhere as tutto punto,
but was apparently not used at that time for building flutes.
However for the sake of convenience we offer a consort at
440, and another at a=392, which preserves the relationship
between mezzo punto and tuono corista by playing
in C at 440 or in D a whole tone below. Unless you have to
play with instruments tuned to a=440 you can conveniently
ignore these two options.
If you need to play seventeenth-century music with instruments
tuned to a=415, we suggest you consider a two-piece Rafi
tenor flute first. If necessary we can make a whole set to
play at a=415, but it will not be useful for playing with
other 16th-century instrument families.
Note that in the following table, the column
headed "in D" means that the lowest fingered note
sounds a D at the pitch indicated, etc.
in D @
in C @
in Bb @
Consorts at historical pitch standards
Cornett pitch ~ mezzo
1/2 tone below
1 tone below ~ tuono
2 tones below
Consorts based on modern standard
pitch (no historic models extant)
Concert pitch ~ tutto
1/2 tone below
1 tone below
Please refer to the page for each consort for ordering options.