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Title: Octave flutes in England, 1660-1800
Author: MacMillan, Douglas
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The small recorders, the flageolet, the fife, and the piccolo are octave flutes, sounding at four-foot pitch. The bulk of the literature relating to the recorder in the late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England focuses on the alto (treble), for this was the most commonly used member of the family, but octave recorders have never been the subject of detailed scrutiny. There is no comprehensive study of the flageolet or of the fife in England during this period, and virtually nothing has been written on the early use of the piccolo. The thesis examines the organology of the four instruments, with most attention being given to the recorder, the dominant octave flute of the era; the changes in the instrument from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century are described, and related to changes in assigned music. The reasons for the displacement of the flageolet by the recorder in the late seventeenth century and the recorder's substantial displacement by the German flute in the eighteenth are explored. Duct flutes have long been the particular province of amateur musicians, who often studied from a self-instructor, and examples of these tutors are examined, together with a representative repertoire. Particular note is made of the English 'small flute concerti' and the use of the sopranino recorder in the late eighteenth century. A chapter examines social, financial, and performance aspects (including performance venues); professional and amateur usage of the instruments and gender differences are discussed. A comparison is made of the usage of the instruments in Continental Europe and England, where differing practices are observed regarding tutors, repertoire, and, in particular, the usage of the piccolo. The introductory review of extant literature indicates thirteen matters in which I consider the literature on octave flutes 1660 - 1800 to be deficient. The thesis explores these lacunae.
Supervisor: Aspden, Suzanne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Octave flutes 1660-1800 ; Flageolet ; Recorder