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Thread: Unidentified Instrument

  1. #1
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    Question Unidentified Instrument

    I have a type of flute that I am trying to identify. It is made of tin and is 14 inches in length. The diameter is 1/2 inch. It has 6 finger holes in it of various diameters. There is also a mouthpiece that appears to be made of lead. There is what appears to be a makers mark on it that consists of the letter "C" that is enclosed in a circle and that is enclosed in a 5-pointed star. This was found in my mothers personal effects when she passed away and no family members recall ever seeing it before then. For some reason I was unable to upload photos, but if you would like, I will e mail them to you.

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    The C is probably the tuning of the instrument, in concert C which is the most common tuning for flutes. Is the mouthpiece curved? Or is it straight from end to end? Don't quote me on this, I'm not expert--I just know a little somethin' somethin' every now and again--but it sounds like a fife or even an alto flute or even possibly a bass piccolo. It's probably not recent (maybe last 75yrs or so?). A while back, maybe 50 or 75 years ago a few companies had this idea that they would make an alto flute which was tuned to Eb I believe. It was higher than a standard C flute, but lower then a standard C piccolo. Then they decided to make a bass piccolo tuned to F which would of been inbetween a standard C piccolo and and alto flute. I could be completely wrong though, those are incredibly rare. Maybe try uploading pictures to imgur.com and posting the links?
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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    The mouthpiece comes in from the side. It is about 2" in from the end.

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sully231 View Post
    The mouthpiece comes in from the side. It is about 2" in from the end.
    But is it straight like a standard flute or bent?
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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    The body of the instrument is straight and the mouthpiece comes in at a 90 degree angle. There is a notch in the instrument where the air goes in when you blow into the mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is about 1/2 inch wide and 5/16 inch thick. with a slot in it to allow the air to get to the notch in the barrel. The mouthpiece has two bands that are cast in with the mouthpiece (the mouthpiece and bands are all cast in one piece) and the bands go completely around the flute. The mouthpiece (bands and all) is soldered to the body of the instrument.

  6. #6
    Captain of Water Music Hawk Henries's Avatar
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    Try uploading the pictures to IMGUR or another web picture hosting site. Then post a link here. Being a flute enthusiast I am curious....

    Here is a link to Imgur. I use it therefore it is quite simple Once your signed up all that you have to do is click upload from computer, select your picture and wait for it to upload. Once uploaded click the picture to view full size, right click and copy the url then paste it in this thread....
    http://imgur.com/
    Last edited by Hawk Henries; Feb-27-2013 at 02:00.
    I wish You Peace
    Hawk

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    Rear Admiral Appassionata John Watt's Avatar
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    I think I remember hearing that American General George Patton gave drum corps flutes to, uh, European girlfriends.
    This kind of provenance will make any appraisal beneficial, especially if D.N.A. can prove family ties,
    the kind that bind.

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    Here is a link, hope it works. http://imgur.com/vwrkw3M
    http://imgur.com/uXoaQ6a

  9. #9
    Captain of Water Music Hawk Henries's Avatar
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    The link worked fine! That's a very unique (to me) and cool instrument. I have not seen one before. Kind of looks like it may be used to teach or substitute for a transverse type flute.
    I wish You Peace
    Hawk

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    One thing that I have been thinking and haven't mentioned yet because I didn't want to sway any ones opinion is that my Great Great Grandfather marched with General Sherman in the civil war. I was just wondering if he may have been a fifer and the "C" may have been the company that he was attached to. Just something that kind of romanticizes the whole search.

  11. #11
    Rear Admiral Appassionata John Watt's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be surprised if it's that old.
    That's one thing I learned hanging out with the Ottawa Symphony and Symphony Orchestra,
    okay, okay, even with the Thunder Bay Symphony and St. Catharines Junior Symphony.
    Even though the instruments were old enough to be hand-made before electricity,
    they looked perfect and wonderful, beautiful works of art.

    I think I heard some of the silverwear from a plantation known as Tara was melted into Southeners military instruments.
    Yeah, but sometimes the provenance of historic appraisals like that can be gone with the wind.
    Put that in your flute and blow it.

  12. #12
    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    It is possible it's a fife. However, usually a letter on an instrument usually indicates pitch.
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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