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(Amsterdam, before 1646-1705) Boxwood original in the Ehrenfeld collection, Utrecht. The lowest note of this flute is C rather than the usual D, at a pitch of a=410.

Haka flute by Folkers & Powell

The Instrument

This most interesting and unusual flute is the only one of its kind to survive. Its bore is much less tapered than those of the other three-joint flutes, which were made in England, France, and Germany. It seems most likely that it is meant to play a whole tone lower than those instruments, but the question remains, why? Further investigation may suggest why this transposition would have been useful. Richard Haka was born in London, but had moved with his parents to Amsterdam by 1652. He worked from c1660, making recorders and flutes, oboes, bassoons, and schalmeys that were sold as far afield as the Swedish navy and the Medici court in Florence, until his nephew Rykel took over the shop in 1696.

The Music

What this instrument was meant to play depends on how we answer the transposition question. In the meantime, seventeenth-century Italian and Dutch divisions, as well as the tender French Airs de cour, sound marvelous on this instrument.

No sound sample is available for this instrument.

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