Clear Flute English

An open wooden flute of 4' pitch, invented by Kirtland & Jardine of Manchester, England. Its unimitative tone is described by Audsley as “full and clear”, and “without any particular charm or good mixing quality”. Wedgwood describes it as “clear, dour and hooting”, and states that it “scarcely blends well”, but Irwin describes it as an ensemble flute, similar to the Hohlflöte. Each pipe has an inverted mouth located on the narrow side, cut up anywhere from 1/3 to 2/5, a German (sloped) block containing the windway, and a flat cap. The pipes are copiously winded, and Hopkins & Rimbault report that they are not nicked at all. Wedgwood gives a scale of 3 1/8" x 2 5/8" at CC (4'); Audsley gives a scale of 2 1/8" x 2 1/2" for the same pipe. Irwin claims that it is sometimes made of metal rather than wood.

While some sources list this name as synonymous with Hellflöte, they are different stops.


We know of only four examples:

Clear Flute 4', Swell; Town Hall, Adelaide, Australia; Walker 1990.

Clear Flute 8', Ethereal; John Wanamaker Store, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Clear Flute 4', Pedal; Blackstone residence, location unknown; 1988-95. Reworked from a Melodia.

Clear Flute 4', Great; St. Anne's Church, Moseley, Birmingham, England; Brindley & Foster 1907.

Sound Clips

See the Sound Files appendix for general information.

Clear Flute 4', Great St. Anne's Church, Moseley, Birmingham, England Brindley & Foster, 1907 arpeggio St. Anne


Audsley[1]: Clear Flute. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Clear Flute; II.XXXIV Clear Flute. Hopkins & Rimbault[1]: § 606. Irwin[1]: Clear Flute. Maclean[1]: Clear Flute. Sumner[1]: Clear Flute. Wedgwood[1]: Clear Flute.
Copyright © 2001 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
ClearFlute.html - Last updated 30 September 2004.
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