Nason English
Nasonflöte German
Nashorn (unknown)
Nason Flute English
Nason Gedackt German
Nason Gedeckt German

A stopped wooden flute whose tone, like the Quintaten, contains a significant amount of 3rd harmonic. Grove describes its tone as sweet, and Irwin describes it as soft, round, pervading, and mysterious. It was, according to Sumner, used by North German builders during the 17th and 18th centuries, and was, according to Grove, introduced to England at the end of the 17th century by Smith. It is usually found at 4' pitch; Audsley cites one example at 1-1/3' pitch, and Irwin claims that it is found at 16' and 8' pitch as well. Irwin describes its scale as moderately large, and Bonavia-Hunt specifies a scale of 1 1/8" by 7/8" for the stopped 1' pipe.

Bonavia-Hunt suggests that a metal Rohrflöte “makes a charming nason”; Irwin mentions that it is rarely made with chimneys. Maclean writes: “the name [Nason] is also given by the present Henry Willis to a metal Chimney Flute of medium scale”.

The name Nashorn is mentioned only by Sumner. The name Nason Gedeckt is not mentioned in the literature, but we assume it to be a synonym.


Osiris contains three examples of Nasonflöte, all at 8' pitch; sixteen examples of Nason Flute, half at 8' and half at 4'; six examples of Nason, one at 8' and the rest at 4'; two examples of Nason Gedeckt at 8'; and a single example of Nashorn.

Nason Flute 4', Great; Great St. Mary's Church, Cambridge, England; Smith 1696. (Could this be the introduction to England mentioned by Grove?)

Nason 4', Great; St. Paul's Cathedral, London, England; Schmidt 1697.

Nashorn 3' [2-2/3'], Hauptwerk; St. Bartholomaeus, Dornum, Ostfriesland, Germany; von Holy 1710-11.

Nasonflöte 8', Positiv; Episcopal Cathedral of St Andrews, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; Aeolian-Skinner 1961.

Nason Gedackt 8', Positiv; National Cathedral, Washington D.C., USA; Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner 1939/1975.


Audsley[1]: Nason. Audsley[2]: I.XIII Nason. Bonavia-Hunt[1]: Nason Flute; Stopped Diapason. Grove[1]: Nason. Hopkins & Rimbault[1]: § 604. Irwin[1]: Nason Flute. Locher[1]: Flute. Maclean[1]: Nason. Sumner[1]: Nason. Wedgwood[1]: Nason.
Copyright © 2000 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.
Nason.html - Last updated 30 April 2002.
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