Friday, October 28, 2005

SWQR - Boehm's The Flute and Flute Playing

The Flute and Flute Playing Theobold Boehm (Dover Publications 1964)

Theobold Boehm stands at the junction of three great roads: science, engineering, and music. He was a flautist of reknown, and a student of both the theory as well as the practice of all the branches of science and engineering which touch on music - in particular as it applies to his chosen instrument. In 1871 he published this book which examines his life's work on the flute, as he brought it from its primitive early form to the modern form now in use. Such a interdisciplinary book can be a challenge to read, but it reveals much about the instrument - and about Boehm: "The surest proof of the authenticity of my invention, I believe will be given by describing the motives which led me to its development, and by explaining the acoustical and mechanical principles of which I made application; for he alone is capable of carrying out a rational work, who is able to give a complete account of the why and wherefore of every detail from its conception to its completion." [p. xxv emphasis added] Even non-musicians will benefit from this.


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