The Hotteterre 392 Hz traverso
A new type of flute appeared during the second half of the 17th century. It’s not known by whom or where the 1-keyed, 3-part conical flute (traverso) was first made. There’s no definite proof that the 1-keyed flute originated in France, but the first well-known performers (Philibert, La Barre, Hotteterre, Buffardin etc…) were all Frenchmen. The first famous tutor for the instrument was that by Hotteterre ‘le Romain’ published in Paris in 1707: “Principes de la flûte traversière,…” These early instruments were made in 3 pieces: a headjoint with a large endcap connected to the middle joint by the ‘barrel’ and the typical convex-shaped footjoint.
The Hotteterres were a celebrated French family of the 17th-18th c. , court instrumentalists and instrument makers about whom there’s still considerable confusion. Unfortunately the few surviving instruments cannot be definitely attributed to one specific member of the family.
My copy is based on the ebony original in the Landesmuseum Joanneum Graz (Kat. Nr. 1384), of which we are sure it’s a genuine Hotteterre flute. It bears the anker stamp. L’ancre noire is the sign of the house that Jean Hotteterre owned in the Alsace (north-east of France).
The traversos in Berlin, St. Petersburg, Brussels, Washington and La Couture are probably 19th century copies of a lost original. La Couture-Boussey, a little village about 60 miles to the west of Paris, has been a centre of woodwind making for over 300 years up till now.
My copies are made in (stained) boxwood or African blackwood (grenadille) with substitute ivory and silver key. On request mammut ivory or real legal ivory can be used. My copy is one of the finest you can find on the market today, because I have studied the original in detail and was able to deduce how the original must have been when ‘new’.