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Heinrich Friedrich Meyer (1814-97)

Flutes built by H.F. Meyer of Hamburg after about 1850 responded to the demand German orchestral flutists felt to balance larger string sections and to play in the extreme high and low registers.

Modeled on the Viennese-type flutes most in favor with German orchestral musicians of the early 19th century, the Meyer-type flutes (often stamped 'nach Meyer', or 'Meyer pattern') introduced a model soon widely imitated by the Viennese makers themselves, as well as by other German, Austrian, and Italian workshops. It usually had 12 keys, a body of wood, and toward the end of the century a metal-lined ivory headjoint.

In Paris, London, Boston, New York, and Berlin the Boehm flute displaced the traditional keyed flute relatively early, and from about 1870 modified Boehm flutes by French and English makers came into more widespread use, more so in orchestras than in bands. In much of Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and the US, however, band and orchestral flutists continued to use the Meyer flute, which even today is plentifully and cheaply available in the antique trade.

Chapter 10, 'Nineteenth-century eclecticism', of Ardal Powell's The Flute (Yale University Press, 2002) contains more information on this topic.

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