A survey of flutists and flute activities in eighteenth-century America
Treat, William Phelps, 1960-
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The purpose of this study is to chronicle the activities of early American flutists and to provide new evidence to establish the flute's important role during America's musical nascence. Records of concert events, teaching notices, instrument sales, and biographical material from the late seventeenth century up to and including 1800 were surveyed. The study is geographically limited to eight cities: Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Annapolis, Savannah, Williamsburg, Charleston, and certain American Moravian communities. It focuses predominantly upon individuals who considered music their primary or secondary vocation; amateurs were discussed only if they made a distinct contribution to the popularity of the instrument (e.g., music distributors or instrument makers). Only activities involving the transverse flute are discussed.The primary sources consulted for this study were eighteenth-century newspapers, diaries, travelers' accounts, municipal records, and miscellaneous archival manuscripts. In certain cases, analogous sources were compared in order to verify the details of a particular flutist or concert event.The results of this investigation uncovered several hundred new references to the flute and significantly expanded upon the theses of Giroux (1952) and Will (1990). Several appendices provide related material such as available flute music, flutists of other cities, and illustrations.
- Music