chapter  2
9 Pages

Straight and Cross Flutes

It has to be recognized straight away that in Italy, during the first three decades of the eighteenth century, the term 'flauto' means, almost automatically, the 'straight' flute, or recorder. In Italy two apparently contradictory phenomena manifest themselves in the second and third decades of the eighteenth century. On one hand, a solo repertory expressly intended for the recorder emerges. On the other hand, the instrument goes into decline. The gradual formation of a repertory expressly for recorder and based on the idiomatic exploitation of its characteristics appears, therefore, to be a phenomenon that takes wing in the second decade of the eighteenth century and matures just as the transverse flute begins to oust its end-blown cousin. Commentators habitually pay great attention to Quantz's travels in Italy, as if he came there with the intention of introducing the benighted natives to the transverse flute.