European and American flutists used many different
kinds of instrument during the 19th century. Flutists
in Vienna favored a conical-bored flute like that
shown at right, with a penetrating tone and often
with an extended range down to the violin's G.
These instruments were used by amateurs as well
as professional soloists and in first performances
of symphonies by Beethoven and others.
English flutes, imitating those used by the famous
Nicholson (below, top), had a range to low
C and played best in flat keys such as E flat
major. French players such as Jean-Louis
Tulou used instruments with smaller fingerholes
and a more traditional soft tone (below, middle.)
German flutists, led by Anton
Bernhard Fuerstenau, preferred types that
allowed them the maximum of tonal flexibility
and blend in an orchestral wind section (below,
bottom). In France
and England, new types of flute invented by Theobald
Boehm won a few advocates and were soon modified
to suit the tastes of players in those countries.
After about 1850 the 'Meyer'
flute (right), a blend of the traditional keyed
flute and the Viennese type, became the commonest
type in Eastern and Central Europe and America.
It usually had 12 keys, a body of wood, and toward
the end of the century a metal-lined ivory headjoint.
But from about 1870 on modified
Boehm flutes by French and English makers
came into more widespread use, more so in orchestras
than in bands.
Chapters 8-10 of Ardal Powell's The
Flute (Yale University Press, 2002) contain
more information on this topic.