flageolets & recorders

A "beak flageolet" after an unsigned instrument

(late eighteenth or early nineteenth century)

a beak flageolet


The so called "beak" flageolet (flageolet à bec) is the oldest form of the instrument. Its existence has been reported in texts from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

The drawing below on the left was published in Marin Mersenne's Harmonie Universelle (1627). whereas the one on the right belongs to G. Roy's Méthode de Flageolet Ordinaire, à clés & à système Boehm, revue et augmentée par A. Fugatti (1890).

two drawings of beak flageolets

The instrument opposite is a copy of a beautiful boxwood French flageolet that was probably made at the end of the eighteenth century. Like all French flageolets it has four holes in front and two thumb holes on the back, of which the upper one is used for playing high notes as on a recorder. It is tuned in F at 435 Hz.

This "beak flageolet" is now made in four different sizes, from left to right:
  • in D
  • in G
  • in F
  • in A
      4 flageolets

You can listen to the flageolet in D here

La Précieuse, a country dance by Joly, arranged for the flageolet by P. J. Chaxelle (ca 1792),

The Following fingering charts are available:

Preceding page

Other flageolets

A nineteenth century "windcap" flageolet after Prudent Noblet

A nineteenth century "windcap" flageolet after Prudent Noblet
bird flageolet
A bird flageolet after an anonymous late eighteenth century instrument