Flûte Conique French|
Flûte à Fuseau French
Flûte à Pointe French
Spire Flute English
Flauta Cuspida (unknown)
Flauto Cuspido (unknown)
Tibia Cuspida Latin
Flûte à Fusée French|
Flûte en Fusée French
Flûte Pointue French
These names, of which Spitzflöte is by far the most common, denote an open flute stop whose pipes are conical in form, as shown by Audsley's illustration reproduced here. All of the names describe or suggest the pipe form, except for Iula and Jula, which have alternate meanings. The name Spitsfluit does not appear in the literature; we assume it to be a synonym. While this pipe form is a common one, dating back to the late 15th century (according to Grove), it is not always clearly evidenced by the name on the stop control.
The amount of taper has varied considerably, with the top diameter being as much as 3/4 or as little as 1/5 the diameter at the mouth. According to some sources, the English have typically used a gentler taper than the Germans. The pipes are usually tuned by means of large ears. The stop is nearly always made of metal, though pyramidal wood pipes have sometimes been made, usually for the 8' octave.
Tonally, the Spitzflöte is usually classified as a Flute/String hybrid, and occasionally as a Flute/Diapason hybrid. Its tone has been described as reedy or breathy, and blends very well. It has been made at every pitch from 16' to 1', including mutations; indeed, tapered pipes are frequently used for mutations because of the excellent blending quality that can be obtained. The most common pitch for the Spitzflöte is 4', with 8' being only slightly less common.
This stop has much in common with the Gemshorn, so much so that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between their pipes or even their tone. Most sources, though not all, give the Spitzflöte a sharper, more pointed taper than the Gemshorn. The Gemshorn is often slotted, whereas Audsley warns that the Spitzflöte must never be slotted. The Spitzflöte typically tends more toward flute-tone than the Gemshorn.
While the name Flûte Conique is often used for this stop, it was originally used for a completely different stop.
It is not clear how this stop differs from the Conical Flute.
Flûte à Fuseau
Osiris contains examples with the following distribution:
|Spitzflöt[e]||7||143||241||20||3 @ 1'; 1 @ 1-1/3'|
|Flûte à Fuseau||6||46||4|
|Spitsfluit||4||12||1||4 @ 3'|
|Flûte à Pointe||2||1|
No examples are known of Conus, Coni, Cuspida, Flauta Cuspida, Flauto Cuspido, Flûte à/en Fusée, Kegel, or Tibia Cuspida.
Flute a fuseau 8', Main Swell; Washington National Cathedral, Washington D.C., USA; Skinner 1939.
Flute a Point 8', Great; K K Beth Elohim Synagogue, Charleston, South Carolina, USA; Ontko 1995.
Spitzpfeife 4', Manual I; St. Laurentius-Kirche, Langwarden, Germany; Kroger? 1650.
Spitzpfeife 4', Hauptwerk; Metropolitan Art Space, Tokyo, Japan; Garnier 1991.
Flute Pointue 4', Swell; St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland; Rieger 1992. This is the only known example of this name.
Spitsfluit [4'?], Rugpositief; Noordbroek, Netherlands; Schnitger 1695. This is the earliest known example of this name.
Spitzfleut 8', HM; Kristine Church, Falun, Sweden; Cahman 1724.
Spitzfleute 8', Oberwerk; Patronatskirche, Basedow, Germany; Herbst 1683.
See the Sound Files appendix for general information.
|Spiz Fleute 4', Hauptwerk||Reinhardtsgrimma, Sachsen, Germany||Silbermann, 1731||arpeggio||St. Anne|
|Spitzfloete 4', Great||First Baptist Church, Riverside, California, USA||Schantz, 1966||arpeggio||St. Anne|
|Spitzflöte 4', Manual II||University of Illinois, USA||Buzard, 1986||arpeggio||St. Anne|
Original website compiled by Edward L. Stauff. For educational use only.|
Spitzflote.html - Last updated 13 February 2009.