|Opus 6 - Flute|
he flute is apparently of Byzantine origin and seems to have been introduced in Germany before spreading to the rest of Europe.
Until the fourteenth century, the instrument was played mainly in the Rhine region; it was thus occasionally dubbed the "German flute" after it began to be used in other parts of Europe. During the Renaissance, the flute was still a simple cylindrical pipe with six holes and could be of three different sizes. Period paintings often depict the flautist next to a singer, accompanied by a lute, viol or harp.
The cornett, which became popular in Europe in the early sixteenth century, consists of a leather-covered wooden pipe with six holes on the front and one hole on the opposite side. The instrument originated in the Middle Ages and, as can be seen in illustrations from that era, it was made of a curved section of wild goat horn.
In the sixteenth century, cornetts played a vital role in professional music and often performed with sackbuts (precursors of the trombone) in accompanying choirs. This combination was popular until the eighteenth century. However, a seventeenth-century Italian painting shows the unusual combination of a cornett with a violin and a lute.
The cornett shown here is based on an illustration in European Musical Instruments by Frank Harrison and Joan Rimmer, which shows a cornettino, itself a reproduction of a sixteenth-century instrument made in 1963 in England.
Edward Eames received his musical training in England, in particular as a member of military bands while studying at various military colleges. A graduate in music education, he immigrated to Canada in 1953 and settled in British Columbia to pursue a teaching career. His taste for military music sparked an interest in the early instruments used in brass and wind bands. He began building replicas of wind instruments in order to teach their use to his students and to satisfy his own curiosity. Over the years, he built a dozen historic wind instruments and a few stringed and percussion instruments. In 1973, the National Museum of Man (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization) acquired a number of his works.