Butterfly Headjoint for Flute
n instrument is rarely created from scratch; it is usually the product of a long process and extensive experimentation. However, the invention of the modern flute is often attributed to a single man, Theobald Boehm (1794-1881), a German goldsmith, flute maker and professional flautist. Boehm redesigned the location and size of the tone-holes to increase the instrument's volume, and designed the complex mechanism that allows the keys to operate independently as well as interact with others in different combinations. He also used metal instead of wood for the revamped flute, which he completed in 1847.
Despite its powerful volume, which must certainly have been appreciated at a time when there was constant striving for greater brilliance, Boehm's flute gained ground rather slowly because the innovative key mechanism required new fingering techniques. For this reason, wooden flutes were still found occasionally in orchestras in the early twentieth century.
No matter how sophisticated the instrument, there always seems to be room for research and improvement. This flute headjoint with Butterfly embouchure wall and lip plate, designed by Jack Goosman, is considered by many flautists to be a breakthrough in flute making because it appreciably alters the flow of air, which enters the flute more rapidly. The silver headjoint is engraved "J.P. Goosman Toronto," followed by the monogram "JPG" and "CAN.PAT. 1,275,837."
Before becoming a flute maker, Jack Goosman studied the flute under some famous teachers. In 1968, he obtained a performance degree from Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, and began work in the reputable Boston workshop of Verne Q. Powell Flutes Inc. This company, which helped make Boston the centre of American flute making, had introduced the French-style flute to the United States before developing its own model. It was in this workshop that Goosman, who had previously concentrated on flute repair, discovered he had a genuine talent for flute making.
In the spring of 1971, Goosman opened his own workshop outside Toronto. The move was doubly beneficial: for the Toronto area, which had few if any flute makers; and for Goosman, who was fond of this part of the country, where he had spent his summers as a child. By 1974, his repair workshop was doing very well, and he set about making flutes, with the help of his wife Mara, also a flautist, and his assistant Yutaka Chiba. One of Goosman's first flutes was for Nicholas Fiore, principal flautist in the Toronto Symphony.
The high quality of Goosman's instruments quickly earned him an enviable reputation. His clients include such well-known flautists as James Galway, Jeanne Baxtresser and Robert Cram, to name but a few, and symphony orchestra flautists from Europe, Japan and North America. In 1989, Goosman devoted part of his time to research and design the Butterfly headjoint and embouchure. Patented in Canada and the United States, the Butterfly headjoint enables the flautist to articulate notes more quickly and accurately. It extends the upper register of the alto flute and increases its volume. The Butterfly headjoint was unveiled at the 1989 National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans.