A split F sharp mechanism on a flute by Albert Cooper


This page was originally written by Robert Bigio , the Flute Maker, for those members of the FLUTE email list who expressed an interest in this mechanis

This split F sharp mechanism by Albert Cooper is very clever.

This flute was made in the 1960s for a great friend of Robert . It originally had a white gold body and silver keys and this brilliant mechanism for improving the high F sharp. Recently the flute's owner asked Albert Cooper to transplant the mechanism onto a red gold body, retaining the split F sharp mechanism.

These three views of the flute will show how the mechanism works.

From the top, this looks like a standard covered hole flute with a split E mechanism and a Brossa F sharp lever.

This view shows a back bar connecting the F sharp system to the left hand. The left hand second finger operates a secondary touch piece above the key cup.

This view shows what happens when F sharp is fingered. The right hand third finger plays F sharp in the usual way. In the left hand the secondary touch piece is unaffected when the key cup, which is attached to the F sharp system, is closed. This gives a correctly vented high F sharp. The arrows show the connection between the keys.

The owner tells Robert that only one fingering needs alteration: the trill from high F natural to high F sharp will not work if fingered in the usual way. For this trill the player must play F sharp with the Brossa lever.

The owner of the flute says that after nearly forty years of regular use the mechanism has never failed.