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Suabe Flute


Guest Andrew Butler
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Having seen various definitions, would welcome others' views please..

 

 

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This from the "Encyclopedia of Organ Stops".....

 

 

 

Suabe Flute English

Echo Melodia English

 

 

An open wooden flute stop of 4' pitch (or 8', according to Irwin), invented by William Hill of London. It is usually made with inverted mouths, and is of small or medium scale. One example by Hill measures 1 3/4" x 1 3/8" at tenor C. Most sources liken its soft tone to that of the Waldflote, and some consider it to be the octave of that stop. Skinner likens it to the Melodia, and Audsley places it between the two. According to Wedgwood, it is occasionally made of metal rather than wood. Irwin gives the synonym Echo Melodia, and may have coined it; no examples of that name are known.

 

Compare with Suave Flute and Suabe Flöte.

Examples

Osiris contains eleven examples, all at 4' pitch, the earliest of which are listed below. No examples of Echo Melodia are known; contributions welcome.

 

Suabe Flute 4', Choir; Town Hall, Leeds, England; Gray & Davison 1859.

 

Suabe Flute 4', Swell; Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland; Hill 1861.

 

Suabe Flute 4', Swell; Worcester Cathedral, Worcester, England; Hill 1872

 

 

MM

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Fairly wide ranging descriptions! Hence my question. Can anyone please give their views on examples they know?

 

The 1869 Hill at St Martin's Salisbury has one on the Great which is partnered with a Stopped Diapason; it's open wood from Ten C and from memory I believe it's flat fronted (inverted mouths), its cutups accelerate quite dramatically as you go up the scale, it's only lightly nicked, and gains quite a pronounced transient as you go up the scale. It's very similar in character to the "standard" English open 4' flute you might find on most English organs of that era, especially Bishops as a light sorbet to join the Clarabella - sweet, delicate and piquant rather than woody and bluff.

 

There's an only slightly later - 1905 - Hill at East Cliff United Reformed in Bournemouth which has a Wald Flute 4 which suggests that in Hill's mind there was some difference between the two. Certainly that instrument is tonally in a completely different ball park.

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There's a 4' one on the Swell at Rochester cathedral. I've never gone through it critically from top to bottom and couldn't tell you anything about its construction, but it's a nice stop, fairly bright in tone - perhaps a bit like a Waldflöte, but without the cotton wool effect that you often get with Romantic stops of that name.

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There's a 4' one on the Swell at Rochester cathedral. I've never gone through it critically from top to bottom and couldn't tell you anything about its construction, but it's a nice stop, fairly bright in tone - perhaps a bit like a Waldflöte, but without the cotton wool effect that you often get with Romantic stops of that name.

 

The stop was popular with Hill. There are a number of examples extant. As Vox states, it has a pleasant tonality, without the cloying effect of some types of Wald Flöte or Claribel Flute.

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