$whoname
Greg's Siccama flute
Greg's diary
Photo index
Greg's home page
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
Greg's musical instruments
Groogle

On 1 January 1970 (an auspicious date for UNIX people), I was staying with a friend in Worcester. His parents showed me an interesting flute, in good playable condition, and when I showed I could play it and liked it, they gave it to me. I later found more things about it: a year later I got a copy of Rockstro's “The flute”, in which I read:

646. Siccama's Patent Flutes. Abel Siccama was a teacher of languages in London, and an amateur flute-player of very moderate capabilities. About the year 1842 he conceived the unfortunate idea that he was destined to be the inventor of a new flute that should eclipse everything that had been made or imagined. Having become imbued with this notion, he set to work with all the vigour of an energetic nature. He had little knowledge of the flute and less inventive genius, but he determined to bring out a flute associated with his name and he did so.

Concerning the origin of this flue Mr. Carte kindly write to me as follows: “There is an entry in my diary on the twenty-fifth of May, 1842, saying that I went to Siccama to see the model of his new flute. Another entry, on the twenty-eighth, mentions Chittenden's coming to me about it. It was he who went between us. A third entry, on the thirtieth of the same month, relates to what passed between Rudall, Rose and myself on the subject. On the second of June I find that Siccama met Rudall and Rose at my house, and, after making the necessary promise of secrecy, they were shown the model, and talked over the matter, which ended in their not thinking it worth future consideration. I was pleased with the idea, but saw plainly that the thing would not do as it was. Siccama urged me to consider it, and I took the flute with me to Newcastle, but shortly after returned it to him at his desire. So much for the date of Siccama's first abortion.”

...

649 In addition to the ordinary eight keys, the diatonic flute has an open key over the a hole, and a similar key over the e hole. Some the years afterwards, Siccama applied a contrivance for improving the fork c" which, however, was of little use.
...

652 Although the errors and irregularities of the diatonic flute were numerous and glaring, Siccama avoided the mistake of placing the holes generally too far apart, consequently the upper and lower notes of the first and second octave were fairly well in tune with each other, but the third octave was almost irredeemably bad.

...

My flute was made by Chapell of Bond Street and bears the serial number 1254. At one point I thought that this made it one of the later models, but that was before I understood that Siccama was the system and Chappell the maker. It has the “contrivance for improving the fork c"'', which apparently was not very common. Nevertheless, it has a number of keys mounted in wooden saddles, an earlier technology, though earlier Siccama instruments appear to have had all keys mounted on pillars.

Unfortunately, it has suffered in the intervening time. Only a couple of years after I got it, I managed to break the Bb key saddle off. More recently, one of the rings got bent, so it is currently unplayable. Since 17 April 2001 it has been with Terry McGee, who has researched the system and has been restoring it. Here are some photos:


This should be siccama-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: siccama 1          Dimensions:          2001 x 421, 171 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 December 2001 Complete exposure details

 
This should be siccama-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: siccama 2          Dimensions:          2039 x 442, 242 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 December 2001 Complete exposure details

 
This should be siccama-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: siccama 3          Dimensions:          2019 x 472, 237 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 December 2001 Complete exposure details

 
This should be siccama-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: siccama 4          Dimensions:          2000 x 689, 356 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 December 2001 Complete exposure details

 
This should be siccama-5.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: siccama 5          Dimensions:          2028 x 609, 325 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 December 2001 Complete exposure details

 
This should be siccama-6.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: siccama 6          Dimensions:          2032 x 513, 261 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 December 2001 Complete exposure details

 
This should be siccama-8.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: siccama 8          Dimensions:          2043 x 951, 553 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 December 2001 Complete exposure details

 
This should be siccama-9.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: siccama 9          Dimensions:          880 x 1497, 421 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 December 2001 Complete exposure details

 
This should be siccama-12.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: siccama 12          Dimensions:          2042 x 1018, 262 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 23 December 2001, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 23 December 2001 Complete exposure details

 
Greg's home page Greg's diary Greg's photos Copyright

Valid XHTML 1.0!

$Id: Siccama-flute.php,v 1.5 2016/12/25 05:32:45 grog Exp $