By Royal Letters Patent, The Newly Invented 

Diatonic Flute

Manufactory 135 Fleet street, A. Siccama Patentee


[This previously unknown document was probably prepared by Abel Siccama  to help visitors to the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 to understand and appreciate his flute, just one of many flutes on show at this extraordinary event.  I believe it goes a long way to dispel the notion first promulgated by Rockstro and repeated by modern writers that Siccama was some kind of bumbling amateur with ideas above his station.  It is clear from the document that Siccama's flute was highly regarded at the time, and for good reasons.

In the pages to follow, we will stick faithfully to his script, apart from some changes to punctuation and layout to make it more accessible to the modern reader.   Any comments from me will be enclosed in square brackets.  The document had to be dictated from a very poor copy and retyped, so typos are inevitable.  Please feel free to alert me to any, especially those that hamper understanding.

The "old flute" referred to regularly in the document is the 8-key flute, as made at the time by companies such as Rudall & Rose.]

[The original document had an engraving of the Diatonic flute at this point, too degraded to be reproducible.  
I've substituted this image:   Siccama No 321, from the McGee Flute Research Collection.  
I suspect this is the 16 guinea model]

The Patent Diatonic Flute has the peculiar advantage of retaining the old method of fingering; while it affords numerous additional and advantageous fingerings impractical on the old Flute.  Upon a careful examination, it will be found to differ entirely in its construction from any other Flute; the size and position of the holes and the mathematical proportions of the bore being the result of minute calculation.  It is tuned on a system strictly based upon the principles of Acoustics, which forms the groundwork of its superiority, and consequently it possesses correctness of Tune throughout the whole compass of the instrument.

The weak and ineffective quality of several intervals on the old Flute, occasioned by the disproportionate size of the holes and the inequality of the respective distances, is entirely remedied on this Flute, where they are of an equal character throughout, and partake of the same firmness and power.  The hole for the E natural, which is small on the ordinary flute and produces a very weak and dull note on it, is, on this Flute, nearly of the same size as that of the D sharp, and consequently produces a tone equal to it in power and quality; this hole is acted upon by the third finger of the right hand by means of an open-standing key.  The small F key has its lever exactly between the E and F sharp holes; by means, however, of a prolongation of this key the hole is placed much lower down, which position allows it to be of the proper size, and thus a powerful and clear F natural is produced.

The G# key is also much lower down, which position allows the hole for that note to be of the same dimension as those of the F and F sharp.  For the A, another open-standing key is applied, which covers an aperture equal in size to the preceding one - thus a clear and brilliant A is obtained instead of the feeble A of the old Flute. 

The hole for the Bb key is situated nearly where that of the A is placed on the old Flute.  The three keys on the foot of the instrument are moved by the little finger as on the ordinary flute and act in the same manner.

The instrument is now so constructed as to produce three middle C's without any additional mechanism; the third middle C is firm in quality and in perfect tune with the open C, and, besides, it may be played an octave higher without becoming too flat, as is the case with the usual old fingering on any other flute, however simple or complex in its construction.

By these alterations, the Fundamental scale is rendered perfect, and as all other notes on the Flute are derived from this scale, it follows that all the Diatonic and Chromatic intervals must be equally perfect.

The Tone of this instrument is of a powerful and brilliant quality, with all the gradations of Piano and Forte.  It is easier of execution on account of the fingers not being required to stretch so far as on the ordinary flute, and the tones are produced with greater facility while requiring less exertion of the performer.

The term Diatonic has been applied by this flute in order to direct particular attention to its capability of producing the various shades or differences of pitch (called enharmonic), requisite to produce all the major and minor Diatonic scales in perfect tune.

The Chromatic intervals are all equally pure and strictly in tune, and a Chromatic scale of Harmonic intervals can be executed with great facility, which even the greatest performers have never been able to accomplish on the old Flute.

These instruments are of the most finished workmanship, elegant in appearance, and warranted in every respect.

For further particulars, the Patentee begs to refer to his "Theory of the Diatonic Flute".


With 10 silver Keys on French Pillars, highly finished, Cork and silver Joints, Morocco Case, &c, complete 16 Guineas 
With 10 silver Keys, Cork and silver Joints, Morocco Case, &c, complete 12 Guineas 
With 10 silver Keys  10 Guineas 
Piccolos on the Diatonic Principle, French Pillars, with 4, 5 or 6 Keys, Morocco Case, &c., complete 4, 5 and 6 Guineas 


[These testimonials are of particular interest when balanced against the harsh criticisms of Siccama's instrument made by Rockstro in his book "The Flute".]

112 Stamford street, Oct 1848

I gave you my opinion of your Diatonic Flute, in a letter dated August 1847; I had then played upon it about four months.  I now assure you that every day I have become more convinced that it is the only Flute that can be said to be in perfect tune.  Many eminent musicians who have heard me play upon it concur in the opinion which I now must candidly give you, and further it is my conviction, that every Flute-player must ultimately come to the same conclusion.


62 Upper Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, May 28, 1851

In giving you my testimonial to the merit of the Diatonic Flute, I cannot in stronger terms express myself than to say I have now played upon it for four years, and consider it the most perfect instrument that has ever been manufactured; especially considering the recent improvements you have made, which must be hailed by all flute-players.

First Flute at the Royal Italian Opera

39 Chatham street Liverpool, Nov 28, 1850

I feel much pleasure in furnishing you with another testimonial as to the merits of your Patent Diatonic Flute; I have been using no other instrument since its invention, I find upon a more perfect acquaintance with it that it proves itself to be far superior to the Flutes in common use.  The recent improvements you have added (the results doubtless of much thought), the facility attending the production of the middle C, and other considerable advantages you have lately introduced, renders the Patent Diatonic Flute in my opinion unequalled.

(signed) S. PERCIVAL
Firs t Flute in the Philharmonic society, Liverpool

March 28, 1851

So much has been said and written in favour of your Patent Diatonic Flute that I can but repeat the words of our greatest flautist of the day.  I consider them the only flutes in perfect tune, requiring far less exertion of the performer, and so greatly superior in the quality, power and the workmanship, that I have no doubt that ultimately it will be adopted by all persons wishing to excel on that fashionable instrument.

(signed) CREED ROYAL
First Flute, Concert Hall, Manchester

2 Scofield Place, Fulham Road, London, July 24 1847

In answer to your note as king me to state my honest opinion of your newly-constructed Diatonic Flute, beg to say that it affords me the greatest pleasure in having this opportunity of congratulating you on the success which has attended your arduous labours, in perfecting an instrument which has hitherto been considered past remedy.  I speak confidently in praise of the Diatonic Flute; after careful examination; and can as sure you that in all my experience, which has been very great, in trying and judging the instruments of the very best makers, I have never met with any Flute, possessing in so high a degree the necessary qualifications to render the Flute perfect as regards freedom and quality of tone, correct intonation, and superior workmanship, as those constructed under your able inspection.


21 Bolwell street, Lambeth, Sept 23, 1848

I feel happy in having this opportunity of testifying to the merits of your Diatonic Flute, which I adopted twelve months since, having relinquished the us e of the Boehm Flute in favour of it.  I certainly consider it infinitely superior to all others, both in power, in brilliancy, and equality of tone, superiority of workmanship, and general excellence.  My experience of your flute has been in the orchestra, for which purpose it stands unrivalled, facilitating as it does, the execution of passages hitherto considered almost impracticable, and this without the study of any new system of fingering.

(signed) George Anderson

Zion Cottage, Camden Terrace, Camden Town, Sept 15, 1848

I feel much pleasure in adding my testimony respecting your Patent Diatonic Flute.  I have for years studied the Flute, and never was satisfied with the old instrument; but now, having adopted yours, I cannot but feel how far superior it is to all others, both in power of tone and correctness of tune.  The pianos and fortes that are to be obtained are truly admirable.  The workmanship of your instruments must be appreciated by all who have tried them, and the fingering being the same as on the ordinary Flute must be an inducement to amateurs and professors to give your Flute a trial, which I am positive will afford them the utmost satisfaction.

(signed) H. Winterbottom.

15 Bolwell Terrace, Princes Road, Lambeth, London, Sept 20, 1848

Having for several months carefully studied the many advantages your Patent Diatonic Flute possesses, it is with much pleasure I now express my candid opinion of that truly valuable instrument, which in my opinion surpasses all others in tone and accuracy of tune; its intonation being pure and brilliant, its harmonics equal and perfectly easy to produce.   I have myself adopted it for orchestral and other purposes in preference to all others, and do with the utmost confidence recommend it to all amateurs and orchestral flautists as an indispensable instrument.

(signed) Henry Tissington.


1 College Villas, Camden Town

Allow me to address a few words to you respecting your new Flute.  To do it justice, I can speak for myself that I have heard and played on many flutes but have never found such perfection as in your new instrument.  I find also that with the fullness of tone a sweetness is combined; in fact the true tone a flute should have, and I think you have established a tone in your flutes which no other possesses.  

As the fingering differs so little from that of the old Flute, so much the more welcome must the instrument be, both to professors and amateurs, and I am exceedingly obliged to you for your labour and perseverance in accomplishing the task of producing a flute which so justly deserves all that can be said in its praise.

(signed) Johann Schmidt.


106 Warwick street, Pimlico, Dec 28 1848

After a careful examination and repeated trials of your Patent Diatonic Flute, I have much pleasure in informing you that I consider it the only Flute in perfect tune, requiring much less exertion in playing, and so greatly superior in the quality and power of its tone, that I have determined to adopt it in preference to all others.

(signed) Joseph Richardson

106 Warwick Street, Pimlico, August 1851

I am delighted to say, that after having played on your instruments exclusively for nearly three years, I am quite confirmed in the opinion I first formed, that they are far superior to any other.  By your recent improvement, you have rendered the middle C natural as perfect as the one produced with the open key.

(signed) Joseph Richardson
Flutist to Her Majesty

75 New Walk, Leicester, May 17 1851

Being one of the first professors who adopted your Diatonic Flute, I have now played on it upwards of four years, and I am more than ever convinced of its superiority.  I can only repeat what I said on a former occasion, that whenever I have performed on it in public, both surprise and admiration have been expressed at its purity of tone and correct intonation.  I strongly recommend it to my pupils and friends, and all desirous of possessing a perfect instrument.

(signed) Henry T. Nicholson

Leeds, March 9 1850

I have great pleasure in stating that I consider your new Patent Diatonic Flute is infinitely superior to any flute that I ever played on, and the workmanship is of the highest order; the fingering is so like that of the old Flutes, that in a day or two I could execute on it quite as easily, and with better tone, than on the one I had been accustomed to play on for many years.

(signed) John Sykes 

52 Stanhope street, Regent's Park, London, Sept 18, 1848

It is with much pleasure that I avail myself of this opportunity of stating how much I am delighted with the Diatonic Flute, which I have now used for some months; its beautifully equal tone and correct intonation are unapproached by any Flute that I have ever tried or heard.  These qualities render it most valuable to me, having to use it so frequently as an accompaniment to the human voice, with which it harmonizes most perfectly.  I congratulate you on the success it is meeting with, and which it so well deserves.

(signed) John Roe, Jun.

Sept 8, 1849

It is with great pleasure that I inform you, that having played on your flute for upwards of twelve months, I have had a good opportunity of testing its qualities, and I now give my candid opinion, as well as that of the gentlemen of the orchestra in which I play, that the brilliant tone and perfect intonation of the Diatonic Flute, added to the beauty of the workmanship, make it far superior to any other Flute that has been offered to the public.  I shall recommend it whenever an opportunity offers.

(signed) H. Chapman

Manchester, Aug 1849

In reply to your inquiry, I have the pleasure of stating that I am very much delighted with the Patent Diatonic Flute you sent me in January last.  Since it has been in my possession, I have not used any other, indeed I prefer it to any Flute I ever played on.  The tone is very fine, the intonation excellent, and the fingering so simple that a performer on the old German Flute may become acquainted with it in a few hours.

(signed) B. Hime

4 Paul Street, Kingsbury, Bristol, Nov 21 1850

It affords me much pleasure to add my testimony to the superiority of the Patent Diatonic Flute.  The opinion I expressed to you when last in London upon the merits of the instrument, I can now strongly confirm, having since that time had greater practical experience, which enables me to speak most favourably as to its qualities.  I certainly consider that the Diatonic Flutes surpasses all others for brilliancy of tone, and correct intonation, and cannot be too highly recommended to amateurs, being perfectly in tune without resorting to auxiliary mutations of the embouchure; and therefore it must, as it becomes generally known, be still more appreciated, and will, I have no doubt, ultimately supercede the ordinary Flute.

(signed) R. Bruce Coram

Bristol, May 1, 1851

The more I play upon the Diatonic Flute, the stronger I am convinced of the superior qualities in every respect, and am confident that the old flute must be cast aside to make room for its so successful rival.  With gratitude for the inestimable service you have rendered to amateurs and professors.  Believe me, &c., &c.,

(signed) Thomas B. Sparks.

29 Mytton Gate, Hull, May 24, 1851.

After twelve months trial of your Patent Diatonic Flute, both in the concert room and orchestra, I have great pleasure in bearing testimony to the numerous advantages it possesses.  For power, richness, equality, and purity of tone, together with correctness of intonation, and the ease with which it is played, I believe it to be unequalled.  The fingering that it admits of greatly reduce the mechanical difficulties inseparable from the old flute.  It is in fact the most perfect Flute I have played upon, and consequently I feel it is a duty incumbent on me strongly to recommend it to all who desire a first-class instrument.

(signed) J. Enderby Jackson

486 Broome Street, New York, America, May 1849

I feel happy to have been the medium of firs t introducing your Patent Diatonic Flute to the American public, and I have the greatest gratification in adding my testimony to the list of distinguished professors in its favour.  The beautiful quality of tone, and the perfect intonation, added to the excellent workmanship, give it a decided superiority over any other Flute that has been offered to the public.  I shall confidently recommend it to all amateurs and professors in this country, who wish to possess themselves of a perfect instrument.

(signed) John A. Kyle
First Flute at the Italian Opera, 
New York


Testimonial of Captain Harry Lee Carter

Sir - you ask my opinion of your Diatonic Flute.  Here it is.  I consider it to be the only perfect instrument in tone or tune that I have yet heard or played upon.  It was most strongly recommended to me by Mr. Richardson, and I am quite convinced it is well worthy of his adoption.  Your recent improvement, whereby one can produce as firm and true a C natural as with the C key, has supplied the only want I could discover in your invention.  My friends who have lately heard me play, have talked a good deal more about the Flute than the performer, and as I am quite sure it possesses more merit, I don't trouble myself much on this score.  If you really wish to publish this opinion, I have no objection to your doing so.

(signed) Harry Lee Carter.


Musical World, May 29, 1847.

"The improvements proposed by Mr. Siccama's Invention, embrace the two points, tone and tune, upon which all melodic effects depend.  That these two points are obtained and in a degree far beyond any flute hitherto produced, is incontestable; while, at the same time, the fingering remains the same as upon the ordinary Flute; only with the advantage of copious resources for new fingerings which facilitate passages in the high notes that are complicated and difficult on other Flutes.   The harmonics are perfectly in tune with the open or natural notes; the feeble and imperfect E and A of the lower octaves are rendered full and equal with the other notes.  The medium of the other octaves are clear and round.  The flute is in perfect tune, and does not need those mutations of the performer's embouchure which even an approach to correct intonation has hitherto demanded.  Every Flute player, whether in the orchestra, the concert-room, or in chamber music, must appreciate the value of an instrument upon which reliance can be placed in point of intonation."

Flutonicon, for March, 1847

"We have taken four months to examine this instrument, because our judgement should not be hastily formed.  We have played upon it with renewed, and consequently, renewing zest - and every time we take it up, we wonder over and over again, how it has been that flute-makers have overlooked, ore rather not seen the very thing that Mr. Siccama  has accomplished.  Now, it is done, everybody can see how it is accomplished.  Yet that nobody did see it but Mr. Siccama , is quite certain.  See the clumsy though ingenious complexities of Boehm in his attempt to gain the same end.  See the keys, the wires, and the new and complex contrivances, which this latter gentleman exhibits in the Boehm flute.  The remedy being actually worse than the disease.  For the tone on the latter is lost in order to gain perfect intonation.  The tone on the Boehm flute is tubby, unvibrative and unresonant.  Our purpose however is not to praise Mr. Siccama 's flute at the expense of Mr. Boehm's, but it is hardly possible to speak of this new invention without adverting to the other.  It is done here in no invidious sense, but simply to illustrate our meaning.  A complex machinery to affect a simple end always excites our suspicion that it is not the best way.  Nature is touched and sounded by primitive means oftener than by abtruse ones.  If we look at these two new inventions - with this idea a priori, to guide us - the rare simplicity of Mr. Siccama's flute is at once apparent."

Dramatic and Musical Review, May 22, 1847

"The Patentee has availed himself of his knowledge of acoustics to put in practice an entirely new system with regard to the construction and tuning of flutes.  To test the truth of his theory, neither time nor expense have been spared, and the result must convince everyone of the excellence of the method pursued.  The tone of this instrument is powerful and brilliant, and every interval perfectly in tune.  All the holes are nearly alike in size, which gives a beautiful equality of tone, and affords facilities for the production of harmonic notes which could not possibly be effected on the old flute.  The great advantage offered in this instrument is that the old method of fingering is retained.  As improvements, when bas ed on scientific principles, cannot fail to be appreciated by the discerning, I have no hesitation in predicting its adoption by all those who are desirous of possessing a perfect instrument."

Magazine of science, August 1848

"Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute. - Among the numerous scientific improvements in the construction of musical instruments, Siccama's new Patent Diatonic Flute stands pre-eminent.  The peculiarly rich tones of this instrument are produced by the same method of fingering as on the usual eight-keyed flute, with much less exertion; and it is so constructed with respect to the bore, position, and form of the holes and keys, as to realize throughout the whole range of the instrument the most perfect intonation.  It is with one of Siccama's flutes that Mr. R. Sidney Pratten is delighting crowded audiences during the present season, and obtaining the unbounded applause which his performances so justly deserve, and which will soon raise him to that reputation so long enjoyed by the late Charles Nicholson, who in execution and brilliancy of tone, he even surpasses."

Preston Chronicle, August 26, 1848.

"Concert. - On Tues day Evening, Mr. Melling's Farewell Benefit Concert took place at the theatre .... the flute solo (Tulou), by Mr. P. Hill, of the Ancient Concerts, London, was well executed, and showed the player to be a master of his instrument.  The instrument was one of Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flutes - a great improvement upon the common flute both as regards power and correct intonation.  It is a superior instrument to the Boehm flute, in as much as the fingering is unaltered; a performer on the common flute being able to adopt to the Siccama with very little study.  With these advantages, and the fine quality of its tones, this instrument merits the attention of both amateurs and professors."

Leicesterhire Mercury, October 21, 1848.

"Mr. H. Nicholson at Northampton.- The Northampton Mercury of last Saturday, in speaking of a concert given, says - Mr. H. Nicholson's Flute solo (which was honoured with the only encore of the evening) was a very elaborate and brilliant performance, deriving additional effect from a recent improvement upon the instrument (one of Siccama's Patent) by which the tone are rendered much more equal and liquid, and the execution of rapid passages is facilitated."

Manchester Guardian, December 30, 1848.

"A Patent Flute. - We understand that the instrument upon which Mr. Richardson, the celebrated flutist, performed at the two recent concerts given by M. Jullien in the Free Trade Hall, is of a new construction, the subject of a patent,.  It is called "Siccama 's Patent Diatonic Flute."  Mr. Richardson, who played don this flute for the first time here, has stated that he considers it is the only flute in perfect tune, requiring much less exertion in playing, and so greatly superior in the quality and power of its tones, that he has determined to adopt it in preference to all others."

Commercial Magazine, April 1849

"Siccama 's Diatonic Flute. - It gives us great gratification to be enabled to record the distinguished success which has attended the introductions of this instrument throughout the entire of the highest musical reunions.  The imperfections of the ordinary flute are quite well known, and have been sufficiently deplored, as well by professors as by amateurs;- Mr. Siccama's Flute, however, owing to the scientific principles upon which it is constructed, especially in relation to the evenness of its bore and the size of the several holes, may be truly deemed as invariably in tune; requiring no troublesome ugly labial nor langual management, compression, &c., to effect or aid its due preservation.  Indeed, the highest authorities pronounce most disinterestedly the instrument as unrivalled in correctness of tune and brilliancy of tone."

Musical Gazette, April 7, 1849.

"Mr. Richardson, in a set of pleasing variations on Auber's air 'Le Montegnard', played with a degree of taste and a force of expression and execution that delighted his audience; his tone on the instrument has so much improved of late that it demands an especial recognition; it may be fairly scribed to his having adopted Siccama's patent Diatonic Flute."

Douglas Jerrold's Weekly News, January 20, 1849.

"The Patent Diatonic Flute. - Mr. Siccama  has had the merits of his flute fully tested by many eminent Professors, and amateurs of distinction, and it is adopted in several orchestras in London, including that of Her Majesty's Theatre."

Naval and Military Gazette, January 27, 1849.

"Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute. - This is a decided improvement upon a hitherto faulty instrument.  The inequality of tone and imperfection of tune of the old flute was occasioned by the disproportionate sizes of the holes; on this instrument they are of the same size, and gradually decrease in their distances like the fingers on the violin or guitar.  The tone is remarkably rich; the lower octave possesses much more power, if required, and the upper tones are exceedingly soft and clear."

The Critic, March 15, 1849.

"Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute. - Of all the numerous and valuable inventions of the day, there is none which has greater claims on the attention of musical professional gentlemen than the new Patent Diatonic Flute, invented and patented by Mr. A. Siccama, who, after many difficulties, overcome only by great judgement and science, has brought this instrument to perfection.  Amateurs, as well as professionals, will, we are assured, feel much indebted to Mr. Siccama for having accomplished that which was only required to render the flute one of the most melodious of instruments, viz., true intonation and brilliancy of tones which it possesses in a superior degree; we have before us the able opinions of the most eminent flautists who all agree in pronouncing it a sine qua non, it being much easier of execution than any other.  Mr. Siccama  has written a Theory on the New Patent Diatonic Flute, of which we earnestly recommend a perusal."

The Standard, February 27, 1949

"The Patent Diatonic Flute. - This is without doubt a great improvement on the old flute, and the particular advantage of it is, that the student has not to learn a new system of fingering as on the Boehm flute.  The holes are of the same size, and placed at proper distances, which causes the equality of the tones.  We are glad to see this instrument appreciated as it deserves.  Mr. R. S. Pratten, and lately Mr. Richardson, the celebrated solo performer, and several other Professors have adopted it.  They all agree that it is easier of execution, and that it requires much less exertion than the old flute.  We congratulate the Patentee on his invention.  The Theory, written by Mr. A. Siccama, explains in a very clear and philosophical manner all the advantages of this instrument."

Allen's Indian Mail, February 9, 1849

"The Patent Diatonic Flute.- From an examination from Mr. Siccama's improvements in this favourite musical instrument with amateurs, we can say, without hesitation, that the Diatonic Flute is the most easy on which to perform we have hitherto tried.  It requires but little exertion in playing, and its tones are of the mellowest quality, and permitting of such variations as warrant the diatonic appellation.  We therefore think the instrument worthy of the patronage of every amateur as well as professional flute player."

British Army Dispatch, February 17 1849

The Patent Diatonic Flute.-  The tone is powerful and brilliant, blending all the gradations of piano and forte.  We cannot but cordially recommend it and doubt not but that it will continue to take precedence of all other flutes."

ERA, February 18, 1849.

"London Wednesday concert, Exeter Hall.-  Nor must we omit noticing in terms of the highest praise, Mr. Sidney Pratten's beautiful concerto on one of Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flutes fully evincing the vas t superiority of these instruments over all others for purity and depth of tone and facility of execution.  Siccama's instruments produce the true tone of the flute."

The Mining Journal, Railway and Commercial Gazette, March 3 1849

"The Patent Diatonic Flute.- Mr. Richardson had done wisely to adopt this instrument as he now produces twice the body of tone.  All those who have played it say that it requires much less exertion.  We pronounce this invention, without hesitation, a great acquisition to amateurs in general.  Mr. Siccama , the patentee, has written a Theory for this instrument which does the author great credit, and is well worthy of the perusal of every flutist."

The ERA, March 4, 1849

"The Patent Diatonic Flute.- Mr. Joseph Richardson, the principle attraction of M. Jullien's celebrated orchestra, after having been long wedded to the Nicholson Flute, has adopted this splendid instrument.  We conclude our remarks by unhesitatingly saying that no other flute can possibly compete with it in correctness of tune, power, and sweetness."

The St. James Chronicle, March 10, 1849

"Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute.-The great superiority which the Patent Diatonic Flute possesses over all other flutes consists in its brilliancy and purity of tone and correct intonation, with which it abounds in the highest degree, and which are produced by the same method of fingering as in the old flute.  Mr. Siccama  has written a Theory on the New Patent Diatonic Flute, which will well replay a careful perusal."

New York Albion, June 9, 1849.

"On this occasion, Mr. J. A. Kyle introduced a new flute, called the Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute.  We shall speak of the peculiar construction of this flute in another article, for it is beyond doubt the most perfect instrument of its kind yet made.  Mr. Kyle displayed its qualities to great advantage in some brilliant variations on "Tu Voudrai".  We never heard Mr. Kyle play so admirably.  His execution was clear, brilliant and certain; his intonation was pure, his tone sweet and free, and he played with much feeling and expression.  In short he gave us a better proof of his great ability than upon any previous occasion."

New York Sunday Courier, June 10 1849.

"Mr. J. A. Kyle played admirably on this occasion; we never heard him when we found so much to praise and so little to condemn.  He played with much taste and expression; his execution was well articulated, clear and rapid, and his tone was rich, full and equal throughout.  Neither in the higher nor in the lower tones was there any apparent difficulty in the production of the notes.  He appeared to have perfect control over the entire scale of the instrument.  It was a most excellent performance throughout.  He played for the firs t time in public , upon a new Flute called Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute, and if we may judge by the results, it is the only perfect flute yet made."

Musical World December 8th, 1949

"Mr. Richardson and Mr. Pratten - two of our most celebrated flautists, have recently been playing on Siccama's Patent Flute, the former at the London Wednesday Concerts, the latter at M. Jullien's Concerts.  These gentlemen appear to entertain a profound conviction of the excellence and utility of Mr. Siccama invention.  The public, by their applause on each occasion, has testified its concurrence with the preference accorded by these favourite artists."

Leicester and Midland Counties Advertiser, February 1850.

"Diatonic Flute.- On the occasion of M. Jullien's last visit to Leicester, we noticed the improvement of Mr. Richardson's tone, which we understand was mainly owing to his using the Diatonic Flute (through the recommendation of his friend, Mr. H. Nicholson).  We cannot do better, however, than recommend our readers to attend the last monthly concert on Tues day Evening next, when the last-named Gentleman will perform a new solo (written expressly to display its capabilities ), which we are confident will be fully shown on the occasion by our towns man."

Asiatic Journal, February 1850.

"Mr. Siccama's Diatonic Flute .- It affords us much gratification in thus having an opportunity of recording the extraordinarily rapid and sure progress this flute is making in the favour, as well of the profession, as of the public.  This instrument, as the majority of our readers may be aware, is really unrivalled for correctness of tune and brilliancy of tone; it being constructed upon an entirely new plan, and yet - a matter of some importance to be noted - containing the old and well-known system of fingering.  Thus, recent possessors of the Diatonic Flute, are in nowise under the necessity of abandoning and forgetting their former mode, for the acquirement of a new method of fingering.  The performance of Messrs. Richardson, Pratten, and other celebrated professors, upon this instrument, have been quite enthusiastically received by the public;- indeed, scarcely any other description of flute is now adopted in our London and Provincial concerts."

Nottinghamshire Guardian, March, 1850.

"Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute.- This instrument has many advantages over every other kind of flute that has come under our notice.  Reliance may be placed upon the most essential points - tone and tune, and in public and chamber music its value, both as regards power and correct intonation, is perfect.  It is an admirable invention, and we believe will soon supercede amongst professors and amateurs all other flutes.  Nicholson, Richardson, Creed Royal, Pratten, and other eminent players have adopted it, and its popularity is general.  A Theory, written by Mr. Siccama , explains philosophically all its advantages.

Oxford Herald, December 22, 1849

The Patent Diatonic Flute.- if but half of what we hear be true of this ingenious invention, it is but one of the most important contributions to the musical world which modern times have witnessed.  All flute players must have experienced more or less the imperfections of the common flute - the inequality of tone, the defect of tune, as well as the tedious execution, and outer irregular execution.  These faults it seems are wholly overcome by the Diatonic Flute, mainly by a better arrangement of the holes; and some of the most eminent performers of the day have tested and adopted it.  

Leicester & Midlands Counties Advertiser, March 1850.

"The Patent Diatonic Flute.- Numerous attempts to correct the acknowledged imperfections of the Flute having been attended with complicated machinery and totally different fingering, prevented their general adoption; it was reserved for Mr. Siccama  to produce an instrument under the above title which supplied the desideratum.  The tone, from the lowest note to the highest, is pure, full, and equal, and the intonation as perfect as on the violin; its exclusive us e, however, by such solo performers as Richardson, Pratten, Nicholson, Creed Royal (of Manchester), &c., is a sufficient proof of its great superiority and we doubt not that its extraordinary merits will soon be universally acknowledged."

Mr. C. Royal's Concert at the Mechanics Institution, Manchester

"The prominent feature of the evening was the display of the superior capabilities of Siccama's Diatonic Flute.  The instruments made on the old principle, it appears, gradually falling into disuse from their acknowledged acoustical defects.  Two flute solos, both by Richardson, were performed by Mr. Royal, who showed, with masterly skill, the advantages of the instrument he has lately adopted.  We have never heard greater breadth and purity of tone combined with brilliant execution than produced in these two charming pieces."

Musical World, January 1851.

Mr. Richardson.- This eminent English flutist had the honour of performing before Her Majesty and Prince Albert, on Friday last, at Windsor Castle, on "Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute".  

Court Journal, October 1850.

"Her Majesty's Theatre.- Grand National Concerts.- We should not omit to mention, as of very high merit, Mr. Richardson's performance of "Rule Britannia" upon the flute.  The soft and flowing tones which were produced fell upon the house with the most thrilling effect and gained for him approbation long and loud.  The instrument used, we learned upon inquiring, was Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute; and more pure melody we have seldom heard produced from the instrument."

The Hull Advertiser, April, 1850.

"The Philharmonic society's concerts.- Mr. J. E. Jackson's solo on Siccama's Flute was eminently successful.  The variations - his own composition on "The Bluebells of Scotland" - displayed the various tones of the instrument in a beautiful manner, while his various tonguings, especially his very rapid double-tongue in imitation of two flutes, were executed in a masterly style, and drew loud and repeated plaudits from the delighted audience."

Court Journal, November, 1850.

"But at Drury Lane our attention was particularly attracted to the soft and flowing tones produced by Mr. Pratten, and we felt an anxiety to as certain the character of the instrument which this excellent artist used with such effect.  We learned that he played upon one of Mr. Siccama's Diatonic Flute, and felt called upon to state the circumstance in any observations we made upon the music at this house.  The tone was particularly soft and melodious, and the character of the instrument used must have materially assisted the player in the difficult passages he so admirably executed."

Theory of the New Patent Diatonic Flute,
by A. Siccama, B. A., Patentee

Opinions of the Press 

Musical World, May 8.

"The work before us is not a mere key to the new-invented flute, whose peculiarities and essential properties it lays down and explains at large, but enters philosophically into the theory of sounds, and elucidates with sufficient clearness the causes, harmonically speaking, that have long stood in the way of rendering the flute perfect in its tone in every key.  There is much good musical discourses truck out in the introduction, and the author is evidently a man who has looked beyond flutes and their stops.  To the flute-player and to such as are anxious about obtaining perfect intonation on that instrument, the Theory of the Patent Diatonic Flute will be found extremely interesting if not highly useful in the perusal; and as such we may honestly recommend the work."

Naval and Military Gazette June 6, 1847.

"We have carefully examined Mr. Siccama brochure, and can venture to say, not only that his view of the theory of sounds is elaborate and scientific, but that it is sound, able, and lucid.  His illus rations are equally excellent.  We strongly recommend the work to the attention of both amateur and professional performers on that delightful, but hitherto very imperfect, instrument, the flute.

Examiner, June 12, 1847.

"The author has evidently studied the subject of tune with the view of correcting the many imperfections of the old flute, hitherto deemed insurmountable.  He scientifically points out the causes of those imperfections, and the true intonation of his newly invented instrument in every key, as well as its great power and brilliancy clearly proves the correctness of his theory.  We recommend the perusal of this able work to every flute player, whose thanks the author merits; and as his flute requires no new system of fingering, we have no doubt it will be generally patronised by professors, and all amateurs to whom perfect intonation is indispensable."

Court Journal, October 16, 1847.

"The flute hitherto has been founded on a wrong principle until Mr. Abel s, by a long chain of experiments, founded on the laws of acoustics, brought the flute to its present perfection.  By the invention of the Patentee, every note, like the violin, is perfect, and in every key the harmonics can as safely be calculated as on any stringed instrument.  This essay contains the theory, with scales, and the method of producing the harmonic sounds.  The author is evidently a man of high scientific attainment, and a master of acoustics, which he fully displays in this admirable brochure.  We can now, after a careful study of it, record our testimony to the unerring perfection with which he has brought the simple laws of nature to bear on the art of flute playing and making.  Such being the case, we have now come to the conclusion, that, very shortly, the Patent Diatonic Flute must speedily supercede every description of flute and that on its merits alone."

Britannia, August 14

A work by A. Siccama, Esq., (Cramer, Beale and Co) has just been put into our hands. This gentleman professes to have discovered a method of making the flute a perfect diatonic instrument with very little alteration of the present mode of fingering. The Boehm Flute was a slight approach to this great desideratum but the number of keys on that instrument was an insurmountable obstacle to its general adoption.  We have not yet had an opportunity of testing the value of Mr. Siccama's improvements, but can safety assert that he discusses his subject philosophically and that the remedies proposed by him for the existing defects appear extremely ingenious and simple. should he have succeeded in accomplishing his object he will deserve and no doubt receive the thanks and patronage of the profession and public at large

Asiatic and Quarterly Journal, September, 1848.

"Following some very judicious and true musician-like remarks on the subject of tune Mr. Siccama  explains the cause of the uncertainty of tune in the flute.  Upon his principal, also, of what may be broadly termed sound, he subsequently shows how his instrument is tuned;- "the only system" he writes, and, for many reasons, we place reliance upon his assertion - by which correctness of tune can be obtained on the flute.  For his present improvements, not to say inventions, Mr. Siccama  deserves the very highest praise; all that disagreeable uncertainty of tone in the the hands even of its best players, may be readily obviated by the employment of his admirable patent instrument."

Mirror Magazine, February, 1849.

"Theory of the New Patent Diatonic Flute.  By A. Siccama, B.A.  The author and patentee deserves the admiration of all men of science, and the warmest thanks of those who admiring the flute have hitherto reluctantly been inclined to advocate its banishment from our minstrelsy."

Sunday Times, June 27.

We have read with much satisfaction this talented work, which we recommend to all admirers of the instrument.  The scientific manner in which the author explains the reasons of the various acknowledged imperfections of the old flute, and the mode by which he has overcome them, prove the correctness of his theory.  His perfect knowledge of acoustics and the instrument have enable him to produce the only flute which is as perfect in tune as the violin in every key, possessing extraordinary brilliancy, power, and equality of tone, and the further advantage that it can be played without obliging the performer to learn a new system of fingering.  We congratulate the author on his great achievement, which must be hailed with joy by all flute players, who will doubtless feel as much pleasure in patronising his new instrument as we do in recommending it to their notice."

Published by A. Siccama, at the Manufactury, 135 Fleet St.   Price 5s. each.

Grand variations on the "Russian Hymn," with Pianoforte Accompaniment - J Richardson.
Grand variations on the "Coming thro' the Rye," and "Jock O'Haseldean," with ditto - R.S. Pratten.
New Grand Capriccio, with ditto - S. Percival.
Fantasia on an Air of "Gustave," with ditto - Creed Royal.
Variations on "Home, sweet Home," with ditto - H. Nicholson.
Theory of the Patent Diatonic Flute - A. Siccama.

At the above address may be had, price 5s.,

A Complete Series of Studies for the Diatonic Flute by R.S. Pratten.

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Created: 2 October 2003