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Happy Birthday to the father of the modern flute - Theobald Boehm.


Theobald Böhm, photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl, ca. 1852.


Theobald Böhm (or Boehm) was born on the 9th of April 1794, was a German inventor and musician, who perfected the modern Western concert flute and improved its fingering system (now known as the "Boehm system"). He was a Bavarian court musician, a virtuoso flautist and a renowned composer.


The Boehm system eliminated the difficulty in reaching tone holes on larger flutes, thus allowing for the making of larger, deeper flutes, such as the alto flute. Boehm, himself, was very fond of the alto flute, and once recounted a time he was playing it when someone mistook it for a french horn.




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