Flute Clocks

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Organist, Jun 29, 2019.

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  1. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Anyone ever have the opportunity to see or get your hands on one of these? Examples can be found on You Tube. These things have always intrigued me. Composers used to compose the little tunes the clocks would play. It's cool that these little pieces can be played on the keyboard. I've got a suite of pieces by Handel, and I think every organist has the ubiquitous little book of Haydn works for the flute clock in their repertoire. One of these clocks would certainly be cool to have.

    Mike
     
  2. wow

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    Is this what you are talking about?

    AC1C5AE4-E6A9-4657-96A3-90EBB2461781.png
     
  3. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Yes. This is a newer one, and it sounds wonderful. I don't know when the first one was made, but they've been around for a while. Hayden wrote pieces for these in the Classical period, and Handel in the Baroque. There is/was a place here in the US that makes them too, but they're operated by a midi system. Holcomb, Holmberg... something like that.

    The mechanical ones (antiques) I've heard don't sound that great, but I wonder if there were some that were finely made and sounded well. Essentially, it's a clock that plays a little pipe organ on the hour.
     
  4. The Treasured Clock

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    I understand that the Dutch liked organ clocks, which mechanisms and construction are very similar. Organist, you be talking right around the period Handel was alive or even earlier when these flute clocks or organ clocks were made. In the music arena, these may been termed, in German, as flotenuhr. They are considered and termed as automatic instruments. Yes, they are as little organs, and hence they are mechanical. And, of course, they are a very interesting timepieces.
    Of course I would like to have one of those flute clocks. They maybe priced a little bit out of my budget and expensive.
    Jonathan Lee Jones
     
  5. mauleg

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  6. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    Three fluted German grandfathers just sold at auction in the last month or so. I’m on my phone atm so I will have to link them to this thread when I get home. They all sold for around 15 hondo which I thought was very reasonable even after commissions added.

    I do agree with you....they are cool and novel, but I won’t lose any sleep over the sound they emit.

    Seems like when I was a little tyke, my parents and grandparents dragged my brother and I to a museum full of various German organs, music boxes, and devices with dancing wooden figures that sounded like little primates banging on trash cans. Even at a tender age, I recollect being annoyed in short order. Perhaps this impacted me in such a way, I may now have a mindset similar to those people that go through life with an unfounded fear of clowns.
     
  7. Organist

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    Yes, Jonathan, I agree. Out of my price range as well, I fear. I'll have to be happy playing the little tunes manually. :)

    Mike
     
  8. mauleg

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    Cuckoo, DANG! - Cuckoo, DANG! - Cuckoo, DANG! :cuckoo:

    Fear of clowns is never unfounded. Faustian imps, each and every one... :eek::devil:
     
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  9. The Treasured Clock

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    Here is a thought on this. In a sense we talking about both music and horology when we are talking flute clocks. These subjects overlap each other. It is interesting that even clockmakers of the era knew something about and studied music as well as horology.
    Jonathan Lee Jones
     
  10. Organist

    Organist Registered User
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    Well, Treasured Clock, they didn't have fast cars, TV or iPhones. I suppose that has an impact on the quality of ideas that go through one's head.
     
  11. The Treasured Clock

    The Treasured Clock Registered User
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    You are right, they did not have any cars or iPhones in that period. Over the years, even centuries, concepts and technology has developed and evolved and eventually become reality. If I was back in the 17 or 18 centuries (posing myself in the third person character), I probably would not have any idea what those things are. However, this now, this the twenty first century, I do know what those things are. And, yes, you are right, the previous developments in the previous centuries do have an impact and lay the foundation for our current technology in this century.
    The development of these flute clocks, as some of us who are reading this do know, were completely mechanical. Think of the chromatic and diatonic scales. Understanding these scales, in music, did have an impact on the development of the flute clock. As you said "I suppose that has an impact on the quality of ideas that goes through one's head." You are right in that supposition , that is where such concepts begin, the ideas, in the mind and then fruition, the results, of the product. In this case, returning to the topic at hand, the flute clock.
    Jonathan Lee Jones
     

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