The fissure flute of L. da Vinci 

First functional reconstruction worldwide 
true to the drawing of the Foglio 1106r of the Codex Atlanticus

 

 

Made in 2019 by the Association for Cultural Research L. da Vinci for the 500th anniversary of the death of L. da Vinci, the fissure flutes of foglio 1106r of the Codex Atlanticus (ca. 1498) are perfectly functional instruments as designed by Leonardo. 

A futuristic concept

With this innovative design substituting the 8 traditional recorder holes by one or two fissures, these instruments allow the musician to shift from one note to another seamlessly by raising the hand palms using the "glissando" technique, as described in the text below explaining how these recorders work :


"Questi due fluti non fanno le mutazioni delle loro voci a salti, anzi nel modo proprio della voce umana. E fassi con il muovere la mano su e giù, come alla tromba torta, e massime nel zufolo.

E possi fare 1/8 ed 1/16 di voce, e tanto quanto a te piace."   (L. da Vinci)

As a musician, Leonardo was also looking for a good intonation and matters of pitch and temperament were central to the music scholar community of his time.

Unlike the voice and stringed instruments (which he played), the recorder or western transverse flute of the 15th-16th century presented limited possibilities for correcting the pitch of the tone.

When played by an experienced musician, a flute of this kind, can be tuned to all temperaments when designed to naturally produce micro-intervals.

The project of the ARCLV is therefore to demonstrate, as opposed to previous theses, such as presented during the Leonardo3 exhibition in Milan, that F. 1106 r flutes of the CA are playable as designed by Leonardo .

 


Features of the Da Vinci ARCLV Fissure Flute® :

The Da Vinci Fissure Flute is an instrument revolutionizing the concept of the recorder with its unique features:

 

- it is an anatomical instrument: each copy must be custom built based on the width of the flutist's palm.

 

- the traditional holes are replaced by one or two fissures, allowing the musician to produce, as explained by Leonardo, "1/8 and 1/16 tones, similarly to the human voice", 

 

- it reproduces the functioning of the voice: since it was not conceived to be in a "temperament" (or scale) predefined by its construction, it has the potential to sound right in all keys, like the violin.

- it is an instrument requiring great skill from the musician in order to reach a precise intonation and an extension of two octaves. It therefore contrasts with the traditional recorder, which has always been a relatively easy instrument to play thanks to the holes, even for amateur musicians, but which however, does not allow for the same range of intonations and flexibility in sound dynamics as does Leonardo's instrument.

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