Early Fluegel Hunting Horn -Normandy
(Photo Courtesy of the National Music Museum)
(Click on thumbnails photos below to see detailed page on each instrument)The early 18th century Flugel horn was a large hunting horn of semi-circular configuration. It's bearer was referred to as the "Flügelmeister." The rôle of the Flügelmeister was to direct the phases of the hunt, which like its British counterpart, was a formalised affair. The name, Flügel, means flank, and probably originally referred to the flanking manoeuvre used to encircle and trap prey in the course of the hunt.
The modern Flugel horn began life as a type of bugle- possessing certain horn-like attributes, such as a deep funnel-cup mouthpiece, conical bore, and larger bell than the cornet. But as the Bb Fluegel horn is approximately half the length of its analog in the Horn family of instruments, it shares the same partials as the cornet and trumpet. In circa 1810, the flugelhorn gained keys, courtesy of the Dublin instrument builder Joseph Halliday. This instrument, the Kent Bugle, named for the Duke of Kent, is today known as the Keyed Bugle, and it therefore follows that a keyed bugle is in turn, a keyed flugelhorn.
The Flugel horn has been variously spelled: Fluegelhorn, Fleugelhorn, Flügelhorn, Fluglehorn, Fluegel horn, Fleugel horn, Flügel horn, Flugal Horn, Flugalhorn, Wing Horn and Flugle horn.
The basic Flugel family consisted of: an E-flat soprano, a B-flat alto, a B-flat tenor and the E-flat bass. However, Flueglhorns have also been made in a wide variety of configurations and other keys such as C, F, G and A. The soprano and alto instruments are usually configured bell forward in the same manner as the modern cornet, whilst the tenor and bass instruments often resemble upright Saxhorns in appearance.