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
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
Commercial Magazine, April 1849
"Siccama 's Diatonic Flute. - It gives
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
The St. James Chronicle, March 10, 1849
"Siccama's Patent Diatonic Flute.-The great
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
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
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
"Diatonic Flute.- On the occasion of M.
Jullien's last visit to Leicester, we noticed the improvement of Mr.
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
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
"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
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,
"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
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" -
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
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
Naval and Military Gazette June 6,
"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.
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."
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
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."
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
A Complete Series of
Studies for the Diatonic Flute by R.S. Pratten.
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