Scale of Fingering
For R.S. Pratten's Perfected Cone Flute


The fingerings that appear below are taken from an official publication by the makers of Pratten's Perfected flutes, Boosey & Co, 295 Regent St, W, London.  There are a few things to note:

  • I've used an experimental new format to denote the keys

  • I haven't shown long F and short F as different fingerings

  • I haven't distinguished between thumb C and RH1 C  

  • I've compressed the whole thing to fit it onto the screen and printer

The format

I've tried to come up with a format that is economical in size and effort, while being easily readable.  Following usual practice, open holes are shown as "x" if covered and "o" if not.  It's how to show the keys that presents the challenge I hope I've addressed.

Keys are not shown if in rest position, and shown as commas and apostrophes if operated. The key marks appear between the finger-holes in the positions the cups occupy.  This gets around the problem that levers could be operated by one or more different fingers.

The full compliment of keys would thus appear: o,o,o' oo,'o," 

From left to right they are c, Bb, G#, Short F, Long F, Eb, C#, C.

I'll be interested in your reaction to this format.  And let me know if you find any fingerings that seem unworkable.  It might just be a typo!

Which F?

In the original document, the use of Short or Long F are shown as separate fingerings.  In this simplification, only short F's are shown, it being assumed that Long F's can be used if more convenient.

There is one exception.  For third octave A, only long F is given as an option.  I've retained that.

Which C?

Interestingly, the document refers to a "9th or thumb C key".  This clearly was an option (it is asterisked) but it augmented rather than replaced the traditional RH Index finger C trill key.

Similarly to the treatment of the Short and Long F keys, the original document treats the two c keys as separate fingerings.  In our table, we have shown them only as RH 1 fingerings.

Interestingly, the thumb c received preferential placement in the table for c", while the R1 c-key is shown preferred for c'.  Since they opened the same pad, it isn't about some subtle tuning issue.  Perhaps it's recognition that one might generally be found more useful in one part of the scale and the other in the other. 

Also interestingly, the preferred c#' employs all holes open including the thumb c key.  In the second octave however, neither c-key is used in the three options given.

Optional Fingerings

As we move into the upper octaves, we see more and more options presented for each note.  The options were numbered in the original, presumably in order of probable usefulness.  The same order has been retained.

Enharmonic Fingerings

Note that by this time (after 1855), the notion of enharmonic fingerings (e.g. subtly different fingerings for G# and Ab) have disappeared.  Equal Temperament was finally assumed to be in control.

Printing it out

I've formatted it so it fits on to one A4 page.  If that doesn't work for you, you might try cutting and pasting the table into your word processor and reformatting it there.

Where is it?

In order to let you print it out conveniently, I've put it on a separate page.  I hope you find it useful!

On to Pratten's Perfected Fingering Chart or

Back to McGee Flutes Index page.