flageolets & recorders

A bird flageolet after an anonymous instrument

(late eighteenth or early nineteenth century)

a bird flageolet

The bird flageolet is a tiny instrument used during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries for teaching cage birds to sing popular tunes in order to increase their market value.

This one is tuned in D at 435 Hz. Because of its very shrill sound quality it is difficult to use in ensemble music. The picture below shows how small it is compared to a fountain pen.

a bird flageolet compared to a pen

In this picture you can see it beside a "beak" flageolet in G.

a bird flageolet compared to a "beak" flageolet

You can listen to this instrument here

a tune for the skylark
a tune for the nightingale
Tunes for the skylark and nightingale from The Bird Fancyer's Delight (anon. ca 1730)

This bird flageolet can be heard in an extract from Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes" by Maurice Ravel arranged by Vincent Bouchot, at the end of a video of the ensemble La Rêveuse, with Kôske Nozaki.

flageolet d'oiseau