Recording Studio: The early 18th century Fluegel horn was a large hunting horn of semicircular configuration. It’s bearer was referred to as the “Flügelmeister.” The role of the Flügelmeister was to direct the phases of the hunt, which like its British counterpart was a formalised affair. During the Seven Years War (1756-1763), a war of near worldwide proportions involving Europe, North America and India (which confirmed Prussia’s new rank as a leading world power and made England the world’s chief colonial power at the expense of France), the Fluegelhorn was adopted as a military instrument.
The name, Flügel, means flank or wing, and probably originally referred to the flanking manoeuvre used to encircle and trap prey in the course of the hunt. This name is not altogether appropriate for the conducting of warfare, because the flanking manoeuvre is but one of many types of signals that would have been given during the course of battle. The signal for full retreat inevitably comes to mind.
Recording Studio: Flugelhorn and Related Intruments
Most of us today, when we hear the word “Fluegelhorn,” think of an instrument that looks like a cornet or trumpet with a very large bell. This notion is fiction for the most part because the instrument in question is most often the Infantry-model Saxhorn. The true flugelhorn is almost exclusively a rotary-valve affair which has a very wide bell with little or no flare.
Where the true recording studio fluegelhorn is concerned, in the 18th century it was fashioned of metal and wrapped in trumpet fashion to form the military bugle. Circa 1810 this version of the instrument was given keys, courtesy of the Dublin instrument builder Joseph Halliday. This instrument, named for the Duke of Kent, is today known as the keyed bugle, and the keyed bugle in turn is a keyed flugelhorn. They are one and the same instrument.
It is not currently known who first added valves to the flugelhorn, but various incarnations of this instrument soon followed, and by the mid-1800’s had led to the creation of entire families of instruments.
The Recording Studio Fluegel family in its entirety consisted of: an E flat soprano, B flat alto, the B flat tenor (also called the bass) and the E flat bass. Fluegelhorns have also been made in such other various keys as C, F, G and A.