nach Meyer Flutes

Instrument: nach Meyer flutes are a rather large category of instruments of various configurations. I own quite a few of these, mostly not restored. I am just giving a quick picture of each I have which more or less falls into this group. A few special ones may have their own pages. - See Notes: below for more information


Pitch: often good at A=440

Sounding Length:

Total Length:

Embouchure size: medium to large

Notes: The “nach Meyer” flutes are based on the instruments of H.F. Meyer of Hannover, (1814-1897) and are the most common non-Boehm flutes. They were made as less expensive substitutes to the real flutes of H.F. Meyer. In their day they were priced at about 25% of his original flutes and they were exceedingly popular. Though they originated in Germany they were certainly the most imported model of flute here in the US. If you look at Sears catalogs from the beginning of the 20th century, or other band instrument catalogs, you will see these flutes as the standard instrument. They were very often made with 8-keys but the design could be adapted for less keys, and a cheaper price, or more keys for more money. These were most popular from roughly 1880-1920.

The most obvious distinguishing characteristics are the metal end and foot caps and the slanted G# key. The majority of these flutes have an ivory head joint, although wood and even metal can regularly be found. The metal ones are actually metal surrounding wood. These can work rather well and are difficult to damage. Not very aesthetically pleasing but be put off by them, in terms of playing. The shape of the embouchure hole can vary from almost square to oval.

The quality of these instruments vary from very good to very poor. Unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to tell how good a flute will be until it has been restored. They were also made at a variety of different pitches, some of which are not very useful today, in playing with other instruments. Luckily, many of the instruments imported to the US at the beginning of the 20th century do work at A=440. Many nach Meyer flutes have no markings, some are marked “nach Meyer,” and occasionally “nach Meyer” plus the name of the company that made or sold the flute.

The cases for these flutes almost always have a cork grease container, a little container for extra pads, often a screw driver slot (although the screw driver is usually missing), and a place in the top for a swab. It is not so rare to find extra pads in the pad compartment.

Value: none of these flutes are particularly valuable. They are plentiful, so condition and pitch are a big factor in pricing. These days it is difficult to get near to $1,000 for one, even a fine player in excellent condition. It would have to be in really top condition with an original case that is also in fairly good shape. Most sell for $200-$500, or less if they are damaged. The good ones are actually a real bargain as they can be quite good and the price is depressed by the bad ones.

Demonstration recordings:

This is a demo of a Cloos (American made) nach Meyer style flute

This is a demo of a high-quality Anon German nach Meyer

Demo of some baroque Irish tunes on a Berthold & Sohne

Marked nach H.F. Meyer, Hannover - this is a 13 key flute - it includes the normal 8 keys (B-flat, G#, C, short F#, long F#, E-flat, C#, C-nat) and adds low B, a RH B-flat, G# for the LH thumb, and the high E to D trill. Many nach Meyer flutes include at least some of these extra keys

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Key cluster for flute above

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Nach Meyer (Kemp) - see it’s own page

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Anon - presumably German - see demo above

Berthold & Sohne - see it’s own page


Cloos (American) demonstration link above

Close 8-key 7
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© Michael Lynn, 2014 - 2023 - some of these flutes are available for purchase - please contact me for further information