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date: 24 October 2019

Bainbridge, Williamlocked

  • Philip Bate
  • , revised by William Waterhouse

Extract

(d 1831). English woodwind instrument inventor, maker and player and music publisher. Having originally trained as a turner, he began his career playing oboe, flute and flageolet at two London theatres. As maker, his first patent was in 1803 for a new model of ‘English flageolet’, which, by changing the fingering of the tonic from six to three fingers, led in about 1805 to the development of his double flageolet model in collaboration with John Parry (ii) (1776–1851). Between 1808 and 1821 he was in partnership with John Wood as Bainbridge & Wood, writing and publishing tutors and music for his instruments. From cto 1835 the business was continued by Bainbridge’s widow Harriet, and thereafter until 1855 by his successor, Hastrick, whose mark usually included the words ‘late Bainbridge, inventor’.

The firm’s speciality was the ‘English flute’ or ‘English flageolet’ – not to be confused with the French or the ‘quadrille’ flageolet – in its single, double and occasionally triple form. In addition they made single and double concert flutes with flageolet-type heads to be held transversely. These instruments, designed for amateurs of both sexes, enjoued enormous popularity, the double flageolet being much plagiarised (in spite of two unsuccessful legal actions) by rival makers both at home and abroad. Bainbridge was perhaps the earliest wind-instrument maker with the all-round abilities required to launch such projects successfully, combining single-handedly as he did the diverse skills of inventor, performer, teacher, manufacturer, author and publisher....

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Galpin Society Journal
W. Waterhouse: The New Langwill Index: a Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors