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date: 25 September 2020

Gordon, Captain James (Carel Gerhard )locked

  • Jaap Frank


(Carel Gerhard )

( b Cape of Good Hope, May 22, 1791; d Lausanne, 1838). Scottish and Cape Dutch amateur flute maker and player . He carried out improvements to the flute, firstly in Paris, and in 1831 in London in association with Rudall & Rose and Cornelius Ward. He is remembered for the ‘Boehm–Gordon controversy’, a libel campaign against Theobald Boehm initiated for his own commercial ends by Victor Coche in 1838, in which Boehm was falsely accused of stealing the idea of the ring-key (brille) from Gordon (it had in fact been patented in 1808 by Friedrich Nolan). Boehm and Gordon had worked together in Munich in 1833–4, a result of which was Gordon's 13-hole Flûte diatonique of 1834. There had been no misunderstanding between them; the campaign against Boehm, which was perpetuated by John Clinton, Cornelius Ward and Richard Shepard Rockstro, seems to have originated in jealousy. The accusations were refuted by Schafhäutl and Christopher Welch, but Gordon’s apparent failure led to severe mental illness and eventually to suicide....

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