- Nancy Toff
Japanese firm of flute and piccolo manufacturers. It was founded in 1923 by Koichi Muramatsu (b Tokyo, 12 April 1898; d 6 June 1960), then a member of a military band, who made the first Western-style flute in Japan in that year. About 1936 he collaborated with Baron Okura on a Boehm system vertical flute, named Okraulos, much like a mechanized shakuhachi. The factory closed during World War II but reopened, producing 10,000 flutes by 1957. In the mid-1970s Muramatsu entered the US market, making alterations in the flutes' scale and headjoint design as a result.
The firm manufactures both student-level and professional-grade flutes with a variety of options, including gold-bonded flutes and winged lip plates. Under the direction of Osamu Muramatsu (b 6 Jan 1942), son of the founder, it has a factory in Tokorozawa City, near Tokyo, employing about 60 craftsmen. By the 1980s it was turning out some 2,000 flutes a year, with worldwide distribution....