The flageolet is an early woodwind instrument from the group of beak flutes and closely related to the recorder.
The term flageolet has been used since the 13th century as a general term for flutes. In the 16th century, but he was referring to increasingly focus on specific, common in Paris design, the so-called French flageolet. This had four gripping holes on the front and two at the rear. In the middle of the 18th century went on to replace the beak-like mouth piece by a slightly longer round shank made of bone or ivory. This tube was transferred to a thickener, in which was a sponge for absorbing condensed.
In the late 18th century, then the English flageolet developed with six finger holes on the front and without thumb holes on the back. With the slightly later production of this flute shape from sheet metal finally came today Tin Whistle.
An English instrument maker named William Bainbridge settled in 1810 patented a Doppelflageolett. It consisted of two interconnected English harmonics and produced a particularly dense beats by sound.
In art music, the flageolet never played a particularly important role. Handel and Purcell composed some pieces for the instrument. In the 19th century harmonics were ousted in the orchestras increasingly of the piccolo.
In Austria, the flageolet has been a popular musical instrument as " Brucker Almpfeiferl ".