Collection Items

  • Collection
    Dayton C. Miller Collection The collection contains nearly 1,700 flutes and other wind instruments, statuary, iconography, books, music, trade catalogs, tutors, patents, and other materials mostly related to the flute. It includes both Western and nonwestern examples of flutes from around the world, with at least 460 European and American instrument makers represented. Items in the collection date from the 16th to the 20th century. Dayton C. Miller...
    • Contributor: Miller, Dayton Clarence
    • Date: 1880

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  • Notated Music
    The pleasant companion or, New lessons and instructions for the flagelet
    Pleasant companion | New lessons and instructions for the flagelet
    print | 1 p.l., [8] p. ; [64] p. (music) 10 x 17 cm. | Signatures: Title-page (verson blank) unsigned, A⁴-H⁴. The music, 70 tunes in tablature, with caption, "Lessons for the flagelett," is engraved. The 1st ed. apparently contained 20 leaves of music, extending through sig. E, the last page in which is marked "Finis." The 2nd ed. (1673) added 8 leaves of...
    • Contributor: J. Playford - Greeting, Thomas
    • Date: 1680

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  • Web Page
    Related Resources Books by & about Dayton C. Miller in the Dayton C. Miller Collection Maynard, William J. "Dayton C. Miller, His Life, Work, and Contributions as a Scientist and Organologist." Master's thesis, Long Island University, 1971. 101 p. Library of Congress call number: ML30.4b 2385 This thesis is made available here with permission from the author. HTML version of this text
  • Web Page
    Rights and Access The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17 U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the Dayton C. Miller Collection except for the items noted below. The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes. Patrons should keep in mind that the written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders...
  • Article
    Music, Books, Tutors, and Patents The Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection contains over 3,000 books and numerous tutors and patents related to wind instruments. These books are searchable in the Library’s online catalog. This presentation makes available one example of a tutor:
  • Article
    Conventions and Definitions Information for this catalog was compiled in fifteen computer database fields, in the following order. The names of the fields do not appear in the catalog. Any field for which information is unavailable or which does not apply has been omitted.
  • Article
    Fife vs. Band Flute The fife, most accurately described, is any cylindrically bored transverse flute, usually in one piece (but sometimes two), usually somewhat longer than the piccolo and having only six fingerholes with no keys. It is intended and usually used for outdoor music, often connected with the military, and sometimes for signal purposes with or without field drum and other fifes of the same pitch. Flute,...
  • Article
    Flute Misnomers Of all woodwind categories, the flute seems to suffer the most from confusing nomenclature. Before the nineteenth century, "flute," by any of its variant ethnic European names or spellings, usually referred to the vertical instrument, i.e., the recorder. The transverse model then frequently required some modifying word indicating its horizontal nature such as Flauto traverso (or just traverso) in Italian, or Querflöte in German....
  • Article
    Key and Key Mounting Nomenclature Pin in block refers to the early methods of including key mounts as an integral part of the tubing or body materials of woodwinds, whether carved from wood or ivory (DCM 0088). Oversize ferrules or beads were left during the outer turning operation and designated to be channeled and drilled to mount one or more keys. The entire ferrule supporting such keywork either remained...
  • Article
    Meyer-Albert: Systematic Misnomers Museums occasionally receive inquiries about the discovery of yet another late-nineteenth- or early-twentieth-century simple system conical bore flute. Its archaic design may lead the discoverer to assume that it is quite old and valuable, a hope that may be further raised if the instrument still has its quaint period carrying case. Many such flutes are unmarked or marked with a trade name that does...
  • Article
    A Puzzling Trade Catalog: Albert System--A Nominal Question The Dayton C. Miller Collection of instrument-maker trade catalogs contains the 1890 issue from Martin Thibouville Ainé, E. Bercioux Successeur, 91, rue de Turenne, Paris. It features all of the flute and reed-wind instruments common in France at that time, including an all-metal contrabassoon, patent no. 186,778 (not a contrabass sarrusophone) and the five principal sizes of saxophones, the B-flat bass designated a "contra-bass."
  • Article
    Transverse Flute Elements Named in This Catalog The transverse flute works most efficiently when the embouchure piece or joint has a wall thickness sufficient for the embouchure hole to be adequately undercut. This practice, making the hole larger on the inside than on the outside of the instrument, addresses several acoustical aspects without requiring mechanical devices. Undercutting is critically important, for while it enables both fingerholes and embouchure to be large...
  • Article
    Dayton C. Miller (1866-1941): American Acoustician, Physicist, Flutist, and Collector of All Things Related to Flutes The following passage is excerpted from L. Gilliam and W. Lichtenwanger, The Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection: A Checklist of the Instruments (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1961), p. v-vi.
  • Article
    Dayton C. Miller Iconography Collection The Dayton C. Miller musical iconography collection complements Dr. Miller's world-renowned collection of flutes at the Library of Congress. The Miller iconography collection, unknown to many researchers, is an eclectic but important collection of about 850 prints related to wind instruments especially, but the prints include keyboard, string, percussion, and exotic instruments as well.
  • Article
    Bibliographic Records Here is a brief explanation of some of the fields in a bibliographic record which relate to a print in the Miller collection. The Artist refers to the actual engraver, etcher, or lithographer who created the print. Similarly, Artist dates, Artist role (engraver, etcher, illustrator, caricaturist, goldsmith, lithographer, etc.), and Artist nationality all refer to the artist who actually created the print. The Title...
    • Date: 1600
  • Article
    Dayton C. Miller Subject Categories It may be of interest to researchers to review Subject categories assigned to the prints by Dr. Miller himself. When Dr. Miller catalogued his collection, he assigned some general subject categories to the prints with an alphabetic key, A-Z, as follows, though there are no categories for D, I, and J. Each print is identified by a catalogue number, followed by a letter, for...
    • Date: 1600
  • Article
    Essays on Iconography The Artful Flute: Prints from the Dayton C. Miller Collection by Jan Lancaster On the Identification of Musical Instruments by Jan Lancaster Checklist of all musical iconography in the Dayton C. Miller Collection (PDF, 455KB)
    • Date: 1600
  • Article
    Sources on Artists and Collectors Quite often, at least two artists are associated with a print - the engraver, etcher, or lithographer, and the original artist after which the print was copied. The standard is to give the engraver's name first, and then to say "after" the original artist: For example, Bernard Baron, after Watteau; or, Nicolas Dorigny, after Raphael. Short biographies are given for each artist associated with...
    • Date: 1600
  • Article
    Fife [Fragment] Fife (Fragment) Dayton C. Miller's lifelong interest in collecting wind instruments may have been sparked during childhood when he found a fife that his father and another unnamed man had played less than a decade earlier in the Civil War. Miller's ledger book lists this fife fragment as No. 1 in his collection, and his entry includes a confession that the battered condition of...
  • Article
    Glass Flute Glass Flute In 1806, the Parisian woodwind instrument maker Claude Laurent obtained French patent number 382, "nouvelle fabrication des flûtes en cristal" ("a new [method of] making flutes from crystal"). His innovation did not claim any special qualities of sonority, but rather a greater ability than wood or ivory to resist problems caused by changes in humidity and temperature. Laurent's new design was also...
  • Article
    Gold Flute Gold Flute At the turn of the twentieth century, Dayton C. Miller entertained the idea of purchasing a gold-alloy flute from the highly respected firm of Rudall Carte & Co., London. Facing the reality that he could not afford to buy one in the foreseeable future, he decided to attempt making such a flute himself. He did so over a three-and-a-half-year period (1902-5), and...
  • Article
    Quantz Flute Quantz Flute Frederick the Great, king of Prussia (1712-1786), one of history's most famous amateur musicians, maintained a superior eighteenth-century European court orchestra. It included among its principal players Karl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), son of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Although a gifted amateur composer, Frederick was chiefly a passionate flute player. In 1741 he secured the services of Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) to...