Gemeinhardt

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Gemeinhardt Musical Instruments LLC
Founded 1948
Founder(s) Kurt Gemeinhardt
Headquarters Elkhart, Indiana, USA
Key people David Pirtle, president and CEO
Products flutes, piccolos
Parent Angel Industries Co. Ltd
Website http://www.gemeinhardt.com/

Gemeinhardt Co. is the music industry's largest manufacturer of flutes and piccolos. These musical instruments are developed by this company for all levels of musicians, beginners to professionals. It is owned by their major supplier, Angel Industries Co. Ltd of Taiwan, widely acknowledged as the premier manufacturer of woodwind musical instruments.[1] The Gemeinhardt Company is headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, where many of their instruments are still made.[1]

Ownership[edit]

From 1993 to 2011, Gemeinhardt was owned by investment bankers under the corporate name Gemstone Musical Instruments. In June 2011 Gemeinhardt was acquired by Angel Industries Co. Ltd of Taiwan, a manufacturer of instruments and business partner of Gemeinhardt for several years. David Pirtle, president and CEO of Gemeinhardt, says that the acquisition by Angel Industries will allow Gemeinhardt more freedom to make decisions and run production in order to best serve the market.[2]

While many musical instrument brands are made overseas, the partnership between Gemeinhardt and Angel Industries is unique. Gemeinhardt manufactures the flute components (headjoint, body, footjoint, keys) in Elkhart, Indiana USA then sends them to Angel Industries to assemble them. They are then returned to Elkhart, Indiana for testing and adjusting in the Gemeinhardt workshop. David Pirtle, president and CEO of Gemeinhardt, asserts that this is because the parts can be made better in the Gemeinhardt workshop in America. This differs from most brands, which have their flute components manufactured overseas.[2]

History[edit]

Kurt Gemeinhardt was brought to the United States from Markneukirchen, Germany, by George Bundy of Selmer USA company, which had recently relocated to Elkhart, Indiana. Working with Philip H. Marcil in the Selmer flute division, they copied the typical Louis Lot metal flute design for their flutes.[3]

Founded by Kurt Gemeinhardt, a 4th generation flute-maker in Germany, the Gemeinhardt company was established in 1948, 20 years after Gemeinhardt’s immigration to the United States. Initially crafting only very fine hand made flutes for professionals, the company expanded in 1952, moving to Elkhart Indiana to produce all levels of silver flutes. Beginner student flutes were developed at this time as well. It was these flutes that eventually became the bread and butter of the corporation as Gemeinhardt’s reputation for fine beginner flutes became a hallmark of the industry.

Kurt's father had studied under Emil Rittershausen, who had been trained by Theobald Boehm, and so the instruments they produce can trace their lineage back to the creator of the Boehm System.[4]

The Gemeinhardt Company is very popular in the music field, although it hasn't always followed the mainstream. In the mid 1970s Albert Cooper modified the placement of toneholes on the flute so that it would match the common tuning of A at 440 Hz. Before this many flutes were still designed with an older A435Hz tone hole placement (scale), despite being designed to play at A440Hz through the use of a shortened headjoint.[5] Many flute companies recognized this change and therefore his scale and decided to make their flutes in the same way, but the Gemeinhardt Company was slow to modify their design. This in turn makes notes played in the higher register on an old Gemeinhardt flute sharp and the lower register flat. This can cause issues for beginner flutists if they are playing an old Gemeinhardt (pre-21st century), but with practice they can learn to play the flute so that the notes are correct. Otherwise, they may consider buying a newer Gemeinhardt flute.

However, the design of Gemeinhardt's flutes have changed often since then and have been updated and redesigned accordingly.[6]

In 1997, Gemeinhardt acquired the Roy Seaman Piccolo Company.[7]

In addition to flutes and piccolos, Gemeinhardt also has a line of saxophones and clarinets.

Products[edit]

Flutes[edit]

The Gemeinhardt company sells their flutes under five different categories: student, conservatory, professional, alto (which is a slightly larger version of the Flute in C, the most commonly known flute, except it is in the key of G instead of C), and they also sell headjoints separately.

  • Gemeinhardt models
    • Student Flutes: Model 2SP Flute / Model 2NP Flute / Model 2(3) Flutes / Model 3B Flute
    • Conservatory Flutes: Model 2SH Flute / Model 2S Flute / Model 3SH Flute / Model 3SHB Flute / Model 3S Flute / Model 3SB Flute
    • Professional Flutes: KG Millennium Std (Model Kurt) Flute / KG Millennium Ltd (Model Kurt) Flute / Model 33SB Flute / Model 33SSB Flute / Model 11A Flute / Model 11ASHCH (Curved headjoint) Flute / Model 11AS Flute / Model 11ASCH (Curved headjoint) Flute
    • Alto Flutes: Model 11A Alto Flute / Model 11ASHCH (Curved headjoint) Alto Flute / Model 11AS Alto Flute / Model 11ASCH (Curved headjoint) Alto Flute
    • Headjoints: Model J1 headjoint / Model H1 headjoint / Model M1 headjoint / Model K1 headjoint / Model S1 headjoint
  • Brio! models
    • Conservatory Flutes: Model B1 Flute / Model B10 Flute / Model B20 Flute
    • Professional Flutes: Model B2 C Flute / Model B2.4 C Flute / Model B3 C Flute / Model Ali Ryerson Autograph Series
    • Alto Flutes: Model BAF1 Alto Flute / Model BAF2 Alto Flute

Piccolos[edit]

All Gemeinhardt and Roy Seaman Piccolos are made in America.[8]

The Gemeinhardt company also sells the piccolos under categories, but they only have four different, consisting of: composite, silver, wood, and Roy Seaman. The composite piccolo is made out of a material sort of like plastic with some wooden texture to it, silver piccolos can be found either as being silver plated or solid silver whichever is preferred, wood piccolos are made of wood and are rarely used outside because the wood tends to swell or shrink according to weather conditions, and finally the Roy Seaman piccolo is recognizable mostly by its “bubbly-shaped” headjoint, if you see a Roy Seaman piccolo you can tell, that it is largest where the headjoint meets the body of the piccolo than anywhere else on the piccolo.

  • Gemeinhardt models
    • Composite Piccolos - used for outside (Marching Band) and inside (Concert Band/Orchestra): Model 4P Piccolo / Model 4PMH Piccolo / Model 4PSH Piccolo
    • Silver Piccolos - used for mainly outside (Marching Band): Model 4SP Piccolo / Model 4SH Piccolo / Model 4S Piccolo / Model 4SS Piccolo
    • Wood Piccolos - used mainly for inside (Concert Band/Orchestra): Model 4W Piccolo / Model 4WSSK Piccolo / Model KG Limited Piccolo
    • Roy Seaman Piccolos: Model RS Limited Piccolo
  • Brio! models
    • Composite Piccolos: Model BP4 piccolo / Model BP4SH piccolo
    • Wood Piccolos: Model BW4 LTD

Saxophones[edit]

  • Student models: Model GSA500 LQ Alto saxophone / Model GSA600 LQ Alto saxophone / Model GST500 LQ Alto saxophone / Model GST600 LQ Alto saxophone

Clarinets[edit]

  • Student models: Model 2CN1 Clarinet / Model 2CS1 Clarinet

References[edit]

External links[edit]