The hyperbass flute is the largest and lowest pitched instrument in the flute family, with tubing reaching over 15 metres in length. It is pitched in C, four octaves below the concert flute (three octaves below the bass flute, two octaves below the contrabass flute, and one octave below the double contrabass flute), with its lowest note being C0, one octave below the lowest C on a standard piano. At 16 Hz, this is below what is generally considered the range of human hearing (20 to 20,000 Hz).
The first known example of the instrument was built by Francesco Romei, a Florentine craftsman, for Italian flautist Roberto Fabbriciani. Fabbriciani is the inventor and primary performer of this instrument. He calls it hyperbass flute and flauto iperbasso in Italian.
Low flute specialist Peter Sheridan commissioned the first fully chromatic hyperbass flute from the Dutch maker Jelle Hogenhuis in August 2010. The instrument, though reputedly sluggish in response, plays lower than the concert piano (C0). This prototype model is still under research with Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Hogenhuis, as the new direction of the low flute partials create numerous problems with the air stream and dilemmas for basic tone production. This said, the instrument truly is innovative in its approach to distribution of partials, as if blown in the correct manner a three to four voice chord will sound.[tone]
The instrument can produce an edgy, growling tone, as well as support a large ensemble of flutes and winds on a handful of notes (C1-F1). The 32 feet of piping, required to produce the fundamentals, permits creative exploration.[clarification needed] Composers in Australia and America have already begun to compose for the instrument.
The first composition for the hyperbass flute with live electronics and magnetic tape is Persistenza della memoria by Alessandro Grego, published in 2001 by the ARTS label on the CD Flute XX vol.2.
In 2002, the Italian composer Nicola Sani composed Con Fuoco (for hyperbass flute and 8-track magnetic tape), which Fabbriciani recorded at the electronic studio of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) in Cologne, Germany. The track was released on a CD entitled Elements on the Stradivarius label.
In 2002, Adriano Guarnieri Medea opera di video per soli, voce morbida, coro, orchestra, assoli strumentali e live electronics (2000) l'opera-video Medea, per soli, coro e orchestra a Venezia, Teatro la Fenice (2002).
Nicola Sani Diotima e Euridice (2005). Opera da camera per voci, strumenti e elettronica su testo a cura dell’Autore (70’) Zagreb, Music Biennale Zagreb 2005, Zagreb Puppet Theatre, 21.4.2005 - fl. R. Fabbriciani
In 2007, Adriano Guarnieri Pietra di Diaspro per 7 solisti, coro, assoli strumentali, orchestra e live electronics (2005) Teatro dell'Opera di Roma e Ravenna Festival (2007).
In 2009, Roberto Fabbriciani released another hyperbass flute CD entitled Nella basilica, this time with tuba microtonale player Robin Hayward, on the Another Timbre label. http://www.anothertimbre.com/contacts.html
In 2010, Roberto Fabbriciani released another hyperbass flute CD entitled Winds of the Heart, this time with tárogató player Esther Lamneck, on the Innova label.
In 2011, Roberto Fabbriciani Motion Capture (2011) per flauto iperbasso elaborato tramite motion capture e live electronics (35’ca.), 10.4.2011 - fl. R. Fabbriciani, live electronics A. Vidolin (Ed.SZ Milan, 14114 P. 14115 NS. N.)
Peter Sheridan has recorded an album for MOVE RECORDS 2011(Melbourne Australia) titled "Monologues and Dialogues," that will feature the hyperbass flute on two tracks. "Differing Dialogues" by Monash University composer Vincent Giles, is set for solo bass flute with pre-recorded low flutes.
In 2013, Roberto Fabbriciani released another hyperbass flute CD entitled Alchemies, on the Brilliant label. http://www.brilliantclassics.com/release.aspx?id=FM00080177
- Photographs on web site of Roberto Fabbriciani: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3. Retrieved on 15 March 2007
- Stephen Davismoon (Winter 2003). "... infinite dimensions ... infinite futures ... infinite horizons". The Drouth. No. 10. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
- Amazon.com: Flute XX, Vol. 2: Mario Cesa, Aldo Clementi, Gianvincenzo Cresta, Franco Donatoni, Allesandro Grego, Toshio Hosokawa, Bruno Maderna, Jean-Claude Risset, Roberto Fabbriciani: Music
- La Folia - Online Music Review - Italian Vacation 6
- Records International - ROBERTO FABBRICIANI (b. 1949): Glaciers in Extinction for Hyperbass Flute.
- Discussion of hyperbass flute
- Roberto Fabriciani's youtube page, featuring some works of the flauto iperbasso