Hyperbass flute

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Roberto Fabbriciani with hyperbass flute.

The hyperbass flute is an extremely rare and the largest and lowest pitched instrument in the flute family, with tubing reaching over 15 metres (49 ft) 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 hertz, this is below what is generally considered the range of human hearing (20 to 20,000 Hz).

The hyperbass flute is made of PVC and wood.[1] There appear to be wide tone holes, made from standard tee fittings, but without keys; these are covered with the palms of the hands.

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.[2]

Low flute specialist Peter Sheridan commissioned the first fully chromatic hyperbass flute from the Dutch maker Jelle Hogenhuis in August 2010.


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.[3] 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.[4] 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).[5]

In 2007, Adriano Guarnieri did Pietra di Diaspro per 7 solisti, coro, assoli strumentali, orchestra e live electronics (2005) Teatro dell'Opera di Roma e Ravenna Festival (2007). In March 2005 Fabbriciani released an entire CD of music for hyperbass flute and tape, entitled Glaciers in Extinction, on the Col Legno label.[4][6] 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.

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.[7]


The Hyperbass flute was Item 64 of the 2014(1) University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt list. It was worth 50 points.[8]


  1. ^ Photographs on web site of Roberto Fabbriciani: photo 1 Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, photo 2 Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, photo 3 Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 15 March 2007
  2. ^ Stephen Davismoon (Winter 2003). "... infinite dimensions ... infinite futures ... infinite horizons". The Drouth. No. 10. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  3. ^ "Roberto Fabriciani – Flute XX 2 – Amazon.com Music". amazon.com. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Italian Vacation 6". La Folia. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ "ROBERTO FABBRICIANI (b.1949): Glaciers in Extinction for Hyperbass Flute". recordsinternational.com. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Alchemies". brilliantclassics.com. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  8. ^ The 2014 University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt List (PDF) 12 May 2014, p. 8.
    This was the list for the 2013 edition of the Hunt. The 2014 edition used list 2014(2).

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