The transversal flute is a wind instrument from the woodwind family that, as its name says, is played in a transversal position.
It was initially built out of wood and had many holes and only one key. As years went by, with the purpose of maximizing the amount of notes played and of improving its tone, more keys were added.
Baroque transversal flute– built by António José Haupt (1796)
Today the transversal flute is totally built in metal and is constituted by many keys, as we can see from illustration at the top of this page. It is part of an orchestra and very common in choro groups.
Jean-Baptiste Debret, a French painter that came to Rio de Janeiro in 1816 along with the French Artistic Mission, illustred in a painting a carioca's hobby after dinner where is portrayed the image of a man playing the transversal flute while standing up and another man plays a stringed chords instrument similar to a small lute while sited.
Les dèlassemens d’une aprés diner – Debret (19th century)
Watch the video below to learn more about the transversal flute.