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After originals probably by Claude Rafi (Lyons, d.1553) in the Accademia Filarmonica, Verona.

The Rafi flutes have larger bores and thicker walls than the other types we make. They are more suited for playing in the lower range and less easy in the high register. Their design favors a rich tone and good intonation rather than an easy finger stretch.

The originals on which our consort is based are the lowest-pitched of all extant renaissance flutes (I-Verona: Accademia Filarmonica 13287 and 13281). These are large instruments to handle, especially the bass which can only be played by a tall and limber person. The original flutes play two whole tones below cornett pitch, "in Bb" at a=460, or in D (i.e. without transposing) a third below that at a=360. Other extant Rafi flutes, some with different makers' marks, play at higher pitches.

The bass for our set is extrapolated from an incomplete bass flute by Rafi and the discant is an invention in the absence of any suitable original.

We can supply Rafi consorts to play at any or all of the pitches described below. Our consort consists of five flutes: a bass (lowest note G), and four tenor/altos (lowest note D). A discant (lowest note G) is available separately.

Audio sample Audio sample

Le Concert Virtuel (Ardal Powell, tenor flute; Ardal Powell, tenor flute; Ardal Powell, tenor flute; Ardal Powell, bass flute; Rafi consort in maple at a=360).
Orlando di Lasso, La nuict froide et sombre, 1576. Recording made for this web site on 3-3-03, enhanced with acoustic signature of Hudson Opera House, Hudson NY.
Time: 1 minute 50 seconds Size: 1.7 Mbytes 16 bit stereo 44.1 KHz sampling

For slow connections there's also a Real Media version, 885 Kbytes, with lower sound quality.

Fingering Charts

PDF file Tenor flute

PDF file Bass flute

Ordering options

For perfect matching of pitch, intonation, and appearance, we recommend you order our consort flutes as a set. You can order them one at a time if you prefer, but they are not meant for playing by themselves of with other (non-flute) instruments. A flute after Rafi we recommend for solo or mixed-consort use is on its own page.

Set configuration

Consort GDDDD (recommended)
Single tenor (D)
Single discant (G)
Single bass (G)


Pitch Help with pitches



Doubled holes 3 and 6 on bass




Total Price

 Comments and special instructions:


Text and images copyright © 1997,1999, 2001, 2008 FOLKERS & POWELL, Makers of Historical Flutes
PO Box 148, Hillsdale NY 12529-0148 USA
TEL: +1 518 828 9779