. Böhm (Boehm) designed important new types of flutes in 1832 and 1847. He was born in München
in 1794, he died in 1881.
Until 1831, Böhm built and performed on eight-keyed flutes. But on a visit to London he met others interested in devising new acoustic models for the flute that used mechanical means to alter its fingering.
The 1832 invention redesigned the placement of keys on the flute to allow the use of larger finger holes. By starting from scratch and asking how holes and keys needed to be placed on the flute to allow for an in-tune three octave range, he invented the basis for the modern flute. Since no human could cover the proposed holes with their fingers it was then necessary to devise a system of keys and levers to open and close the holes as required by his calculations.
The 1847 invention changed the conical bore of the flute to one with a cylindrical bore instead. The joint was furnished in a (slightly) parabolical shape at this point. This design is essentially unchanged in modern flutes.
There was resistance to the invention at first, but the flexibility of the design and the power of the instrument due to it's large holes soon converted most performers to using this type of instrument.
Initially the famous flute maker Rudall, Rose and Carte of London started making flutes under a licence from Böhm. The first models continued the use of wood, but relatively soon the flute body and sometimes the head joint were manufactured in metal, usually silver or silver-plated nickel.