Recital Tour of China, Nanjing
The instrument most people think of when they hear the word “flute’ is the Western, Modern Flute. It has great dynamic range and can compete with the softest clarinet, and the loudest trumpet.
The Baroque Flute was designed in France around 1680 and was used until approximately 1790. Composers including Bach, Telemann, and Handel all wrote for the Baroque Flute.
The Classical Flute was played from roughly 1780-1840, after which it evolved into the Romantic Flute. Composers including Mozart, Haydn, and Schubert all wrote for the Classical Flute.
These auxiliary instruments allow composers to write for a more extended range as the piccolo goes higher than the regular flute, and the alto and bass flutes go lower.