J. Ziegler, Csakan, A flat
Contrary to popular belief that the recorder became „extinct“ in the mid-18th century, it was in fact “born again” at the start of the 19th century. The Csakan, Czakan or so-called “walking stick flute” from Hungary, was a musical fashion in Vienna between 1820 and 1850. Over 400 original compostions for the Csakan by A. Heberle, E. Krähmer, A. Diabelli among others are known to exist.
Johann Ziegler (Hungary 1795 – 1858, Vienna) started his workshop in Vienna in 1821. In addition to clarinets, he mainly made flutes which were soon in wide distribution. Ziegler was, along with Stefan Koch one of the most successful and innovative woodwind instrument makers of his time. It is therefore not surprising that the Hungarian-born Ziegler became actively involved in the construction and development of the Csakan. Some of his instruments still survive and are often in excellent playing condition, just like the one we use as a model for our construction which is in a private collection. Like nearly all Csakans, it is made of black varnished boxwood with silver rings and keys. The keys were shell-shaped which was all the rage in early 19th century Vienna.
We make two types of Csakan:
- The “einfache“ or simple Csakan has a D-sharp key and no tuning slide in the head joint. We normally make it in pear wood with imitation horn rings or, for an extra charge, “marbled rubber” rings. We can also supply this model in European boxwood.
- The „complizierte“ or complicated Csakan has seven shell-shaped silver keys and is made in boxwood. The tuning slide adjusts the pitch from a=440 Hz to a=430 Hz.
The sound of our Csakans is sweet. Both Csakans play at A-flat. The simple csakan’s pitch is a=440 Hz while the complicated csakan can play at a=440 Hz to a=430 Hz.
Thumb-hole: the rear thumbhole bushing can be removed using a specially-supplied tool which allows our Csakan to also be played using “normal” recorder fingering.