Luxurious Books: Gift Ideas for Flute Players

It’s always lovely to receive a gorgeous book as a present. Here’s our pick of coffee table favourites, luxury gift ideas for the flute player with everything.


Robert Bigio: Rudall, Rose and Carte: The Art of the Flute in Britain

This a simply stunning book.  Firstly, it’s totally readable – the kind of book you open at random and are still reading half an hour later. The amount of scholarship and research Robert Bigio has undertaken is astonishing and his love of the subject shines through each of the 300+ pages. Everything is covered in great detail, from the history of the family, the development of the business to the design and making of the instruments. The amount of illustration is also very impressive. There are 157 pictures, diagrams and photos old and new to illuminate the text, but the chapter titled Gallery has the most wonderful series of pictures of all types of Rudall, Rose and Carte flutes – 100 pages of them. Yes, this is a pricey book but it is gorgeously put together and worth every penny.


Metronomes and Musical Time by Tony Bingham and Anthony Turner

This catalogue of the amazing collection of metronomes amassed by the eclectic Tony Bingham is a book you will want to own for its sheer beauty. Think of your own metromone or phone app and then gaze in wonder at the engraved, the exquisitely painted, the bejewelled and the sheer jaw-dropping ornateness of their predecessors. They come in all shapes and sizes too, such as the pendulum swinging behind statues of 19th century gentlemen to keeping time in front of over-size lyres. Even the ‘old-fashioned’ modern ones get a look-in (think miniature 1950 computers) and the book brings us up to the Yamaha circular quartz metronome of the 1990s. Needless-to-say it’s all fully researched and referenced with copious notes. A coffee table book that will certainly get your dinner party guests talking and worth the cover price alone!


Monarch of the Flute – The Life of Georges Barrère by Nancy Toff

Nancy Toff is one our most erudite flute historians and this wonderful book further enhances her reputation. The career of Georges Barrère is fascinating and he was a greatly influential player. This comprehensive biography explores his life in the greatest of detail. Toff has the gift of making all this information completely readable by having a good balance of anecdote and scholarship. You will feel completely taken up by it right from the introduction. Unmissable!


Bel Canto: The Rampal School by Sheryl Cohen

This book sets out the teaching methods developed by Rampal (and Alain Marion) and attempts to explain his philosophies. Each section is illustrated by musical examples and includes performance guides. For example, the section entitled Mostly Scales uses studies by Andersen, Soussmann, Boehm and the Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. There are sections focusing on all the usual techniques as well as slow movements, gestures, and playing Bach in 3/4 time. There is nothing earth-shatteringly new here, but it is very interesting to read and uses familiar material in different surroundings. Ms Cohen is passionate about her subject and this is infectious!


The Simple Flute from A to Z by Michel Debost

From the cartoon sketch on the front cover to the last entry ‘Zeal in form of Conclusion’, this dictionary of flute playing is a wonderful book to have on your shelf. Dry and dusty it isn’t. Written in the first person singular, it is more a reflection on the views of the great master Michel Debost set out in an alphabetical list than a reference book. There are musical examples, instrumental diagrams, fingering charts for every eventuality and special boxes which sum up ‘in a nutshell’ and cross reference. His knowledge is immense and his experience vast which, when coupled with his lovely personal style of writing, make this a ‘must -have’ buy.

Author