What could be nicer at Christmas than to listen to younger players captivate a family audience with festive tunes. Whilst it would be lovely to have on hand either a resident pianist or a big band, a backing track will fill the gap and take up a lot less room! There are many exciting playalong flute books on the market, so be prepared to have a lot of fun!
As all flute teachers know, there is no such thing as the perfect tutor book. We all tend to stick to our favourites and usually work round their problems as we come to them. However, some of the less familiar books on offer can present at least a solution to those difficulties and often bring a welcome change of scene.
There is some interesting repertoire available for less experienced trio players – it isn’t always necessary to play arrangements! In this article I’ll round up some of my personal favourites.
For many years now there has been an issue in the British flute world that has been allowed to continue unchecked and I feel that is time that someone with a contrasting view voices an opinion.
What’s in a scale? More to the point, what’s in “the Cooper scale”? This short primer on scale—and why every flutist needs to understand its importance— includes a heartfelt appeal for the open information-sharing that defined the character of the late Albert Cooper.
Right now there is great deal of exciting music available for three flutes, so if you are lucky enough to belong to a good trio there is plenty to keep you interested.
Spring has sprung and the temperature is rising, so it won’t be long before someone asks you to play at their wedding. There is an astonishing amount of repertoire suitable for both the church and the reception, so depending on your forces the choice is yours. Books of arrangements are really handy in this situation – you never know what might happen on The Big Day!
Probably the most important stage of making a headjoint is cutting the embouchure hole. It is this that really makes it work or not.
There is now so much choice of Christmas music available for flute choirs that it’s difficult to know where to start. In this post I’ve selected some of my favourites which I can really recommend.
In my first two articles in this series I talked about how I make a headjoint tube and lip-plate. This article covers the riser: a
Robert Dick is an internationally renowned American flautist and composer nicknamed ‘the Hendrix of the flute’ due to his ability to create effects similar to electric guitar and push the boundaries of conventional flute playing. He was inspired by Hendrix’s creativity from a very young age and desired to match the sound and abilities of electric guitar on flute.
In part 1 of this guide, I explained how tubes for handmade flute headjoints are made. In this article, I’ll talk about the method I use to make a lip-plate.
It is very unlikely that you will not know at least one piece by Cecilia McDowall – even if it is the very popular Comic Song from the ABRSM grade 4 book! She isn’t a flute player, but her father, Harold Clarke, was. He was principal flute at the Royal Opera House, and professor of flute at Trinity College of Music. So it is inevitable that Cecilia would write music for us, and write it well. She is completely woven into the flute fabric in the UK, with works on exam lists and commissions ranging from contemporary solo pieces to music for large flute ensembles.
Recently there has been some debate over whether the cork assembly inside the headjoint makes a difference to the way the flute plays and feels. Many headjoint makers and flute enthusiasts have been experimenting with different materials and set-ups, and several alternatives are already available through specialist shops. In this article I want to demystify this subject and find out whether there really is truth to it.
What I am intending to do over my next few blog posts is to describe the process involved in producing a headjoint from tubes and sheet, through to the final finished product. I am not for one moment suggesting that this is the only way of making a headjoint, but it is one that works well for me.
One of the most bewildering parts of the Just Flutes catalogue is the Baroque section. All the titles seem to be the same, there are a great many composers who wrote a great many sonatas, and there are just so many editions to choose from! No wonder it’s confusing! This is a golden age of flute writing though and some of our most wonderful music comes from this period.