Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pahud live-stream masterclass May 24

Dear Flutists, Here are some high quality flutey points of interest today:

FREE Live Streamed Masterclass with Emmanuel Pahud on Saturday the 24th of May. 


Play with a Pro , (home of Pahud masterclasses on film), is streaming a one hour LIVE Q&A masterclass where you can ask questions and get immediate answers from Emmanuel Pahud.
Pahud will focus on the technical aspects of flute playing, meaning not so much interpretation but rather development of sound, technique to help improve your own flute playing.

It works like this: On Saturday the 24th of May you go to the live streaming link at
6 pm CET ( Central European time)
12 pm EDT ( Eastern Daylight Time - NY- Washington etc)
9 AM Pacific Time Zone ( Los Angeles, San Fransisco etc)

Be sure you have a STABLE and FAST internet connection in order to get the best user experience. You can watch it on your smart phones and tablets as well- as long as your connection is good.

If you want to ask Emmanuel a personal question please write them to 'contact(at)' and he will try to answer as many as possible during the 1 hour masterclass.

Audition Article: 

Auditioning for the Met Orchestra

This is a very well written article with an honest account of how top-level auditions really feel.
The article contains this interesting chart showing the numbers of auditioners and how many progress.
As it is said of many of the arts (dance, theatre, visual arts, music), you must be prepared to bounce back after rejection since rejection is far more common in these fields than acceptance.
But as pointed out here, following a clarinetist and percussionist, practice, perspicacity (ability to clearly perceive), persistence and expert training really do help those who get this far!

(click picture above to enlarge it.)

Piccolo Intonation:

Why is This Instrument So Hard to Play in Tune?

The answer comes down to physics. When two concurrently played notes are close to—but not quite—a perfectly tuned unison, the sound waves interfere with one another and produce beats that can be heard as a distinct buzzing. As the two notes get further apart, the buzzing, or "beats" speeds up.
Now, using some simple math, let’s apply this knowledge to some theoretical orchestral situations. Let’s say you and a colleague are playing the flute and both of you are asked to play A440. Easy enough, you might say. But let’s assume you are having a bad day and, instead of playing perfectly in tune, you play the note 10 cents sharp. I won’t bore you with the more complicated math of cents-to-hertz conversion, so you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that when played 10 cents sharp, A440 becomes A443 (rounded to the nearest whole number)—a difference of 3Hz. You will produce 3 beats per second—not ideal, but not such a big problem.

Let’s compare that with a slightly different scenario. You and your colleague are now asked to switch to piccolo and to play, in unison, A3520, the highest A on the instrument. And let’s assume that your day still hasn’t improved and you play this note 10 cents sharp too. Your sharp note would actually be A3540—a difference of 20Hz. You will now produce 20 beats per second. Bzzzzzzzzz!! This can start to be really painful for everyone within earshot.


The unfairness of the situation becomes even more clear when you start looking around the orchestra. All of those other musicians (who at this point are glaring at you) don’t have anywhere near the same challenges as you, the poor piccoloist. Take the cellists for example. Pretend two cellists are attempting to play A220 (the A just below middle C) in unison. For them to be to be producing 20 beats per second, one of the cellists would have to be playing 150 cents sharp (or flat). That’s one-and-a-half semi-tones apart—the difference between an A and a really flat B. That’s one bad cellist. 

We could go through the rest of the instruments of the orchestra in this same way but, while that might make us feel better, it should be clear by now why the piccolo is the most difficult of any instrument to play in tune. So what to do? Unfortunately, even though it’s not your fault, you still have to fix the problem.

________________end quote

And this is for flutists, not just piccoloists, as the flute has the same problems, especially when playing high register!

The above article also discusses not using a tuner (because it trains eyes not ears), but using a droning pitch to play along with.

A downloadable itunes or Amazon mp3 of the twelve semitones is available for this purpose and is fun to use. (See links at "The Tuning CD" website.)
This I highly recommend, as it trains the ear to respond to "beats", to hear the harmonic structure of everything you play, and to play truly in tune very very very quickly.

If after you play beautifully in tune, you then get out your old electronic tuner again here's what you will see:

When you play beautifully in tune, you will actually be OFF by this number of cents on the equal-temperament electronic tuner. ( Example: '-14' means play fourteen cents flat on the tuner, to play a just-intonationally delicious-sounding major third.:>)

Comments and questions welcome.
Best, Jen

(click pictures to enlarge. This is the same "what will your electronic tuner tell you when you're actually in tune?" chart that was also featured in previous tuning articles. You are not alone if it is blowing your tiny excellent mind! :>)
Comments (2)
Blogger Da said...

Wow! Thanks for posting this, Jen! I've already forwarded the masterclass information over to a few fellow local flutists.

I really hope I can get to the library (steady bandwidth) during that hour. You can bet I've got it on my calendar! :-)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 3:23:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

You bet, Da. I've got wiggley connectivity myself, so I hope it streams for me here in the boondockeroos. Good luck with the library! Jen

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 6:20:00 PM


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