Thursday, January 21, 2016

Free Flute & Piccolo Dissertations

Dear Flute Lovers,

A very useful read for teachers: Two dissertations of recent and vivid vintage. :>)
One contains commentary on books for intermediates, and gives intermediate flute exercises.
The second is an investigation into piccolo excerpts from the orchestral repertoire, including fingerings for specific orchestral piccolo parts.
 Help yourself to the pdfs. Great to have those fingerings! Yay! Thanks to the authors. :>)

Flute Dissertation -  Celine Thackston
 A Method Book for Intermediate Flute Students: including tone exercises, technique & stretches:

Link: pdf

Piccolo Dissertation - Allison Marie Flores Fletcher
Ten Piccolo Orchestral Excerpts - Link to overview: listing.

Link: pdf

(This pdf is 13 mb because there are lots of sheetmusic references, so wait an extra minutes longer than usual for loading):
 Notes from Jen:

Very interesting that Thackston agrees on the best books of interest for intermediates. I totally agree! I've long listed them on my "must have" list of books:  Fiona Wilkinson's "Physical Flute", Angela Floyd's "The Gilbert Legacy" and (bowl me over, but wowza I'm so happy Ms. Thackson suggests it) Roger Mather's "Art of Playing the Flute". That's my fave book too, hence the reason the Mather's have me e-book it for them. :>)

Thackston writes in her Flute Dissertation:

The most important/valuable part of this book to me is Mather’s approach to tone color. He addresses it first in Part I of the book, where he focuses on how good breath support affects tone color, but discusses it most thoroughly in Part II of the book, which relates to embouchure.
Mather states that the Part I techniques are universal – breath control techniques work the same way for all in affecting tone color, while embouchure modifications are much more individual and each flutist will have to experiment to find what works best for them.
It is admirable that, instead of categorizing tone color potential into only two categories  (yellow/purple), he embraces the wide range of sounds that a flutist can achieve and then tries to  analyze the scientific aspects of various colors.
He suggests experimentation through different vowel sounds; lengthening/shortening the air reed; the placement of the lip opening as well as size and shape (there’s also lots of good basic information on playing with an offset embouchure here); positioning of the flute on your chin; alignment of  headjoint; function of the corners of the mouth; jaw placement; and air pressure.
He also describes several tone colors in depth: Round, Hollow, Brassy, Transparent, and Floating.
The third volume has two very interesting chapters that also relate to tone color, featuring topics on  resonance via lung strength and resonance via throat, the sinuses, and the mouth cavity. It is in these  chapters where he offers the most interesting experiments as a means of exploring the resonant  cavities in the body.
end quote (read more at the pdf of the Thackston dissertation).
Enjoy! I'm trying out the exercises as we speak.
Best, Jen