Friday, February 19, 2021

An insightful article for every flute level


Dear Flute-lovers,

This month there are some more great free articles to read from Flutetalk Magazine! I've chosen three, below.

This Magazine is continuing to offer free flutey reading during lockdown, and there is an article of interest to every level of flutist in the past 10 months of publication:  See all free flute articles from Flutetalk here, and click on any issue from March 2020 to February 2021.

February Issue 2021:

Firstly, this is a great, simple way to look at finger co-ordination and balance: article 1.

And I absolutely LOVED this article that explains so much about how air-pressure and amount of air used are figured out when you're working alone, without a teacher, and using a recording machine to listen back to one feature at a time: article 2.

And finally, truly musical inspiration:

There's a third article on how to use Marcel Moyse's  Book: Tone Development Through Interpretation. I worked through some of this book during my final two years at University (eek: 1980s!), and am super super interested in continuing to investigate all the musical sources that are now online to listen to!

See the book: Tone Development Through Interpretation: (sample pages at Fluteworld.) And the cover of this well-known publication is below left.

And here is an informative quote from this month's article in Flutetalk: How to Use Moyse's Opera Melody Book. 

And even more excitingly, here's the original Forward in translation from the Moyse Society!

(quote from the Flutetalk article):

"Tone Development develops a desire in students to play with artistry. Those who regularly and consistently play these melodies as beautifully as they can will reach for all the subtleties and emotions they can summon from all the music they play.

   Students who have not heard the operas performed will benefit from working with the book, but only with knowledge of the text, plot, and accompanying harmonies can they fully benefit from these melodies. After many years of working with the book I decided to listen to every opera in it. If recordings were available I taped each melody, summarized the story of each scene, and copied the relevant section of the libretto. This was the only way I could fully explore the emotional shades expressed in each excerpt, and I think this study brought my playing to a new level. Students should at least find a few recordings with full libretti. Perhaps some enterprising person will write a companion volume to Tone DevelĀ­opment and include piano reductions and a C.D." (end quote)


Gosh, I really hope someone takes up this idea and creates piano reductions on a CD/mp3 for these hundred or more short excerpts from the Opera repertoire. That would be amazing!!

Here is a link to Moyse recordings on youtube (if you've never heard them before....get ready and prepare your ears for recording techniques from 1910!! doh!).

And as discussed in the Moyse Flutetalk article, again,  the Forward to TDTI from The Moyse Society Newsletter on how best to utilize the book ( taken from the 1986 translation) is well worth printing out to put inside your copy of the book. (download pdf).

And to inspire those who wish to make their flute sound like singers, let this performance inspire you; it gave me goosebumps! (video)

Bellini's Norma - Aria sung with incredible control of the airstream.

Here's the flute and piano version of the opening (click on jpg to enlarge):

Arranged by Cottignes as theme & variations

Enjoy these free articles, and this Opera insight. It's a true exploration of our musical history and language! And do check out the first and second articles linked above for great explanations of basic skills as you develop your flute playing to a whole new level. We have the time, we just need the insights!

Comments welcome.

Best, Jen