Doubling for Woodwind Players

By Jacqueline Pace

As a high school student taking lessons on 3 woodwind instruments, I heard all sorts of theories about how reed instruments would ruin my flute embouchure. I was also told never to touch brass instruments, because this would be even worse for my flute playing.

I was advised to practise flute, then clarinet, then saxophone in that order. This has always seemed to work for me. I have played flute directly after clarinet or saxophone occasionally, usually when playing a reed part for a musical. The most noticeable change to my flute playing was when I played flute directly after playing saxophone. My tone was horrible. I checked the mirror – my embouchure was the same, but I had lost all feeling in my bottom lip due to the vibrating reed. After a break to let my lip rest, my flute playing returned to normal.

I later took up oboe for a group music subject at university. Again, it was tired lips due to vibrating reeds which affected my flute playing immediately after playing oboe. There were no long-term disadvantages.

In terms of career opportunities, spending years studying extra instruments has made me a much more versatile teacher. Many schools now want a general woodwind teacher, rather than a specialist on each instrument. This is not an ideal situation – I have had many conversations with panicking woodwind teachers when a school wants them to teach an instrument they have never played and have seen many students develop poor technique due to poor teaching (the most common one I see is incorrect chromatic fingerings on clarinet). I am confident in the way I teach other woodwinds due to my hard work when I was a teenager.

Comments on this topic are welcome.

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Flute Essentials

CLAIM YOUR FREE COPY! – 24 hours ONLY

Friday 14 November 2014 New York Time

(available until 4pm Saturday 15th 2014 Sydney time)

To claim your copy follow this link (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/481225) and enter the coupon code NN84H to receive your free copy

Flute Essentials Cover

 

My name is Drew Niemeyer and I am a woodwind technician working at Blow Woodwind and Brass in Brisbane. I am writing a series of books containing information, not about playing the flute, but about the flute from a more technical standpoint.

I have noticed that many parents and even many teachers know very little about what to look for in a flute, i.e. what good and poor quality is, and what a flute needs in upkeep and care. Many teachers are allowing their students to buy instruments that are almost guaranteed to cause frustration and disillusionment. Some instruments are completely unfixable and it is sad to see so many people give up flute for a reason such as this.

From my bench as a repair technician I see the results of the choices people make. Damage is more often caused by neglect than recklessness, and I speak to clients every day about how to care for their instruments properly. Flutes made with low quality parts are often very expensive to fix properly, and the result for these people is an instrument that is not working as well as it should most of the time.

I wrote Flute Essentials because this problem is so wide spread.

This first book in the series is a very broad (but concise) outline of what people should be looking for in flutes, how to go about purchasing one, how to care for it, as well as some tips about getting the most from the instrument when you do begin to play. It will be especially good for parents looking to buy a first flute, and teachers may also find the book useful to encourage parents in their choices.

Taking up flute can be a big commitment. Flute Essentials delves into the necessity of obtaining a good quality flute for enjoyment, describes how this can be done, and explains how it is within the reach of almost anyone that desires to have it.

For more information contact Drew at Drew@fluteessentials.com or visit the website www.fluteessentials.com.

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About the Author: Drew has provided his services as a professional woodwind technician to musicians for over 20 years. His career has included teaching and performance, and has been highlighted by various prizes and awards. He is based at Blow Woodwind and Brass in Brisbane, Australia, and services clients throughout the Asia-Pacific Region.

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View the Flute Essentials Press Release here

For information on purchasing flute essentials and to view a preview of this book please visit  www.fluteessentials.com.

 

All articles and reviews published on this website are representative of the opinions of the author/s alone and do not reflect the opinions of FTA or it’s affiliates

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What is the ‘midi flute’ and it’s function?

Question:

Regarding the Pierre Boulez: “…explosante-fixe…” a work for MIDI flute solo, live electronics, and chamber ensemble. Does anyone know about this ‘midi flute’ and it’s function. Is it some type of electronica or another instrument?”

Answer:

It seems to be a flute combined with a fingering detection system. There is a clearer description here:

http://parsely.tumblr.com/post/25090056078/the-midi-flute-and-cyborg-intelligence

 

Got anything to add?  Please feel free to post your input regarding the above question in the comments field below.

All articles and reviews published on this website are representative of the opinions of the author/s alone and do not reflect the opinions of FTA or it’s affiliates

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Australian Flute Festival 2013 – An interview with the festival director

With the 2013 Australian Flute Festival happening in Canberra in October of this year we were thrilled to catch up with Lyndie Leviston (Australian Flute Festival Coordinator/Director) to find out a little more about what to expect from the biggest flute event in Australia!

 

 

The Australian Flute Festival 2013 is on in Canberra in October, what can attendees expect to gain from this event?
Each Festival seems to take on an individual character or flavour. The impression I have is that this Festival is going to be an enormous amount of fun.  Marianne Gedigian, Roberto Alvarez and Jim Walker are all phenomenal musicians.  Each of them have a sense of humour to match!! While we can expect some serious music making, we can also except some serious fun!

 

Are there any opportunities for non-performing festival attendees to get their flutes out and play?
Peter Sheridan will be running a Flute Choir, Shaun Barlow will be teaching us how to beatbox, Prue Farnsworth will teach us some Irish tunes, Jim Walker is going to run a ‘Learn to Improvise” 101 workshop, so yes, plenty of opportunity to get your flutes out and do some playing.

 

What is different to previous years this year?
Although Jim Walker has a distinguished career as a classical musician, he has also been very successful as a jazz musician.  This Festival sees the introduction of jazz flute playing as well as an Irish element, so it’s not just about main stream classical flute playing, but incorporating other styles/genres of flute music.

 

When did the festival start?
The first Festival was in 2006.  The original plan was to run it every year, so the second one was in 2007.  After the second Festival, it became clear that it was only going to get bigger and it was decided to run it biannually.

 

What can you tell us about the evolution of the AFF over the years?
The first year, the Sydney Flute Festival was run by a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers. With David Leviston and Alexa Still at the helm, the Festival was held at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with 150 people attending.  The 2007 Festival was also held at the Sydney Con.An artist’s impression of the Sydney Opera House had been used in the logo and when we applied to register the logo, the Opera House wanted to charge us an annual fee to use the image!  Elizabeth Koch OAM had also approached us about holding the Festival in Adelaide.  With the growing international interest in the Festival, we decided to change the name to the Australian Flute Festival and the Festival moved to Adelaide in 2009.Canberra in 2011 proved to be a fantastic venue.  With most people flying in to Canberra for the Festival, evenings were spent catching up with friends and colleagues from around Australia creating a lovely family kind of vibe.I do need to mention here, that we have had an incredible lineup of musicians at AFF.  Emily Beynon, Felix Renggli, Alexa Still, Michael Cox, Marianne Gedigian, Tara-Helen ‘O Connor, Jean Ferrandis, Denis Bouriakov and Aldo Baerten.  Australia has produced many of it’s own fabulous flutists and each Festival we showcase about 30 Australian musicians. Margaret Crawford agreed to be the Patron of the Festival and together with Vernon Hill and Virginia Taylor as Artistic Advisors, the Festival continues to attract Australian and International interest.  We expect to have 500 flutists attend the 5th Festival in Canberra:  October 5th – 7th, 2013.

 

There are 3 main international artists featured in this year’s festival.  Who are they and what can participants look forward to hearing them play/talk about?
Jim Walker, Marianne Gedigian and Roberto Álvarez are the invited guests this year.  Jim has taught and played at the highest level in classical and jazz arenas and brings a wealth of experience and advice on how to survive as a musician in 2013. We had many, many requests to bring Marianne back to Australia. She is a real dynamo on the flute.  You will leave feeling inspired an motivated from any recital or masterclass that you attend of hers.  Roberto brings some Spanish flair to the Festival.  A piccolo specialist, he will focus on the quirky peculiarities  of this instrument.

 

Is there anything else you would like to add?
It was only after the Festival in 2007 that we discovered that Marianne’s husband Charles, played the tuba.  She describes him as a ‘freak’ on the instrument.  So, we couldn’t let the opportunity pass again, without somehow including him in the Festival programme.  Charles will present a programme of flute repertoire on the tuba!!  I have listened to a CD of his and all I can say is make sure you are there to hear this recital!!  
 

 

Thank you Lyndie for your time and for sharing this information with us!

 

 

Anyone wishing to attend the 2013 Australian Flute Festival or wanting more information about it should follow the below link to the Festival’s website to view programs, find accommodation, register to attend and more.

 

 

We look forward to catching up with old friends and colleagues and to making many new friends and connections in Canberra!!!

 

Please feel free to post a comment or ask questions regarding this topic.

 

All articles and reviews published on this website are representative of the opinions of the author/s alone and do not reflect the opinions of FTA or it’s affiliates
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HSC Performance Preparation

The most important thing to remember is that when preparing a student for HSC performance requirements it is a very different process of repertoire choice to an AMEB exam or Trinity exam where you are choosing from set lists of works.  Information regarding the HSC syllabus requirements is readily available and a trip to the Board of Studies website will provide you with everything you need to know.  There is, however, a lot of information to be waded through on this site and you would do well to get in contact with the classroom teacher and others who have taught HSC before if this is the first time you have taught the course.  In a nutshell, there are three Music Courses offered by the Board of Studies, each with different performance requirements:

  • Music Course 1, often chosen as a less rigorous option but nevertheless a course that you can choose to present quite a sophisticated program if you wish
  • Music Course 2, a course which would suit a student of around 6th or 7th Grade standard
  • Extension, should probably only attract students of around 7th Grade and above. The Extension Course is completed in conjunction with Music Course 2.

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Syllabus Performance Requirements

Music Course 1

Every student presenting for this course must present at least one performance as a Core requirement.  In addition to this they must do three Electives which can be chosen from any of the areas of performance, composition and/or musicology.  Thus, your Course One student will be preparing anything from one to four pieces depending on how they have chosen to spread their Electives.  Some of these may be ensemble pieces as long as the candidate’s part in the ensemble is ‘prominently displayed’.  Additionally, those pieces must come from any of the student’s three chosen areas of study.  Those areas of study are selected from set topics listed in the Board of Studies Syllabus.  For Course One students the choice is broad and repertoire choice can be quite wide ranging.  Some of the topics include:

  • An Instrument and it’s Repertoire
  • Australian Music
  • Baroque Music
  • Jazz
  • Medieval Music
  • Music of a Culture
  • Music of the 18th Century
  • Music of the 19th Century
  • Music of the 20th Century
  • Popular Music Theatre

and the list goes on…

but, as you can see, so long as the three pieces chosen for someone doing a performance major fit into three different areas of study, the performance criteria will be met.  However, there is one catch that all should be aware of, Candidates are supposed to focus on three different areas of study in Year 12 to those studied in the Year 11 preliminary course.  As a general rule, when performance assessments fall due in Year 11 take care not to use a piece or a topic that you are likely to want to use in Year 12.  For example, if you have a student fantastically gifted at Jazz, don’t use up this topic in Year 11.  Again, talk to the classroom teacher as they should understand the requirements fully.

In Summary:

A Course One Student will be required to perform at least 1 piece and as many as 4 pieces depending on their elective choices.  The choice of repertoire must reflect the 3 topics the student has chosen to study in Year 12.

 

Music Course 2

The performance requirements for this course are considerably more proscribed, with the candidate needing to choose their pieces from a narrower repertoire base.  Each student must perform one piece from their Mandatory Topic, Music of the Last 25 Years (Australian Focus).  This piece will be a maximum of 5 minutes in length.  If a performance Elective is chosen, an additional 2 pieces will be performed.  One of these pieces at least must come from an additional topic chosen for study by the candidate.  For Course Two students the list of additional topics is narrower than for Course One.

Course Two Additional Topics are:

  • Music of a Culture
  • Medieval Music
  • Renaissance Music
  • Baroque Music
  • Classical Music
  • 19th Century Music
  • Music from 1900 to 1945
  • Music from 1945 to 25 Years ago.

The Core Performance of the Mandatory Topic must be 5minutes or under.  The performance of the Elective pieces can total 10 minutes.

In Summary:

A Course Two Student will perform, at the very least, 1 piece reflecting the Mandatory Topic of Music of the Last 25 Years (Australian Focus) or 3 pieces (2 Additional topic pieces and one Mandatory or 2 Mandatory Topic pieces and one Additional).

 

Music Extension

Music Extensionis a Course undertaken in addition to Course 2 requirements.  The completion of an Extension Performance Major or Elective in Extension requires 3 contrasting pieces to be played, one of which must be an Ensemble piece.  The total performance time will not exceed 20 minutes.

In Summary:

An Extension Student will be required to play six pieces, one at least which must be an ensemble piece.  3 of those pieces will follow the Course 2 guidelines and three will be Extension pieces.

 

Important Points to Remember

  • DO take the time to fully digest the syllabus demands and remember to keep asking if anything is unclear.  Students will not necessarily understand the big picture and some may piece together their performance needs as the course unfolds.  This is not really satisfactory, especially as, at some schools, an assessment using all the required pieces may not happen until very late in the year.  Additionally, sometimes a classroom teacher may be teaching that course for the first time and may not have a complete handle on the requirements themselves, although it is to be hoped that this won’t be the case too frequently!
  • DO work with the classroom teacher.  Always strive to have a positive relationship with them.  Sometimes there are areas of conflict between classroom teacher and studio teachers regarding repertoire choices and these can escalate and become a source of great stress for the student and everyone concerned.  Keep lines of communication open and be prepared to listen to those who are at the coal face.  That said, there may be occasions when a teacher advises a Course of study that you consider inappropriate for your student.  You know their capabilities as a performer so it is essential that you communicate your concerns as soon as possible.
  • Keep abreast of assessment dates, even requesting to be copied into e mails regarding assessments.
  • Make sure the school knows that you are taking your part in the process seriously and that you all share the common goal of satisfactory outcomes for the student.

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When to begin choosing repertoire?

Ideally we should be thinking of HSC repertoire from the beginning of Year 11 so as not to make the mistake of throwing away a great Year 12 piece on a Year 11 assessment.  Your program should be pretty well in place by Term 4 Year 11, and the first performance assessment will take place in this Term.

However, if some pieces are not working you are free to change your choices at any time.  Keep some alternative pieces up your sleeve.  It is a common problem that repertoire can become stale, particularly if the same 3 pieces are concentrated on all year, so depending on the student, consider starting with a number of pieces and narrow down the choices as the exam approaches.

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What sort of pieces should be chosen?

This will depend on the student’s capabilities and the course they are undertaking.  Generally seek pieces that are appropriate to the standard they are at the end of Year 11.  Apart from the rare exception, Year 12 is not the year in which your student will want to be hyper extending themselves.  Pieces played comfortably, which accurately show the student’s strengths will be most appropriate.  More notes does not necessarily mean a better piece, especially if a student is struggling to cover them.

It is a powerful incentive to some Year 11 students to tell them that whatever standard they have reached by the need of Term 3 will determine the standard of repertoire they will present for their HSC!  Try to choose pieces from places other than the AMEB syllabus.  Something that may not have been heard before and something that is accessible and has easy appeal to the audience of examiners. (You may need to be firm with students and parents who think that the HSC will be about dazzling, virtuosic pieces and nothing else.)

Marking criteria for the bands of marks are also on the Board of Studies website if you want more insight into what the markers are looking for.  A variety of character, style and instrumentation is essential.  If you have a particularly capable student, an unaccompanied work will provide an excellent contrast in the program. (Beware of using these works for less natural performers as it take a good deal of musical confidence to make an impression with an unaccompanied piece).  An accompaniment provided by guitar , for example, or a string quartet will often enhance a performance so long as the accompanying musicians are of a high calibre.  A quirky, atmospheric or unusual piece will often grab the attention and be most effective.

Do give some regard to the stamina required to play the program you and your student choose.  An Extension performance exam can be both mentally and physically demanding and you should take time, in preparation, to perform the whole program without stopping many times before the day of the exam.  With this in mind think carefully of the order of the pieces.  Perhaps consider requesting that their sight singing happens in the middle of the program.  Make sensible decisions with careful consideration of your student’s needs and capabilities.

Perhaps one of the main pitfalls in repertoire choice is that of presenting works that are either too difficult or just too boring.  Try to present a program that is instantly engaging and displays the student’s strengths, not their limitations.  Above all choose those pieces which can most easily display the expressiveness of the student’s work.  Choose flute repertoire rather than transcriptions of other instruments works.

Take care that the pieces you choose fit strictly within the topic you have matched them to. Check the dates of compositions when in doubt.

Sources of repertoire are many and varied.  Look at other syllabus material such as Trinity College.  Go to concerts and Masterclasses and hear what others are playing.  Go to the Encore concert at the beginning of the year to hear what the State’s best students have used.  Or listen to them on the Board of Studies Encore site.

Talk to others who are experienced in teaching HSC repertoire.  The Australian Music Centre is a great resource for Australian Works and the staff there always helpful.  CDs such as Eat Chocolate And Cry (recorded under the Fluteworthy label) are a great resource for Australian pieces and a great way to inspire students into hearing the value of great Australian repertoire.  Fluteworthy’s web address is: www.fluteworthy.com.au

Ensemble pieces need to be chosen with a view to highlighting the candidate’s part in a leadership sense.  They should be seen to be directing the ensemble.  When deciding on ensemble repertoire make sure some account is taken of the financial situation of the candidate.  Paying for a string ensemble of quality players for example can be quite a costly operation.

Ensemble combinations might include:

  • 2 flutes and piano
  • Flute and guitar
  • Flute, clarinet and piano
  • Flute, violin and piano
  • Flute, violin and cello
  • Flute and strings
  • Flute quartet

Be creative but be mindful of your student’s role in the group.  It needs to make them look their best.  For this reason never use supporting musicians of lower ability than the candidate.

When you have chosen your repertoire, take care to think through the order in which it should be played in the exam, as this can also have an effect on how the program is received.

What about the student who comes to you late in the piece, e.g. At the beginning of Year 12?  There is little you can do in this situation except to choose repertoire that fits the student’s ability when you first encounter them.  Take time to assess not only their capabilities but also their own assessment of their abilities.  Assess their openness to your teaching, any changes that need to be made to technique may need to be put on hold.  You cannot gamble on the assumption that their playing will change in the few months preparation time you have.  Choose works that they can play comfortably and that will best demonstrate the musicians they are now not the musicians they might possibly be in 4 months time if everything works out well.  Their HSC Year is not a good time to make such a gamble.  There will come a point at which you will have to focus only on those things which can actually make a difference to the exam performance at the last minute such as communication and stage presence.

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Accompanists

If you’re lucky, you will work in a school or your student will attend a school where a good accompanist is readily available and is used regularly.  This is not always the case however, and it may be up to you to find the right person for the job.

Many accompanists are very busy at assessment time so make sure you have established your student working with an accompanist of your choice early in the process.  It may be expensive but it will inevitably make all the difference in the performance.  Be wary of the classroom teacher who says they will accompany their students, make sure you know the quality of their playing before you agree to this arrangement.  If your student is at a school where a few kids are needing accompanists, try clubbing together with the other students and asking an accompanist to play for all of their performances, making it well worth the accompanist’s while to stick with you all.

Finally,  find as many performance opportunities for your students as you can and watch them perform so you can have a clear insight into how they present as well as them having the experience of playing under pressure.  The HSC year goes all too quickly, but, given judicious choice of repertoire and attentive and encouraging teaching, most students should have a positive experience.

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About the Authors

Jocelyn Fazzone

Jocelyn Fazzone has a multi-faceted musical profile. She is a Sydney based flutist, pianist, educator and examiner, and has a passion for being able to combine these different roles in her work. In particular, working as associate artist (pianist) with flute players is one of her most rewarding areas of work.

Jocelyn teaches flute at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Australian International Conservatorium and Wesley Institute, she is Woodwind Advisor and senior examiner with the AMEB NSW, and she is a member of Windfall Sextet. As a teacher, her students have achieved great success in auditions and competitions, and she has been awarded the AMEB NSW shields for achieving the highest exam results for 6 out of the last 9 years.

Jocelyn’s current work includes the creation & publication of resources for flute players and teachers under the Fluteworthy label. This has comprised the teaching reference book “Starting Out”, collection of studies “99 Solos & Studies”, CD “Eat Chocolate & Cry”, with several more projects due for publication imminently.

Jocelyn has worked as orchestral flutist with a number of major orchestras, including the SSO, AOBO, QSO & TSO; she continues to be an active performer of chamber music; she is a frequent guest masterclass presenter for student workshops and teachers’ sessions; she is current vice-president of the NSW Flute Society.

Her early flute studies were under the renowned masters Maxence Larrieu, Bob Willoughby, David Cubbin & Nancy Salas in Sydney, Canberra, Switzerland & the USA.

Kellie Grennan

Kellie commenced music studies at the age of 3 and went on to graduate from the Queensland Conservatorium of Muisc in 1995 with a Bachelor of Music (Honours), studying flute with Gerhardt Mallon and piano with Regis Danillon. Since then, she has undertaken further flute studies with James Kortum and David Leviston and has participated in lessons and master classes with several internationally renowned flautists including John Wion, Peter Lloyd, Alexa Still, Paul Edmund- Davies, William Bennett, Keith Underwood and Elena Duran.

From 2002 until 2008, Kellie was president of the Flute Society of NSW. She currently teaches flute and chamber music at The King’s School in Sydney, and for the University of NSW, in addition to her commitment to a large private teaching practice based in Summer Hill. Her passion for flute pedagogy and chamber music has led to her establishing several award-winning flute choirs and ensembles around Sydney, and she herself performs regularly with a variety of chamber ensembles.

Kellie is the director of Windworks Woodwind Specialists.

 

Jude Huxtable

Jude Huxtable began teaching flute at Abbotsleigh School in 1975. During a long teaching career working at various Sydney schools, as an adjudicator and AMEB examiner, she has amassed a wealth of practical experience in the practice of nurturing young flute players to reach their potential in their music making endeavours.  Along with Jocelyn Fazzone, she has recently co authored a book about teaching flute, which presents the authors’ collective tips and advice on setting novice players off on the right track in their playing journey.

In the course of many years continuing work at Abbotsleigh and in her private studio, Jude has taught countless HSC performance candidates in Course 1, Course 2 and Extension Music.  Her understanding of the Course requirements is bourne not only of years of teaching experience, but also of a close working relationship she has always maintained with the academic staff at the school.

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Questions?

If you have any questions about this article or other HSC performance preparation related questions, please contact us and we will be happy to either answer your questions or put you in contact with the authors as appropriate.

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Gergely Ittzés’ “Flouble”

Flouble (rhymes with ‘double’), is a fantastic new tool for composers and performers working with multiphonics for the flute. Created by the virtuoso Hungarian flutist-composer Gergely Ittzés, Flouble is based on Ittzés’ Chart of Double-Stops, a ‘periodic table’ of two-note multiphonics. The software offers a much wider range of features than the original chart however and Ittzés has made effective use of the electronic format to create an innovative and useful resource.

The Flouble interface is easy to navigate and the most immediately apparent advantage of the electronic format is that the user is spared the tedious cross-referencing and page turning that is unavoidable in printed multiphonic catalogues. From a chromatic scale at the bottom of the screen (see the screen shot below), the user merely selects a lower note with the left mouse button and an upper note with the right, and this brings up a cell that shows the fingering for that multiphonic (in ‘acoustic’ fingering), and other information such as the difficulty level and intonation. In the full version of Floublethe user also has access to a graphic fingering diagram, displayed in the top right corner of the interface, that can be saved as an image file and added to a score. In addition to this, for each of the approximately five hundred double-stops listed, Ittzés has provided audio examples demonstrating how they will sound at different dynamics and at different lengths.

 Floublehas a slightly narrower scope than that of other multiphonic catalogues, such as those found in Thomas Howell’s The Avant-Garde Flutist or Robert Dick’s The Other Flute, in that it only includes two-note multiphonics. Ittzés explains the reasons behind this decision in Flouble’s user guide:

“I tried to find the format which is the easiest to use, which includes the most useful and the least superfluous information, and which is logical and easy to survey…  Since the spectrum of possible chords is infinitely rich, I had to narrow down the choices; thus this chart includes double sounds which can be played on the flute and result from pairing tones of the twelve-tone system at a range of two and a half octaves. So I avoided micro-intervals and multiphonics with more than two notes.”

Ittzés has also restricted the fingerings listed to those that he considers the most ideal for each pair of pitches. While this could be perceived as a limitation in the software, it does make Flouble a more personal multiphonic catalogue as each fingering has been selected by Ittzés based on his own experimentation and experiences as a flutist. Combined with the audio examples, this will help eliminate a lot of guess work for composers, especially those who don’t have access to a tame flutist. Ittzés explains the criteria he used to select between fingerings, in the cases where there were several options, in the user guide.

Another useful feature made possible by the electronic format is the filtering option. This allows users to sort the double-stops by difficulty, dynamic level, intonation, and more. For instance, the filters can be set so that only the easy double-stops playable on a closed-hole flute will be displayed. There are no filtering options for specific intervals though, so these have to be located manually. Fortunately, the logical organisation of the chart makes this fairly straightforward.

Flouble’s user guide is also an amazing resource. Far from being a simple instruction manual, the user guide is more like a treatise on multiphonic flute playing, offering a detailed explanation of what multiphonics are and how they are produced. Ittzés includes technical and practical advice for flutists and composers using the software.

Flouble 1.0 or Flouble Basic?

The most profound difference between the free version, Flouble Basic,and Flouble 1.0 is that Flouble Basic doesn’t include the full set of graphic fingering diagrams or audio files. Fingerings are available for every double-stop but they are written using a less well known ‘acoustic’ fingering notation system developed by István Matuz. While this notation is trickier to read at first, a detailed explanation is included with Flouble Basic and with a bit of work it doesn’t take too long to pick up. Ittzés uses this notation in his own compositions and while one of its benefits is that it takes up a lot less space in a score, it can look a little threatening to flutists who are unfamiliar with it. A comprehensive chart comparing the features of Flouble Basic and Flouble 1.0 can be found on the Flouble website.

The full version also comes with some great bonus material consisting of video interviews/discussions between Ittzés and Jean-Paul Wright, the scores to five different flute compositions by Hungarian composers and a video of Ittzés performing his own composition Mr Dick is Thinking in Terms of a Blues Pattern. The interviews include a fascinating demonstration lesson on reading acoustic notation and producing multiphonics, as well as a video on ‘special sounds’ in which Ittzés discusses some of the extended techniques that aren’t included in the Flouble software. One of the sounds featured is the so called ‘trumpet’ or ‘horn’ embouchure, a technique that is often neglected in other extended technique manuals.

Overall, Flouble works well as a quick and easy reference for finding multiphonics, with the added advantage of allowing the user to hear what the multiphonic will sound like and, if they wish, save the fingering. These features, combined with the user guide and extensive bonus material, make Flouble a great tool and a valuable addition to the literature on extended techniques and contemporary flute playing.

For more information, or to download Flouble, visit www.flouble.com

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Finger technique and fluency in the 3rd register

A great exercise to improve finger fluency and technique in the 3rd register from Niall O’Riordan:

“Take this 5 note scale pattern 3rd 8va (c,d,e,f,g,f,e,d,c) and see what speed you can play it at.

Then see if you can just finger the needed movements for the Left hand. Go slowly until the pattern for the LH feels easy and effortless, the speed is less important to the feeling of ease. Do it a few times in your imagination also. can you make it feel easy in your imagination? Take regular short rest in concentration. Do the same for the RH.

Continually finger the passage and alternate between both hands hands separate try and make it smooth and seamless

Put it back together 2 hands. Easier? Faster? More fluency.

Over time do it for all scale patterns in this register, including chromatics.

This is Scales with a Feldenkrais twist!  Pianists practice hands separate why don’t we!”

View a video tutorial about practicing hands separate here: http://youtu.be/RoNDwjUKfcQ

Visit Niall’s website here

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HOW TO PLAY Greg Pattillo Style

 by Shaun Barlow

(Originally published by The NSW Flute Society Blog in September 2010 and published on Flute Tutor Australia at the request of the NSW Flute Society in February 2014)

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By now, almost every flute player has taken a look at a few of Greg Pattillo’s flute-beatbox YouTube clips – should you fall outside of this category, run immediately to the nearest computer and type that name into google! His arrangements of popular tunes, honed whilst busking on the streets and in the subways of New York City have led to an incredible following. Like many young flute players, I was blown away by Pattillo’s playing. I had to try and work out how to make all those crazy noises!

In August 2009 Angus McPherson and I took a trip to New York City for the 2009 National Flute Association Convention. Before this I’d been messing around with a few simple tunes, trying to get some basic beatbox sounds happening. The idea of contacting Greg Pattillo and asking for a lesson had been mentioned here and there for a while – everyone I spoke to, including my teacher Alexa Still, had expressed an enthusiasm.  So all of a sudden, sitting in the hotel room on West 51st, I took a look at Pattillo’s website, sent an email asking if he might have time to meet up whilst we were in town, et voilà – he replied! Gus and I had a lesson!

The lesson kicked off with Greg asking for a show of where each of us were at with beatbox-flute. My first attempt at a beatbox arrangement was upon the theme from Paganini’s Caprice No. 24 in A minor. Pattillo guided us through some of the basic beatbox sounds – /b/ kick or bass drum, /p/ snare, /k/ handclap or rim shot and /t/ hi-hat cymbal. We spent time refining each sound, plenty of spit flying, repeating /b/, /b/, /b/… against the metronome ticking at 60bpm, Greg encouraging and describing what needed to be tweaked to get the sounds sounding super.

We covered a bunch of techniques – inhaled /k/ and /p/, adding /s/, /f/ and /sh/ to the drum sounds, how to string sounds together into grooves and some pretty hip ways of vamping and arranging tunes.

 

Greg Patillo“We finished the two hour

session jamming on the Paganini theme

and a Piazzolla tune”

 

Needless to say, the rest of our stay in NYC was punctuated by beatbox practice whilst walking the streets and plenty of jamming back in the hotel room.

Back in Sydney, with little to do and little income over the summer break, the idea of taking Pattillo’s lead and heading out busking was way more favourable than waiting tables. I began pairing up with other musicians mainly playing jazz standards and improvising our own grooves. People reacted enthusia-stically to the music, often stopping to chat, or to sing along in the case of one homeless guy. The music was great but of course, the cash was pretty thin…

So, how do you get this beatbox thing happening for yourself? Easy!

1.  Go and grab your Moyse “Tone Development Through Interpretation” or any old beginner method. Pick out a simple tune, something consisting mostly of crotchets like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” – this works perfectly.

2.  Take a pencil and write a “b” under the first note in each bar and a “k” under each note that falls on the third beat.

3. Taking everything at a really, really slow tempo, play the tune on the flute, but replace each of the/b/ and /k/ notes with a really strong /b/ as in “boots” and an exaggerated /k/ as in “cats.” Sure, it might be tricky at first, but that’s nothing a bit of slow practice can’t fix.

So you’re thinking, “But my /b/ doesn’t sound like Pattillo’s. How do you get it to sound like a real bass drum?”

Like regular flute playing, beatboxing takes practice and instruction. Luckily, there’s a tonne of instructional material available for free on the internet. The “HumanBeatbox.com” website has a fantastic section called “Learn”, containing written tutorials and videos on almost every imaginable method of spitting and clicking like a drum machine. For a great step-by-step introduction to beatboxing aimed at the complete beginner, type “www.humanbeatbox.com/lessons” into your web browser.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, flute-beatboxing is an open door. There are a couple of really great performers putting their own spin on things. Greg Pattillo, alongside his prolific collection of YouTube videos, has released three albums with his group “Project Trio” (I got my copies from www.cdbaby.com).

Dirko Juchem, a German jazz musician, has produced an album of his solo beatbox-flute performances, it comes with an instructional booklet containing a great deal of info on how he makes it all happen. There’s even a few songsheets in there. For more info, see: www.myspace.com/flutelounge

A few other noteworthy players to check out on YouTube are Nathan “Flutebox” Lee and Tim Barsky. Watching some of the thousands of videos on YouTube of beatbox performances quickly broadens one’s conception of what might be possible on flute.

Guys like Rahzel and Roxorloops provide some pretty amazing examples of how to pack a lot of sounds into a bar, appearing to barely ever stop for breath!

Many beatbox websites feature free tutorial and “how to” articles. These provide a great way of expanding one’s vocabulary of beatbox sounds.  Some lend themselves really well to flute whilst others may not immediately appear to work at all. There’s always something to be learnt whilst undergoing a new bit of vocal gymnastics, though. For example, try the “click roll” technique described at humanbeatbox.com (typing “Click roll” into the search box on the humanbeatbox.com homepage should lead you there pretty swiftly). Whilst it doesn’t resonate as well as a good, loud /k/, if you cover the tone hole with your lips and perform a click roll into the flute there’s some interesting possibilities for resembling a creaky door or some weird creature from Jurassic Park.

It’s early days for beatbox-flute yet. Give it a go and see what crazy new sound you’ve got up your sleeve!

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About the author

Shaun BarlowShaun Barlow is a professional flute player based in Sydney. He specialises in contemporary music, flute beatboxing, collaborating with composers and exploring the vast cacophony of sounds available to the flute player. Shaun is studying with Dr Alexa Still at the Sydney Conservatorium, completing a Masters of Music (Performance). His current research is a study of the development, notation and practice of flute beatboxing.

For upcoming concerts, workshops and free music downloads, check out:

www.shaunbarlow.com

 

All articles and reviews published on this website are representative of the opinions of the author/s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FTA or it’s affiliates
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