Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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FOREWORD

William Bennett

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pp. ix-x

I am very pleased to introduce this book written by Roderick Seed, whom I had the pleasure of teaching at the Royal Academy of Music in London and in my International Flute Summer School.

The exercises that Roderick has compiled and explained are inspired from my own studies with teachers such as Geoffrey Gilbert and Marcel Moyse and years of self-discovery. One of the most important lessons from Marcel Moyse was finding a reaction in the tone and how this could make the flute as expressive as other dignified...

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. xi-xiv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-2

William Bennett (“Wibb”), OBE, is one of the most inspirational figures in flute playing today, having taught and performed all over the world at the highest level for over fifty years. His past students can be seen in the world’s most prestigious orchestras and performing as soloists in their own right.

One cannot help but be moved by William Bennett’s musicianship and beautiful, colorful sound. Flute players who have studied with him share many common ideals of intonation, phrasing, and sound while retaining their own self-expression so that each student sounds different—a truly remarkable testament to Bennett’s unique...

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1. Finding a Sound

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pp. 3-5

Flutes are often known for being easy instruments to start on. Many people can find a sound of some sort by simply blowing across the embouchure hole, much like blowing across an empty water bottle. But how does it work?

A sound is made when air is blown across the mouth hole. There is then a fluctuation of the airstream above and below the outer edge. Some air goes below the outer edge and travels into the bore of the flute, setting up a series of oscillations down the instrument, which then leads to a sound being created....

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2. Harmonics in Tune Tone

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pp. 6-12

Once you have found a sound, the next step is to develop it so that it can be resonant and vibrant.

To get a large, full sound, we do not actually need to use a lot of air. This is a common misconception. When the harmonics are in tune, the sound will ring and project to the back of any concert hall, even in a soft dynamic. Many people blow too hard in order to get a big sound, but this is not an efficient way of producing a full enveloping sound....

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3. Reaction in the Sound

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pp. 13-21

William Bennett’s lessons with the legendary Marcel Moyse influenced his playing and teaching considerably. To paraphrase the quote above: when we do something inside our bodies, the flute reacts, just as when a singer sings “ha-ha-haha” or when a piano key’s hammer hits a string. There is an initial attack, followed by a decay. It could be illustrated like this:

This can be simplified to the shape in figure 3.2. Notice how the beginning of the note is not square, but rounded. If you sing any note with the word “hah,” you will notice that the air moves over the vocal chords just before the note speaks. This...

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4. Attacks, Articulation, and Repeated Notes

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pp. 22-29

In chapter 1, we learned a little about how to do a “soft attack”—by starting from nothing, blowing above the flute, and gradually lowering the airstream to gently let the note speak (without using the tongue). This is very useful for starting a soft melody, in the same way a singer would start an aria with a vowel, rather than a consonant (“Ave Maria,” for example, shouldn’t be “Tave Maria”!). Practice the messa di voce exercise (ex. 1.2) for soft attack....

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5. Prosody: “Elephants and Taxis”

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pp. 30-35

In linguistics, prosody is the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech.

Music written to words and poetry dates back to the Middle Ages (secular music of the troubadours and Gregorian chants set to religious texts), and composers used the natural rhythm, stress, and intonation of words in writing melodies. In terms of stress, composers can use different types of accents to reinforce the natural stress patterns of the text.

Different types of accents include:...

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6. Harmonics Exercises

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pp. 36-46

We will now use harmonics to practice the technique of stress and release in more detail.

Always keep in mind the following shape:

For the first note (forte), blow and cover, then gradually uncover. Lower lip back —> lower lip forward. It doesn’t matter what register you are in, you still need to use the cover/uncover technique. Going from a higher note to a lower one, where there is a diminuendo, one still needs to lift the airstream. It is often tempting to cover...

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7. Shakuhachi Exercise for Embouchure Control

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pp. 47-48

This is an exercise that I learned in the William Bennett Flute Summer School when I was younger. It can take a while to master, but it is well worth it. By trying to find a sound using just the body of the flute, we can practice finding a good tone without undue pressure. The focus of this exercise is to find a good angle for blowing the air so that it is directed to the area that gives the greatest resonance.

Start by blowing forward and bring the body of the flute (not the headjoint!) vertically toward you. Feel the edge under your lower lip and experiment with the angle...

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8. Intonation Exercises

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pp. 49-59

We have looked at how to change the pitch and how to adjust when we are flat and sharp, but we have not yet looked at intervals. A good exercise for practicing intervals actually comes from the opening bars of the Introduction to Schubert’s Introduction and Variations on “Trockne Blumen” (ex. 8.2 below). This opening is very exposed and can often sound flat even after tuning with the piano. Why?

Equal Temperament

Keyboard instruments are tuned using equal temperament, a compromised tuning system, so that we can play with uniform intonation in any key. The system made all...

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9. Flexibility Exercises

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pp. 60-62

The above exercise is based upon Godard’s Allegretto. Its skeleton is a dominant 7th, with a sequential pattern of one note followed by another a semitone lower, then another a whole tone higher, finally returning to the original note. It is important to make especially sure that the higher note is softer than the first note, that is, don’t blow more for the higher note. Instead, lift the airstream (uncover) to ensure it is not flat.

Practice in all dynamics....

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10. Other Exercises: Whistle Tones and Vocalizes

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pp. 63-69

Here is a vocalize called “Rigamazaar” (a made-up word) that Wibb uses to practice finding a brilliant, vibrant sound. Phrase towards each “zaar” and make sure those notes have a good, ringing sound. Each “Ri-ga-ma” act as a preparation to “zaar” and should be quick, except for the last one, where you should find a hollower color (known as détimbré) and which should be played more slowly than the preceding timbré figures. Sing it first then practice in all keys....

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11. Approaching Melodies

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pp. 70-72

In addition to preparing: an etude by Andersen, for example, a study or two from the Moyse 24 Studies, Taffanel & Gaubert scales, and repertoire, I would also bring a melody (usually from Tone Development through Interpretation by Moyse) to my lessons with Wibb. Here is an example of a melody we studied:

This beautiful melody is great for practicing all the topics discussed in this book and is useful as a good summary. Here are a few points...

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 73-74

INDEX

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pp. 75-76

About the Authors

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p. 77