The Flute

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Yale University Press, 2002 - Music - 347 pages
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This book tells the story of the flute in the musical life of Europe and North America from the twelfth century to the present day. It is the first history to illustrate the relationship that has bound the instrument, its music, and performance technique together through eight centuries of shifting musical tastes and practices.

In a comprehensive and authoritative account of the flute’s development, Ardal Powell takes full account of recent research: on military flutes and fifes of the fifteenth century, the renaissance consort flute, baroque and classical instruments, mechanically advanced nineteenth-century designs by Theobald Boehm and others, and further innovations that led to the modern flute.

All these transformations are related to revolutions in playing style and repertoire, in the lives of flute players and makers, and in the uses of the instrument to play military, religious, consort, solo, chamber, opera, symphony, jazz, popular, and flute band music. For the first time the role of amateur flutists receives due consideration alongside the influence of famous players and teachers. The ultimate guide to the heritage of the flute, this volume will delight both those who play the flute and those who love its music.

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The flute

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With these two volumes, the publisher launches its promising "Musical Instrument" series, in which noted scholars/ performers discuss instruments in light of the newest research. Forthcoming titles ... Read full review

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Utterly fascinating book! So much detail, yet easy to read and doesn't just focus on the construction of the instrument as other books do. It involves the people who played these instruments and makes the history come alive


Shepherds monks and soldiers
The flute at war and at home
the seventeenth century
the baroque flutes golden age
Quantz and the operatic style
The Classical flute 707
Travelling virtuosi concert showpieces and a new mass audience 727
Nineteenthcentury eclecticism
The French Flute School
The flute in the age of recording
The flute in the early music revival
The postmodern age
References and notes

Flute mania
The Boehm flute

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About the author (2002)

Ardal Powell is president of Folkers & Powell, Makers of Historical Flutes, Hudson, NY, and a distinguished performer. He has written numerous books and articles on flutes and flute playing of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

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