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Book of the Month

Irish Music on the Silver Flute

Irish Music on the Silver Flute

— Philippe Barnes

Irish Music on the Silver Flute is a perfect choice for classical flautists who are interested in learning to authentically play Irish Folk music. The book provides an excellent way to gain an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of the genre, and how these can be conveyed in practice.

Barnes explains the various techniques and ornaments extremely clearly, with a concise writing style that allows each concept to be as straight-forward as possible to grasp. He references comparable classical terminology so that the player can get a sense of the initial effect, before describing how the two styles of ornament differ and why this important e.g. classical vibrato vs. feathering/finger vibrato. The contrast between rhythmic and melodic ornamentation is emphasized as a key element of creating a fitting sound. Barnes also highlights the timbral differences between the simple-system flute and silver flute, suggesting how the character of the former (including its strengths and weaknesses) can be used to inspire the colours created when playing on a silver flute.

An array of wonderful tunes are used to illustrate each type of ornament. There are classics such as ‘The Connemara Jig’ as well as many of Barnes’ originals. A particular highlight is the funky reel ‘Up’, which provides a fantastic introduction to ‘the hard D’.

While I have praised the accessibility of the book, this is not to say that it doesn’t provide numerous challenges for the flautist. A significant amount of perseverance will be required to master each technique, while the provided tunes are brimming with style and spirit to be brought out by the player. A rewarding learning process!

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Flute of the Month

Burkart Legacy Grenadilla Piccolo, Wave Lip

Burkart Legacy Grenadilla Piccolo, Wave Lip

The Lillian Burkart 'Legacy' is the newest addition to Burkart's range of piccolos. Handmade in the USA, this stunning piccolo features Burkart's newly introduced and updated scale which results in their most accurate intonation to date. As with their other models, the 'Legacy' piccolo has three headjoint choices available.

Headjoint Options

Burkart (standard)

The rectangular shape of this embouchure is slightly overcut at the sides of the embouchour hole for an open, "flute-like" sound that blends well in ensembles. Our most flexible headjoint style, you can push it to the extremes of fortissimo high notes without it being shrill, and it can produce a colourful, sustained diminuendo.


The headjoint profile is carved with a slightly higher front wall (the blowing edge) and lower back wall against which the chin rests. It produces a very rich, clean, projecting tone, with easy control of dynamics. The low register is very focused, enabling good projection and articulation.


This relatively small embouchure hole, with modest rounding of the edges, is reminiscent of early French and German piccolos. The tone it produces is very focused and sweet. For players using a small aperture when playing, it will have the most stable, clear tone of the various headjoint styles.

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Flute Essentials

TGI TGIED2 In-Ear Ear Defenders

TGI TGIED2 In-Ear Ear Defenders

As musicians, it is vital that we protect our hearing, especially when exposed to the high frequencies of the flute and piccolo. These silicone ear plugs reduce the sound volume without distorting it, and include a handy keyring carry tube

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Great books for Mother’s Day

Make her day by playing her one of these wonderful pieces!

New Music Update - March

New this month for flute. Subscribe to our newsletter to get new music ideas delivered to your inbox every month!

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