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Infinity: Circular Breathing for Flute

£32.99
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  • Staff Pick

Staff Pick

“Comprehensive!”

Chris Hankin Just Flutes staff member - [email protected]
This pair of books is a comprehensive and in-depth guide to the art of circular breathing. The Course book covers the technique with exercises that are illustrated to make the tasks easier to understand. The progression starts from using a glass of water and a straw, moves on to the head joint before adding the body of the flute and playing some music. The last section covers the material that is used in the companion volume. This is also progressive and uses an interesting mix of exercises, studies and contemporary pieces to increase confidence. Whether or not you want to master circular breathing there is no doubt that practising it is both useful and fun. This is a great book to help you on your way.

Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society

This review first appeared in Pan, the journal of the British Flute Society and is reproduced with permission. Join the BFS: membership starts from £20 a year.

This beautifully-presented publication in two volumes—a course book and a book of etudes, exercises and works—is designed to teach the process of learning circular breathing from beginner to proficiency. Written by Polish flute player Natalia Jarząbek with the support of her teacher Barbara Świątek-Żelazna, this is a comprehensive step-by-step manual which is clearly explained throughout. The process of learning circular breathing may seem daunting, and can take patience and time to master, but in the course book, each of the stages is broken down into small, manageable steps which can be practised individually. Each step is clearly explained, so that students can gain a detailed understanding of what is required physically, as well as how each step fits into the whole process contextually. Beginning away from the flute, the method first teaches the physical processes involved, before moving into tone production and then producing a polished  circular breathing technique. Jarząbek’s approach differs a little from Robert Dick’s (specifically in terms of how to move the air from the mouth while breathing in through the nose) and different players may find one approach suits them better than the other, so I would recommend exploring both. 

In addition to the method of learning the technique, Chapter 1 provides a useful history of circular breathing to provide a sense of context, and Chapter 6 gives an overview of how the technique can be applied to a range of repertoire from the baroque to the present day, including transcriptions and orchestral repertoire.

The exercises, etudes and works presented in the second volume are discussed in a commentary in Chapter 7, clearly describing the purpose and method of  approach for each one. These begin relatively simply, with trills and then moving
semiquavers of increasing difficulty and non-vibrato notes, to provide experience of circular breathing within a musical context (following on from the completion of the method outlined in the course book). The remainder of the book is made up of transcriptions (including Pasculli’s Le Api and Chopin’s Étude Op. 10 No. 2) and a wonderful selection of new compositions, including some by Jarząbek herself, which provide excellent opportunities to put new skills into practice. Many of these feature fast-moving repeated patterns and dazzling virtuosic displays, while Paweł Siek’s 2020 work, 385 x 40 Mpx makes full use of the flute’s capability for a wide range of timbres.

This is an excellent set of books and a welcome addition to the available literature on this topic. Highly recommended.

Carla Rees

From the Publisher

Circular breathing is a technique used while playing wind instruments that allows players to sustain the sound for a long time. It requires drawing air quickly in through the nose whilst simultaneously pushing the air collected in your mouth into the instrument.

The newly published book Infinity. Circular breathing presents the history of the technique, methods of circulating while playing the flute, and a collection of examples from music literature. It also describes various contexts of permanent breath, and advantages that result from working on the development of that skill. The course book with instructions comes in a set with an exclusive collection of exercises, études, and a choice of various pieces composed especially for the Infinity project by an international bevy of composers. The exercises marked with a camera icon have been recorded and made available to help you see the proper way of completing them.

A characteristic feature of the method described is the fact that it does not require the flutist to change embouchure while circular breathing. The presented positioning of the tongue, throat, lips, and cheeks is adapted to the player’s individual embouchure. The starting point for working on the material that this book comprises is the correct drawing of breath, and correct functioning of all the elements necessary for proper production of sound.

Finalist: NFA Newly Published Music Awards 2021

Difficulty guide: 7-9
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).

Contents

Course Book:

  1. History of the circular breathing technique
  2. Circular breathing technique: introduction
  3. Circualar breathing for flutists
  4. Exercises using the Phuemo Pro and the headjoint
  5. Exercises with the body of the flute
  6. The use of circular breathing in flute literature
  7. Descriptions of exercises, etudes and works

Exercises, Etudes and Works:

  1. Performance indications
  2. Exercises
  3. Vocalise
  4. Fish in an Aquarium
  5. La Musica delle forme
  6. Pi
  7. Windspire
  8. Blues for N
  9. Etude Op10 No2
  10. Le Api
  11. 385 x 40 Mpx. Luca Marenzio but w i d e, filtrered and reversed
  12. Floating Landscapes
  13. Flute Diving

Item Details

Instrumentation

  • Part 1: Flute
Category: Flute Extended Technique Books
Publisher: Jarmula Music
Our Stock Code: 1488494
Media Type: Paperback

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