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Interpretation: How to Shape a Melodic Line

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  • Staff Pick

Staff Pick

“Handbook on Interpretation”

Chris Hankin Just Flutes staff member - [email protected]

This is really a handbook on Interpretation in which Peter-Lucas Graf uses analysis, examples and simple exercises to illustrate his theories. All basic musical elements are covered, including melody, phrasing, rhythm, dynamics, and tempo, and the text is peppered with 'Rules' and 'Tips'. In the chapter on tempo for example:

  • Rule - Concentrate first and foremost on the character of the music. Heed all the composer's relative tempo markings exactly. On the other hand, don't follow absolute indications (metronome marks) slavishly - treat them more as 'approximate values'.
  • Tip - Look for the fastest and slowest parts of the piece. the former yields information on the quickest possible tempo and the latter on the slowest possible tempo. The 'correct' tempo will lie somewhere in between these extremes: both parts must make musical sense when played at the chosen tempo.

You might be forgiven for thinking that this is simply good common sense, but it is somehow comforting to see it all written down. This is especially so when the book has been thoroughly researched and organised, and has such convincing musical illustrations. Yes it is pricey but there is no doubting the quality of the content.

From the Publisher

Musical interpretation is first and foremost a question of shaping a melody or the melodic line of a setting. Music, like any language, follows its own set of rules and a sufficient knowledge and familiarity with musical ‘grammar’ is therefore an essential prerequisite of any convincing interpretation. The internationally renowned performer and teacher Peter-Lukas Graf explains in great detail the parameters that have to be taken into account for a successful interpretation: rhythm, metre, agogics, articulation, phrasing, ornamentation and implied polyphony, etc. Numerous examples from the flute repertoire of the 17th–20th century serve as models from which he derives the ‘rules’ appropriate for an interpretation in keeping with each period. – These rules are not intended to be dogmatic but instead should stimulate the players to form their own opinion.

Item Details


  • Part 1: Flute
Category: Flute Technique Manuals
Publisher: Schott
Publisher's reference: ED 9235
Our Stock Code: 997089
Media Type: Paperback (128 pages [score])

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