“An interesting idea!”
The title of this book may be slightly presumptious but there is no doubt that Kathryn Blocki has put in a great deal of work to compile exercises that make you think. Some of the material, particularly the sections on harmonics, pitch bending and dynamic changes, is not new, but it's always good to have more exercises to supplement tried and tested material. Using difference tones as a way of teaching tuning is rarer though and there is an emphasis on singing and playing as a way of encouraging this. The exercises here are comprehensive and clearly have benefits outside the remit of the book. The section on Frequency and Hertz is baffling and fascinating in equal measure, and the application of all these techniques into practising the big solo from Daphnis is accompanied by a very technical analysis of the harmony. This is designed to help with an understanding of how you might choose the flute overtones on any one note.
Not everyone will approve but you can't say it isn't interesting!
From the Publisher
The book begins with flexibility exercises. Playing in tune begins with having the ability to easily bend pitches. Planning to Play in Tune offers a variety of exercises that will not only develop this flexibility, but also greatly improve core tone quality. The “Full Spectrum Tone” exercises use the concepts of polyphonic singing and apply them to flute.
The Just tuning system is explained in the second section of the book. Learning to hear difference tones is a key element of playing with excellent intonation in an ensemble. It begins with exercises that help to zero in on these quiet tones and progress to using the difference tone as a reference for being in tune.
A variety of methods of training ensembles is given in the third section. I use these faithfully for warming up flute ensembles and find them to be highly effective.
Of course, one the most difficult aspects of playing in tune involves the use of dynamics. An entire section of the book is dedicated to progressively mastering the art of playing in tune when tackling extreme dynamics changes.
The final section applies all the concepts to the famous flute solo in Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé. The harmony is discussed so that flutists are well-informed of how to listen and adjust pitch while playing with the orchestra.
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).
- Developing Fexibility
- Pitch Bend Gymnastics
- Flexibility through Harmonics
- Full Spectrum Tone
- Just Tuning
- Just Tuning
- Learning to Hear Difference Tones
- Mirror Difference Tones
- Major Minor Difference Tones
- Difference Tone Blues
- Tuning with Difference Tones
- Tuning Exercises for Individuals and Ensembles
- Playing with Dynamic Changes
- Tuning challenges in Flute Literature
- Minuet from L'Arlesienne Suite No 2
- Mozart Concerto in G major
- Helpful Fingerings for Tuning