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On Playing the Flute (Second Edition)

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  • Staff Pick

Staff Pick

“Deserves a place on your shelf”

Chris Hankin Just Flutes staff member - [email protected]

Every flute player interested in the Baroque period should have a copy of this book, which is a wonderful snapshot of musical performance techniques in the early 18th century.

Starting with a history of the transverse flute and how to play it, breathing and tonguing are also covered, practice technique is set out and stylistic issues tackled. The descriptions are detailed and absolute - Quantz has very strong views! The language is very much of its time, so it's not an easy read, but this book is fascinating nonetheless.

From the Publisher

Johann Joachim Quantz's On Playing the Flute has long been recognized as one of the primary sources of information about eighteenth-century performance practice. In spite of its title, it is not simply a tutor for the flute, but a fully-fledged programme for training musicians of all types, with detailed information on intonation, ornamentation, dynamics, the 'duties' of the various accompanying performers, including the leader of the orchestra, and the principal forms and styles (French, Italian and German) of the time. Although Quantz is most often identified as the teacher of Frederick the Great, his musical roots were in Dresden, the most brilliant musical establishment in Germany; and his travels and studies in Italy, France and England gave him direct experience of most phases of European musical life in the 1720s and 30s.

This reissue of the second edition provides a wonderfully complete and detailed picture of musical taste and performance practice in the 18th century, and includes a new introduction by Professor Reilly, drawing attention to recent research on Quantz. Whether you want to learn to play the flute and be taught by the teacher of Frederick the Great, or just to gain a first-hand insight into the history of classical music, On Playing the Fluteis an essential and entertaining read.


Chapters contain:

  1.  Short History and Description of the Transverse Flute
  2. Of Holding the Flute, and Placing the Fingers
  3. Of the Fingering or Application, and the Gamut or Scale of the Flute
  4. Of the Embouchure
  5. Of Notes, their Values, Metre, Rests, and Other Musical Signs
  6. Of the Use of the Tongue in Blowing upon the Flute
  7. Of Taking Breath, in the Practice of the Flute
  8. Of the Appoggiaturas, and the Little Essential Graces Related to Them
  9. Of Shakes
  10. What a Beginner Must Observe in His Independent Practice
  11. Of Good Execution in General Singing and Playing
  12. Of the Manner of Playing the Allegro
  13. Of Extempore Variations on Simple Intervals
  14. Of the Manner of Playing the Adagio
  15. Of Cadenzas
  16. What a Flautist Must Observe if he Plays in Public Concerts
  17. Of the Duties of Those Who Accompany or Execute the Accompanying or Ripieno Parts Associated with a Concertante Part
  18. How a Musician and a Musical Composition Are to Be Judged

Item Details

Category: Flute Technique Manuals
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publisher's reference: 0571207804
Our Stock Code: 1100563
Media Type: Paperback

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