THE ORCHESTRA: A USER'S MANUAL

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Introduction Orchestration Orchestration Resources Historical Andrew Hugill
  Philharmonia

FLUTES


Section: Woodwind
Transposing? Picc, Alto and Bass: Yes
C Flute: No

Construction
Range
Articulations
Effects
Extended
Player's Tips and Tricks

Links

Effects

NAME
DESCRIPTION
NOTATION
LISTEN/VIEW
COMMENTS
vibrato
undulation in pitch
verbal instruction, sometimes with wavy line

vibrato on the flute
vibrato on the piccolo

vibrato as a special effect

Vibrato is integral to flute technique, but can also be specifically notated as a special effect.
glissando
slide in pitch between notes

 

Very limited on all flutes. The total absence of key holes on the piccolo, and the limited key holes on the flute, mean that lipping is the usual way to alter pitch. A glissando over a perfect fifth would be executed as a very fast chromatic scale.
harmonic
produced by fingering a fundamental low note, then using keys or embouchure to produce partials.
o - over the notehead.
harmonics on the flute
harmonics on the piccolo
tuning harmonics
Harmonics begin on sounding G5 (written C5) on the flute and sounding A6 (written D5) on the piccolo. Anything below these pitches is a normal note on the instrument.

tremolo
or
"shake"

a trill between two notes more than a tone apart.

(N.B. This shake lasts two beats)

shakes
elastic band-assisted shakes!

tremolos

Low down on the flute, tremolos do not work so well because of the large number of keys to depress. This is especially true of shakes on a bottom C. However, a rubber band can be applied to the C-key to make these possible, as is demonstrated in the video clip.
trills
rapid alternation between two pitches

this shows a minor trill followed by a major trill, indicated by accidentals over the note. If these are not given, players will choose trill type based on musical context. The wavy lines indicating duration of trill are also optional.

trills
timbral trills

Low C to C# trills are so difficult as to be impossible. Timbral trills are trills on a single note, using different fingerings. These are only possible above the point at which harmonics are used (i.e. sounding G5 (written C5) on the flute and sounding A6 (written D5) on the piccolo