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Ardal Powell, The Flute
(Yale Musical Instrument Series, 2002)

For far too long, the story of the flute has been told as a dreary parade of mechanical developments that transformed the crude instruments of a benighted past into the advanced technical marvel of today.

In fact, the story is much more interesting than that. Now that we know more about how earlier music was conceived and performed, we can see that changes in the instrument, in music, and in performance technique have been interrelated all along.

Mechanical development takes its rightful place in this new history, notably for the early 19th century when it became the focus of particular attention. But the story's main outlines highlight matters that still play a part in how the flute and flute-playing are changing today: shifting musical styles and performance situations, commercial and economic concerns, education, personalities, and politics.

Once the dusty pastime of antiquarians, the history of the flute and flute-playing now holds vital importance in today's cultural life. As one reviewer put it, "No flute player can afford to be without this book".


The Flute has been awarded the American Musical Instrument Society's Nicolas Bessaraboff Prize for 2005.

A conventional bibliography in alphabetical order is now available.

Order the book and companion CD on any of the following pages.

Publisher's Blurb

Extract from the Preface

Table of contents

Sample chapter



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