Monday, October 06, 2003

Today I discovered a very cool website maintained by Robert Gatliff called Flute Tree. The thing that I especially like about this website is it includes a collection of songs written with a unique and intuitive tablature that Robert calls "Piano Roll Notation". This uses flute 'pictographs" along with a piano rolls style music staff to indicate relative duration of the notes. I think that it is a nice compromise for non-classically trained individuals to learn music. In addition Robert outlines the basic scale and fingerings of a variety of flutemakers such as Ken Light, Butch Hall, Michael Gulino and Tom Stellar. All of these guys are excellent flutemakers, however they are notorious for creating flutes with (what I'll call) non-standard fingering as they manage the physics of producing flutes with extended scales. As a flute teacher I find that it is difficult to recommend non-standard fingerings for flutes for beginning students, however these flutes are an good choice for flutes to add later to your collection. On the site, Robert addresses this same discussion and catgorizes the flutemakers into the traditional, the modern and the easy. I guess that I would charaterize my teaching style for new players as falling into the "easy" to play catagory. Regardless, one of the things that makes this wonderful instrument unique is the fact that every flutemaker can express their creativity in their own way.

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