The Art of Playing the Flute - Volume II: Embouchure

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Roger Mather’s The Art of Playing the Flute is a series of three workbooks intended to cover all aspects of - what else? - the art of playing the flute. Each volume includes experiments in playing techniques to increase your control and your understanding of the flute, as well as exercises for developing said techniques into consistent habits.

These workbooks describe playing techniques in great detail, breaking down individual concepts (such as inhaling or raising pitch) into constituent physical and mental processes. This allows a deep understanding of why and how different techniques affect your playing, thus allowing greater control over every aspect of sound and technique.

Volume II: Embouchure is a comprehensive text on sound construction. Chapters include:

  • I: Problems in Developing Your Embouchure
    • Intuition is Unreliable
    • Contradictions among Teachings
    • What Tone Color Should You Aim For?
    • The Mouth Is Not Innately Suited to the Flute
    • Embouchure Details and Their Individuality
  • II: What You Need to Know About How the Flute Works
    • Sound Waves
    • Sound Waves in the Flute
    • Overtones and Fingerings
    • The Air Reed
    • Air Flow Resistance
    • Loudness
    • Using Air Efficiently
    • Noise in the Flute Sound
  • III: Introduction to Tone Color
    • Tone Colors of the Vowel Series
    • Varying the Tone Color of Your Radio
    • Effect on Tone Color of Rolling In and Out
  • IV: Developing Your Basic Embouchure
    • Finding the Best Place to Make Your Lip Opening
    • Positioning the Flute
    • Finding the Lowest Practical Position
    • Confirming the Length of the Air Reed
    • Placing the Flute into Position Quickly
    • Minimizing Pressure of the Embouchure Plate
    • Directing the Air Reed Downward
    • Pucking versus Smiling
    • Advancing, Raising, and Lowering Your Jaw
    • Finding the Best Air Pressure
  • V: Changing Pitches
    • The First (Bottom) Octave
    • The Second (Middle) Octave
    • The Third (Top) Octave
    • The Fourth (Altissimo) Octave
    • Tongued Intervals
    • Rising and Falling Slurred Intervals
    • Increasing Slur Accuracy
    • Shading the Pitch
  • VI: Varying Your Loudness
    • Diminuendo and Crescendo without Embouchure Changes
    • Maintaining Intensity and Practice
    • Distortion in Playing Loudly
  • VII: Varying Your Tone Color
    • The Principle Colors
    • The Round Tone Color
    • Special Tone Colors
    • Techniques for Varying Color
    • Recommended Flute Specifications
    • Developing Your Ability to Color
  • VIII: Further Desirable Qualities for Your Sound
    • The Transparent Sound
    • The Floating Sound
    • Excitement in Your Sound
    • Depth of Tone
    • Flexibility
    • The Personal Sound
    • Solidity
    • Authority in Your Playing
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