The Art of Playing the Flute - Volume I: Breath Control

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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 I: Breath Control is a comprehensive text on breath and airstream. Chapters include:

  • I: Getting Acquainted with Your Breathing Apparatus
    • Expanding Your Rib Cage
    • Using Your Lungs as a Resonator
    • Your Abdominal Wall
    • Contrary Breathing
    • Controlling Your Diaphragm
  • II: Understanding Air Flow, Pressure, and Speed
  • III: Goals for Breath Control
    • Ample Breath Supply
    • Rapid Inhaling
    • Steady Breath Supply
    • Strength of Sound
    • Tone Color
    • Purity of Sound
    • Consistent Results
  • IV: Common Instructions on Breath Control
  • V: Overview of the Recommended Method of Breath Control
  • VI: The Basic Method of Breath Control
    • Posture
    • Inhaling
    • Playing the First Notes
    • Tonguing
    • Reserve Air
    • Increasing Resonance
    • Keeping your Throat Open
    • Vibrato
  • VII: Varying Your Breath Control
    • Changing Pitches
    • Changing Loudness
    • Changing Tone Color
    • Shading Pitch
  • VIII: Breath Control and Articulation
    • Varying Note Beginnings
    • Varying Note Ends and Connections
    • Slurred Notes
    • Semi-Legato Tonguing
    • Larger Spaces between the Notes
    • Abrupt Note Endings
  • IX: Breathing for Very Long Passages
    • Unusually Large Breaths
    • Inhaling through Your Nose Only
    • Circular Breathing
  • X: Developing Your Breath Control
  • XI: Making New Techniques Into Reliable Habits
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