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Method for the One-Keyed Flute: Baroque and Classical.

By Janice Dockendorff Boland. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. [xiii, 228 p. ISBN 0-520-21447-1. $24.95 (pbk.).]

Modern tutors for the eighteenthcentury flute are rare. Janice Dockendorff Boland's method is intended for the player already familiar with the modern instrument and its technical rudiments. She begins with an introduction to the one-keyed flute that provides some information on its development, construction, and care. Chapter 2 ("Learning to Play") combines instruction in the peculiarities of tone production - for example, the variations in tone color between the strong, directly fingered notes and weak cross-fingered ones - with a rather brief survey of details of baroque performance style. The latter includes the interaction of articulation with the metrical organization of the music into strong and weak beats (called "good" and "bad" notes). Volumes have been written on this subject, and rather than treat it extensively, Boland refers the reader to an appendix that provides a chronological guide to thirteen eighteenth-century sources, from Jacques Hotteterre in 1707 to John Gunn in the 1790s. After a chapter on fingering, Boland presents seventy pages of practice material, both solo and duet, limited to the four keys that are the least challenging for the instrument: G major, D major, A major, and E minor; this material is drawn, by and large, from eighteenthcentury tutors. Finally, the author presents some modern exercises of her own for the instrument.

This volume will be useful to the flutist who may be far removed from potential teachers of the one-keyed flute and wants to begin working on technique. Nevertheless, I was disappointed with it for a number of reasons. It is reasonable to expect that. the flutist who decides to take up the eighteenth-century instrument is particularly interested in baroque repertory, which is especially rich in flute music but not well served by the approaches to technique often taught on the modern instrument. Yet baroque music in the French style is almost entirely omitted from Boland's method: there is no discussion of French dance and its inflection, of French ornamentation, or of rhythmic inequality in French music. This omission must be due in part to the fact that Boland draws her practice material from tutors of the second half of the century - when the French style had been supplanted almost entirely by the international Italian one - but in a basic tutor it is hardly justifiable.

It is also a disservice to the student to restrict the method's coverage to four keys out of the eighteen or so that commonly appear in the flute literature of the time. Though a firm foundation needs to be laid in the easy keys, the flutist will soon find that the eighteenth-century repertory abounds in fascinating pieces in keys with three or four sharps or flats. Since this music was not intended for the gentleman dilettante, it did not appear in most instructional material (an exception is Hotteterre's L'art de preluder). A Method for the One-Keyed Flute (rather than a Beginning Method, perhaps a more appropriate title for this volume) should lead the player gradually through these snares and pitfalls.

Finally, such a method owes the player an introduction to and survey of the improvisatory practice of the period. This was rarely addressed in instrumental tutors of the day, but ample evidence on styles of improvisation around a simple melodic framework may be found in contemporaneous music sources, the best known being the Methodical Sonatas of Georg Philipp Telemann. Works that do not demand improvisation from the performer in this period are rare. It is essential that the modern interpreter acquire expertise in stylish improvisation along with technical proficiency.

TOM MOORE Princeton University
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Moore, Tom
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 1999
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