Composing for Flute, advice and warnings Posted on April 11, 2016 by admin Reply Here is a running list of salient points from my separate blog entries together in one place. This is a work in progress, so any tips are welcome. For more advice on composing for flute, you can view my entries in the categories: composers, or pet peeves. Range of the Flute: although it’s been said, many times, many ways, it bears repeating. Read also here. Trills: avoid the following trills on the flute. They involve a sideways motion of the right hand little finger instead of the quick up-down motion that produces a good trill. Harmonics: Since harmonics are produced by overblowing on the flute, the first octave notes cannot be produced as harmonics. The E-natural, F and F-sharp in the second octave are not available as harmonics because the fingering is the same in the first octave as in the second. They are already harmonics. Read more about the use of harmonics here. Multiphonics: For Q & A about writing for mulitphonics, read here. If you want to give the flutist a choice of multiphonics based around a certain pitch, beware that the lowest pitches will produce only harmonic multiphonics. The second measure, the C in the second octave, gives more inharmonic possibilities than the first. Jet Whistle: A really high-powered jet whistle needs time and quite a bit of air to set up. For best effect, have a rest (ca. one second) before and after a jet whistle. It is too often that composers think of a jet whistle as a kind of climax or punctuation after a phrase, as in the following example. But there are two problems: 1) There is no time to set the embouchure 2) There is no time to breathe. It bears repeating, if you want a full force jet whistle, give the player time to set it up. Harmful things: Slamming hands onto the keywork. A key click is OK, not my thing, but OK. Immersing part of the flute in water. Closed embouchure techniques on wooden mouthpieces. (Tongue ram, jet whistle, etc.) Saliva contains enzymes that will degrade the wood over time. Extreme temperatures. Some pet peeves: Using empty note heads to indicate air or aeolian sounds. Please see my tips on this subject. Extended techniques stacked up on top of one another. It is easy to think that this will make the sound more interesting and intense. Some techniques cancel each other out and just muddy the waters. Better to pick a few that work acoustically well together.