Category: Advice for Composers

  • New Tutorial Series for Composers

    I have done quite a few tutorials, thanks to the Musikfabrik and our youth ensemble Studio Musifabrik. However, in the course of our Adventure project with composition students from the Hochschule here in Cologne, there are several topics that keep coming up. I have been asked to make short explanatory videos about these topics, and […]

  • Special Sounds: Describe rather than Prescribe

    I tend to get caught up in issues of notation, so it’s time for me to step back. Keep it simple. If you are a composer looking for a special kind of sound, but aren’t sure how to notate it, your solution may be as easy as adding a bit of text describing what you […]

  • Style Guide for Composers

    If you are a composer looking for general-purpose layout advice, or a performer/group looking for a single page reference guide to give to the people who write for you, here is a document my colleagues and I at Musikfabrik have come up with. It is by no means exhaustive. One could read the 704-page Behind […]

  • Extended Techniques for Flute – Notation Cheat-Sheet

    So here is my attempt to get a lot of information to you quickly and succinctly via Google spreadsheets. The photo quality is not so good, but this way I can make quick changes, and you are always viewing the latest version. This is not an exhaustive overview of all notation practices – it is […]

  • Glissandi and Quarter Tones on the Lowest Notes

    I often get asked if (lipped) glissandi and quarter tones are possible on the lowest notes of the flute. Sure, I say, theoretically. Nine times out of ten, I regret this positive answer. Here are the notes in question: On these notes, glissandi and quarter tones are produced with the embouchure. There are no open […]

  • Composing for Flute with Text or Vowel/Consonant Sounds

    Here is a tutorial for composers interested in specifying consonant articulations (p, b, k) and vowel colorations (o, a, i) for flute. Or for those who are interested in combining text with flute sounds. There are different contexts that can be applied. In the first few minutes I talk about phonemes and aeolian (air) sounds. […]

  • Multiphonics, yes or no. A Flowchart

    Well, it’s more of a labyrinth than a flow chart, but here it is. This is specifically geared towards ensemble writing. Here’s a link to the file as a PDF: Multiphonic_flow(3)

  • Composing for Flute, advice and warnings

    Composing for Flute, advice and warnings

    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 all entries in the categories: Composing for Flute, or pet peeves. Range of the Flute and the Characteristics of […]