Category: intonation

  • Sixth-Tone Exercise Audio

    This is a very simple exercise for playing sixth-tones The audio file has undulations on three notes: (I picked these because they appear in a piece I am coaching.) Bb3 – Bb3 sixth-tone lower Db4 – Db4 sixth-tone lower C3 – C3 sixth-tone higher All you have to do is practice at first playing with […]

  • Intonation Exercises

    Here is a compendium of intonation exercises I have written over the years. They require either two players or one player and a sound-generator such as a tuner or an app. (The exception is the “Exchange” exercise.) These exercises are based on being able to discern and manipulate difference tones, and contain a basic introduction […]

  • Atonal Intonation in Light of Berio’s Sequenzas

    Luciano Berio‘s Sequenza no.1 for flute is one of my favorite pieces. I also love teaching it; it has so much to offer in terms of technique (especially articulation!), style and presentation. There is an unwritten book inside me about this work, but for now I would like to consider one aspect of the work […]

  • Inharmonicity of hearing

    Inharmonicity of hearing

    In a previous post on flutonation I admitted my tendency to play melodic octaves too wide. Re-reading Doris Geller‘s super book Praktische Intonationslehre  I realize this is a universal phenomenon, which she describes as the “inharmonicity of hearing” or perhaps “inharmonicity of the ear”. (original: Inharmonizität des Gehörs). Here is my paraphrased translation of what […]

  • Just Intonation: Thirds and Sixths, an exercise

    I’d like to take the opportunity to write about the benefits of doing intonation exercises with 3rds and 6ths using just intonation. To refine the ear. These are simple intervals, and the difference tone (or combination tone) is strong enough to easily adjust. Flexibility. To make these adjustments, a flutist must be willing to make […]

  • Microtonality: some basic tips

    Microtonality is the use of intervals smaller than a half-step such as quarter tones, sixth tones, eighth tones and so on. There are several standard ways in which microtones are used (which may be interconnected):• As part of a “just” intonation scheme (based on pure intervals instead of equal [keyboard] temperment). Used in a simple […]

  • Intonation IV: Our Partner in Crime

    By Partner in Crime I mean our most common collaborator in the traditional repertoire: the piano (or harpsichord). Here is some information I’ve gleaned from reading Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics by Arthur H. Benade (standing left in photo, playing homemade flute). To know the acoustical properties of the piano is to be able to deal […]

  • Intonation I : Flutonation

    Practicing intonation, I’ve noticed a few funny quirks of mine which I know are shared by many other flutists, so I think it is worthwhile confessing and hanging them out to dry.(By the way, barring any live musicians I can scare up to do my nerdy exercises, my partner in intonation practice is my Korg […]