Graded, selected list of solos for unaccompanied flute, the Short List

The division of Easy, Moderate, Difficult, and Very Difficult is subjective. The technical difficulty of a work and the difficulty of the extended techniques are not always the same level, but I have attempted to take both into consideration.


*SF = can be played on a student flute (closed holes, C foot)

Easy, moderate tempo(s), straightforward rhythms (or rhythms completely free), may be technically challenging, but without complexity. All extended techniques are arranged so there is time to set them up.

Robert Dick, Fish are Jumping, 1999 (MMB Music)

Robert Dick - Lookout (1989) (MMB Music) melodic rock solo for flute that uses singing and playing and easy multiphonics.

Kazuo Fukushima - Mei (Suivi Zerboni) glissandi, fluttert., quarter tones, and key clicks *SF

Kazuo Fukushima - Requiem (Suivi Zerboni) fluttert., gliss, timbral trills. *SF

Anne La Berge - Revamper - (Frog Peak Music) singing and playing, one multiphonic, harmonics (can play with closed holes but need B-foot)

Phyllis Louke, Extended Techniques-Double the Fun, 2003 (ALRY)

Phyllis Louke, Extended Techniques-Solos for Fun, 2006 (ALRY)

Wil Offermans - For the Young Flutist, 1995. Easy Studies with New Techniques. I (Zimmermann)

Toru Takemitsu, Air for flute 1996 (Schott), quarter tones, harmonics, flutter-tonguing; requires a flute with a low B.

Edgard Varese - Density 21.5 (Ricordi), first use of key clicks in flute repertoire.

Walter Wretschitsch - Flute Update, New Music for Young Flutists, 2007? (L. Doblinger (B. Herzmansky) KG Wien) Collection of works by W. Aigner, M. Augustin, R. Naifar, W. Offermans, H. Hüodl, G. Ahumanda, W. Puschnig, A. Wagendristel, M. Fuss

Moderate, fast passages are diatonic/chromatic (no difficult microtonal passages) and without complexity, but extended techniques may be challenging.

Robert Aitken - Icicle 1977 (Éditions Musicales Transatlantiques : collection "la Flûte contemporaine" Artaud.

Robert Aitken - Plainsong (Universal Edition) multiphonics, air sounds, singing and playing, key clicks (also w/ tongue stop), glissandi. Better to have open holes for glissandi. Uses low B, but it can be omitted.

Ian Clarke - Great Train Race (IC Music/Just Flutes Edition, 1993/2001) residual/breathy fast tonguing, multiphonics, singing & playing, lip bending, explosive harmonics and an optional circular breathing section. C Foot and B Foot versions available.

Ian Clarke - Zoom Tube (IC Music/Just Flutes Edition, 1999) jet whistle, quartertones, multiphonics, note bending. Requires open-hole B foot.

Robert Dick - Afterlight (1973/84) (MMB Music) Multiphonics, jet whistle, harmonics. II

Robert Dick - Or (1984) (MMB Music) small-interval multiphonics, sometimes a quarter-tone or less. II

Kazuo Fukushima - Shun-san "spring glory" 1969 (Murumatsu, Inc.) fluttert., multiphonics, gliss. *SF

Toshi Ichiyanagi - Still time IV - in memory of Takemitsu, 1998 (Schott) 1/4 tones, multiphonics

Betsy Jolas - Episode I 1964 (Leduc) and Episode Second: Ohne Worte 1977 (Heugel) harmonics, fluttert., multiphonic trills, 1/4 tones. open hole C ft.

Anne La Berge - Rollin (Frog Peak Music) circular breathing, multiphonics, harmonics.

Lowell Liebermann - Eight Pieces (each movement can be played ad lib on C flute, alto, piccolo or bass flute) (Theodore Presser) key clicks.

Istvan Matuz - Six Studies per Flauto Solo (Akkord Music Publications) 1) ...L(Elek)zem - for prepared flute, C ft. 2) Head Join(t)s Footjoint - played with head and (B)footjoint only ("Body-less flute") 3) Sakura-Sakura - flute is played shakuhachi style without headjoint *SF 4) "Blaset, Bla-aset..." - balloon attached to end of flute (C or B ft.) 5) Dies Irae - for prepared flute with E-mechanism 6) Headlessness - theatrical satire on Mozart's Concerto in G. Flute is played without headjoint and then with a saxophone mouthpiece.

Tristan Murail - Unanswered Questions (Ed. Lemoine?) microtones, harmonics, glissandi

Will Offermans - Honami (Zimmerman) fluttertounge, note bending, multiphonics. *SF

Will Offermans - Tsuro-no Sugomori [The Nesting of Cranes], 1999 (Zimmerman) Traditional shakuhachi melody arranged for flute . breath sounds, glissandi, finger vibrato, harmonics.

Paulo Perezzani - L'Ombra dell'Angelo (Ricordi) harmonics and timbral trills. *SF

Kaija Saariaho - Laconisme de l'Aile (Jasemusiikkii - Edition Remers) - singing & playing, fluttertongue, multiphonic, whistle tone. *SF

Salvatore Sciarrino - Opera per Flauto Vol 1 & 2 (Ricordi) (some pieces *SF):

Giacinto Scelsi - Quays , 1953 (Bärenreiter) for C flute or alto flute. fluttertongue, 1/4 tones, 1/8 tones. *SF

Harvey Sollberger - Quodlibetudes for Solo Flute (McGinnis and Marx), described as "Thirteen fantasias and a coda designed to introduce the player--young or old, student or professional--to the expanded technical and conceptual worlds of the New Flute of the late twentieth century."; includes a study tape.

Karlheinz Stockhausen - In Freundschaft - (publ. Stockhausen Verlag , CD also available) - N.B. most all of Stockhausen's music require some sort of theatrical preparation which may (but not necessary) include: costume, prescribed movements, lighting. Must be performed from memory. harmonics, fluttertongue *SF

Stockhausen - Freia - (Stockhausen verlag, CD or cassette available) see "In Freundschaft" above. This piece requires costume, movement, and if possible,lighting. Also, microtones, fluttertongue, air noises *SF

Toru Takemitsu - Itenérant (Schott Japan) (can also be performed on alto flute) timbral trills, fluttertongue, timbral notes, multiphonics, whistle tones, glissandi *SF

Isang Yun - Sori (Bote & Bock) gliss., 1/4 tones, fluttert. *SF

Jos Zwannenburg - Solo for Prepared Flute (Ascolta Music Publications) flute is prepared with an end cork and cigarette paper under the A-key. whistle tones, ghost tones, jet whistle, tongue ram.

Jos Zwannenburg - Seven Pieces for Solo Flute -To Study Extended Techniques (Donemus) harmonics, gliss., lip pizzicato, vocal colorizations, whistle tones, multiphonics, singing and playing.*SF

Difficult, requires a general high level of technique. May include: rapid microtones, difficult multiphonics, complex rhythms or 4th octave notes above high D.

Luciano Berio - Sequenza I 1958 (Zerboni/Universal) fluttertongue, multiphonic. *SF

Maarten Bon - Whistle for a Friend (Donemus) fluttert., 1/4 tones, timbral notes, 4th octave passages, gliss., key clicks, some theatrical elements. *SF

Elliott Carter, Scrivo in vento (Hendon Music), flutter-tonguing and multiphonics.

Simon Desorgher - Concert Studies (United Music Publishers Ltd.) 1985. Concert Study I (....speed within stillness), microtonal trills/ Concert Study II (....many within one), multiphonics and multiphonic trills/ Concert Study III(...strength from softness), microtones, lip attacks, lip buzz, whistle tones, harmonics, glissandi, no. III to be played on closed hole flute.

Robert Dick - Flames Must Not Encircle Sides (1980) Combines multiphonics and circular breathing, continuous multiple trills

Christobald Halffter - Debla (Universal Edition) 1/4 tones *SF

Jennifer Higdon - Rapid Fire (Higdon) fluttert., harmonics, some theatrics, including stomping on firesnaps.

Heinz Holliger - (t)aire(e) - (publ. Schott's Soehne, Mainz) air noises, glissandi, timbral notes, quartertones, harmonics, jet whistle, key clicks, tongue ram, trumpet buzz and inhaled whistles. Normal whistle tones and whistling while playing, singing and playing, and circular breathing (can be played on open-holed flute with C-foot)

Philippe Hurel - Eolia - (publ. Billaudot) key clicks, speaking while playing, tongue ram, glissandi, multiphonics, fluttertongue, whistle tones.

Philippe Hurel - Loops - 2001 (Henry Lemoine) lip pizz, quarter-tones, flutter tongue.

Toshi Ichiyanagi - In a Living Memory, 2000 (Schott) 1/4 tones, harmonics, key clicks, multiphonics.

Shirish Korde - Tenderness of Cranes (Neuma Publications) Breath noises, shakuhachi sounds, gliss., harmonics, fluttertongue, multiphonics, microtones.

Bruno Mantovani - Früh - (Editions Henry Lemoine) 1998 air sounds, bisbigliando, key clicks

Brice Pauset - Euridice 1998 (Lemoine) microtones

Shulamit Ran - East Wind 1988 (Theodore Presser) lip and finger glissandi, fluttert., tongue pizz, key click?, passages in 4th octave.

Salvatore Sciarrino - Opera per Flauto Vol 1 & 2 (Ricordi) (some pieces *SF)

Stockhausen - Xi - (Stockhausen verlag, CD available) microtones *SF

Toru Takemitsu - Voice (Salabert) speaking and playing, breath-tones, multiphonics, timbral trills, timbral notes, harmonics, fluttertongue, glissandi, key clicks *SF

Very Difficult, may include rapid micro- or 1/4 tone passages, high degree of rhythmic complexity, extremes of range (may include extended passages above high D), difficult multiphonics, rapid changes from one extended technique to another, and a general high level of energy. These pieces should be real tests of endurance

James Dillon - Sgothan (C.F. Peters) harmonics, glissandi, lip pizzicato, tongue ram, singing and playing, whistle tones, circular breathing, flutter tongue, highly microtonal.

Brian Ferneyhough - Cassandra's Dream Song (Peters) lip pizz., key clicks, microtones, fluttert., harmonics, singing and playing, timbral notes. *SF IV-

Brian Ferneyhough - Carcieri d'Invenzione IIb (Peters) highly microtonal, fluttert., lip pizz., key clicks, harmonics, microtonal trills.

Brian Ferneyhough - Unity Capsule (Peters) fluttert., extended use of vocal sounds and key clicks (music is notated in 3 staves, one for "normal" notes, another for the key noises, and a third for the vocal sounds)

Michael Finnissy - Sikangnuqa (formerly publ. United Music Publishers, now available from composer) 1979 microtonal.

Bernhard Lang - Schrift 1.2 1998 (Zeitvertrieb, Wien) Tongue Ram, key klicks, singing and playing, multiphonics, harmonics, whistle tones.

Charles Wuorinen - Variations I (McGinnis and Marx), Variations II (Peters) fluttert., harmonics, key clicks, 4th octave notes