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Topic: Sonata for Flute, First Movement

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  1. #1

    Sonata for Flute, First Movement

    Here is a new Flute Sonata I have started. This is the first movement, sonata allegro from of course, and there are two more movements to come.

    Sonata for Flute and Piano No. 1, op. 19, I. Allegro e marcato
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  2. #2

    Re: Sonata for Flute, First Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by jesshmusic
    Here is a new Flute Sonata I have started. This is the first movement, sonata allegro from of course, and there are two more movements to come.

    Sonata for Flute and Piano No. 1, op. 19, I. Allegro e marcato
    Hi Jess!

    This is nice - my only concern is that there are some passages that seem like they are tooo long for the flautist to breathe. I could be wrong - I am not a flautist. There are plenty of little rests that give it syncopation, but those seem too brief to catch even a ghost breath.

    Also - a flute player has more difficulty going from higher registers to lower so quickly (towards the end you have a pretty fast jump from high to low). Low to high is fine because it is a matter of overblowing, but high to low requires a bit of adjustment - which takes longer than you have given it.

    Compositionally, this piece is great. I love the interplay bewteen the piano and the flute. Great Job!!!

    Jerry Wickham
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  3. #3
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    Re: Sonata for Flute, First Movement

    I really like this and look forward to hearing the other movements.
    Trent P. McDonald

  4. #4

    Re: Sonata for Flute, First Movement

    I enjoyed this one very much,the mercurial changes between spikily rhytmic,and broad legato is very skillfully done.Also it really does feel like ONE movement and not just a series of episodes.Great work.
    May we see the score?
    regards

  5. #5

    Re: Sonata for Flute, First Movement

    @Jerry: Believe it or not, a lot of this is still light weight by most flutists' standards. The main thing I was concerned about was the large skips, but I was assured by my former composition teacher, who coincidentally has his degree in Flute performance, that those are much easier than they look. This lead to a long discussion of the trouble with how a lot of middle school band teachers teach their flutists the wrong way to play... My main inspiration for the difficult sounding passages was hearing his student, who is like 17, play audition music for school. The only instrument more agile than the flute is the violin. The student, Steve Chang, played the first movement of Mozart's flute concerto. This is where I got the idea of the large skips. They sound really cool.

    Anyway, thanks for everyone's comments. I will soon start work on the last two movements.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  6. #6
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    Re: Sonata for Flute, First Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by jesshmusic
    The main thing I was concerned about was the large skips, but I was assured by my former composition teacher, who coincidentally has his degree in Flute performance, that those are much easier than they look.
    That's right. Leaps on a flute are a bigger deal on paper than they are to a flutist. The acoustical nature of the way the flute can quite easily traverse the neighboring regions of its harmonic series is such that these sorts of leaps are not really a reach at all for the flutist (and most good flutists love to show this off by the way). Contrast this with, say, a trumpet, which needs to do much more to its air column to move from one note in its second harmonics range to notes in its third harmonics range - especially when it's a leap and using the same fingering. A good flutist can actually sustain a given note, and with a slight change in embouchure/air flow, begin to manipulate the harmonics in such a way as to slowly morph - not slur, but morph - from one note to the next an octave above. (Jazz flutists tend to exploit this much more than "classical" flutists.) It's a fascinating thing to watch this phenomenon on a high resolution spectrum analyzer.

    Anyway, nice piece Jess.

  7. #7

    Re: Sonata for Flute, First Movement

    Quote Originally Posted by scottnorma
    A good flutist can actually sustain a given note, and with a slight change in embouchure/air flow, begin to manipulate the harmonics in such a way as to slowly morph - not slur, but morph - from one note to the next an octave above. (Jazz flutists tend to exploit this much more than "classical" flutists.) It's a fascinating thing to watch this phenomenon on a high resolution spectrum analyzer.

    Anyway, nice piece Jess.
    Thanks a lot. My teacher demonstrated these techinques and it was so cool, that inspired me even more and gave me some super ideas for this sonata.

    I also get a real kick of how easily the flute can tear through the chromatic scale. Wow! I know Mozart didn't like the instrument, and until notation software came around I can see why. All those ledger lines can be a pain!
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

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