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breath support

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  • cees van woerkum
    dear flute lovers I like to raise a question, that appeals to me for a very long time. It is not a new theme, but perhaps worth considering from time to time.
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 5, 2006
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      dear flute lovers
       
      I like to raise a question, that appeals to me for a very long time. It is not a new theme, but perhaps worth considering from time to time. It is the neglect of any clear reference to breath support in most flute tutors before 1760. What does this mean? a) Do the futists in that time have a natural disposition to use their breath in the right way, b.) weren't they able to understand the principles of breath support, c) was any reference to breath support at odds with their idea of using breath?. If a or b is true, we can apply the ideas about breath support, formulated in later times to earlier musical periods. With hindsight we do it better then perhaps most of the flutists of the first half of the century, because we are informed on this point. If c is right, it can be useful to think more in depth about their perception of using breath, for it could be quite different from what we all have learned about breath support. Any idea?
       
      cees van woerkum


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    • wentz047@planet.nl
      Well, it seems to me that Quantz is pretty clear about breath support. He says one needs to have a strong chest, and he proposes a higher breath support than
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 5, 2006
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        Well, it seems to me that Quantz is pretty clear about breath support. He says one needs to have a strong chest, and he proposes a higher breath support than modern flutists today. In the Quantz technique, so to speak, the upper chest has its own role to play. This is useful in generating air speed without forcing the tone out of tune, which the classical modern flute technique tends to do when applied to traverso....

         

        cheers,

         

        Jed

         

        ----- Oorspronkelijk bericht -----

        Van: cees van woerkum <ceesvanwoerkum@...>

        Datum: woensdag, april 5, 2006 9:56 am

        Onderwerp: [earlyflute] breath support

        > dear flute lovers
        >
        > I like to raise a question, that appeals to me for a very long
        > time. It is not a new theme, but perhaps worth considering from
        > time to time. It is the neglect of any clear reference to breath
        > support in most flute tutors before 1760. What does this mean? a)
        > Do the futists in that time have a natural disposition to use
        > their breath in the right way, b.) weren't they able to understand
        > the principles of breath support, c) was any reference to breath
        > support at odds with their idea of using breath?. If a or b is
        > true, we can apply the ideas about breath support, formulated in
        > later times to earlier musical periods. With hindsight we do it
        > better then perhaps most of the flutists of the first half of the
        > century, because we are informed on this point. If c is right, it
        > can be useful to think more in depth about their perception of
      • ceesvanwoerkum
        Dear Jed, Is it really true that Quantz is talking about breath SUPPORT, with the connotation of using your diaphragm (for there is where the support comes
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 5, 2006
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          Dear Jed,

          Is it really true that Quantz is talking about breath SUPPORT, with the
          connotation of using your diaphragm (for there is where the support
          comes from in most versions)? I have the feeling that Quantz has
          another idea about breathing, more 'keeping the breath" and using it
          sparingly, sepecially in long passages. I am wrong?

          cees
        • wentz047@planet.nl
          Hello Cees, Well, I think its one and the same thing for Quantz really. Yes, the flutist fills his lungs up when he has a long passage to play (and they are
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 5, 2006
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            Hello Cees,

            Well, I think its one and the same thing for Quantz really. Yes, the flutist fills his lungs up when he has a long passage to play (and they are long in Quantz!!), but he also says the chest can 'come to the aid of the sound, though not too violently,'  whenever needed. Its not that one only uses the chest without diaphragm support, nor do I think one only breathes 'high', but I do think that the chest is more active than in modern playing. At least thats how I understand Quantz...maybe my colleagues see it differently? A very interesting question, thanks for posting it!

             

            yours,

             

            Jed

          • Ardal Powell
            Hi Cees, and thanks for your interesting post. What was the publication in 1760 that mentioned breath support? Two of the earliest articles in TRAVERSO
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 7, 2006
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              Hi Cees, and thanks for your interesting post. What was the
              publication in 1760 that mentioned breath support?

              Two of the earliest articles in TRAVERSO addressed your questions:
              Catherine Folkers, 'Breath Control on the Baroque Flute', TRAVERSO 1.2
              (April 1989), 1-2, and Roger Mather, 'Breath Control for Baroque
              Flustists', TRAVERSO 1.4 (October 1989), 1-2. These are both reprinted
              in the 10-year cumulation, 1989-98--see
              http://traverso.baroqueflute.com for details.

              Roger Mather's article argued that the lack of detail in early methods
              was "rather uniform", and that "little or nothing about the basics of
              playing existed in Europe until well after World War II." His
              assumption is that breathing is a universal "basic", but perhaps it's
              more logical to conclude early 18C writers were focusing on matters
              *they* thought of as fundamental--articulation, to name one that
              doesn't attract much attention from the majority of 20C flutists.

              Yachida,
              Ardal
              ___________________________________________________________
              Ardal Powell * ardal@...
              Folkers & Powell, Makers of Historical Flutes *
              http://www.baroqueflute.com
              Full Circle Flute Co Ltd * http://www.headjoints.com
            • wentz047@planet.nl
              Hello Ardal, Are you a Welsh speaker? I am just learning now.... Hwyl!! Jed Hi Cees, and thanks for your interesting post. What was the publication in 1760
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 7, 2006
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                Hello Ardal,

                 

                Are you a Welsh speaker? I am just learning now....

                Hwyl!!

                 

                Jed

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