Flute Forms

Exploring Pathways of Appreciation

To foster an awareness and appreciation of music by listening and coming to appreciate how the diverse application of shared elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, texture vocalizations and form gives rise to such diverse expressive pathways revealing an inner beauty of the human spirit.

Here are links to music performances showing diverse styles and performance as voiced around the world; each expressing a component part of a global diverse counterpoint of cultural contrast. Enjoy yourself and do check on the links.

Without support from authoritive references this site would not be possible.

In Counterpoint of Cultural Contrast

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"Syrinx" for solo flute by French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy is performed often in recitals  and is a favorite with audience and performers alike. The video begins with Jane Rutter telling the story this impressionistic music is supposed to represent. Listen for whole tone passages and relative lack of a tonal center. There is an almost dreamlike quality, much like that seen in paintings of the time, in this music.

"Syrinx" by Debussy performed by Jane Rutter

 The "Dragon Flute" of Japan.

Which connects between Heaven and Earth.

The Ryuteki is an ancient Japanese flute traditionally made of bamboo. It is one of the wind instruments used in Gagaku tradition. Watch the video below for a simple beautiful explanation of the spiritual symbolism the Ryuteki plays in Gagaku. Also note how the music is scored.

GAGAKU - ETENRAKU played on the Ryuteki


The Sacred Flute:
Courting love and peace.

Tradition has it that the Native American flute was primarily a courting instrument. A young man would make a flute, set himself off from the group he was with and play a song that he and his beloved knew. She would hear this and understand his intentions. Once he and his beloved were joined together, he would throw away the flute never to play one again.

Other traditions among the Plains nations held that a tribe could be identified from a distance by the sound and songs that a member of the tribe played as they traveled. There are many other traditions, some of which are very contradictory.

The lack of verified history can be traced to the early twentieth century when Native American children where taken from their homes and placed in "Indian Schools". Once there, they were prohibited from speaking their native language, performing rituals and wearing their traditional clothes. This forced abandonment stopped the flow of Native American oral history with its traditions, rituals and culture.

The Native American flute tradition died out and was soon viewed by many young native peoples as "un-cool", or worse, as an unwanted native icon. A few players persisted, and in the 1960s, thanks to the interest of people like Dr. Richard Payne, an avid collector, historian and author, the flute began a renaissance. Then in the mid-eighties, the Native American flute entered the New Age market and interest in it has been increasing ever since among both native and non-native Americans.

In native culture, songs are owned by the songwriter and are not played by others unless "gifted" to them. Many non-native people find these traditional songs "foreign" sounding, not unlike most music from non-western cultures. Historically designed flutes do not fit into western tuning and scales, but rather the personal scales of the maker. Measurements were traditionally based on the size of the maker's hand, finger or thumb.    http://cedarmesa.com/flutehistory.html

daddystovepipe — May 22, 2007 — The Native American flute is a wonderful instrument that really speaks to the heart. I'm playing two traditionals I learned from a cd called "Keepers of the Dream" by Kevin Locke. He and Tom Mauchahty Ware are the two best traditional fluteplayers. The first song is called "Traveling Alone" and the second one is "Look At Me Grandfather".
The flute I use has been crafted by Hawk LittleJohn and is a typical woodlandstyle flute.


Traditional Native American spirituality is deeply tied to the concept of "Mother Earth" and "Father Sky". Here is given a message we would do well to heed. The video below is simply titled:

Manola, Our Sacred Earth Mother

7SpiritBird4 — August 26, 2007 — A video about the conditions of our earth and images of the destruction of what man is doing to Her. It is my hopes to touch hearts and inspire others to start making a difference before it is too late. The first flute song is by David Maracle, the second is Kevin Locke, and the third is David Maracle.







Note: This site on "Global Music Appreciation" is a work in progress. Thie main purpose of being online at this point of development is to allow collaborators and friends to view the progress, make suggestions and provide comments.

You may find "scratch notes" concerning future implementaion of goals. Pages will still be partially complete or even blank.

Yet, there is still an ever-evolving growing selection of music from around the world linked too in this site. You are welcome to look, play and experience music as performed from around the world.