A Conversation for Orchestras

Flute doubling

Post 1

J'au-æmne

In most orchestral flute music I've played (& windband music too) the second flautist gets to double piccolo...
Thus deafening everyone within a 5 metre radius when I'm playing! smiley - winkeye
Joanna smiley - fish


Flute doubling

Post 2

Derfuzz

Obviuosly you've never heard me play


Flute doubling

Post 3

J'au-æmne

smiley - smiley


Flute doubling

Post 4

shazzPRME

You are quite correct there Joanna! I used to play in the *pits* as well as in more established orchestras, and I preferred playing second flute! That way I could deafen the 2nd violins and still be able to look round and annoy the players on the stage! I think that my favourite part for flutes (comic opera ways) has to be the G&S *Iolanthe*. The flutes get a wonderful showcase in the overture, and continue to contribute throughout the performance. The bad news with this is, of course, you don't get to finish the Times crossword... or your beer, during the show!
shazzPRME smiley - winkeye


Flute doubling

Post 5

TurangaLeela

I would be interested to know where the original author got the idea that it is the principal flute who doubles on piccolo. This is almost never the case in orchestral music (although I don't know about wind bands, etc.), although sometimes 1st and 2nd flutes both have to switch to pic (e.g. PG Sea Interludes, one of the Lemminkainen pieces, that annoying bit with the militaristic kids in Carmen, etc.). As a counterexample, in Nielsen's 1st symphony, the principal flute switches to pic in the last movement, but this really is a _very_ unusual thing for a composer to do.

A a general rule, it's whoever's sitting on the end of the line (i.e. at the opposite end from principal) who plays pic. This might be the 2nd flute, 3rd flute, or (if it's Mahler etc.), 4th flute - depending on how many there are.


Flute doubling

Post 6

J'au-æmne

smiley - biggrin going back to my first posting in this, it's logical that the last flute doubles piccolo, otherwise the flautist sitting next to them would be deafened...
Maybe I just think that because my piccolo practice hasn't gone so well lately, though smiley - tongueout


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Flute doubling

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