Rebecca Meletiadis

Click here to edit subtitle



In this thesis the 'natural' approach of the sound realisation on the flute is demystified, through observation, personal experience,experiments,as well as careful study of available methods and existing flute materials (books, magazines, articles and Internet sources).

Myths about how to produce a flute sound in flute practise and flute didactics have caused a lot of misunderstandings that have led to great deal of problems which I personally faced during my studying years. That is the reason why I wished to demystify the most important element that identifies us, our personal ´voice´: the sound and its quality. Using the definition of myth as a fiction or half-truth and a belief often unproven or false, in this thesis I intend to explain how our body functions in order to produce a good quality of sound so that students, performers and teachers create a clear picture of the invisible parts in our body. That way their conscious mind is being shaped and their unconscious is being awaken.

Particular aspects that serve to approach sound quality have been analysed and explained. The matters in question were organized in seven chapters, preceded by the Introduction. The Introduction gives a definition of the term 'myth' and my approach to it, presents the aim of the study and the research question. The first chapter discusses the delimitations of the study: problems encountered due to different opinions of what 'good' tone is, the disagreements about how to produce the flute sound as well as clarification of the term ´natural´. In following chapter the importance of corporal self-awareness in personal practise through methods such as the Feldenkrais method, the Alexander Technique, Yoga and Body-mapping are described and analysed.

The function of the respiratory system in specific conditions of playing the flute is presented in chapter three with a demystification over the 'diaphragmatic' breathing and an update of the maps during breathing process. The chapter closes with practise charts-breathing exercises. Alike practise charts in the chapter Resonance (four) are given after mentioning briefly the physiology of the face, analysing which are the body resonators and how we can control them. Several details about the sound production in the flute-playing, such as the angle and direction of the air-stream and positioning of the embouchure hole are described in chapter five, the Embouchure. A section full of questions, disagreements and myths is chapter six, the Vibrato. An experiment done recently on an anthropomorphic flutist robot helped clarify the mystery.

Last but not least, the explanation of a correct posture is introduced (chapter seven). I linked standing in connection with the quality of breathing by highlighting the points of control when we stand. Moreover, questions over how to sit are answered. Further the myth of being 'relaxed' while playing is discussed with a summary at the end. 'Holding the flute' is mentioned briefly, while the thesis end with a final conclusion.

Visualisation of our body, awareness of its function, self-correction and the ability to teach ourselves by observation, questioning, analysing and developing a critical opinion is the ultimate lesson and way to improve as musicians.



If you are interested in reading my paper don't hesitate to contact me, I will be pleased to share it.