Tuesday 24 March 2009

Site update: The First Post

flutetunes.com has entered into its beta testing phase

We are glad to announce that today the first tunes will start appearing on flutetunes.com. At the moment not all of the links are activated, and some of the most exciting features are still being implemented; but very soon the whole site will be up and running, so stay tuned!

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Tune of the Day: Greensleeves

 Traditional English Folk Song

This is undoubtedly one of the most famous traditional English folk songs. There is a persistent belief that Greensleeves was composed by King Henry VIII for his lover and future queen consort Anne Boleyn. However, Henry did not write “Greensleeves”, which is probably Elizabethan in origin and is based on an Italian style of composition that did not reach England until after his death.

Both in the sheet music and in the audio tracks we provide a bass line that you can use as an accompaniment, by playing along the MIDI or the MP3 file attached to this post. Or you can ask a friend to accompany you on a piano, a guitar, a cello or a harp.

Categories: Christmas carols Traditional/Folk Difficulty: easy
Wednesday 25 March 2009

Tune of the Day: Waltz No. 15

 by Johannes Brahms

This waltz comes from a set of 16 short waltzes for piano duet written by Johannes Brahms. Published in 1865, and dedicated to the Bohemian musicologist Eduard Hanslick, the pieces had an instant success, contrary to the composer's expectations. Over time, number 15 in A-flat major has acquired a life of its own.

You can choose to play this flute arrangement as a slow, sweet lullaby. Take advantage of dynamics to express all its feelings.

Categories: Dance tunes Lullabies Romantic Waltzes Difficulty: intermediate
Thursday 26 March 2009

Tune of the Day: Mary Had a Little Lamb

 by Lowell Mason
A Cute Little Lamb

We all know this 19th-century nursery rhyme. And since you already know how “Mary Had a Little Lamb” should sound, it will be easy to identify any mistake you might make as you sight-read.

The nursery rhyme was actually set by Lowell Mason to a melody which is said to have been written by Mozart. Mason, a leading figure in American church music, is remembered as the composer of over 1600 hymns.

Although the melody is very simple, please remember: you should never dismiss interpretation. This tune should sound completely innocent and pure.

Categories: Nursery rhymes Difficulty: easy
Friday 27 March 2009

Tune of the Day: The Star-Spangled Banner

 Music by John Stafford Smith
Stars 'n' Stripes

For those of you who don't know, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America.

The lyrics, coming from a poem written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, were set to the tune of a popular British drinking song, written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a London social club. This “Anacreontic Song” (also called “To Anacreon in Heaven”), set to various lyrics, was at that time already popular in the United States. Set to Key's poem and suitably renamed, it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song.

With a range of one and a half octaves, this melody is known for being difficult to sing. To make it somewhat easier, we added an easier version of the piece in the last page of the score. This added version is transposed to F major, so that you won't need to play in the third register.

Categories: National anthems Patriotic Difficulty: easy
Saturday 28 March 2009

Tune of the Day: My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean

 Traditional Scottish

This traditional Scottish folk song may have its origin in the history of Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. Prince Charlie had to hide from the English who were looking for him everywhere. Much money was offered to anyone who would capture the Prince dead or alive. But the proud Scots never betrayed the Prince, though they were very poor. Finally a very noble lady, whose name was Flora Macdonald, helped him make his final escape to France. Prince Charlie was dressed as a servant-girl and taken in a boat to the Island of Skye in the northwest, where a ship was waiting to bring him to France.

By the way, this is certainly one of the most parodied songs of all time. On Wikipedia you can even find a long list of parodies one can sing over its melody.

Categories: Nursery rhymes Traditional/Folk Difficulty: easy
Sunday 29 March 2009

Tune of the Day: The Galway Hornpipe

 Traditional Irish

Nothing to do with Sir James: the name of this tune refers to the Irish city of Galway. It's a hornpipe, term that identifies an English step dance which was originally accompanied by a wooden hornpipe. Hornpipes also appear in the works of famous composers such as Purcell and Handel.

Although this melody should be played somewhat fast, don't forget that it's better to start practicing slowly and carefully.

Categories: Celtic Music Hornpipes Traditional/Folk Difficulty: intermediate
Monday 30 March 2009

Tune of the Day: Amazing Grace

 Traditional tune

This famous hymn is actually sung to a variant of the tune “New Britain”, whose composer is unknown. “New Britain” first appears in a hymnal from 1829, and its melody is believed to be Scottish or Irish in origin, as it is pentatonic and suggests a bagpipe tune. The hymn is actually frequently performed on bagpipes, and has become associated with that instrument. This tune seems to have been firmly established as the standard for “Amazing Grace” after an arrangement of it appeared in a series of popular hymnbooks in the early twentieth century.

Tuesday 31 March 2009

Site update: Let the flutes sound!

flutetunes.com goes public

Today is a very special day. After a week of beta testing, flutetunes.com is ready to receive flute players from all over the world.

At the moment we are hosting just a handful of tunes, but as we promised every single day new sheet music will appear.

And don't forget that all of our services are free. The music glossary already contains over 2000 terms, and is constantly being updated, while our metronome is probably the best online metronome of all the Web. Have a look at the other sections of the website, too: we'll soon be expanding both our scales and our fingering charts.

Tuesday 31 March 2009

Tune of the Day: Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes

 Traditional English

The origin of this tune is unknown, but traces back to at least 1770. It is sometimes attributed to Mozart, but there is no verification of the fact.

The origin of the words, instead, is well known: it's Ben Jonson's poem To Celia, written in 1616.

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss within the cup
And I'll not ask for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope that there
It could not withered be;
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent'st it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself but thee!

Categories: Love songs Traditional/Folk Difficulty: easy