Thursday 1 November 2018

Tune of the Day: The Ramblin' Rover

 by Andy M. Stewart

This song was written by Scottish singer/songwriter Andy Stewart while he was the frontman for the folk band Silly Wizard (1970–1988). Several of his songs have become well-known within the folk community, including “The Ramblin' Rover”.

I wrote this song for my dear friends in our band “Silly Wizard,” and to give some kind of an idea of the craziness of life as a touring musician. We used to have ceilidhs very frequently and that's where the life of this song began. Since then it seems to have been adopted as an anthem of committed partyers the world over.

(A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish/Irish social gathering, featuring folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.)

Oh, there're sober men in plenty,
And drunkards barely twenty,
There are men of over ninety
That have never yet kissed a girl.
But gie me a ramblin' rover,
And frae Orkney down to Dover
We will roam the country over
And together we'll face the world.

Thanks to Hugo for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Drinking songs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Friday 2 November 2018

Tune of the Day: En noche callada

 from “Los diamantes de la corona”, transcribed for solo flute

This balada is sung by Catalina during Act I of the 1854 zarzuela Los diamantes de la corona by Spanish composer Francisco Asenjo Barbieri.

In silent night the moon poured its white radiance,
And its ray illuminates the dark fortune of a sad lover.

Categories: Ballads ZarzuelasDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 3 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Ciaccona by Corelli

 from Trio Sonata in G major, transcribed for two flutes

This Ciaccona constitutes the only movement of Italian Baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli's Trio Sonata No. 12 in G major, published in 1685. We like to think of it as a sort of “bonus track” at the end of the book of sonatas. It is a truly enjoyable piece, and one of Corelli's most famous compositions.

Like the rest of the Op. 2 pieces, this Ciaccona was originally composed for two violins and continuo. It can however be played without modification on two modern flutes, provided they have a B footjoint. Moreover, there is only two low B's in the piece, namely at measures 97 and 101, and if necessary they can be changed to low D's, making the piece playable with C footjoints.

Thanks to Mario for contributing this piece!

Categories: Baroque Chaconnes SonatasDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 4 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Study No. 16 in B-flat minor

 from “Melodic Exercises”

This is the sixteenth piece from 24 Etudes mélodiques, Op. 110 by German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer. This collection has also been published in English as 24 Melodic Exercises.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Monday 5 November 2018

Tune of the Day: The Hag by the Fire

 Traditional Irish reel

The earliest appearance of this tune in print is in Francis O'Neill's The Dance Music of Ireland, published in Chicago in 1907. A few years later it was published again, with some minor differences and under the title “The Golden Wedding”, in O'Neill's Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody.

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 6 November 2018

Tune of the Day: La Clausen

 from “Amusement palatin”

This piece is the seventh movement of Amusement palatin, a suite for solo instrument (“musette, vielle, flute and oboe” according to the original edition) and continuo by the French Baroque composer Nicolas Chédeville.

The title refers to the German municipality of Clausen, located about 20 km south of Kaiserslautern, just 15 km from the current French border.

Categories: BaroqueDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 7 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Camp Song of the Chicago Irish Brigade

 arranged for two flutes

This song was originally published in Chicago in 1861, the year the American Civil War broke out. David Kincaid, who recorded the song in his album The Irish-American's Song (2003), noted that although the title describes it as a “camp song”, the original arrangement was hardly one for the soldier in the field. Written with full piano and four-part vocal arrangement, it falls into the category of Victorian “parlor music”, a style in which many of the Civil War's most popular songs were published.

Thanks to Hugo for contributing the present arrangement for two flutes!

Categories: American Civil WarDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 8 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in B-flat major by Hugues

 from “40 Esercizi per Flauto”

This Allegretto is the twenty-seventh study from 40 Esercizi per Flauto (40 Exercises for Flute), Op. 101, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 9 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Leap Over the Garter

 Traditional country dance tune

This country dance tune was first published in John Watlen's Celebrated Circus Tunes (Edinburgh, 1791), a volume that references Edinburgh's Royal Circus, an extension of Phillip Astley's London-based Royal Circus. It is one of several tunes in the volume that Watlen associates with the performances of John Bill Ricketts, an equestrian performer.

The title “Leap Over the Garter” probably refers to an equestrian circus trick where a rider standing on a horse leaps over a string or garter, while the horse passes under it, to then land back atop of the horse.

Categories: Dance tunes Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Saturday 10 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Capriccio in D minor by Quantz

 for solo flute

This capriccio is one of 24 pieces attributed to the famous German flutist and composer Johann Joachim Quantz to have survived in a manuscript titled Fantasier og Preludier. 8. Capricier og andre Stykker til Øvelse for Flöÿten af Quanz (“Fantasies and Preludes. 8 Caprices and other Pieces for Exercise for the Flute by Quantz”). This manuscript has been kept in the Giedde Collection (named after its founder, Danish composer W.H.R.R. Giedde) in the Royal Library of Copenhagen, which hosts a fairly comprehensive collection of flute music from the second half of the 18th century.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 11 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Duet in E minor by Devienne

 from “Nouvelle Méthode pour la flûte”

This short duet is taken from the Nouvelle Méthode théorique et pratique pour la flûte by the French flutist and composer François Devienne.

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Monday 12 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Study No. 17 in A-flat major

 from “Melodic Exercises”

This is the seventeenth piece from 24 Etudes mélodiques, Op. 110 by German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer. This collection has also been published in English as 24 Melodic Exercises.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Tuesday 13 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Miss Farr's Reel

 Traditional Irish reel

This Dorian-mode reel is taken from Francis O'Neill's collection Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody, published in Chicago in 1922. O'Neill cites as his source a manuscript by Patrick Dunne, a farmer of the townland of Kilbraugh, County Tipperary, Ireland.

Categories: Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Wednesday 14 November 2018

Tune of the Day: L'Amnistie

 from “Amusement palatin”

This gigue is the eighth and last movement of Amusement palatin, a suite for solo instrument (“musette, vielle, flute and oboe” according to the original edition) and continuo by the French Baroque composer Nicolas Chédeville. The French title “L'Amnistie” translates as “The Amnesty”.

Categories: Baroque JigsDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 15 November 2018

Tune of the Day: La Picarde

 by Michel Pignolet de Montéclair, for two flutes

This is the eighth and final movement of the fourth of six Concerts à deux Flutes Traversières sans Basse by the French Baroque composer Michel Pignolet de Montéclair. Here the French word concert is a synonym of “suite”, and has nothing to do with the Italian concerto. The title of the movement, “La Picarde”, references Picardy, a historical region of northern France.

Thanks to Marco for suggesting this piece!

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 16 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in B-flat major by Hugues

 from “40 Esercizi per Flauto”

Today's piece is the twenty-eighth study from 40 Esercizi per Flauto (40 Exercises for Flute), Op. 101, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 17 November 2018

Tune of the Day: The Tenpenny Bit

 Traditional Irish jig

The oldest appearance of this jig in print is in Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland, published in Chicago in 1903.

From the 16th to the 19th century, “bit” was a common term for a small piece of money, especially the lowest denomination of silver coin.

Categories: Celtic Music Jigs Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Sunday 18 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Adieu by Paul Merkus

 for flute and piano

This easy piece for flute and piano was kindly contributed to our collection by its composer, Paul Merkus from the Netherlands.

This piece has been recently created and is a short atmospheric drawing in my usual style. Because the atmosphere created can be reminiscent of a ship that is sailing away with a loved one on board, the title “Adieu” has been chosen. After the prelude by the piano, the flute plays the exposition of the main theme in the lower register. Then, a slightly more playful piece of art follows, which culminates in a moment with more stillness, after which the reprise of the opening theme in the higher register follow that leads to the final summit.

This piece marks Paul's 10th contribution to our website, and as a token of gratitude for our constructive collaboration the composer decided to dedicate the piece to FluteTunes.com! We must say that we are very honored by this dedication, and once again would like to thank you, Paul, for sharing your music with us. We look forward to publishing more of your pieces, and we are happy that, as you reassured us in your email, the title “Adieu” (which is French for “farewell”) is misleading!

Categories: Contemporary Written for FluteDifficulty: easy
Monday 19 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Von Weber's Last Waltz

 arranged for flute duet

This piece, part of German composer Carl Gottlieb Reissiger's Danses Brillantes for piano, Op. 26, has been misattributed to Carl Maria von Weber for many years, because it was found among Weber's papers upon his death in 1826.

The piece was very popular in its time, and was even mentioned in Edgar Allan Poe's short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839).

I shall ever bear about me a memory of the many solemn hours I thus spent alone with the master of the House of Usher. Yet I should fail in any attempt to convey an idea of the exact character of the studies, or of the occupations, in which he involved me, or led me the way. An excited and highly distempered ideality threw a sulphureous lustre over all. His long improvised dirges will ring forever in my ears. Among other things, I hold painfully in mind a certain singular perversion and amplification of the wild air of the last waltz of Von Weber.

The present arrangement for two flutes appeared in Blake's Young Flutist's Magazine, published in Philadelphia in 1833.

Categories: ClassicalDifficulty: easy
Tuesday 20 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in F minor by Kummer

 from “Melodic Exercises”

This is the eighteenth piece from 24 Etudes mélodiques, Op. 110 by German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer. This collection has also been published in English as 24 Melodic Exercises.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 21 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Searching for Lambs

 Traditions English folk song

The first to publish this tune was Cecil Sharp, who collected five versions of it in Somerset between 1904 and 1909. It became a great favorite of his, and was included in a number of publications. The modal melody (as Sharp noted, it lacks the 6th of the scale, so one can think of it as either Aeolian or Dorian) is quite haunting, and a rare example of traditional music in quintuple time.

As I went out one May morning,
One May morning betime,
I met a maid, from home had stray'd
Just as the sun did shine.

Thanks to Phil for suggesting this tune!

Categories: Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Thursday 22 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Gnossienne No. 1

 by Erik Satie, arranged for flute and piano

The Gnossiennes are piano compositions written by the French composer Erik Satie in the late 19th century. They are mostly in free time (lacking time signatures or bar divisions) and highly experimental with form, rhythm and chordal structure.

This first Gnossienne, composed around 1889, contains a number of very unusual indications: “Très luisant” (“very shiny”), “Questionnez” (“questioning”), “Du bout de la pensée” (“from the tip of the thought”), “Postulez en vous-même” (“wonder about yourself”), “Pas à pas” (“step by step”), “Sur la langue” (“on the tongue”).

Thanks to Carlton for suggesting this piece!

Categories: 20th centuryDifficulty: intermediate
Friday 23 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Duet in G major by Devienne

 from “Nouvelle Méthode pour la flûte”

This short duet is taken from the Nouvelle Méthode théorique et pratique pour la flûte by French flutist and composer François Devienne, published in 1794.

Categories: Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Saturday 24 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in G minor by Hugues

 from “40 Esercizi per Flauto”

Today's piece is the twenty-ninth study from 40 Esercizi per Flauto (40 Exercises for Flute), Op. 101, by Italian flutist, composer and arranger Luigi Hugues.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Sunday 25 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Sporting Paddy

 Traditional Irish reel

One of the earliest appearances of this Dorian-mode melody is, under the title “Rolling on the Ryegrass”, in the mid-19th century music manuscripts of James Goodman (1828–1896), an Irish uilleann piper who collected tunes locally in County Cork and elsewhere in Munster. The reel was later published in O'Neill's Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody (1922) as “Irish Pat”. O'Neill cites the “Pat. Dunne manuscript” as his source for this tune.

Categories: Celtic Music Reels Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Monday 26 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Capriccio in E minor by Quantz

 for solo flute

This capriccio is one of 24 pieces attributed to the famous German flutist and composer Johann Joachim Quantz to have survived in a manuscript titled Fantasier og Preludier. 8. Capricier og andre Stykker til Øvelse for Flöÿten af Quanz (“Fantasies and Preludes. 8 Caprices and other Pieces for Exercise for the Flute by Quantz”). This manuscript has been kept in the Giedde Collection (named after its founder, Danish composer W.H.R.R. Giedde) in the Royal Library of Copenhagen, which hosts a fairly comprehensive collection of flute music from the second half of the 18th century.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: advanced
Tuesday 27 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Prélude

 by Michel Pignolet de Montéclair, for two flutes

This is the opening movement of the first of six Concerts à deux Flutes Traversières sans Basse by the French Baroque composer Michel Pignolet de Montéclair. Here the French word concert is a synonym of “suite”, and has nothing to do with the Italian concerto.

Categories: Baroque Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Wednesday 28 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Study in E-flat major by Kummer

 from “Melodic Exercises”

This is the nineteenth piece from 24 Etudes mélodiques, Op. 110 by German flutist and composer Caspar Kummer. This collection has also been published in English as 24 Melodic Exercises.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for FluteDifficulty: intermediate
Thursday 29 November 2018

Tune of the Day: The Medal

 Traditional Scottish/Irish hornpipe

The earliest appearance of this tune is as “Lord Eglington's Hornpipe” in James Alexander's Fifty New Scotch & Irish Reels and Hornpipes, published in London around 1825. The same tune can also be found, with the title “Ross's Hornpipe”, in the mid-19th century manuscripts of Irish musicologist James Goodman. The title “The Medal”, probably of American origin, is first used in Harding's All-Round Collection of Jigs, Reels and Country Dances, published in New York in 1905.

Categories: Celtic Music Hornpipes Traditional/FolkDifficulty: easy
Friday 30 November 2018

Tune of the Day: Se tu m'ami

 by Alessandro Parisotti, arranged for flute and piano

Though also a composer, the Italian Alessandro Parisotti is better known today as the editor of a collection of songs titled Arie antiche (“Antique Arias”), which was first published in Milan in 1885. In this collection, Parisotti attributed “Se tu m'ami” to the famed Baroque composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi; however, owing to the fact that no early manuscripts of the song have been located, scholars now believe that Parisotti actually composed the piece himself.

If you love me, if you sigh Only for me, kind shepherd,
I feel sorry for your misfortune,
I delight in your love.
But if you think that only you I must in return love,
Little shepherd, you are subject
To deceiving yourself easily.

A couple decades later, the song was featured in Igor Stravinsky's 1920 ballet Pulcinella, which was entirely based on music then believed to have been composed by Pergolesi.

More recently, in 2014, “Se tu m'ami” was sung by Jenny Matrix (Johanna Braddy) in the first episode of the third season of the popular web series Video Game High School.

Categories: Arias Baroque RomanticDifficulty: intermediate