Monday 1 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Buttermilk Mary

 Traditional Irish jig

This traditional Irish jig first appeared in Ryan's Mammoth Collection, published in Boston in 1883. It appears to be closely related to the popular tune “An Irishman's Heart to the Ladies”.

Categories: Jigs Traditional/Folk Difficulty: easy
Tuesday 2 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Here Comes the Bride

 Bridal Chorus from Richard Wagner's “Lohengrin”

This is the standard march played for the bride's entrance at many formal weddings throughout the Western world. The piece comes from Wagner's opera Lohengrin, but its usual placement at the beginning of a wedding ceremony is not entirely in accordance with its placement in the opera. In the opera, the chorus is sung after the ceremony by the women of the wedding party, as they accompany the heroine Elsa to the bridal chamber.

One curious thing is that the marriage between Elsa and Lohengrin is an almost immediate failure, reaching irretrievable breakdown twenty minutes after the chorus has been sung. However, as we all know, this has failed to discourage the widespread use of the piece.

Categories: Marches Opera excerpts Romantic Wedding music Difficulty: easy
Wednesday 3 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Prelude by Mattheson

 from Flute Sonata No. 9

This is the opening movement of a sonata for 3 flutes in G minor by the German Baroque composer and music theorist Johann Mattheson. It was published in Amsterdam in 1708.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for Flute Difficulty: intermediate
Thursday 4 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Study No. 3 by Köhler

 from “Progress in Flute Playing”

Here is another étude from the first of the three books which make up Ernesto Köhler's “Der Fortschritt Im Flötenspiel”, Op. 33. This one is in F major, 3/4 time. It starts out with a melodic theme, but soon begins to play with intervals and arpeggios. After a brief restatement of the initial theme, the piece ends with a short coda marked “Più vivo”, which can be translated as “more lively”.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for Flute Difficulty: intermediate
Friday 5 July 2024

Tune of the Day: The Italian Monfrina

 Traditional jig

This tune can be tracked all the way back to 1808, when it was published in Boston by musician and publisher Gottlieb Graupner in his A Collection of Country Dances and Cotillions. Graupner's collection makes the express claim that its tunes were “never before published”.

The word monfrina is a corruption of monferrina, a kind of country dance originating in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. This type of tune became fashionable in England in the early years of the 19th century, and was employed for country dances. In this country the name stood as monfrina, monfreda or manfredina.

Based on their strong similarities, the monfrina might have inspired some later Irish tunes, such as “Father Fielding's Favorite” and “John Byrne's”, through a melody titled “Ella Rosenburg” which appeared in Thomas Mooney's A History of Ireland (1845).

Categories: Jigs Traditional/Folk Difficulty: easy
Saturday 6 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Allegro by Braun

 from Flute Sonata in E minor

This Allegro is the fifth and final movement of the second of the six Op. 7 flute sonatas with bass accompaniment by French flutist and composer Jean-Daniel Braun, published in Paris in 1736.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for Flute Difficulty: intermediate
Sunday 7 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Danse by Paul Merkus

 for two flutes and harp

Today's piece is a refreshing dance tune, kindly contributed to our collection by its composer, Paul Merkus from the Netherlands.

This is a short piece for two flutes, accompanied by harp. Alternatively, it can also be played as an unaccompanied duet or with guitar or piano accompaniment. It was originally written as a piano piece back in the year 2000, but has recently been arranged for this line-up.

Categories: Contemporary Difficulty: intermediate
Monday 8 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Study in G major by Clinton

 from “A Theoretical and Practical Essay on the Boehm Flute”

Today we propose a little study by British flutist and composer John Clinton. It was first published in London in 1843, as part of his A Theoretical and Practical Essay on the Boehm Flute.

Categories: Etudes Written for Flute Difficulty: easy
Tuesday 9 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Bryan O'Lynn

 Traditional Irish jig

The earliest appearance of this jig is found in Ryan's Mammoth Collection, published in Boston in 1883. It bears similarities to another Irish tune, “Guiry's Favorite”.

Categories: Jigs Traditional/Folk Difficulty: easy
Wednesday 10 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Promenade

 from Mussorgsky's “Pictures at an Exhibition”

This is the first movement, and the unifying device, of the famous suite for piano Pictures at an Exhibition. It has also become known through various orchestrations and arrangements, with Ravel's arrangement being the most recorded and performed.

According to critic Vladimir Stasov, in this piece Mussorgsky depicts himself roving through a picture exhibition, now leisurely, now briskly in order to come close to a picture that had attracted his attention, and at times sadly, thinking of the recently departed painter, who was his friend.

The melody and rhythm resemble Russian folk songs: the piece has simple, strong rhythms in asymmetrical meter. It is to be noted that while the original meter of the movement was a rather uncommon 11/4, published editions usually alternate 5/4 and 6/4.

Categories: Romantic Difficulty: intermediate
Thursday 11 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Fugue by Mattheson

 from Flute Sonata No. 9

This is the second movement of a sonata for 3 flutes in G minor by the German Baroque composer and music theorist Johann Mattheson. It was published in Amsterdam in 1708.

Categories: Baroque Sonatas Written for Flute Difficulty: intermediate
Friday 12 July 2024

Tune of the Day: Study No. 5 by Köhler

 from “Progress in Flute Playing”

Here is another étude from the first book of Ernesto Köhler's Progress in Flute Playing. It is a very melodious cut-time Allegretto in G major.

Categories: Etudes Romantic Written for Flute Difficulty: intermediate