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Friday, December 13, 2013

Flute Lore, Flute Tales: Artifacts, History, and Stories About the Flute

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Flute Lore, Flute Tales:  Artifacts, History, and Stories About the Flute is my new E-book published under Couchgrass Books.  It is aimed for YA, 8 to 18-year-olds, though it is for anyone. 

Explore the flute’s four types as they have appeared on most continents since prehistoric times. This book follows the discovery of artifacts and the historical impact of the instrument. Stories are included in many chapters. Myths, legends, and fairytales are re-told as they pertain to a regional flute. Sumer, the ancient Mediterranean world, Africa, India, the Orient, the Americas, and Europe are presented. The last pages cover eminent flautists, women musicians, jazz flutists, and finally, musical groups and performers who have made the traditional and folk instruments popular again.

Available at Amazon and Lulu Bookstore.  Soon to be available as a Nook Book at Barnes & Noble, and also in the iBookstore at iTunes.   The paperback is in layout phase and planned also, although because of the color photos, it will cost more than most paperbacks.

This is a book I had planned for years.  I began researching it in the 1980s, and while I established my used bookstore at eBay, I collected flutes.   I obtained them, tried them, learned about them, and then I would sell one and obtain another.  During those years, archeologists were publishing stunning new evidence of prehistoric flutes.  If I had written the book in the 1980s, it wouldn’t have included information about flutes older than anyone ever imagined.

I nearly went out for a career in flute performance.  As a teenager, I took from Minnesota Orchestra flautist, Sidney Zeitlin.  Although I didn’t go to a music  conservatory, I continued to play at college, and after that, played for weddings and for musicals until I was in my early 30s.   My mother was a string teacher and my paternal grandfather was a professional French hornist.  He played for Sousa when the great composer was an older man.  He wasn’t even sure Sousa knew his first name.  The story is that while they were traveling by train, Sousa came into his train car and addressed my grandfather by his first name, Burr.

Music was part of my upbringing although my father never followed that career.  He tried the violin but liked playing baseball better.  Yet he could hum along with French horn concertos. 

I wanted to sing but I didn’t have a voice.  So the flute was a great instrument to learn.  It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned how ancient the instrument was.  Its legacy and its place in societies fascinated me.   I consider it a magical instrument because of a belief concerning its effect on the player.  Now when I play, it is to remember the flute’s personality and how it was good for mine.

At first, I wanted to collect stories about the flute.  But delving into its amazing history, I couldn’t help but tell its authenticated story.   And the flutes around the world – it is almost as if the instrument was a part of being human, usually the first melodic instrument in a society, developed apart from other world flutes.  Its sound accompanied many human stories which are couched into its history, enhancing it rather than conflicting with it.

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