Larry Krantz Flute Pages - Wye - Trevor Wye Corner Part I

Trevor Wye Biography

    TREVOR WYE began playing the flute at the age of 15. He had a few private lessons with Geoffrey Gilbert, and was fortunate in not attending a college of music, a conservatory or a university the result of which was rapid progress. He has no diploma or a degree, nor did he win any competitions. His formative years were influenced by many players and singers, particularly Alfred Deller and William Bennett.

    Though untrained, he Professed both at the Guildhall School of Music, London and the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, at the latter for 22 years, though feeling embarrassed by his lack of credentials, they awarded him an honorary degree.

    Trevor Wye is the author the Practice Books for the Flute, which have been translated into nine other languages, the royalties of which keep him in a style to which he is gradually becoming accustomed. More recently, his highly praised biography of Marcel Moyse was published in English and in three other languages. With friends, he is currently working on an encyclopedia of the flute which he hopes to finish before turning his toes up.

    Trevor Wye teaches at his Studio in Kent, a one year residential course for postgraduate students, and travels throughout the world giving master classes including annual appearances in the USA, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Japan. He enjoys serving on juries for international competitions, and giving recitals and presenting his unique "Flutes Fantastic!", an hilarious recital with commentary in which he plays on more than fifty different flutes.

    He collects antique spectacles on which he lectures, and in 1990, he won the annual Quiz on the subject of the Mapp and Lucia novels, awarded by the E.F. Benson Society.

Printed with permission of Trevor Wye
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Original Books and Editions
by Trevor Wye

  • Beginners Practice Book for the Flute Vol. I.
  • Beginners Practice Book for the Flute Vol. II.
  • Beginners Practice Book for the Flute Piano part
    Beginners Practice Book Cassette of Piano parts, with solos. vols. 1 & 2 Trevor Wye and Clifford Benson: Play along cassettes: one side has both flute and piano, 2nd side, piano only.
  • Practice Book for the Flute Vol I. - Tone
  • Practice Book for the Flute Vol II. - Technique
  • Practice Book for the Flute Vol III. - Articulation
  • Practice Book for the Flute Vol. IV - Intonation and Vibrato
  • Practice Book for the Flute Vol. V - Breathing and Scales
  • Practice Book for the Flute Vol. VI - Advanced Practice
  • Practice Book 1 - Tone A companion Cassette to Tone Book; Trevor Wye demonstrating.
  • Proper Flute Playing - A Companion Book to the Practice Book series.
  • Flute Class - A group instruction book. Complete with piano part. Also published in German, Spanish and Dutch.
  • Flute Class Concert Album - 30 pieces for 3,4, or 5 flutes.
  • A Piccolo Practice Book (with Patricia Morris)
  • The Alto Flute Practice Book (with Patricia Morris)
  • Very First Flute Book - Trevor Wye
    All the above are translated into:
    Japanese - published by Ongaku Tomosha, Tokyo
    German - published by Zimmermann, Germany
    Spanish - published by Mundimusica, Madrid
    Norwegian - published by Frost Noter A/S,.Oslo
    Dutch - published by Molenaar, Amsterdam
    Italian - published by Italian Flute Society
    Korean - published by Saejong Chulpansa

  • The Orchestral Flute Practice Book 1 & 2 (with Particia Morris, 1998)
  • A Very Easy 2Oth Century Album - Flute & Piano,(1990)
  • A Very Easy Baroque Album, Vol. 1 - Flute & Piano
  • A Very Easy Baroque Album Vol. 2 - Flute & Piano
  • A Very Easy Classical Album - Flute & Piano
  • A Very Easy Romantic Album - Flute & Piano
  • Music for Solo Flute - (Debussy, C.P.E. & J.S. Bach, Telemann)
  • A Couperin Album - Flute & Piano
  • A Rameau Album - Flute & Piano
  • A Vivaldi Album - Flute & Piano
  • A First Latin American Flute Album - Flute & Piano
  • A Second Latin American Flute Album - Flute & Piano
  • An Elgar Flute Album - Flute & Piano
  • A Schumann Flute Album - Flute & Piano
  • A Faure Flute Album - Flute & Piano
  • A Satie Flute Album - Flute & Piano
  • A Ravel Album - Flute & Piano
  • Theme & Variations arr. Flute & Piano (D 935 No. 3.) Schubert
  • Three Brilliant Showpieces - 5 Flutes. Score & Parts
  • Suite: Jeux D'Enfants - Bizet. 5 Flutes. Score and parts
  • The ADULT Flute Student

  • Gluck: Dance of the Blessed Spirits
  • Schubert: Variations on Trockne Blumen
  • Andersen: 24 Studies, op 15
  • Debussy: Syrinx
  • Bach: b Minor Suite
  • Mozart: Concerto No. l. in G - Flute & Piano
  • Mozart: No. 2. in D and Andante
  • Chopin: Variations on a Theme of Rossini

  • Flute Solos Volume I - Flute and Piano
  • Flute Solos Volume II - Flute and Piano
  • Flute Solos Volume III - Flute and Piano
  • Flute Duets - 2 Flutes - Volume I
  • Flute Duets - 2 Flutes - Volume II
  • Flute Duets - 2 Flutes - Volume III
  • Flute Trios - 3 Flutes - Volume I
  • Flute Trios - 3 Flutes - Volume II
  • Flute Encores - Flute & Piano
  • Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy - Doppler
  • Suite de Trois Morceaux - Godard
  • Syrinx - Debussy
  • Fantasie - Faure
  • Twenty Four Capricios OP.26 - Boehm

  • IL Gondoliero - Flute & Piano - Paggi
  • Rimembranze Napolitane - Flute & Piano - Paggi
  • Grande Sonate Brillant - Flute & Piano - Thurner
  • Grande Sonate Flute or Oboe and Pf. - Pixis. (out of print)
  • An Extraordinary Man - Biography of Marcel Moyse

ALLANS , Australia - (via Presser & Elkin)
  • l7th & l8th Century Album - Flute & Piano
  • l9th Century Album - Flute & Piano
  • Six Nocturnes - Chopin - Flute & Piano
  • Carnival Variations for Flute and Piano
  • Wye's Whistle Book - A Penny Whistle primer

  • An Extraordinary Man - Biography of Marcel Moyse. Japanese translation

  • An Extraordinary Man - Biography of Marcel Moyse

  • Album for Piccolo & Piano - Volume I
  • Album for Piccolo & Piano - Volume II
  • Piccolo Duets, 2 piccolos and piano
  • Variations on "God Save the King" - Vol. I - Flute & Piano
  • Variations on "God Save the King" - Vol. II - Flute & Piano
  • Trio Originale - Kummer, Fl, vln (2nd fl., vla)., pno

  • Concerto In C. K3l4 Oboe & Piano (red.) - Mozart

  • Twilight - 2 Flutes & Piano - Sullivan
  • Valse des Fleurs - 2 Flutes & Pianob - Kohler
  • Airs Valaques - Flute & Piano - Doppler
  • Chanson D'Amour - Flute & Piano - Doppler
  • Variations on a Theme of Schubert - 2 Flutes & Piano - Kohler
  • Variations on a Theme of Beethoven - 2 Flutes & Piano - Kohler
  • Second Concert Duet on a Theme of Chopin- 2 Flutes & Pno Kohler
  • A Gilbert & Sullivan Album, fl. pf

  • Il Pastor Fido - Flute & Piano - Vivaldi
  • 3 Clock Pieces - 5 Flutes - Couperin, Daquin, Vierne
  • Toccata in G - 5 Flutes - Dubois
  • Handel for Solo Flute
  • French Dances (Rameau) - Flute & Piano
  • A Vivaldi Album - Vol I - Oboe & Piano
  • A Vivaldi Album - Vol II. - Oboe & Piano
  • A Rameau Album - Oboe & Piano
  • A Couperin Album - Clarinet & Piano
  • Cantique de Jean Racine - 4 Flutes & Piano - Faure
  • Minuet from Symphony No.3 - 2 Flutes & Piano - Tchaikovsky
  • Tico Tico - 5 Flutes, Bass, Perc.
  • The Shadow Of Your Smile - 5 Flutes, Bass, Perc.
  • Opus 1a (Trevor Wye) - 5 Flutes, Bass, Perc.
  • An Extraordinary Man - Biography of Marcel Moyse
    Also published in Japanese, French, Spanish and German

There are many other unpublished arrangements: Classical pieces for 5 flutes, jazz arrangements for 5 flutes, etc.

Printed with permission of Trevor Wye
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Trevor Wye Discography

  • A Victorian Musical Evening
    With William Bennett And Clifford Benson

  • The Romantic Silver Flute
    With William Bennett and Clifford Benson

  • The Romantic Flute
    Altus Records, Japan
    With William Bennett and Clifford Benson

  • La Flute D'Amour
    Trevor Wye and Clifford Benson playing Bach,
    Schumann, etc for flute damour and piano.
    Available from Trevor Wye in flute shops.

  • Handel: The Trio Sonatas
    Phillips 412 439-1
    With William Bennett and George Malcolm

  • Handel: The Academy of St Martins Chamber Ensemble
    Phillips CD 412 598-2
    With William Bennett and George Malcolm

  • Music From The Flute Week:
    Part of the last night Concert at the Finnish Flute Society Convention, 1985
    Published by the Finland Flute Society

  • Marcel Moyse 100 Concert
    Amongst the other soloists, TW plays Saint-Saens, Romance
    British Flute Society

  • A Tribute to Geoffrey Gilbert
    QEH, London 1990: TW plays Rhapsodie, Honegger
    British Flute Society

  • A Flute Recital
    WCD 100
    With Clifford Benson
    Music for Flute and Flute D'Amour available from Trevor Wye or Flute shops

Printed with permission of Trevor Wye
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Points to consider - Muscles, Imagery, Flute, Headjoint, your Body, Facial Size, Air Capacity, your Practise Room, Harmonics, your Personality, Health, the Cosmetics of Tone, A Modern Scale Flute, and Practice Material.

CTBC? = (Can This Be Changed?)

Muscles - trained by practising intelligent exercises. Coupled with imagery, a very powerful aid to improvement. CTBC?

Imagery - listen to good flutists of all kinds to gain experinece in all the different varieties of kinds of flute tone that successful players produce. Then make up your mind about the kind of tone you want. If you have no strong image, then do more listening. CTBC?

Flute - Does your instrument lend itself to the tone you want to acquire? Some flutes invite the player to play in a certain way. Some are loud, others sound well when played softly. Some only make one colour...CTBC?

Headjoint - perhaps more important than the flute body for inviting the player to produce a certain kind of tone. Similar comments to flutes. CTBC?

Your body - In general, smaller persons make medium-sized sounds, particularly those with a small skeletal frame, though there are plenty of exceptions. You must be practical and use what you have to the best advantage without trying to make a silk purse from a pig's ear. CTBC? No.

Face size and mouth cavity - These appear to influence the size of tone and it's colour. Probably this is because the cavities affect the number and balance of harmonics. CTBC? No.

Air capacity - This is usually linked to frame or body size, and probably influences the tone because the performer may be cautious and economical in the use of air. This often results in a smaller tone.

Practice room - A reasonable room in which to hear how you really sound is helpful and encouraging. A dry acoustic demoralises the performer, and greatly inhibits progress. The opposite will mask any problems and will flatter. CTBC?

Personality - perhaps the most influential aspect in forming the tone of the player. This includes ambition and a determination to succeed. CTBC? Perhaps.

Physical health - This requires no comment. CTBC? Perhaps.

The Cosmetics of Tone - including vibrato and intensity. CTBC?

A Modern Scale Flute - This is indispensable; you are then free to practice the flute instead of fighting it's lousy construction. CTBC?

A person's tone often reflects their personality. A happy and well adjusted person will asually produce a well rounded tone.

"I observed long ago that a beautiful tone comes from a generosity of the heart" - Marcel Moyse.

How to practise tone exercises

Unless the circumstances are special - always start in the low register. This is because the fundamental, or first harmonics are found in this octave, and the low register contains about five harmonics, one of which is the second octave.

The harmonic content of a person's particular tone is governed by [A] the starting transient and [B] the strength of the harmonics, one to another. The differences between one player and another lies in the tone recipe a player uses, or balance between the harmonics. The second octave has fewer harmonics, perhaps two or three, depending on the player. The differences between players is therefore less marked in this octave. In the third octave, there is almost no difference: the differences between players is difficult to determine...until we use personal trade marks such a vibrato or phrasing style.

Often, a student doesn't have any real idea what it is they are searching for as far as a beautiful tone is concerned. They learn to love [or hate] what they already have. To begin, give yourself the choice of tones available to you with the flute and the lips you have. Start by playing exercises in the low register to obtain the naturel sound of the flute, that is the one with the least number of harmonics or overtones. Start with this and when it begins to sound well, you have the basis on which to colour your tone by adding overtones and so build your tone how you wish.

If you are striving to sound as much like an angry bee as possible, all you are doing is playing with a strong second harmonic. Why not simply play in the second octave? There is nothing wrong with playing with a strong second harmonic if that is how you wish to sound. We all have to decide...but before you decide your tone tactics, remember that the most important thing about tone is that you are trying to sell it to a prospective employer. If you can't sell ain't much good to anyone!

Start by playing hollow tone exercises: these are the basis on which a colourful tone can be built. A hollow tone is a tone with a strong 1st harmonic. It is the naturel sound of the flute. Try your yellow tone out on slow melodies, such as the Faure Pavane.

When...and only have some control over the hollow tone exercise, change to a purple tone: one that is rich in overtones. To make this change, keep the same 'embouchure'...don't roll in! Just blow down into the hole more - without turning the mouthpiece in.

When your are doing OK with these two colours, practise an in-between colour...a sort of every-day colour...neither one or the other.

Repeat using the same principles in the second octave and then in the third octave. The second octave is at least 4 times more difficult to preserve the colour, and the third octave is very difficult...

Play Reichert exercises every day moving through the colours to exercise the changes. In this way, you are giving yourself the choice of what colours to use for different pieces.

A person's performance often reflects their personality.

© Trevor Wye, 1995

  • This Guide was prepared specifically for THE STUDIO, a one year residential course for post-graduate students in Hastingleigh, Kent, England with Trevor Wye.

  • An information leaflet can be obtained by writing to: THE STUDIO, Tamley Cottage, Hastingleigh, Ashford, Kent, TN25 5HW, England
Printed with permission of Trevor Wye
Return to the Trevor Wye Corner

In the 19th century:
  • Silver:
    .900 American coin silver
    .860 German silver
    .925 Sterling silver
    .950 Britannia silver
  • Nickel silver: (often called German silver)
    6% nickel alloy [up to around 1900, after that it was changed to 19%]
    Up to about 1900, all tubes were seamed.
  • Gold:
    Vary rare in 19th century; one Louis Lot (owned by Rampal) and one Rittershausen formerly made for Emil Prill; others by Rudall Carte et al..

In the 20th Century:
  • Silver:
    .900 Haynes and some German flutes
    .925 most other flutes
    .950 some Altus flutes
    Louis Lot flutes were c.950, or thereabouts
  • Nickel silver: [contains no silver!]
    19% nickel alloy (most student flutes)
    Nickel silver flutes are almost always silver plated.
  • Bronze:
    Jack Frazer
  • Stainless steel:
    used by Rudall Carte from around 1935 and called 'The New Metal'. The body and foot were in one piece.
  • Perspex:
    Selmer produced some in the late 40's? and early 50's.
  • Aluminium:
    Produced in Germany by Uebel: very thick tube.
  • Carbon Fibre:
    Both flutes and headjoints have been noted in recent years of this very strong material.
  • Gold:
    9 carat, 14 carat, 18 carat, 22 carat. [14 carat is 58% gold, and the rest is copper and silver. 24 carat is pure gold]

    Gold price at present about $385 for one Troy Ounce. 'Normal' (avoirdupois) ounces are 79/72 greater than a Troy ounce...say $400 per 'normal' ounce. There are about 4 ounces of 14, or 9 carat gold in a headjoint which would be about 1/3 of the price of 24 carat gold. Current price of a 14 carat headjoint is about $3000-$4000... or about $1000 per ounce.

    Gold ore is of various colours, from rose to white. To maintain the whiteness of white gold, silver is mixed with it; to make 'rose gold' more roes coloured, copper is mixed with it. '99 Gold' is a special alloy of 99% gold and 1% titanium.

  • Platinum:
    Normally 90% platinum and 10% iridium.
    Platinum price about 5% more than gold but sometimes the same! Prices of platinum flutes are usually higher than gold.
  • Palladium:
    A silver colored metal, one atomic mass lighter than silver.

All tubes are now seamless except Altus (special model) and one US flute made specially. No advantage in a seamless tube, perhaps?

Some flutes are now 'bonded': a thin layer of gold is bonded onto silver or some other metal. The bonding is thicker than plating.

The future? Titanium is looking good at is carbon fibre.

"I prefer a simple tube without a built-in tone...then I can put into it what I want" (Marcel Moyse)

© Trevor Wye, 1995

  • This Guide was prepared specifically for THE STUDIO, a one year residential course for post- graduate students in Hastingleigh, Kent, England with Trevor Wye.

  • An information leaflet can be obtained by writing to: THE STUDIO, Tamley Cottage, Hastingleigh, Ashford, Kent, TN25 5HW, England

Return to the Trevor Wye Corner

The Story of Undine
Prepared by Trevor Wye

The story, briefly, and as far as it affects the Reinecke Sonata, 'Undine', is as follows:

1st MOVEMENT: A 'water spirit', by name, Undine, who is the Daughter of the King of the Sea [Neptune?], is more lovely than any earthling - and longer lived. It is possible for her to become immortal if only she could marry a mortal. The opening themes show the height and depth of water with cascades, waves and fluid motion. The falling phrase shows Undine's strong desire to unite with a mortal...and her quick changes of mood! The grace notes, and tremolos are splashes and movement of water.

2nd MOVEMENT: Intermezzo: Undine leaves the sea to fulfil her desire for immortality and to search for a mate. She is discovered on the sea shore by a fisherman and his wife, who take her home and raise her like their own daughter. They find her rather odd, though - often naughty and with quick changes of mood. A passing handsome knight, Huldebrand, sees her and falls in love with her, though he is already engaged to a courtly lady. Undine's unpredictable capricious nature is illustrated by the mocking jumpy opening and, in the vivace - by the angry response by the old couple to her behaviour. The slow gentle melody illustrates the pure and virginal love that Undine has for Huldebrand.

3rd MOVEMENT: On her wedding night Undine confesses to her husband that she is a 'spirit' and thanks him for marrying her and offers to free him now that she has her immortal soul. But he swears undying love for her and then begins a tender love dialogue between them - the duet between piano and flute. Huldebrand introduces her to the Court where she is thought to be 'different'. Huldebrand's scheming, arrogant ex-fiance enters and Undine chooses her as her best friend! Undine's uncle appears to her one night to wish her well but warns her that the proud Water Spirits will suffer no insult to her: she will be taken by them back to the sea. Also he gives a warning - should Huldebrand prove unfaithful, only his death will satisfy the spirits' vengeance. [Threats appear in the Molto Vivace section].

4th MOVEMENT: - Finale: Huldebrand isn't able to settle down to married life with his strange wife and is drawn back to his former fiance - and begins to mistreat his wife. Whilst on holiday in a boat, Huldebrand and Undine have a row and Undine - furious - jumps into the sea. Huldebrand is desolate and turns to his former fiancee for solace who comforts him and agrees to marry him. On their wedding day, Undine appears before him weeping and kisses him to exact the penalty sworn by the Water Spirits... and so claims his life. At his funeral, a shadowy weeping figure appears and joins the mourners. After he is buried, the figure disappears and in her place appears a spring of water from which two streams emerge to encircle the grave in an endless loving embrace.

  • This Guide was prepared specifically for THE STUDIO, a one year residential course for post-graduate students in Hastingleigh, Kent, England with Trevor Wye.
  • An information leaflet can be obtained by writing to: THE STUDIO, Tamley Cottage, Hastingleigh, Ashford, Kent, TN25 5HW, England
Return to the Trevor Wye Corner



Internal diameter at socket: 19mm.

The internal diameter [ID] of the head is reduced over a distance of about 150mm. down to 17mm. This contraction is slightly curved and is said to be fact more correctly, it is a truncated parabolic conoid! The contraction is very necessary in order to make the second octave sharper. Without a contraction, the second octave would be flat, and the third octave poor.

At a point in the contraction where the ID reaches 17.3mm [or between 17.2 and 17.4mm], that will be the centre of the lip plate or mouthole. This ID is also the distance between the cork and the centre of the mouthole usually marked on your cleaning stick. Don't mess with this distance: the flute only works well if it is correct. If the cork is further out than it should be: the notes starting with D3 upwards will be noticeably sharp; the tone of the lower two octaves will be less good. The reverse movement produces the opposite effect.

The wall thickness [the thickness of the metal] varies from .014" to .020". These are measured in thousands of an inch and usually called 'fourteen thou' or 'sixteen thou' or 'eighteen thou' - the most common thicknesses.


The hole is usually 10.2mm x 12.4mm though it has become more common recently to have 9.8mm x 11.8mm or thereabouts. The diagonal measurements are usually the same as the length [12mm.]

The 'chimney' or 'riser'...the part you blow's depth is measured at the sides and is between 4.6mm and 5.0mm deep. Deeper risers result in a better, stronger low register...but a weak second octave.

The 'riser' hole is angled at about 7 degrees from vertical with the top and bottom undercut and overcut slightly. The sides of the hole are often filed down to facilitate a feeling of projection in the headjoint. This always has a good effect. The top edge of the front wall...the wall you blow currently sharpened which is said to make the articulation clearer. It sound as though there is a hiss in the is, I think, an illusion that it sounds better...

There are all sorts and shapes of lip plates, with moustaches, lumps, 'butterflies' ™, slips of precious metal, and other inserts into the front wall said to affect the tone because that is where the air first strikes and the tone is first formed. The air first strikes our teeth...should we have gold teeth fitted?

What has the market price of metal to do with acoustics? Why should precious metals sound any better than inexpensive metals? The density is important...or is it? The density of lead is higher than that of it better?

Whatever you can think of as innovative, it's all been done before.......................except sometimes!

Trevor Wye

  • This Guide was prepared specifically for THE STUDIO, a one year residential course for post-graduate students in Hastingleigh, Kent, England with Trevor Wye.

  • An information leaflet can be obtained by writing to: THE STUDIO, Tamley Cottage, Hastingleigh, Ashford, Kent, TN25 5HW, England

Return to the Trevor Wye Corner



  • A long thin piece of wood which will fit inside the flute, preferably a piece of round dowel 3/8" in diameter and about .5m long.
  • A craft knife
  • A good quality metal ruler of about 18" or .5mm in length.
  • A vernier gauge or an accurate metal ruler...and a sharp eye!
  • The ability to be able to remove the keywork.
The holes on flutes are of different sizes and become smaller from the foot upwards. To save on tube making costs, the flute maker uses 5 different tone hole sizes; for the foot 15.6mm, for the right hand four holes, E F, F# and G, 14.4mm; the left hand holes, A, A#, B (including the 'spare' G# hole) are usually 13.4mm; G# and C are generally 12.5mm; and the small C# hole together with the two trill keys holes (D and D#) are usually 7mm in diameter. Flute makers vary these sizes according to preference but all flutes will be very close to these sizes.

The scales below are for flutes with equal sized tone holes of 15.8mm in diameter: a flute with equal sized tone holes would not sound good. Graduated sizes sound better and so we have to 'correct' holes smaller than 15.8mm by moving them to a sharper position, or displacing them, as in the Displacement List.

1) Choose your preferred scale [A=440, or A=442] and write the figures on a piece of paper. You should choose the scale to which you think your flute was probably built. If you are checking an 'old scale' flute, then choose A=440. Remove the keywork on your flute.

2) Measure the tone hole sizes of your flute with a vernier guage or a small metal rule and check them against the column below under 'Displacements'.

3) Add or subtract all of the figures under 'special corrections'. i.e. at 442HZ, A#=285.7; the tone hole size is 13.4 which is sharpened [+] by 2.5mm which equals 288.2mm; + .5mm for a more open embouchure [=288.7mm] and minus 1.3mm for an open hole flute. The total reads 287.4mm.

4) Work out all the tone hole calcualtions in the same way.

5) First draw a straight line down the length of the dowel. Then mark a line across the dowel about 50mm from one end; this will be the theoretical position for the C hole and is simply a starting point to measure from. This mark is 0.0mm. Now transfer your measurememnts on to the dowel along the straight line [except for D#, G#, and C; these holes are not 'in line' on the flute]. Measure from your 0.0mm mark and mark th edowel with a sharp hobbyist's blade across the line you have drawn. Just pressing the blade into the wood will suffice. Write the names of the notes next to your mark.

6) Where the end of the flute meets the open air, it sharpens the lowest note. On a c foot, the C would be too sharp. The lowest not has to be flattened to offset this effect which is known as an end correction. For a C foot, the end of the flute should be 42mm from the centre of the C# hole; for a B foot, the end of the flute is 44.1mm from the centre of the C hole.

7) Put the marked dowel inside your flute and try to align as many notes as possible with your markings. The marks you have made are the centres of the holes. If you look directly down on the holes with one eye closed, you will soon observe which marks are off centre. If there are only two or three notes badly out, consider the sharpest position for your dowel and then proceed to flatten the sharp notes with some kind of plastic filler, or even Plasticine or 'Playdo'.

If necessary, also consider the possibility of flattening the footjoint notes by pulling out the footjoint in the same way you would pull out the headjoint when sharp.

8) Re-assemble the flute and play it for a few days to get accustomed to the new scale.

The position of the upper C# is about 358.5mm at A=440, and 359.7 at A=442.

15.6mm = .2mm
15.6mm = .2mm
15.4mm = .4mm
15.2mm = .5mm
15mm = .7mm
14.8mm = .8mm
14.6mm = 1.2mm
14.4mm = 1.4mm
14.2 mm = 1.6mm
14.0mm = 1.8mm
13.6mm = 2.2mm
13.4mm = 2.5mm
13.2mm = 2.7mm
13.0mm = 2.95mm
12.5mm = 3.65mm


For easier low notes [sharper] add .3mm to lower C and .5mm to C#.

For open hole flutes: subtract .3mm from E, F, F#, A, and A#: open cups sharpen the note.

For a sharper top D3, add .3mm.

For a more 'open' embouchure, add .2mm to A, .5mm to A#, 1mm to B, and 1.6mm to C.

See practice Book Four - Intonation - for other ways to checking the scale by using harmonics.

STOP PRESS! Below is the 440 scale to which my own flute has been tuned: I think it is the best so far. It is approximately the scale made by Bennett and used by Altus. Mark '0' on you dowel. Measure your tone hole sizes. Add the 'corrections'. Subtract 1.3mm for open holes. Mark the upper C# on the dowel without any corrections. Mark the remainder of the measurements on the dowel from '0'. Check your flute with this scale.

C = 0, C# = 43.5, D = 77.2, Eb = 109.6, E - 140.3, F = 169.1, F# = 194.4, G = 220.0, G# = 241.2, A = 268.8, A# = 290.7, B = 312.2, C = 331.5, C# = 364.8 with a 6.6mm hole.

Trevor Wye 1995

This Guide was prepared specifically for THE STUDIO, a one year residential course for post-graduate students in Hastingleigh, Kent, England with Trevor Wye.

An information leaflet can be obtained by writing to: THE STUDIO, Tamley Cottage, Hastingleigh, Ashford, Kent, TN25 5HW, England

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18th Century Music


  • Your performance should reflect the composers intentions and not the emotions and feelings of the performer. It must be true to the composer and not impose on his creation style elements of music of a later period.

  • Get a 'clean' edition. An 'edited' edition is often the editor's personal ideas on performance written into the copy as if by the composer. A performance based on misinformation - however well intentioned - can seriously mislead the listener.

  • The instrument your duo partner is playing, harpsichord or piano, should be reflected in the interpretation of the sonata.

  • The acoustics of the performance hall may affect your choice of style, articulation, and speed.

  • Look through the whole piece first - decide whether it is; light, heavy, smooth, lyrical, bright, melancholy, vivacious, calm, noble,...&c. Of course, individual movements may vary.

  • Choosing the 'right' speed is important. There are several pointers: how does the bass move? If it is in common time, play the movement in four - not in eight. If the sonata is in the 'Galant' taste, then play the basic tune first to establish the skeleton of the melody. This will help to establish the speed. Then add the embellishment afterwards. Finally, don't count in subdivisions. In 4/4 time, don't count in 8 - it can make for a 'bumpy' performance. 6/8 time is two beats in a bar, not 6.

  • Take one movement: mark in the principal cadences: they become markers, or sign posts - points of arrival and departure - places to 'aim' for in your performance.

  • Take the first steps to decide on phrasing and slurring (see 18th century notes). As you mark in a slur, put it in the parallel phrases in the rest of the movement. This makes for consistency of ideas in editing. Don't make too much contrast, such a between long tongued sections with long slurred sections - unless there is a good reason.

  • Decide on the dynamics with regard to the 'phrasing' - then mark in your decision in the parallel places throughout the movement.

  • Play the movement through. Prove your ideas through the performance you give.

  • Make all repeats and justify the repeat by saying it differently the second time around.

  • Work at the remaining movements maintaining continuity of style and ideas - or contrast where appropriate.

  • Work out your cadenzas, if there are any, and keep them in the style of the movement. Keep them short, and write them in. A cadenza, however short, should contain the element of surprise...but not shock! It should also sound as if you had just made it up.

  • Finally, look for a common bond between the tempo of each movement, so that there is some uniformity of ideas, rather like putting together a fine meal.

  • Above all try to develop Good taste and elegance in what you do. Musicians in the 18th century spent much of their time in the pursuit of the ever elusive Good taste, not only in music, but in art, literature, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, dress, and even conversation!

  • NEVER tre to make-it-up-as-you-go-along!...unless you are a highly skilled and experienced performer in 18th century music.

Trevor Wye, 1995

This Guide was prepared specifically for THE STUDIO, a one year residential course for post-graduate students in Hastingleigh, Kent, England with Trevor Wye.

An information leaflet can be obtained by writing to: THE STUDIO, Tamley Cottage, Hastingleigh, Ashford, Kent, TN25 5HW, England

Flute Scales & Playing in Tune
From the FLUTE List - March 2003
* published with permission from Trevor Wye *

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003
Subject: Cooper and other scales

Regarding the recent correspondence about flute scales, readers may like to know that, with his help, I am writing a short biography of Albert Cooper and his influence on the flute world. Part of that book will be a chapter on Cooper's Scale, complete with figures and a non-technical explanation of how to either check an existing flute, or construct a new flute scale. There will also be advice on fixing an out of tune flute.

Albert Cooper being the generous man that he is, suggested that, as I, William Bennett and others mildly disagree with the positioning of some Cooper tone holes, that I include in his book a chapter on these disagreements.

There are manufacturer variants to Cooper's scale, and the variants I have tried have incorrect tone hole placements, at least to my ears. Perhaps they are based on the maker either not fully understanding how to construct a scale, or perhaps listening to the opinions of some soloist or other and making changes to the position of tone holes accordingly. A guitar has the frets set out with the spacing obvious to the eye. The spacing of flute tone holes are not so easy to see, but if a maker moves one hole, it is like a guitarist cutting a small section out of the fingerboard. This action will affect other notes.

If I finish the 'scale section' of the book soon, if requested, I will post it on the List in advance of the book. (In London, we have all [Bennett, Cooper, Cole, et al] shared our knowledge freely with each other on the basis that we are only custodians of what we know for a few brief years...

It isn't practical or morally right to copyright what the Chinese devised some 5000 years ago- equal temperament) Headjoints rarely affect the intonation, unless the taper is incorrectly formed or the cork is in the incorrect position, the socket is loose, or the blowing hole is a maverick. The common intonation problems will be incorrect octaves. So much also depends on the player blowing 'correctly' and having good ears. Generally speaking, if the head fits and you like it play it. Heads are made in one part of the factory and bodies in another, much like violins and bows.

The next issue of Pan will contain the first of two articles on Intonation. The Cinderella of the Flute. The second article will be how to fix it both the player and the instrument.

...just my 100 dollars worth...

Trevor Wye

Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003
Subject: More scales

It is indeed heartening to see an interest in flute scales. Maybe soon, there will also be an interest in playing in tune too.

Regarding Eb3. It is sharp on every flute unless the G sharp and/or Eb2 holes have been flattened, in which case one has a flat top Eb but with two sharp, and more commonly used Ebs There is no easy fix. The 3rd octave notes are all problematical but Eb3 has no easy alternative fingering unlike the remainder of the 3rd octave. If the tone hole positions of the first, and therefore the second octaves are correct, then Eb3 will be sharp.

Most of the modern Japanese (except Altus) and some other flutes suffer from a sharp D2 and Eb2. Albert Cooper suggest that either middle D and Eb are sharp and the lowest 3/4 notes are in tune, or middle D is in tune, but the lowest Eb, D C sharp and C are flat. He went for a sharp middle D & Eb in his scale. I prefer the reverse.

As the middle Ds and Ebs are played more often, I think its better to pull out the foot-joint to make the second harmonic agree as nearly as possible with the true left-hand notes. (If this seems like gobbledygook, read my Practise Book 4 - Intonation Novello). This will also make it necessary to play the lowest few notes in the low octave with more opening to the blowing hole to sharpen them. They also sound less like a demented wasp played like this.

The next note, which is commonly sharp on 'new scale' flutes, is the LH C sharp. This can, and should be flattened with Playdo/Plasticene as set out in P.Bk 4. Certainly this technique will slightly alter the tone of Csharp, but it suffers anyway when a player tries to flatten it with the lips.

Only my 3 dollars worth this time...

Trevor Wye

Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003
Subject: More scales...

Dear John, and others who have written privately,

I have already set this out in Practise Book 4, but, in general, I tend to give way to the prevailing pitch of other instruments.

With the piano, if we play in octaves or unison, then I try to keep at the same equal tempered scale pitch, but sometimes in a slow tune, when the piano has the same note as the flute - for example - in the last note of Gaubert's Madrigal, (the B natural), I ask the pianist to omit his B so that I can play the major third flatter. This gives a more calmer and nobler effect than an equal-tempered third. I don't really mind though, when the third is equal tempered. It's when it is sharper than Eb that I find painful.

Steen: about Haynes flute scales: isn't it better to know who the devil is if you are to do battle with him? Don't be afraid to find out about your flute scale. It won't make you pregnant.

By the way, Practise Book one sold over 1000 copies in English in the past 3 months; Practise Book 4 sold only 44. Either people aren't interested in intonation, or it's a lousy book.

I don't know what Fenwick Smith has written about pitch, and I have never discussed this with him, but he is one of the very rare people whose intonation I find faultless.

When a man doesn't know he doesn't know, leave him alone. He's a fool.
When a man doesn't know he knows, help him.
When a man knows he doesn't know, teach him.
When a man knows he knows, study with him; he is a master.
Fenwick Smith knows he knows.

Trevor Wye

Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 08:40:38 +0000
Subject: Intonation

Dear John and other correspondents,

Thanks for your letters.

Yes, I agree.

Many of you out there will be far more experienced than I in teaching beginners, so I hope this won't sound like I am preaching to the already initiated. I only taught beginners for about 18 years.

As they learn notes, the developing player needs tunes. Lots of tunes. They need to learn to shape the tunes. They need musical poetry. There are plenty of books of good tunes...

In both my Beginner's Practise Books and Flute Class, I sent about 130 nice tunes around to teachers and young players for them to select what they most enjoyed. From their choice, I selected the 72, which appear in both these volumes.

They should be taught at an early age to bend notes around, first with the lips, and jaw, and, depending on its effectiveness (people vary) then the use of the head too. By learning how to play really softly and really loudly and then learning how to crescendo and diminuendo -without the pitch changing, they have the tools. With good tunes, they can be shown how to use these tools to become musicians instead of mere flute players. This is a simplified explanation. The first exercises for learning pitch control are Pitch Control -1 (Mobility) and Pitch Control - 2 (Note Endings and Nuances) followed by Pitch Control 3 (Intonation) in Practise Book One - Tone. These may be used together with 'tunes' to practise expression. Follow this up with Practise Book 4 Intonation (24 Studies for Intonation). The CD Edition of the Practise Book One -Tone contains a demonstration CD of these exercises, and the others in the Tone book.

Tone and intonation are intertwined; the practise of one without the other is wasted effort.

If a violinist is flat, he is smartly told to bring his finger closer to his face. Young flute players are advised to 'support more', 'listen more carefully', 'blow at a candle flame', 'adopt a correct posture', watch a tuning machine', 'raise the eyebrows', 'think sharper', 'slide your fingers off the open holes to correct flatness', 'roll the flute in or out', 'remove the vibrato', 'make more space in the mouth', 'open the throat', 'play duets', 'buy a new headjoint', 'buy a new flute', 'move the position of the cork', 'raise the rib cage', .....the list of silly advice goes on and on, though there is one missing: prayer.

At two 'master' classes, I have seen the student's intonation problems ignored and instead, the screwball teacher was demonstrating how to move around during the performance.

If we have to listen to out of tune playing, then I suppose ballet does offer some distraction.

Trevor Wye

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About Syrinx
* published with permission from Trevor Wye *

There are so many erroneous stories about this piece. This is one was culled from the FLUTE List December 2007:

    "Invited to a festive gathering at the home of a wealthy music patron, Debussy was asked to compose some music inspired by a statuette of a shepherd playing his pipe. On the afternoon of the party, Debussy strolled over to the piano adjacent to the statuette and rapidly wrote his little Syrinx. He handed the manuscript to Moyse to perform that evening. The composition lacked even a bar line or phrase marking. All markings on the manuscript are those of Moyse."

This was part of a ‘research’ paper. It is total nonsense.

I became interested in the 1970's when I heard not only many distorted versions, but teachers and players who maintained that the original had no bar lines: that the player can do what they want; that its subject is ‘lurve’ ; that it was performed barefoot; that Jobert got the manuscript from Debussy;..etc etc... These legends keep crapping up from time to time...

I heard the story of Syrinx as Moyse remembered it, at a class in Switzerland.

Later, on two different occasions, I asked him specific questions about it. Moyse had an extraordinary memory. This is what I recall: Louis Fleury told Moyse that he played it off stage at the premiere in 1913. The piece reflects Pan's review of his life. He wasn't dying at that moment, but reflecting on and recalling his life.

After the play finished, Fleury insisted that at concerts, he would always play it behind a screen or off stage, out of respect for Debussy. When Fleury died (10 June, 1926), Jobert, the publisher asked Madame Fleury for the manuscript which she found 'amongst his papers'. Jobert gave the manuscript to Moyse to edit for publication. In these two conversations I had with Moyse, he was adamant that:

    1) Only one - perhaps two - bar lines were missing which he corrected.

    2) The breathing marks were put in by Moyse.

    3) Just before the recapitulation, after the long Bb, there is a breath. According to Moyse, Debussy preferred the recap to begin without the interruption of a breath...'but I couldn't do it!', he said. (Moyse suffered from asthma and breath problems, which is reflected in his editing).

    4) The silly accent in the penultimate bar - isn't! Moyse told me he thought it was a diminuendo which became shortened when first printed, and subsequently copied by other publishers. ) The B is accented (marque) and a diminuendo occurs after the first beat of the following bar.

    5) As there was already another piece by Debussy entitled La Flute de Pan, Jobert suggested altering the title to 'Syrinx' to avoid confusion.

    6) Jobert Suggested that Moyse's name be printed as the 'editor'. Moyse refused. 'I did almost nothing', he declared.

    7) The publishers were unable to locate the manuscript in more recent times. It had disappeared after publication in 1927.

    8) The Cb in brackets wasn't there to remind flute players that there is an enharmonic change! They are neither clever enough or sensitive enough to pitch for it to have made any difference! :)

The only instrument to which it would be significant is a harp, to indicate a pedal change. Was Debussy thinking to add a harp part later? If so, the crescendo on the B natural (Cb) would suggest a harp chord on the second beat, thus propelling the phrase forward to the following arpeggio. This is only opinion, not fact.

Most of these points were confirmed some years ago by the discovery of a manuscript copy in Belgium.

The other day in Rome, (Dec 2007) I heard a performances in which the rhythm was double dotted in the first and other bars, with various other distortions.

Apropos of this: Moyse told me that he attended a rehearsal of the Trio for fl, vla and hp, with Debussy present in c.1915. The performer was possibly Albert Manouvrier, who asked Debussy a question about a rhythm in his part. Debussy replied sharply to this effect: 'Don't play what you think I should have written - play what I wrote!' The people in the room were shocked.

A cursory study of the evolution of Debussy's music suggests that he became more fussy as the years passed. His later works have more mood and tempo marking than earlier ones. By the time he wrote La Flute de Pan (Syrinx) it seems that he knew precisely what he wanted!

Just my 100 Euros worth...

Trevor Wye

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