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This title in other editions

Other titles in the Oxford Musical Instrument series:

The Flute Book: A Complete Guide for Students and Performers (Oxford Musical Instrument)


The Flute Book: A Complete Guide for Students and Performers (Oxford Musical Instrument) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Teachers and flutists at all levels have praised Nancy Toff'sThe Flute Book, a unique one-stop guide to the flute and its music. Organized into four main parts--The Instrument, Performance, The Music, and Repertoire Catalog--the book begins with a description of the instrument and its making, offers information on choosing and caring for a flute, sketches a history of the flute, and discusses differences between members of the flute family. In the Performance section, readers learn about breathing, tone, vibrato, articulation, technique, style, performing, and recording. In the extensive analysis of flute literature that follows, Toff places individual pieces in historical context. The book ends with a comprehensive catalog of solo and chamber repertoire, and includes appendices with fingering charts as well as lists of current flute manufacturers, repair shops, sources for flute music and books, and flute clubs and related organizations worldwide. In this Third Edition, Toff has updated the book to reflect technology's advancements--like new digital recording technology and recordings' more prevalent online availability--over the last decade. She has also accounted for new scholarship on baroque literature; recent developments such as the contrabass flute, quarter-tone flute, and various manufacturing refinements and experiments; consumers' purchase prices for flutes; and a thoroughly updated repertoire catalog and appendices.

About the Author

Nancy Toff is the author of The Development of the Modern Flute, Georges Barrère and the Flute in America, and Monarch of the Flute: The Life of Georges Barrère. Highly respected as a writer, researcher, and lecturer, she has been a consultant to the Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection in the Library of Congress and the Department of Musical Instruments of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was curator of an exhibition on Georges Barrère at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. She is a past president of the New York Flute Club. Toff is the 2012 winner of the National Flute Association's National Service Award.

Table of Contents

About the Companion Website



Terminology used in this book




1. The Flute Today

What Is a Flute? / Manufacturing: The State of the Art

2. How to Choose an Instrument

To Rent or To Buy / Setting Priorities / Materials / Open or Closed Holes / C or B Footjoint / Mechanical Options / Testing an Instrument

3. Care and Maintenance of the Flute

Preventive Maintenance: Assembling the Instrument / Daily Cleaning / Storage / Polishing / Replating / Lubrication / The Headjoint Cork / Mechanical Problems

4. A Brief History of the Flute

Old System Flutes / The Boehm Flute / Other Nineteenth Century Flutes / Minor Modifications to the Boehm System

5. The Flute Family

The Piccolo / The Alto Flute / The Bass Flute / The Contr'alto, Contrabass, and Subcontrabass Flutes / The Flute Choir


6. Breathing

Posture / Inhalation / Suspension / Exhalation / The Diaphragm / Exercises / Breathing and Phrasing / Circular Breathing

7. Tone

The Acoustical Basis / Tone Production / Focus and Projection / Homogeneity of Sound / Interpretation through Tone Development / Intonation / National Styles of Flute Playing

8. Vibrato

What is Vibrato? / The History of Vibrato / The Uses of Vibrato

9. Articulation

The Bowing Analogy / Single-Tonguing / Double-Tonguing / Triple-Tonguing / Flutter-Tonguing / Tongueless Attack / Legato / Note Endings / Practice

10. Technique

Position / Practice / Fingering / Harmonics / The B-flat Thumb Key / Three Fingering Tricks

11. Style

Virtuosity and Interpretation / The Theoretical Background: Basic Musicianship / Analysis / Phrasing / Performance Practice / The Early Music Movement and Questions of Authenticity

12. Performance

Opportunities for Performance / Planning a Recital Program / Accompanists and Assisting Artists / Choosing a Recital Hall / The Printed Program / Publicity / Preparation and Rehearsal / Stage Protocol / The Entrance / Playing the Program / Memorization / Breaks between Pieces / Encores

13. Recordings

Building a Recording Collection / How to Listen / Playing Along / Making Your Own Recordings


14. The Baroque Era

Flute Versus Recorder / Musical Forms / France / Italy / England / Germany

15. The Classic Era

Musical Forms / Paris / Germany / Spain / England / Vienna

16. The Romantic Era

Music by Nonflutists / Music by Flutists

17. The Modern Era

France / Great Britain / Elsewhere in Western Europe / Eastern Europe / The United States / The Avant-Garde / The Flute and Electronics



A. The Baroque Era

B. The Classic Era

C. The Romantic Era

D. The Modern Era

E. Study Materials


A. Fingering Chart for the Boehm Flute

B. Flute Manufacturers

C. Repair Shops

D. Sources for Instruments and Accessories

E. Sources for Music and Books

F. Journals, Societies, and Service Organizations

G. Flute Clubs and Societies


Selected Bibliography


Product Details

Toff, Nancy
Oxford University Press, USA
Musical Instruments - Woodwinds
Music | Performance Studies, Applied Music | Winds & Brass
Music-Books on Woodwinds and Brass
Publication Date:
6.4 x 9.2 x 1.5 in 2.15 lb

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruction and Study » Techniques
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruments » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruments » Woodwinds

The Flute Book: A Complete Guide for Students and Performers (Oxford Musical Instrument) New Hardcover
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Product details 560 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195373073 Reviews:
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