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From Swiss Flutes to Consorts: History, Music and Playing Techniques of the Transverse Flute in Switzerland, Germany and France ca. 1470-1640

Hadden, Nancy (2010) From Swiss Flutes to Consorts: History, Music and Playing Techniques of the Transverse Flute in Switzerland, Germany and France ca. 1470-1640. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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The flute consort was popular for music-making in civilian society from about the second quarter of the sixteenth century, especially in Germany and France where the main sources of music and instruction books were published between about 1520 and 1560. Prior to the development of the consort, the flute was primarily played by Swiss and German soldiers, in a duo with a large drum. Their presence on the battlefield and playing for court entertainments can be documented from around 1470, and it would appear that their presence at court provided the impetus for civilian players to take up the flute and transform it to an instrument for soft chamber music. An introductory chapter deals with the instrument itself, describing its design features, surviving instruments, a short background history of the flute in the years leading up to the fifteenth century, and the names by which the so-called ‘Renaissance flute’ was known. Chapter 2 examines the contexts and activities of the Swiss and German military flautists, their movement into the courts of Europe, and the subsequent development of the flute consort, through a study of Swiss chronicles, court and city documents and payment records, pictures and musical sources. Chapter 3 follows the rise and development of flute consort playing in Germany and France ca. 1520 -1560; I have focused on this period in these two countries, because the main sources of consort music and instruction books were published there. Relevant activities of Swiss flutes and flute consorts in other European centres supplement the discussion. Chapter 4 is devoted to an analysis of historic playing techniques. Important original source materials have been studied and interpreted, including some seventeenth-century treatises which indicate the survival of sixteenth-century playing techniques. Instruction books, along with evidence from surviving instruments, music and other written documents have made it possible to create a comprehensive method for playing the Renaissance flute.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Music (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.535098
Depositing User: Digitisation Studio Leeds
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2012 10:10
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2581

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