Let’s say this much. The flute is not a sexy instrument. Jethro Tull and that one Men at Work song aside, it just isn’t. I played it from third grade till like senior in high school and I felt agnostic about it at best. Piano? I freaking loved the piano. Piano got me through adolescence big time. But I don’t want to totally slam the flute. Let me see. I think we can say it’s a nice urban instrument being portable, it’s pretty, very popular with little girls.
What brings it up is I’m rehearsing for a play right now that requires some tooting so I’m learning the recorder (um, and I don’t really understand that instrument; you like partially cover some holes for notes? ay caramba) but just took out my high school flute last night to find out what the required songs are supposed to sound like. And seeing my old trusty flute, all rusted and disturbed looking from lack of care inspired me to sing Cher’s “If I could turn back time” to my husband, b/c seriously, I was flashing back hard.
School band? Oh yeah. Marching band? No, skipped that one. The medley from “Annie”? Second flute parts that had 32-measure rests? OH YEAH. YEARS of hauling that case in my backpack (and since I still carry a backpack and have the same haircut I did from seventh grade, it’s like coming full circle). Reading music came back much easier than I thought it would. I have a better handle on reading music than say, reading Korean. And although I sounded not so bad (there were some tired strains of what I used to sound like when I used to practice), I think it is a.o.k. I never had any serious musician ambition.
I feel for my folks. They tried hard to give me a well-rounded child/coming-of-age hood complete with music lessons, which was really nice of them, but has no presence in my life right now. Except maybe it does. B/c lately, even before this play, I’ve been hankering to learn the guitar and accompany some bad lyrics I’ll make up on the spot.
2 Replies to “crikey, it’s the flute”
I used to feel the same way about the clarinet. I thought it sounded so whiny and lame. I somehow got coerced into taking it for a year in music class, and dropped it as soon as I could. But recently I’ve totally fallen in love with Benny Goodman’s ’30s recordings — he almost makes the damn thing sound macho.
But what does this have to do with the flute? Well, not too long ago, I had a certain Korean friend of ours over for an evening of alcohol and mah-jongg (I won’t mention her name, but it rhymes with “Shmancy”). I put on some Benny Goodman, and she started playing, not air clarinet, but the wildest air FLUTE you’ve ever seen. She was wailin’!
that is hilarious. i would love to see the wild flute solo. i actually think the clarinet is cool. isn’t there a massive gerswhin written solo in an american in paris or something for the clarinet?