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VICKI SWAN - English Folk Tunes For Flute

VICKI SWAN - English Folk Tunes For Flute
Schott Music Ltd ISBN: 9781847614728

This book was originally published in 2016. It is one of the Schott World Music series. The target audience for the collection is immediately apparent in the press release that accompanies the book: English Folk Tunes For Flute which are “suitable for players of grades 3-8”.

The tunes range from ‘common’ country dance and morris tunes such as Shepherd’s Hey, Galopede or Durham Rangers through tunes from Playford’s Dancing Master series (e.g. Portsmouth, Childgrove or Hunt The Squirrel) to branles – both well known (The Horses) to more obscure (The Quarter and The Scots).

The MSS for each of the 52 tunes included is given with two treble staves – the melody is given in the upper stave and the under, counter or accompanying part in the lower. Vicki’s arrangements – the second parts – shine throughout. Each tune in the book is also recorded, in the two parts, on the accompanying 52-track CD. As one might expect from a musician of Vicki’s quality, the CD is a delight just to listen to. The book’s introductory notes explain why the notations are given in simple form, but encourage the use of ornamentation and grace notes, giving examples.

Although ostensibly an educational tool for classic grade students, the contents are a treasure trove with exemplary two-part arrangements suitable for more than just flute. The publication is of a high quality and this is reflected in the retail price of £13.99. High perhaps for a book of ‘folk tunes’ but worth it for both book and CD.

Tom Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 125 of The Living Tradition magazine.