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World FluteloreFolktales, Myths, and Other Stories of Magical Flute Power$
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Dale A. Olsen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037887

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037887.001.0001

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(p.191) Conclusion
World Flutelore

Dale A. Olsen

University of Illinois Press

This chapter summarizes the points of the book and synthesizes many of the attitudes, concepts, and events seen in flutelore. It addresses the question: What is singularly distinct or unique about flutes, flute playing, and flute players in a world context? The first and perhaps foremost reason why flutes are powerful is the direct use of the musician's breath to produce a sound, and breath is the source of life itself, as told to us by many storytellers from many cultures across time. The second reason why flutes are powerful is that whistle sounds are aural characteristics or phenomena not found in normal human speech, song, or chant discourses. The third reason why flutes have power is the pleasing quality of the “beautiful” melodies produced on them. A fourth reason why flutes have power is that they seem to provide a simple but important mythological bond among people, animals, and spirits throughout the world.

Keywords:   flutelore, flutes, flute plying, whistle sounds, melodies, mythological bond

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