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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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Flutes That Talk

Flutes That Talk

(p.31) Chapter 3 Flutes That Talk
World Flutelore

Dale A. Olsen

University of Illinois Press

This chapter works with a concept that seems common in many animistic cultures, where flutes talk rather than produce music. Many flutists in European-derived cultures often refer to their instrument's sound as its “voice,” which is usually a reference to its tone color. In the jazz world, most notably with flutist (and saxophonist) Rahsaan Roland Kirk, humming into the flute while blowing it during improvisations creates very raspy tone colors. Flutist D. J. Sterling refers to his own playing/humming style as “the talking flute,” and others have imitated him. The chapter focuses on two flute techniques: imitation of speech tones on a flute and flute-speak or flute-think.

Keywords:   flutes, speech patterns, talk, flute-speak, flute think, imitation

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