Cover image for The simple flute : from A to Z
The simple flute : from A to Z
Debost, Michel.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Simple flûte. English
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
282 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
MT340 .D4313 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Drawing from his highly praised French work, Une simple flute, distinguished flutist and teacher Michel Debost has compiled a useful and imaginative introduction to playing the flute. This alphabetically arranged compendium of advice and insight covers essential topics such as breathing,articulation, and tone, but also explores "jawboning," "finger phrasing," "the little devils," and other quirky and vexing aspects of flute playing. Full of practical advice on technique and axioms that lend moral support during tough practice sessions, The Simple Flute will be a welcome addition toany serious or novice flutist's library. In addition, the book includes original exercises such as "Debost's Scale Game," making it an excellent resource for flute teachers. Debost concludes each essay with "In a nutshell" and "Please refer to" boxes that make the book easy to browse, dog-ear, andreturn to again and again. Offering concise, common-sense solutions for flutists of all levels, this book is an ideal reference guide on flute performance.

Author Notes

Michel Debost is Professor of Flute at the Oberlin Conservatory. He succeeded Jean-Pierre Rampal at the Paris Conservatoire National and served as principal of the Orchestre de Paris under music directors Munch, Karajan, Solti, and Barenboim.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Successor to Rampal at the Paris Conservatory, Debost (Oberlin Conservatory) offers a good-natured compendium of advice on all aspects of the flute and flute playing. The book is particularly strong on such aspects of technique as breathing, articulation, fingering (harmonic and alternative ways to deal with "finger antagonisms"), and more advanced aspects of playing, e.g., flutter tonguing, harmonics, and ghost tones. Repertory suggestions are well considered and adequate, if not exciting. Entries tweak interest by their quixotic order because of the alphabetic nature of their placement. This friendly advice from a distinguished professional performer and respected teacher should be a useful resource for teachers and an excellent reference for students and performers at all levels willing to accept the advice and suggestions of a practitioner who has tried alternatives to the standard methods. It should be read with flute in hand. J. P. Ambrose emerita, University of Vermont