Méthod Complète de Flageolet sans Clés ou avec Clés

The “Méthode Complète de Flageolet” by Jules Gard is a substantial tutor for the French flageolet with 55 short pieces. Both the text from the tutor and the music have been digitalised: the text is lower down this page, after the music.

The Music

The music from the “Méthod Complète de Flageolet sans Clés ou avec Clés” is available in various forms. It is possible to download a pdf file of the music, or, alternatively, a pdf file containing the music, fingering charts and text, although this is a little over 3 Megabytes in size. Finally, the pieces are available separately:

The Tutor


Méthod Complète de Flageolet sans Clés ou avec Clés.
Contenant:
Les principes de la musique, un avertissement essentiel, les tablaures du Flageolet, sans clés et avec clés, des exercices, des preludes, trente six petits airs faciles, suivis de six petits Duos nouveaux de l’auteur.
Par
Jules Gard,
Professeur.

Drawing from the title page, showing man in early 19th Century dress playing the French flageolet.

Edited by Jacob Head
http://www.flageolets.com

Editors’ Introduction.

The Méthode Complète de Flageolet by Jules Gard is an attractive work for French flageolet, probably dating from the early 19th Century. Although the work contains relatively few instructions for the budding flageolet player, the studies and pieces cover a range of techniques, ranging from very simple to advancing and, even today, would provide a good introduction to the instrument.

This edition has been prepared from a copy of the original publication which is now in the editor’s collection. The aim of this edition was to adhere, as closely as possible, to the original, including the original introduction and diagrams. The only section which has been deliberately omitted is a five page Abrégé Des Principes De La Musique, which appears to have been a stock introduction to music theory inserted by the publisher.

There are relatively few errors in the original which require correcting to bring in line with current expectations. In pieces 1 and 31, the final notes are dotted in the original whilst current conventions would have them undotted in order to balance the anacrusis. In number 16, the F♯ in the penultimate bar is a G in the original, although this has been corrected by same hand which added the articulation detailed below. The only major change is in number 23, where the original for bar 11 contains a minim followed by 6 quavers. This results in a bar that is one crotchet beat too long. Two alternatives are suggested. The only question when editing this work is working out Gard’s intentions as to way-finding through each piece. A large number begin and conclude with a segno above the stave which has been interpreted to be a dal capo with a fine over the first double–bar (if present).

In addition to these changes, in the editor’s copy, the pieces and duets have been extensively articulated in dark brown ink. As there is only one occasion where these articulations differ from what is printed (in number 22), they have been retained in this edition. For reference, the following outlines, in detail, which slurs are marked in:

7. Fandango—All slurs marked in. 9. Air Bavarois—All slurs in the first three bars and the second slur in bar 9 are marked in. 10. La Biondina—First slurs in each of bars 2, 4, 6, 10 and 14 and both slurs in bar 4 are original, all others are marked in. 13. Valse Tyrolienne—All slurs are marked in, except the one in bar 2. 15. Air Russe—All slurs, after bar 4, are marked in. 18. La Pécheur—All slurs are marked in, except those in bar 12 and the second slur in bar 20. 19. Ma Zétublé —All slurs are marked in. 20. Air de Tancrede Ditanti palpiti—All slurs are marked in. 21. Dans l’age d’or—All slurs are marked in. 22. Romance de Joseph—All slurs are marked in, except in bars 1 and 5 where the printed slurs (as reproduced here) have been split into two. 23. Il faudrait m’aimer de Romagnesi—All slurs are marked in, except in bars 2 and 4. 24. Sul margine—All slurs are marked in, except in the final bar. 25. Je suis encore dans mon printems d’une folie—All slurs are marked in, except the second slur in bar 7. 26. Complainte de Clara Wendel—All slurs are marked in, except in bars 16, 17 20 and 21. 27. Rondo du hussard de Felsheim—All slurs are marked in, except in bars 26, 27 and 31 and the first slur in bar 30. 28. Air de la Dame du lac—All slurs are marked in, except in bars 14 and 15. 30. Vos monts battus des tempêtes. De Wallace—Slurs in bars 22 and 25 are marked in. 32. Je ne vous dirai pas j’aime—All slurs are marked in, except the first (or only) slur in each of bars: 2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31 and 32. 33. Errant de ville en ville de Wallace—Slurs in bars 2 and 10 are marked in. 35. Valse d’Emma—All slurs, after bar 16, are marked in. 1er. Duo—All slurs are marked in. 2e. Duo–All slurs in bars 9–11 and 13–15 are marked in. 3e. Duo. Rondo—All slurs are marked in, except the in the final bar. 4e. Duo—All slurs are marked in. 5e. Duo—All slurs are marked in. 6e. Duo—All slurs, in bars 1–6, 9–11 and 25, and the final slur of bar 12, of the upper part, and bars 1, 3–7, 14–18 and 20–29 and the second slur of bar 12, of the lower part, are marked in.

Jacob Head
London,
December 2007

Méthode De Flageolet.

Avertissement Essentiel.

La main droite se place au bas de l’instrument, la main gauche au dessus, et les doigts disposés ainsi: le pouce de la main gauche dessous fermant le trou supérieur; le 1er doigt dessus fermant le 1er trou; le 2d doigt sur le 2e trou; le 3e doigt se place dessous pour contenir l’instrument; le petit doigt restera libre pour ouvrir la clé de Ré ♯ si le flageolet est avec clé; il sera joint au 3e si le flageolet est sans clé. Le pouce de la main droite dessous fermant le trou inférieur; le 1er doigt dessus fermant le 3e trou; le 2d doigt sur le 4e trou; le 3e doigt dessus au bas du flageolet, et le petit doigt dessous de manière que l’instrument soit tenu entre les deux; voyez la figure.

Le flageolet tenu ainsi il faut le porter à la bouche sans qu’il touche aux dents, et serer légèrement le bec entre les lèvres de manière que le soufle ne puisse trouver à sortir que par l’embouchure. Les doigts seront sans roideur et posés à plat sur le flageolet, de manière que les trous soient bouchés avec le milieu de la 1re phalange, et non avec le bout du doigt, il faut aussi éviter, lorsqu’on fera les notes, de les trop élever, ils ne doivent jamais s’écarter de plus d’un demi pouce du corps de l’instrument. Le petit doigt de la main droite est aussi employé à boucher à demi le trou du bout de l’instrument pour faire l’Ut ♯ en bas et les Ré en haut; dans ces deux cas, il faut le glisser dessous le pavillon, mais il n’y a que l’oreille qui puisse décider de ce qu’on doit plus ou moins l’avancer pour donner ces notes justes qui d’ailleurs sont peu usitées.

Les deux pouces placés doivent le moins possible se séparer de l’instrument, il suffit pour ouvrir les trous sur lesquels ils sont posés de les élever un peu en ployant la 1re phalange, celui de la main droite doit aussi servir à ouvrir la clé du Sol ♯, dont la patte descend près du trou qu’il ferme. La position du corps doit être naturelle, le flageolet doit être tenu diagonalement devant soi, de manière que la tête reste droite et que les coudes ne soient point élevés, observant surtout de ne pas enfler les joues pour souffler et de respirer sans effort.

Un léger souffle suffit pour faire entendre la note la plus basse, mais il faut forcer le vent progressivement au fur et à mesure que l’on monte vers la note la plus élevée.

Chaque note se fait en prononçant la syllabe tu au moyen d’un léger coup de langue, qui ne doit porter que sur les lèvres sans toucher l’embouchure de l’instrument, il faut, en même tems qu’il se donne, changer les doigts suivant la note qu’on veut faire entendre, la précision avec laquelle on doit observer cet ensemble ne pouvant s’acquerir que par l’habitude, les élèves auront soin de s’y exercer d’abord lentement, afin de parvenir au résultat d’une parfaite régularité.

Les notes coulées se font ensemble par un seul et même coup de langue, de quelque longueur que soit le trait qui les unit; dans les passages ou il y a beaucoup de notes coulées et où il ne se trouve pas de silence, il est essentiel de ne respirer que sur la note qui commence un de ces traits.

Il y a des notes qui se font de deux manières, elles sont indiquées dans la tablature, on pourra prendre le 1er doigté qui est le meilleur, le second est pour faciliter divers traits.

Il y a des flageolets dans plusieurs tons, mais l’usage de celui en La à 3 clés rend les autre moins utiles, attendu qu’on peut jouer dans tous les tons avec ce flageolet.

Il y a des flageolets à pompe et des flageolets à bec, ils ne différent en rien pour le ton et pour l’étendue; ceux à pompe ont le son beaucoup plus doux et plus agréable, ils ont en outre l’avantage de ne pas s’humecter comme ceux à bec, attendu que la pompe, dans laquelle on peut introduire une petite éponge, est destinée à recevoir l’eau de la vapeur de l’haleine.

Les clés ajoutées à cet instrument rendent plus faciles les traits de certains passages, mais on peut les exécuter avec les flageolet sans clés puisque, comme on le verra dans les tablatures, toutes les notes de la gamme se font avec l’un ou l’autre flageolet.

La 1re clé, est celle de l’Ut, elle s’employe plus ordinairement pour les cadenses, et se débouche avec le 1er doigt de la main droite; la 2e, est la Clé du sol dièse, elle s’ouvre avec le pouce de la main droite; la 3e, est la Clé du Ré Dièze ou Mi Bémol, elle s’ouvre avec le petit doigt de la main gauche.

Method for the Flageolet.

Essential Advice.

The right hand is placed at the bottom of the instrument with the left hand at the top, and the fingers are laid out as follows: the thumb of the left hand closes the highest hole beneath the instrument; the 1st finger, on the top, closes the 1st hole; the 2nd on the 2nd hole; the 3rd finger is placed underneath to hold the instrument; the little finger will remain free to open the D♯ key if the flageolet has keys, otherwise, if the flageolet is without keys, it will be next to the 3rd finger. The thumb of the right hand closes the lower hole underneath the instrument; the 1st finger closes the 3rd hole on the top; the 2nd finger is on the 4th hole; the 3rd finger is above the bottom of the flageolet, with the little finger underneath, so that the instrument is held between the two (see the diagram).

The flageolet, held thus, should be placed in the mouth without touching the teeth, and with the beak held between slightly tightened lips so that the breath can only leave by the mouth.

The fingers should not be stiff and should be placed flat on the flageolet, so that the holes are closed with the middle of the 1st phalange [i.e. the first joint of the finger], and not with the end of the finger. It is also necessary to avoid, when fingering a note, raising the fingers too much; they should not never deviate more than a ½ inch from the body of the instrument.

The small finger of the right hand is also employed to half–close the hole at the end of the instrument to play the low C♯ and the top D. In these two cases, it should be slipped into the bell, but it is only the ear which can decide on how much the bell needs to be closed in order to play these notes, which are not used very often, in tune.

The two thumbs must be raised from the instrument as little as possible. It is enough, in order to open the holes which they work, to raise them a little by bending the 1st phalange. The right hand thumb must be also used to open the key of the A♯, whose leg descends close to the hole that it closes.

The position of the body must be natural. The flageolet is held diagonally in front of oneself so that the head remains upright and the elbows are not raised. One should especially observe not to swell the cheeks to blow and to breathe naturally.

A light breath is enough to play the lowest note, but the intensity of the air should be gradually increased as one goes up towards the highest note.

Each note is played by pronouncing the syllable tu by means of a light blow of the tongue, which should touch the lips without touching the beak of the instrument. It is necessary, at the same time, to change the fingers according to the note which one wants hear. The precision with which one must observe this point can be acquired only by practice. Pupils will have to be careful, initially, to practise this slowly, in order that eventually the desired result will be achieved with a perfect regularity.

The slurred notes are player together by a single articulation of the tongue (that is the feature which joins them). In the passages where there are many slurred notes and no rests, it is essential to breathe only before the note which begins one of these slurs. Some notes are played in two ways; they are indicated in the fingering chart. The 1st fingering is the best, and the second is to facilitate various other features.

Flageolets exist in several keys, but the one in A with 3 keys makes the other less useful, as one can play all the notes with this flageolet.

There are flageolets with a beak and flageolets with a “nozzle” [a recorder–style mouthpiece]. They do not differ in tone and range except that those with beak sound much softer and more pleasant. Moreover, they have the advantage of not moistening as those with a nozzle do, for the chamber after the beak, into which one can introduce a small sponge, is intended to receive the water of the vapour of the breath. The keys added to this instrument make the features of certain passages easier, but one can play them with the keyless flageolet since, as one will see it in the fingering charts, all the notes can be played with one or the other flageolet.

The 1st key, is that of the D, it is usually employed for the cadences, and is opened with the 1st finger of the right hand; the 2nd key, is the Key of G♯, it is opened with the right hand thumb; the 3rd, is Key of D♯ or E♭, it opens with the little finger of the left hand.

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