Orchestration #4 – Flute C

Use of the flute as texture and colour

The combined attributes of agility and florid colour of the flute lend it well to textural moments. Gil utilizes the flute in these moments throughout it range, right from its fragile, breathy low register up to the silvery, brilliant high range.

Audio examples below.


Blues for Pablo – Introduction

In this hushed introduction to Blues for Pablo there are two flutes. Both are in their low registers with one of them trilling.

Orchestra4Flute9c.JPG

bars 7 & 8

The flutes are paired with a muted trumpet in this phrase. Note the accel, decel. indications so that the rhythms are shifted between the three instruments, thereby creating a more colouristic effect. Flute 1 is nicely in its middle register here, with the Alto flute still fairly low.

Orchestra4Flute10c

This sort of timbre reminds me of the beautiful opening of Debussy’s La Mer Mvt. 2. I highly recommend a listen. Here is a segment of the introduction. In the 3rd bar (on this page) the flutes have a low trill in 3rds which is closely followed by some muted trumpet effects.

Orchestra4Flute11c


Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess – bars 14-16

In this example Gil uses the flutes in a more typical register to balance with the ensemble and the crescendo of the phrase. The flutes would be heard more clearly if they were in their high register but here they just colour the phrase.

Orchestra4Flute12c.JPG

Questions and comments welcome.


My video has been banned in due to copyright! Its a bit weird seeing as you can hear the complete pieces on Youtube. So here are links to youtube for this post.

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