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Flute Trios and Quartets

Flute Trios - New listings
Song and Polka – Percy Hall
Difficulty: ME Grade 2, Jr High; Easy High   Publ. Code: 50412001  
This trio was first composed for trumpets and was so successful it is now available not only for flutes, but for clarinets and saxophones as well. These trios are all in the same key which means they could be rehearsed together to learn the rhythms and style. Both staccato and legato styles are called for, and each instrument in the trio has a short solo. Some independent reading of rhythms is necessary, but isn’t that the value and the fun of playing small ensembles?

Square Dance and Round – Percy Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B Difficulty, but not on OMEA list  Publ. Code: 20412106  
This flute trio is fun to play. It is not as difficult as it looks because the fingerings and rhythms lie well for the flute, meaning that if the players are competent they can take a fast tempo and be successful. The title is a play on words, because the contrasting theme is actually a round, and you could square dance to the principal theme. It was first composed and published for trumpet trio, and was successful enough to write it for flutes. The trumpet trio is on the OMEA Class B list.

Flute Quartets - New listings
Mexican Hat Dance – Percy Hall
Difficulty: ME Grade 2   Publ. Code: 20413108  
Mexican Hat Dance is fun to play and of educational value because it is the national dance of Mexico, and because the players must learn to play rhythms in 6/8 meter. It is in the key of F major, and each player gets a phrase or two of the melody as the piece progresses. This quartet was commissioned by Kathy Davis, private flute instructor in Edwardsburg, Michigan, for her students to perform in ensemble competition. The highest pitch is high Eb and none of the parts go below low F, which helps greatly in achieving good balance. Articulation must be worked out as marked.

Variations on Simple Gifts - Brackett arr. Percy Hall
Difficulty: MD Grade 3+   Publ. Code: 20413107  
Music was an important part of the religious life of the sect we have come to know as Shakers. “Simple Gifts” was composed by Joseph Beckett, an elder in the church, as a dancing song. It has become a very familiar tune the world over because Aaron Copland used it in his ballet score “Appalachian Spring.” It is often thought to be a folk song because it has those simple characteristics. This arrangement was commissioned by Kimberly Goodman for her Stratosphere Quartet upon her graduation from Ohio State University as a Doctor of Flute Performance. There are six variations in this quartet all constructed with respect to the beauty and the excitement of the melody to describe the turning, twisting and shaking of the Shaker dancing.

Flute Trios
Colors - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20412101  
Colors can inspire a variety of moods which have been translated into music in these two companion pieces. Musical moods are inspired by the colors blue and yellow. Blue is in G minor and Yellow in F major. The musical lines are quite contrapuntal in both, sometimes running in pairs of similar rhythms. The music calls for sensitive musicianship in Blue and accurate rhythm and clarity of articulation in Yellow. Range is from high G down to bottom line E natural and duration is 3 minutes.

Morning Has Broken - Gaelic melody/Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20412102  
This beautiful song is used as a popular hymn tune in many churches, but its roots are in folk song rather than sacred music. It begins with a statement of theme in 9/8 meter in Bb major, with movement in the harmonic voices, and it is followed by three variations. The first, still in Bb, is in 6/8 like a jig, the second is in C major as a processional march, and the final variation is in Eb major and is quite a surprise, in the Latin swing style. Independent rhythmic reading is essential to the success of the performance, and some experience with syncopated swing rhythms would be advantageous. Duration is only two and a half minutes and range is two octaves from high F down to low F. The variety of meters, keys, and styles creates some challenges in the performance even though short in duration.

Triple Treat - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00185  
Written for 3 flutists of equal ability with melodic interest in all parts and some technical demands for this level. Key is Eb major and range is between high Eb above the staff down to G 2nd line which affords the opportunity of acceptable balance of parts. This trio has received high marks on musicality. It is also published for Trumpet Trio and Saxophone Trio in the same key, and for Clarinet Trio in a different key.

Two for Three - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20412103  
The title Two for Three simply refers to two pieces for three players. It was originally written for trumpet trio, then published for sax trio, and has been a popular piece in Ohio contests in both versions. It adapts very well to the range of the flute and is now published for flute trio as well. The opening section is very lyrical with flowing melodic lines and close harmonies calling for expressive playing. The second section is basically a march and must be played in the staccato-marcato style. Players will learn how to balance some harmonic dissonances, and each part is assigned several two measure solos. Range is not a problem avoiding the lowest and highest ranges of the instrument making the prospects of proper balance possible.

Variations on Crusaders Hymn - Hall, arr.            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00457  
This is one of the best loved hymn tunes in the world sung to the text “Fairest Lord Jesus.”However, the tune was not originally a religious song at all. It is a folk tune of unknown origin and was first published in 1842 after hearing it being sung by haymakers in Silesia (now a section of Poland). This arrangement has three contrasting settings, first a statement of the tune with some movement in the harmonies, followed by two variations as a Viennese waltz and lastly like a Spanish march. Duration is about 3 minutes and range is from high F down two octaves. Independent rhythmic reading is necessary for success.

Vignettes for Flutes - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20412104  
Three short musical pictures of nature titled A Scenic Vista, A Woodland Stream, and A Rugged Mountain in keys of Bb major and G minor. Playable range with highest pitch an Eb above the staff, and lowest pitch F# bottom space. Well marked for style, articulation and phrasing. Nice changes of style.

Colonial Country Dance - Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00459  
The melodies are original, but have been created in the style of a country folk dance. The hand slaps on the leg near the end are in character with the music and should be fun for the performers and the audience as well. The meter is cut time, and key is F major changing to Bb major and back again for the recapitulation. The high range just D above the staff and the low range E natural bottom line of the staff. A wonderful ensemble experience for a young group. It is a popular choice of school ensembles in Ohio.

Song and Dance - Grieg/Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20412105  
Edward Grieg is Norway’s most revered composer. The Song of the Watchman is lyrical in style in contrast to marcato-staccato style of The Sailors’ Song which follows. Rhythms are not difficult but are independent and articulations are well marked. Both pieces are quite short. Range is from high F two octaves down to low F. This is quality music by a quality composer, offering an excellent ensemble experience.

Three Polka Dots - Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00184  
The title is a play on words. The trio is in the style of a polka which is to be played in the staccato style indicated by the dots over the notes. Hence Three Polka Dots. Some rapid tonguing on 16th notes is required in the opening section followed by the trio section calling for a legato style for contrast. The trio also has some contrapuntal melodic lines. The keys are Eb major, changing to Ab in the trio and back to Eb for the recapitulation. Range demands are just high Eb down to bottom line G. The key of Ab creates a challenge to learn how to play the Db’s in tune.

Two Dances - Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00193  
The two dances are European in character, the waltz being inspired by the familiar German waltz, Ach du lieber Augustine, and the polka in a moderate tempo, not like the rapid exciting American polkas. All parts are interesting melodically which makes it fun to play and to listen to. Both pieces are in F major, and the highest pitch is D above the staff, and the lowest 2nd space A. Accurate counting of rhythms is necessary.

Variations on Lyons - Hall, arr.            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00458  
The tune Lyons first appeared in Gardner’s Sacred Melodies published in London in 1815. it is thought to be attributed to either Franz Josef Haydn, or to his younger brother Michael, since a number of pieces by both composers begin with this same opening music phrase. Today, the tune is found in hymnals in churches all over the world with a variety of texts. This arrangement for three flutes states the melody simply at first, and then proceeds through three contrasting variations, with an ending that refers back to the first variation. There are several changes of tempo and style and key changes including Eb, Ab and Bb. There is a two octave range from high F above the staff down to F bottom space. An excellent ensemble for contest, concert, and church.

Flute Quartets
An Irish Suite - Hall, arr.
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20413101  
Folk songs are a wonderful source for of music to arrange for small ensembles, proven by the selection of these 4 familiar Irish tunes - The Irish Minstrel, Wearing of the Green, Molly Malone (often known as Cockles and Mussels), and The Galway Piper. Lots of beautiful and exciting music is packed into this 4 minute flute quartet. Range is from high F above the staff down to E natural the bottom line. Some maturity of performance is required to successfully put this together, and the end result will be most rewarding for the performers, and the audience as well. Here is an excellent choice of chamber music for contest, concert, and small group gatherings.

Four Belles - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00179  
This quartet was written to fill the need for flute quartets in which the 4th player is not required to play in the very low range of the instrument where it is difficult to play with a good sound and enough volume to balance the other parts. The title is a play on words to describe the bell tone effect. The chord structure includes close harmony which should appeal to the performers. Style alternates between staccato and legato. The key is F major throughout and range is between high F above the staff down two octaves to F on the bottom space. This is a very popular flute ensemble in Ohio contests.

Minuet and Trio - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20412104  
This is an original composition with the melodies constructed in the style of a traditional Baroque minuet, but harmonized in a much later style. The quartet begins in Eb major and switches to Ab in the trio. In the trio section, flutes are paired for duets that will give each player the opportunity to be heard distinctly, requiring excellent tone, intonation and rhythm by all four players. Only limited range is required from high Eb down to G in the staff. Duration is just under three minutes. There are frequent ritards, a tempi and other indications for rubato which offer excellent training in playing together as an ensemble.

Prelude and Processional - Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20412102  
This quartet was written to give young flute players an opportunity to play music in four-part harmony within an accessible range. It was originally composed for trumpet quartet and adapts very well to flute ensemble. There are some independent rhythms, but often more than one player has the same rhythm. Each ensemble member has been given an interesting part, so that they will all have the opportunity to grow musically. Range is limited to high D down to G in the staff. Duration is 2’30”.

Proudly As The Eagle - Spohr/Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20412105  
Louis Spohr is a lesser known German composer. organist, choirmaster who lived at the same time a Beethoven. He was also an outstanding violinist and is remembered mostly for his violin compositions. However, Proudly As The Eagle, is a vocal piece from one of his operas, and it is well adapted to instrumental ensembles. This is a very basic quartet with standard harmonies and limited range from high D down to F bottom space. It is an excellent choice for those with limited small ensemble experience.

Three Miniatures - Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20412103  
This ensemble was first published for saxophone quartet (00169) and has been frequently performed in Ohio contests. It transcribes very well for flute quartet with the range from high Eb basically down to F bottom space, with the exception of one low E natural. The three short sections are in Bb and F major, and offer a variety of styles, first as a song with rich harmonies, then as a minuet, and finally as a jig requiring some technical facility. Total duration is just under three minutes. This same composition is also available for clarinet quartet or mixed clarinet quartet (20443154), and also for clarinet choir under the title of Air,Minuet and Jig (20445237).

“OMEA Class” refers to the assigned difficulty rating on the Ohio Music Educators Association Required List.

Sound samples are provided for some of the arrangements on this site. These are produced as MP3 files, with links noted after those arrangements for which they are available. Many also provide a "short MP3" alternative for those with slower, dial-up connections. While all sound samples are fairly compact, the shorter versions will typically download four to five times faster than their fuller counterparts.

Score samples are also provided for some arrangements. These show the first page (and sometimes several pages) of the score, and are provided in PDF format. You will need to have the Adobe Reader installed to be able to read these files. If you are unsure if you have this capability, click on a score link and see what happens. If you cannot read the file, a free version of the Adobe Reader is available at www.adobe.com.


How to order:   Published music can be purchased from any reputable music dealer, including the following:
Stanton's Sheet Music, 330 S. Fourth St., Columbus, OH 43215, phone 1-800-42MUSIC.
Rettig Music, Inc., Defiance / Lima / Toledo / Westlake, phone 1-800-52MUSIC.


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