This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Mar 13, 2012

How to play nearly everything

Yesterday, I received a book. The weird thing is that I didn't order it; it was a gift, but with no mention of the generous donator. It's the first edition (1977) of « How To Play Nearly Everything », by Dallas Cline. It's a second hand book discarded from the Mead Public Library, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and it came from Better World Books, which is a very interesting second hand books project.
Who sent it to me ? How this benefactor got my personal address ? Only mysteries... But he/she's probably a reader of this blog : please let you know! I want to thank you!

The book is a collection of articles dealing with 10 folk instruments that anyone can play, from the kazoo to the washboard... An article of 3 full pages, signed by Len Mac Eachron, is dedicated to the nose flute.

It begins with those words : « If you are a buff of murky history, the next few paragraphs are just your speed », and follow on the traditional nose flutes history and names (57 different ones according to Sybil Marcuse). Then, the paper goes on "How o find a nose flute", dealing with the « 35¢ or less even in these inflated times » plastic Humanatone.
The chapter "Playing the nose flute" is self-explanatory, and is followed by « Versatility of the nose flute », with some interesting references (Davis, Berry), that confirmed what we ever thought : the number of reachable octaves does not depend on the nose flute itself (contrarywise to what I read here and there...), but only to the player's buccal abilities.

The next chapter, « Thoughts on protecting your nose flute » is of no interest, only giving you the advice to use a box to protect your baby from the damage caused by sitting on it, but the last one, « Some final thoughts on the nose flute » exposes some good advices for shy or too serious (let's dare "anal retentive") beginners.

There were many editions of this book, and I do not know if the nose flute section evolved or not. Big thanks to my benefactor!

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