|What's new on Flutetree
or the day in a life of a web author
2015.05.12 - Added new links to promote the 21st Annual Renaissance of the Native American Flute Workshop, a.k.a. RNAF 2015, which will be held August 12 - 16 at a new location, the beautiful Blacktail Ranch, Wolf Creek, Montana. Attendees of past RNAF workshops went on to creating the earliest flute circles, publishing most of the early songbooks for North American flute, influential in creating this web site, and inspired many flute related events, workshops, and conventions.
I'm busy preparing for such an event, The Gathering 2015 which is a month away, June 11-13, in Flagstaff, Arizona.
2015.03.10 - Over the last six months, there has been a number of inquiries about additional songs for the Anasazi flutes. In some ways, I've been putting off this part of the songbooks until I upgrade the way the sheet music is drawn. Instead of waiting on making it perfect, I've just publishd four easily recognized melodies in the Anasazi Songbook. It is a work in progress. I hope it shows the higher quality output that is possible with this new approach and illustrates my thoughts on simplifying the finger diagrams, keeping to the essense of open and closed finger holes. I've included the Chromatic Scale for the Anasazi TAB, which is probably the most common question that I receive about writing for the Anasazi. So I'm putting this all out there for feedback. Nothing is cast in stone.
Rebuilt the sitemap. Flutetree has 260 web pages, about 90 more than the last time I counted.
2015.03.04 - Cleaned up the links of the performers. Most have moved off MySpace. Some have passed away. Some record labels are no more. Many performers are no longer hosting a personal website or have given up blogging. Facebook appears to be the free solution to connecting with their patrons.
Started to clean up links to other songbooks. Some have disappeared. The Louisiana Flute Circle's songbook has grown considerably. It will take some effort to inventory everything. My next chore in this house cleaning.
2015.03.03 - Reviewed, removed, and fixed many links to other flute sites.
Retired 28 flute makers that no longer have a web site.( It's a tough market. Some established makers are doing quite well because of Internet sales. It beats spending half your weekends at art and craft shows. )Many flute related discussion groups on Yahoo have declined in activity in the last few years. I would suggest the ones with more content than noise are doing fine, such as Flute Portal Forums. Facebook groups have become the popular place for more casual sharing, look at what I did or I made (please buy it). Meetup has become popular for flute circles, especially for attracting people outside of the flute community. And mailing lists are pretty much dead, thanks to a decade of SPAM. How we use the Internet continues to evolve.
2015.03.01 - I'm also actively involved with Renaissance of the North American Flute Foundation (RNAFF) which is holding a 3 day event called The Gathering 2015 . It will be held in Flagstaff, Arizona, from June 11-13, 2015, on the beautiful campus of Northern Arizona University. There are multiple options for accommodations, include a modern on-campus dormitory, local hotels, RV Parks, and Camping. Each day there will be classes, workshops, and concerts. We are currently soliciting volunteers and presenters, while we finalize our performers list. Come join us for a wonderful event.
For the last 5 years, Flutetree has had only small and quite changes. I have been investing my time and supporting the North American Flute community in other ways. But change happens on the Internet rapidly, and many web sites and web pages no longer exist. Flutetree now has many unusable links to these former sites. So I've begun a major house cleaning. I'm reviewing hundreds of links, retiring some, redirecting those that have moved, and adding new links. I updated several pages today, and have more to complete this week.
Flutetree's songbooks are currently built upon a 14 year old web browser technique of transparent bitmaps. It had the advantage that it 1) worked with all web browsers, 2) supported low resolution computer screens, 3) provided customized finger pictures with the sheet music, and 4) it was printable for offline use. I'm now in the middle of developing an improved way of drawing the sheet music that uses a more modern web browser technique of vector artwork. This will provide professional looking sheet music, will allow beamed notes, and allow flute fingerings to be drawn with the mouth down, instead of just up, which is preferred by some flute players.
Also I have a huge backlog of new content: a couple of dozen new melodies, several historic essays previously published elsewhere, and more playing tips. I cannot accomplish all this overnight, but I hope to make these changes through the remainder of this year. My intent is to keep Flutetree relevant and accessible for another 14 years.
2010.05.09 - Happy Mother's day! Added Down By the Sally Gardens to the songbook. Thanks to Gloria for this arrangement of a classic Irish ballad.
2009.12.23 - Added Mozart's Adagio to the songbook. Thanks to Ivan Iriarte for this arrangement of a classic, slow moving, clarinet piece that was more popularized in the movieOut of Africa (1985). This wraps up my updates for this year. I hope to publish some more songs and melodies from my backlog after the holidays.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Joyous New Year to all.
2009.12.21 - Revised the list of sheet music you can find on the web. I had to remove a number of entries, because they no longer exist on the web. Luckily most of the music was duplicated else where. On a positive note, Paula Ellis has added 9 Christmas songs to the Louisiana Flute Circle Song Book. Merry Christmas everyone!
Added A Flock of Magpies, a songbook of Celtic and Folk Songs, to the list of published songbooks. Also added Songs for all Seasons, a collection of selected works by Mark Holland / Autumn's Child, which Julia Gatliff performed the transcription of the 10 songs.
2009.12.20 - While taking a break from holiday preparations, I made a few updates and some house cleaning to Flutetree. On the front page of the site, I've linked to my Zune and Twitter sites. The Zune site will let you peek at what music that I'm listening, usually flute albums but through the holidays you will see a lot of Christmas albums. The Twitter site is where I post short messages of what's going on in the flute world.
Updated practically all the external links to The Warble essay. Everybody seems to be reorganizing their web sites as of recent, and the links are moving.
Added Alice Gomez to the list of Performers. I've been listening to herHealer's Suite as I work on Flutetree.
Renamed the Butch Hall fingerings in the songbook. The easy fingering, also known as the Blue-dot fingering, is now known has his "standard" fingering. The concert fingering is now known as the "classic" fingering. With this change, practically all flute makers have standardized on usingthe ring finger for the octave note. Revised The myth of pentatonic tuning to reflect this change as well as elaborated on alternative descriptions for "the easy" fingering.
Revised the list of Flute Events. Some events have moved locations, web sites, or time of year.
2009.11.03 - Added Tim Blueflint to the flute makers list. Whenever I see him at some event, such as Zion, INAFA, etc., he he is full of smiles. Probably makes his flutes, full of smiles. :-)
2009.10.25 - Revised the list of flute makers. I believe I've included everyone who emailed in the last 10 months. I also added a few makers that do not have web sites, basically I'm displaying their contact info if you click their link. These link heavy web pages can be a bit time consuming to verify all the links and tracking down sites that have moved. It is also sad to see a number of flute makers have left us.
2009.10.24 - It has been 328 days since my last update... As I've related to my friends, this has been the "year of the snake", staying low and not looking very far ahead. Basically, Julia and I stayed close to home and passed on so many flute events this year. This created an opportunity for us to work on our home and involve ourselves with our local community. It's been a good year. We accomplished a lot and are ready to travel again...see our extended flute family.
During all this, a lot of requests have come in for the site and I'm beginning to make those promised updates. Today, I've refreshed the list of Performers. This entailed adding people, testing all the links, and adding new albums. Tomorrow, I'll look to the flute makers.
2008.11.30 - After being away for 9 weeks, I have a lot of catching up to do on Flutetree. As I remarked a year ago, I was hoping to reach a hundred melodies by the end of the year; with the help of many contributors, that goal was surpassed this weekend.
First, many thanks again to Brian Vice for more Christmas melodies. He also supplied variations for each:
The last piece, "While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks", is a difficult piece. On a diatonic flute, it would be much easier to play, but for the NAF it is really something for an advanced player. Thanks to Julia for provided us a third version which I think is a bit easier, She transposed the melody up a Minor 3rd, and then substituted the high note with something reachable.
Also much thanks to Chad Davis for sharing three more melodies for the holiday season:
I have more submissions to upload, but I've run out of time tonight, so I'll end here. Check back later in the week.
2008.09.21 - Added a new version of Sakura Sakura to the songbook. Thanks to Ivan Iriarte for providing this version transposed down a half-step from the version added a week ago. It avoids a high note that may not be available on some flutes, but you have to half-hole in a couple of places. Some may find the fingering easier.
Thanks to Brian Vice, we will be adding some more Christmas melodies over the next week or so, starting with I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day without half-holing and another version with half-holing.
2008.09.16 - Added All The Pretty Little Horses. Thanks to Chad Davis for the contribution.
Added Dennis Hatch to the flute makers list. Earlier this year, I got to visit with Dennis at the Zion Flute Festival.
2008.09.14 - This summer, I spent half of my weekends away at flute events or traveling to them. Practically all the other weekends were filled with family excursions or overtime at work. This weekend I'm actually home getting over a stomach flu and finding time to begin some updates that have been piling up for Flutetree. Over the summer, Julia and I prepared all sorts of class material for the events we were participating or flute projects that we are collaborating with other artist. Some of this material will be reformulated for Flutetree. Also, I've received a number of submissions for the songbook, they will begin to appear shortly.
But first, I'll begin with two Pentatonic melodies that I discovered earlier this summer on Wikipedia. The first melody uses the basic scale and fingering that most first learn on the contemporary NAF, it is traditional Canadian song called Land of the Silver Birch. The second melody comes from Japan and uses a different and challenging pentatonic scale. It will require a flute that gets those highest notes from the upper octave. Although this may be challenging, Sakura Sakura is quite rewarding to learn.
2008.06.22 - We have two contributors to thank this Sunday for providing a pair of hymns. First, thanks to Mary Ridings for contributing Come Thou Fount. Second, thanks to Brian Vice for contributing Christ Liveth in Me.
2008.06.20 - Revised the fingering for Ed Hrebec's "Spirit of the Woods" Flutes to use the fingerings that Ed recommends for the notes above the octave.
2008.05.04 - Revised some links that had moved. Thanks to Keith P. for pointing them out.
2008.04.20 - Spent a few hours reviewing and updating external links, included expanded flute playing and music theory with Mike Oitzman's extensive set of tips. I did a refresh on the Events calendar along with links to other sites that cover a lot of the regional events or concerts. The Native American Flute Portal continues to expand with new services for the flute community. Besides adding their calendar of events, I also included a link to their new discussion forum.
2008.04.07 - I added Yankee Doodle by special request for Juan's special son.
I have other material queued up; I just have to find time to enter it. It has been a busy year. Work has been crazy for the last several weeks. I've been working too many weekends.
2008.02.16 - I added Be Still My Soul for Jim Hansel. We will be celebrating Jim's birthday tonight at our flute circle.
Added three flute makers: Turtle Mound Flutes, Old Turtle Flutes, and Ga-Oh Flutes.
2008.01.13 - This last month has all been about taking care of family in one way or another. So today, I finally have the time to return to putting songs up.
I had an email this week from Tony who wrote "could you help me find flute tab for the song Red River Valley? It was a song my dad use to sing to me when I was little." Since I already had a version by John Sarantos that was on my stack of songs to add, I thought this would be quick and easy. But once I got started, I found out that folks were use to different versions, so I wrote up a common variation. And then Julia, suggested another version that is arranged down a minor 3rd. It is easier on flutes that have a hard time with the high notes. So the songbook ended up with three versions.
I also added the flute fingering that John commonly uses to the list of fingerings supported by the songbook.
2007.12.08 - A request came in for 'Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent' from 'LeopardLeaf'. It uses the melody to an old French Carol, 'Picardy'. I found some sheet music and discovered it didn't fit the flute very well. It was either half-holing some long notes, or fancy fork fingering all they way. With some help from Julia, I arranged out the half-holes and it made for a pretty easy melody. Afterward, I discovered Joan Johannes had given me her version. It was sitting in my pile of backlog of material for the songbook. Comparing versions, Joan worked around the trouble spots with different notes and she includes a few embellishments as well. So I put bother versions up on the songbook.
2007.12.05 - Thanks again to Brian for contributing to the songbook, he provided Jesus Loves Me. It requires you to half-hole. I've provided a second version of Jesus Loves Me that is transposed up a Minor 3rd. Some may find the fingering easier, since it avoids the half-hole note, but it does require a flute that can hit the high note.
The melody Doxology which was added to the songbook about 10 days ago was revised tonight with a couple of enhancements from Brian.
2007.11.28 - Added Go Tell It To The Mountain, an African-American Spiritual and for some a Christmas carol. I have a few more African-American Spirituals in the works. Tonight, I also touched up 'Gaudete', a melody that I added last week.
Added a couple of links to the flute makers page: Coyote Clay Flutes, and Big Lake Flutes
2007.11.22 - Happy Thanksgiving!
Although the songbook has 20 or so melodies that are in the spirit of Christmas, I still receive requests for more. So tonight, I've added Gaudete, a 16th Century Sacred Christmas Carol. Thanks to Lynne for recommending this melody. Julia is intrigued to transcribe 'Gaudete' as a duet. So I should have a few more melodies up before Christmas. FYI: The most common Christmas request that I cannot provide is 'Little Drummer Boy', which was written in the 40's and is still copyrighted. But, I'll find a few more to share in the coming weeks. Happy Holidays!
2007.11.11 - It has been about two months since the last update to Flutetree. I've not disappeared, just one of those busy Falls. Projects with work and family have been getting practically all my time. Just now things are calming down that I'm getting free weekends again. So I'm starting to work through my backlog of material for Flutetree. Starting with six new melodies for the songbook:
2007.09.13 - INAFA's newsletter 'Voice of the Wind' arrived today. It announced to the flute community that I had joined their board of directors. Right now we are trying to find a spot for the next INAFA convention... One more thing to keep me busy.
Tonight I've created a new category in the links section for Bloggers. For those unfamiliar with the term 'blogger', it is someone who blogs. 'Blog' is commonly defined as a short form of 'web log' ... 'weblog' ... 'weblog' ... 'blog'. Basically a diary or log that you share on the web. I'm old enough to remember some of the earliest 'blogs' which people just wrote about what they found browsing the web ... back when web browsers were a new thing. So to some 'blog' is short for 'browser log'. Oh well, a number of folks blogs which they write about Native American flutes and other things. Some of them have some pretty good flute tips.
I also added Vince Chapin to the list of Performer.
2007.09.03 - Added 'Buffalo Moon Flutes' to the flute makers list. Keith makes those unique Buffalo horn ocarinas that use the easy pentatonic fingering. Also added Lenny Henderson to the flute makers. Lenny likes to make flutes of traditional and indigenous materials, such as elder, sumac, and sunflower stalks. Lenny mentioned another maker Jonas Thompson, who I also added to the flute makers list. JT's Navajo flutes are commonly found in trading posts from the Four Corners to Texas.
Added 'Gentle Thunder' to the Performer links. I first ran into Gentle at the last INAFA convention and I keep running into her along the flute trail. I just found out tonight she had a website as well as an interview on YouTube. I also added Jonny Lipford to the Performer links, who I found through this video on YouTube.
It has been a very busy summer. Today was my first free day in about a month, and it was nice not to any must do's. I actually took a nap this afternoon... Although I've gotten behind on Flutetree, I've continued to keep up with other flute projects, such as some some educational programs for kids, a conference on operating non-profits, planning for future flute workshops, continued research into old flutes, visited a few flutes in museums while traveling, and answering a lot of email from the flute community.
2007.06.25 - Added Careless Love to the main songbook.
2007.06.19 - Tonight I worked on web links, links to other sites, links internal to Flutetree to make some things easier to find. As big as this site is getting, I have to link to some content multiple ways to help folks find it.
Added Jan Seiden to the Performers list. We had a good time visiting at the Zion flute festival. Jan taught a couple of classes over the weekend and was part of the "Hall of Fame Performers" on Sunday.
Also part of the "Hall of Fame Performers" was Clint Goss who taught an "Advanced Flute Playshop" at Zion. He also facilitates flute playshops all over. I expanded the links to include a new category: facilitators. Clint and his wonderful partner, Vera, are the first entry in this new category. There are other regional facilitators that I'm tracking down their details and will add shortly.
2007.06.16 - Just fixed a typo in the 6 versions of 'Amazing Grace'. 'John Newton' is the correct author of lyrics. It's an old mistake that must have happened when I converted the site to TAB, and then it got repeated as I added variations. Thanks to Jim in pointing it out.
I also discovered Jim makes flutes. I've added his 'Flutewood flutes' to the flute makers list.
2007.06.14 - I'm back from the Zion flute festival, it was fun event and the weather was great this year. For me, it was really about spending time with everyone that I only see on the road. The gathering was like one big flute family. I've expanded the flute makers list with makers I just met: Quite Bear Creations (Dwight Lind), Napa Valley Flutes (Brian Revheim), Mad Max Flutes ("Mad Max" Skabelund), Dryad Flutes (Jon Sherman), Feather Ridge Flutes (Randy & Shelly Stenzel), Cedars Song Flutes (Jim & Al), and Raven Song Flutes (Gerry Ouellette). I also added Pat Haran's web site. I've known Pat for some time, and Julia and I are fans of his flutes, but I just discovered he has a web site.
It was good to see Brent Haines (Woodsounds flutes) again at Zion. I discovered my songbook was a little bit out of sync with Brent's recommended fingering for his flutes. So I revised the fingering for the two highest pitches to correct things.
There were a few flute makers at Zion that do not have web sites, but they are doing something different than everybody else. Leroy Cully (Este'-Cate' Fehpv Flutes) make some warm and big voice flutes which his loving wife Gail Cully does beautiful beadwork which is inlayed into the flutes. She also does some stone inlay. Pat Partridge (Good Medicine Flutes) didn't have a booth, but she did bring some of her special bamboo flutes. She is doing some 4 hole flutes that are in the style of the old Papago flutes. Pat's flutes are definitely good medicine. Keith Glowka (Buffalo Moon Flutes) brought his unique collection of flutes. First he is known for his buffalo horn flutes. They are really large ocarinas (Gemshorn) that are tuned to our simple fingering for minor pentatonic. Keith also created a batch of bamboo bass drone flutes that sold out quickly. These were not your typical folded drones, instead the drone points in the opposite direction as the flute. You blow in the center, the drone plays up and to your left and the flute plays down and to your right. They make for a tall flute. You have to watch out for ceiling fans when you play these unique instruments.
A big congratulations to the team that put on the Zion Festival. They did a great job. All the performers put on good shows and had us grooving. The classes and workshops appear to have been a great success as well. Something for everyone...
I have a few more updates as a result of Zion, but they will have to wait until this weekend.
2007.06.03 - Added Ann Licater and Clint Goss to the Performer links. Both perform and instruct on the NA flute. We have participated in a quite a few workshops together. They both are intending to be at the Zion flute festival this coming weekend. And things have worked out that I'll be able to attend as well. For me, it will be like a great reunion of many fluties.
A few days ago, I submitted a new article to Voice of the Wind. A new oldest courting flute...1823...now in a museum in Italy.
2007.05.21 - By popular demand of her fans, I've added another original piece by Mary Munarin: Palo Verde Kind of Day. I'm embarrassed to admit that it has taken me two years to get it in the songbook. It is part of that backlog I'm trying to work through.
Mary also contributed an arrangement of Star Spangled Banner. It does require the challenging half-hole note, so it may not work on every flute or work for every flute player.
With these two additions the songbook now has 75 songs, which works out to 50% growth in the last 6 months. I have enough material to probably grow the songbook by another 50% in the next 6 months. So check back every so often for new songs.
2007.05.20 - Added several links to the bottom of the flute playing and music theory page. They link to some shortYouTube videos that Odel Borg recorded on playing and care for your flute. While I was at this, I added Odel to the flute fingerings supported by the main songbook.
Another YouTube video to check out is Delta Blues in Cm where Voice of Golden Eagle (VoGE) and Andy Tate are Jammin'...
2007.05.15 - Added Pokarekare Ana to the songbook. It is a Maori love song that appeared around World War I and is now sung world wide. There are many variations and the original authorship is clouded in the past. I've wanted to include some New Zealand music on Flutetree ever since Julia and I made a wonderful trip there in 2005, where we spent 10 days in two Maori villages....part cultural exchange and part community service between musicians and instrument makers of different traditions.
I have a growing backlog of material to put up on Flutetree. Between moving to a new house around the holidays, a few out of town flute gigs, and having a family member critically injured and in a hospital for five weeks, I've been distracted this year. It looks like things are about to return to normal, so I'll be putting more time on Flutetree. To give you an idea of what is in the works: 40+ new melodies for the song book, a few more historic essays on the flute (I have a new oldest flute story), a flute font that I designed for Julia, a new collection of web links, and a new improved transposing slide rule with sample instructions. After I work through this backlog, I'll be building a small at home recording studio, this will allow me to upgrade the recordings associated with the song book.
2007.05.14 - For the last week or so some users have encountered an annoying problem with pop-up error messages. It has actually reduced the number of visitors to Flutetree. I tracked down a bug in my hosting services' traffic monitoring system. Since it was not any software code that I wrote or control, my only solution was to turn off this feature.
2007.04.15 - Added Odell Borg flute makers page. Someone emailed me, asking why Odell wasn't listed on the flute maker's page. Well it wasn't intentional. I had decided sometime back not try to track all the flute makers on the web, because it is a lot of work. I remember when there where only 3 flute makers on the web. Now it is in the 3 digits. Since others are already maintaining some pretty comprehensive lists, I've provided links to their lists from my page. Otherwise the flute makers page represents flutes that Julia and I own, or someone has recommended, flute makers that we have met on our travels, or a flute maker who has emailed and asked for inclusion. We also have some very fine flutes from flute makers that have no web site.
If you are new to flutes and looking for your first flute, I suggest starting with one of the more affordable flutes that has a voice that you like. Some pretty plain looking flutes have great voices. Some really fancy flutes may not sound pleasing to your ears. So it is usually safer to hear a flute before you buy a flute. Well that is my 2 cents on this subject, check out the buying and care page for the recommendations of others.
2007.04.08 - Added Look Ye Saints! The Sight Is Glorious to the main songbook. This plays well on the popular minor-key flutes. Julia played 'Look Ye Saints' in her mom's church this Easter morning, as well Crown Him with Many Crowns, which is in Toubat TAB for the diatonic NAF.
2007.03.31 - Expanded the list of museum collections with flutes.
Had some nice email exchanges with Paula Ellis, she has recently revamped the web site of the Louisiana Native American Flute Circle. It includes a songbook with a couple a dozen songs. I've included them on the master index of songs and songbooks that are found on the web. The index is now over 280 melodies. Flutetree should push that list over 300 this summer.
I expanded the links to other sites to include more essays on playing, history, resources on other web sites, as well as more buying and care tips.
2007.03.11 - Added Bob Egner to the flute makers page.
2007.03.04 - Added Jerry Fretwell to the flute makers page.
2007.02.25 - Added a two new links to the flute makers page: John Kulias and Geri Littlejohn. John makes ceramic flutes and is located near Denver. Geri is from North Carolina and was Hawk Littlejohn's partner in life and in flute making. It has been quite a few years since Hawk's passing. Geri has reached a place that she can return to flute making. I've had an opportunity to play her new flutes, and they are just as magical as the flutes that her and Hawk use to make together.
2007.02.24 - I've continued to be distracted by moving and work, so updates to Flutetree are appearing much slower.
Added The House of the Rising Sun. This was a interesting piece with some challenges. There are many variations of this piece, both in melody and lyrics. I took some liberties with this one to fit the NAF and keep the fingering easy. Hope you like it.
Added a couple of links to the flute makers page: Val Jason Kobrin's and Scott Kennedy.
I also performed some house keeping on the external links. Fixing links that have changed, dates to events that have changed, and added misc links.
2007.01.16 - I've been distracted for the last few weeks with moving to a new house and working on the old house. An ice storm has provided me with some free time to update Flutetree. So here are a few changes that have been queuing up.
Revised the performers page to link toTwohawks' new website.
Fixed the links to the Louisiana Native American Flute Circle.
Added a couple of links to the flute makers page: Norbert Marx's website in Germany and Dana Ross's website in Georgia.
Corrected a three year old mistake in the title of 'Star of the County Down'. Thanks to Kathleen for pointing it out.
Updated Songbooks found on the web to include the flurry of melodies that I added during the holiday season. With external websites, the only other new melody I could find on the web was theTitanic Theme. I also fixed the links to Clint Goss' informative website www.flutekey.com.
Revised the list of published songbooks to note which songbooks are out of print or now included in Flutetree's songbook.
2006.12.22 - I've added the last 4 Christmas carols for this year: O Tannenbaum, Pat-a-Pan, Still, Still, Still, and We Three Kings of Orient Are. My Christmas guests are starting to arrive, so I'm not expecting to have much time for Flutetree until after the new year. Happy Holidays!!!
2006.12.21 - Added The Wexford Carol to the songbook. The first version avoids half-holing, while the second version uses the half-hole. A friend is singing this piece and reminded me that it was a nice carol.
I've been busy preparing for Christmas guests that I have gotten behind on posting the last few melodies. But they should all be up by Christmas...
I worked through some routine chores on Flutetree. I revised my links to Clint's cool content back to www.flutekey.com. From time to time, it looses its name. I added Russ Venable's diatonic fingering to the diatonic songbook. I also added a extra high note to Barry Higgins fingering. I had email pointed out that Barry's flutes are designed for that extended range. So now the charts include a high-B.
2006.12.18 - Added O Come All Ye Faithful to the songbook.
2006.12.17 - Added Noel Nouvelet to the songbook.
2006.12.16 - Added JoyToTheWorld to the songbook.
2006.12.14 - Added The Huron Carol to the songbook.
2006.12.13 - Added Hark! The Herald Angels Sing to the songbook.
2006.12.12 - Added Good King Wenceslas which is pretty easy piece to play. Thanks to John Sarantos for this arrangement.
Today's installment brings the songbook up to 60 melodies. More Christmas melodies are on their way...ho...ho...ho...
2006.12.11 - Added 2 versions of "Good Christian Men, Rejoice". The first version is an arrangement by John Sarantos and requires a lot of cross fingering, like the melody yesterday. Of course, I've included a second version which avoids all the cross fingering in exchange for the half-hole note that doesn't sound good on most flutes, but there are exceptions.
2006.12.10 - Continuing the Christmas theme, I added 2 versions of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen". The first version is an arrangement by John Sarantos and requires a lot of cross fingering. If you need to practice cross fingering, this is good material. I have seen it noted that this melody is of interesting to many musicians as an example of how a natural minor scale melody can sound happy. Besides being associated with sad melodies, the natural minor scale has one extra note that is not easy to play on most flutes.....the dreaded half-hole! For all those who like the half-hole (like Mark), I've added the second version which avoids all the cross fingering in exchange for that half-hole note.
2006.12.09 - Added Fum, Fum, Fum to the songbook. This is a Spanish [Catalan] Christmas carol, also arranged for NAF by John Sarantos.
2006.12.08 - Added The First Noel to the songbook, another arrangement by John Sarantos. While testing this page, I discovered a printing bug under Internet Explorer 7. It was not respecting the way I was previously doing page breaks, so I made a tweak to the code, which introduces an extra gap with the on screen version. It should only be noticeable by the most observant eye...
2006.12.07 - Added Baloo, Lammy to the songbook. This is a Scottish Christmas carol, arranged for NAF by John Sarantos.
Late tonight, I fixed a bug with the notation system that Flutetree uses. It has been a while since I've had any issues with it. Well Scott S. was using the song writing tool to arrange pieces for multiple flutes. He discovered measures were not being counted correctly when a piece begins with measures that only contain rests. The restful measures make sense when one is coordinating multiple flutes on paper. It turned out an easy thing to fix, only one line of new code was required. So thanks to Scott for catching this bug.
2006.12.06 - Added Away in a Manger to the songbook. This Christmas carol is thought to have originated in a German Lutheran colony of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. Thanks to John Sarantos for this arrangement.
More Christmas songs on the way...
2006.12.01 - Added Only A Manger Bed to the songbook. It an adaption of a Polish Christmas carol, known as Mizerna Cicha. It has a pretty simple fingering that it would be easy to teach at a flute circle.
2006.11.28 - I just realized that Flutetree is now 4 years old. It started during the holiday season of 2002. I've averaged 1 web page about every 8 days, which is just below my new years resolution a few years ago for 1 new thing per week. Oh well, this new year, I'll do better. :-)
Thanks to Deborah for pointing out a mistake in Sh'ma. When I converted the fingering that I had sent Pat to the internal format of Flutetree, I entered the wrong note. And I didn't catch it on the screen during my double checks. Oops! It is amazing how often you will miss something on screen but see when printed on paper.
I added "4 Wind Flutes" to the list of Flute Makers.
2006.11.26 - Here's a Christmas Carol from the Hebrides Islands, which are a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland. Thanks to John Sarantos for this arrangement of Christ Child's Lullaby.
This weekend, June showed me an old Scottish songbook, which I found another melody that was within the range of the flute. Although it is not a Christmas song, I thought I'd add Here Away There Away to the songbook anyway.
The November/December issue of Native Peoples magazine has a nice article on indigenous flute makers. I've expanded the list of Flute Makers to include the ones that I missed that also have a web site. I'm always taking recommendations for more flute makers.
I also did some house cleaning on the site: fixed some broken links, cross-index some more songs, revised some menus to more effective for those who scan for words.
2006.11.25 - A recent request came in from Pat Neff for Sh'ma Yisrael in TAB. I started researching it, I found there was many versions melodies for this traditional Hebrew prayer. We finally settled on this version. Thanks Pat for suggesting the piece.
Now, I'm switching gears to Christmas Songs.
2006.11.24 - After a busy two months of work and travel, I can finally find some time to expand on Flutetree. Much material has piled up during this time. Today, I've added two Objibway songs, which brings the songbook up to 50 songs. One is a child's song, Firefly, and I've included some remarks about it by Frederick Burton. The other melody is a daybreak song, Morning Star, which I've also include some additional notes.
2006.11.23 - Happy Thanksgiving. Time to think about what has been given to us and what we can give to others.
2006.11.19 - This weekend is the annual flute retreat put on by the Armadillo Flute Society. We have been putting on this event for six years, and it keeps grown and evolving. It is more like a mini-conference than a simple retreat. About a quarter of the 43 participants are presenters or instructors during the 3 day event (Thursday evening through Sunday noon). And we have 5 flute concerts during the event. Our special guest this year was R. Carlos. Nakai, who we hosted with fine Texas hospitality.
Also during this event, John Sarantos and I finally pulled the trigger on a project that we have been discussing for a year. By this time next year, Flutetree will double in size....
2006.10.27 - Although I've been too busy to add anything significant to Flutetree, I have been able to continue my research. Today, I spent the day visiting old flutes in New York City.
2006.10.07 - This weekend was the 10th anniversary flute retreat that Wayne McCleskey puts on each year. It was a wonderful reunion for Julia and I with flute friends we had not seen in a while. It had been 5 years since I made the trip to Vashon Island (near Seattle) and it was nice just to hang out as a participant. With other events, Julia and I are often busy as teaching or facilitating, but not this trip. Instead we had Ash Dargon, Anthony Navidad, and Gary Stroutsos as the events instructors. They did a great job and have given me food for thought on future Flutetree content.
2006.09.12 - Made a few updates to the links: added the Potomac/Maryland flute circle festival to the events page, added the West Virginia flute circle to the organizations page, and made some cosmetic changes as well as fixed a couple of links.
2006.09.10 - Revised the essay on Earliest plains flutes and courting in the 1800's to include some new findings. Most notably the oldest courting flute that I stumbled upon 14 months ago on a museum trip. Tim Crawford did further research on this flute and an article will appear in the next issue of 'Voice of the Wind'. In the same issue, I've contributed a companion piece that explores in more detail the writings of the early explorers and fur traders in the area of the upper Missouri. Christian Hutter is one of the subjects of my essays, but I also discuss the writings of earlier explorers and what they had to say about courting and what was missing from their writing, the cedar flute.
My currents thoughts on this subject is the courting flute came about in the early 1800's, between the Great Lakes and the upper Missouri river. Later, during reservation life, it was adopted by many other individuals and tribes. My current research is trying to find an earlier example of the courting flute or find an examples from outside this region. If I find such a counter example, I'll obviously expand my thoughts on this subject. Otherwise if I find more examples supporting my current thoughts, then this argument seems only stronger.
Tonight, I worked on expanding the links to other sites on the web. Since I added more makers, events, historical essays, flute tips, and discussion groups, I'm not going to list them all here. In some cases, I had to add some new categories to sort the growing set of links, 186 external links at last count. Internally, Flutetree has grown to 166 web pages.
2006.09.06 - Added some eye candy. On modern browsers, a new icon for the site should appear on bookmarks and folder tabs. This task was a challenge since such icons are limited to a 16 pixel by 16 pixel image. There was not enough pixels to adequately represent Kokopelli, so I went with the eternal circle with an eighth note inside.
Expanded Links to Flute Essays and other points of views to include an article by Ron Warren.
Worked a bit on Performer links. Added some comments on some artist, and tracked down some more MySpace links.
2006.09.05 - Revised a number of web pages that were not printing correctly with the Internet Explorer 7.0. I've been running early versions of it prior the official release from Microsoft, and Flutetree seemed to be running fine with it, until I tried to print a long song, and its title/header disappeared. I finally discovered what was confusing it during printing. I had to rework how I forced page breaks on certain pages. I have to do this to insure the finger diagrams always appear on the same page as their matching musical staff.
2006.09.04 - Revised Links to Flute Essays and other points of views to give Scott August credit. We have exchanged some nice emails over the last couple of days. Scott also writes a good blog which he shares his wisdom and adventure with the flute.
2006.08.28 - Added a number of MySpace links to the list of Performer links. It looks like MySpace is catching on with the flute players.
2006.08.27 - Last weekend, Julia and I attended the Lone Star Flute Circle. A great time was had by all. Larry Evans of Mockingbird Flutes drove down to Austin from Euless, Texas to show his flutes to our local flute circle. Julia even went home with one of his flutes. I've added Larry to the page of Links to Flute Makers. I also added links to other web sites that maintain lists of flute makers. In addition to this, I reworked the page of Links to Flute Organizations to include the various flute circles that have a web presence.
2006.08.13 - The list of links to other websites has been reorganized and expanded. Vince Redhouse was added to the list of performers / recording artists. Utah Farris and Stephen DeRuby were added to the list of flute makers.
Julia and I participated with the INAFA convention last week. The INAFA organizers, the Northern California Flute Circle, and the many presenters put on a wonderful event that showcased the diversity within the NAF community. Four nights of concerts was a treat. The days were full of enlightening presentations. The event was also a great reunion for many of us and provided many opportunities to network on future projects. The later will keep Julia and I busy in the coming year.
I revised Songbooks found on the web to include the latest melodies that I could find. This includes a new web site by Sheryl Coleman, that includes free material, samples and in September will begin selling songbooks.
2006.07.31 - I've begun to migrate my old email address to a new address. Some may have noticed they cannot just cut and paste my address as it is presented on this web site. This is because I show my address through a few images instead of text. I do this to prevent web crawlers from mining my address for junk mail. So you can now reach me at:
I believe I have changed all the web pages on Flutetree to use the above address.
2006.07.29 - Added Skibbereen, a traditional Irish fighting song.
2006.07.26 - Added Beyond Minor Pentatonic to the tips & techniques section. On a few occasions, I've taught a short class on playing beyond the minor pentatonic scale. All the musical scales that can be found under the contemporary songbook were the basis of my class handouts. This new web pages is really the introduction to that class, and points folks off to all the scales and explains how their exploration can be rewarding.
2006.07.25 - Bill Tucker had found Have Thine Own Way Lord that Julia Gatliff had transcribed for him a few years ago. He thought we should include it in the Flutetree Songbook. Since the melody had not been covered anywhere else, I added it tonight. Julia and I reviewed the piece tonight and had an interesting conversation on why it was 9/4 time instead of 3/4. I seem to learn something new every time I do this.
I revised the Electric Canyon with pictures and added more details on how to setup the system.
More tips and techniques are in the works. Also I'll be reworking the links soon.
2006.07.17 - I had a good suggestion from Bill Tucker on how you can use the Fibonacci technique in grocery stores, so I expanded the examples on using the Fibonacci Technique. Bill has taught a lot of new flute players in the Dallas area, and uses Flutetree as a source for class materials. This new page was created with the idea that it could be a class handout. We find the Fibonacci technique is one of those useful teaching tool that just tries to get students to play anything. Also it makes for a fun class exercise, which is why a kept the example light hearted.
I visited a music store today, and revised the Electric Canyon price list accordingly.
2006.07.16 - Added a new section called Flute Playing Tips & Techniques which will include all sorts of answers to questions that I get asked on flute playing or performing. This first installment includes 3 subjects: Fibonacci technique for generating a melody, Harmony Wheel for picking flutes to play together, and building your own Electric Canyon. This brings the site up to 152 web pages.
2006.07.10 - Added the multiple fingerings of Pat Haran's Multi-Mode flutes. Two were added to the the contemporary NAF songbook, and another two were added to the diatonic songbook. Pat's Multi-Mode flutes support Pentatonic Mode 5 (Amazing Grace scale), Pentatonic Mode 1 (the popular minor pentatonic scale), and the Major diatonic scale. Depending on the song, these three fingerings can make the melody a lot easier to play, but choosing the wrong fingering can lead to some really awkward half-holing or quarter-holing.
Expanded the cataloged of published songs by adding: Winds of the Past, Native Spirit Song Book, and Folk Spirit Song Book. Over 800 unique songs are now listed on this catalog, which represents over 30 songbooks that are available from various vendors.
I've started work on a set of pages on flute playing tips and techniques. They should appear shortly.
2006.06.29 - The last twelve days, Julia and I have been on the road. We attended the 15th Annual RNAF Workshop in Montana. We had a good group of people and shared in an excellent flute workshop. Many thanks to R. Carlos Nakia, Ken Light, and John Sarantos for facilitating the event.
While there, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Hovia Edwards. She is a very good flute player. Her father introduced her to the flute at the age of three. And since then she has developed her own style. She plays a lot of traditional material, as well as performing on many soundtracks. Recently she has begun teaching flute. While attending RNAF, she picked up a lot of new techniques that we have found useful in teaching the flute. I've added her to the artist section of the links page.
Also during the workshop, I discussed a number of possible future projects/collaborations for Flutetree. If everything comes together, we hope to double the size of the flutetree songbook and include more instructional material.
Via an email tip that came in while we were away, I've also added Tommy Wildcat to the links page. Thanks goes to Keith for the recommendation.
While traveling after the workshop, I found a couple of more published songbooks. I hope to index them in the next couple of weeks.
2006.06.14 - Added Twohawks to the artist section of the links page. Added MIDI files for "Coventry Carol", which is found in the contemporary songbook. Otherwise I've been busy working on materials for flute classes/workshops. I'm about done with a new version of a slide rule that is used for transposing sheet music to NAF or looking up the pitch of each fingering. Two other slide rules are in the prototype stage. One is for a class Julia teaches on finding chords that go with your melody. It approaches the subject in a rather intuitive fashion and avoids a lot of music theory. In a nutshell, the slide rule suggests some chords and you try them out. Most of us know what we like by ear without knowing why. The third slide rule exposes the music theory behind chord selection. They should all be done by the time of the INAFA convention.
2006.06.05 - Mark Rosenbaum sent a slightly revised "Ha-Tikva", correcting a typo. I also made some improvements to multiple web pages so they will be easier to find with search engines. A lot of this is under the cover sorts of changes, not obvious to a casual visitor, unless you read HTML, but it makes a big difference when searching for a song or other content. I've been testing it a few web pages for a few weeks, and seems to work, so now I'm expanding it to some more web pages.
2006.06.04 - Added another song that was from the earlier version of the Flutetree Songbook: Cherokee Morning Song. It has been revised to be closer to how it is commonly recorded. I added it to both the contemporary NAF songbook and the diatonic songbook. Typically, it is sung in the same scale as 'Amazing Grace', which is easy on a diatonic flute. For minor pentatonic flutes, I've tweaked only one note to make it fit the basic flute scale, so the fingering is quite easy.
I was introduced to this song, nearly five years ago. Early one morning, Geri Littlejohn led us in song to greet the new day. I've since heard a number of recordings by Rita Coolidge (on Robbie Robertson's album as well as on a couple of Walela albums), and a number of other albums that have covered it. Everybody sings it a bit differently, just like 'Amazing Grace'. Since I had not seen any other songbooks that had included it, I thought it was time to resurrect it from the old songbook, and correct some mistakes in my original adaptation. I learn more every year... By the way, Geri has returned to flute making under a new brand: Green Grass Flutes. I look forward to seeing how she has evolved as a flute maker.
2006.05.28 - Songbook: Rathlin Island, an Irish standard which uses only notes from the primary scale of the contemporary NAF. In other words, no fancy cross fingering is required. But it is expected to be played fast like a reel, so that is the challenge of this melody. MIDI recordings are included so you can hear the rhythm. By the way, this melody was one of three Irish tunes that were included in the original Flutetree songbook, back before the songbook was rewritten to support TAB. These melodies were the only Irish tunes that I could find at the time that fit the NAF's standard fingering. During the rewrite, I didn't get around to converting all songs to the new format. This makes the 45th song to be added to the songbook.
Added the "American Museum of Natural History" to the links page. They have a nice collection of NAF that you can view online. You can find the items by using their search engine. Search on "flute", "flageolet", or "whistle".
I revised Songbooks found on the web to include the latest melodies that I could find. I'm now including Flutetree's melodies on this page, so folks have one place that they can search for a melody.
2006.05.27 - I heard from Mark Rosenbaum today. Someone had a requested "Ha-Tikva" on NAF. Once Mark had worked it up, he sent us a copy to include on Flutetree. Here's a little background on "Ha-Tikva". It is Israel's National Anthem and was written by Naftali Herz Imber, who moved to Palestine in 1882 from Galicia. The melody was arranged by Samuel Cohen, an immigrant from Moldavia, from a musical theme in Smetana's "Moldau" that is partly based on a Scandinavian folk song. So this is very multicultural. Be warned, the melody does require some half-holing.
I also added Keith Stanford's web site to the list of flute makers found on the links page. He also offers a flute making book.
When introduced the new backgrounds which swap out flutes every few minutes, I introduced a bug with the 'widescreen' feature in the song book. It wasn't until yesterday that I discovered the problem when I was demonstrating the site. It is now fixed.
2006.05.21 - Added Mary's new album to the links section and revised the layout of the albums associated with each recording artist.
Julia and I have a lot of things going on right now, which is distracting me from Flutetree or even attending our local flute circle. For months, I've been researching the early history of Upper Missouri, and I'm in the middle of an essay on their early courting flutes, with the intent for it to be an article in the "Voice of the Wind". Unfortunately, I'm waiting on the diaries of some fur traders to complete the piece. So this month, I quickly put together another essay to submit to "Voice of the Wind" on the flutes of early Virginia. Over the last week, I've been in conversation with a researcher who is studying the physics of the warble. Some interesting work is going on here.
2006.05.04 - Added support to the main page for translating the rest of the website to other languages via AltaVista BabelFish. I hope this is of use to our international visitors.
2006.05.03 - Added some more to the Links section.
2006.04.30 - Added midi files to the songbook for 'Sunrise Call' and 'Suo Gan'. I also revised the midi to the trilled version of 'Amazing Grace'; the trill is a bit more natural. The midi for 'Midnight Snow' now has more of a pregnant pause before the melody begins, making it easier to play along with.
2006.04.29 - Greatly expanded the Links section of performers and their albums. I also fixed a couple of bugs that were introduced in the last week of changes.
2006.04.28 - Added documentation on how others can link to the contemporary song book and specify a flute maker or fingering style. This will probably be of interest to flute makers who want to direct the customers to the songbook.
I routinely receive questions about reproducing some of the content on Flutetree. Typically it is a teacher or a flute instructor that would like to use some material for a class or workshop. Or someone wanting to know if it was okay for them to print out some of the songs. In both cases it is just fine for personal, educational, and non-commercial use. I've added a Flutetree Policy page that goes into all the details. Basically this site is intended to be an asset for the flute community and not be resource to be sold for profit by others. Also teachers can make modest copies of material for instruction.
2006.04.25 - Tonight I added some more midi files to the songbook: Dakota Love Song 1 and 2, Midnight Snow, and Swing and Turn Jubilee. Duck Dance and 4 versions of Amazing Grace were done the previous night. I also linked Peter Phippen's Lullaby to iTunes and Amazon. We have some more Peter Phippen songs in the works.
2006.04.24 - I've added Russ Venable to the list of flute fingerings that are available with the songbook.
I've also prototyped including MIDI files with a few melodies in the songbook, so visitors can also hear the melody. For individuals that do not read TAB rhythm, this can be a great aid. In the future, I'll include MP3 recordings, but right now I don't have good environment to record. In the mean time, I'm using MIDI files and will include 3 versions with each melody, basically the most popular flute keys: A-minor (typical starter flute that also works with small hands), G-minor, and F#-minor.
I figure I'll start with the pieces that will interest the beginners and slowly work my way through the songbook to the harder pieces. For the pieces that from commercial recordings, I'll probably just link to iTunes so the artist get their due. I'll be interested in hearing your feedback.
2006.04.23 - I introduced the first version of the Flutetree songbook back in late 2002. At that time, it did not support Nakai TAB. This was intentional. Many people were put off by anything that looks like traditional sheet music, i.e., that is too hard. Instead I played around with a format that I use to call 'piano roll notation' but now call I call it the 'melody graph'. After this year long experiment, which I received all sorts of feedback on what folks liked and disliked about the format,I rewrote the engine that draws the sheet music to also support TAB. The 'melody graph' is still supported, but frankly I've neglected making any enhancements. With the current songbook, I have gone back and tested the 'melody graph' and have made some minor enhancements.
When I went back and reviewed the original songbook, I noticed I had some pieces that never made it into the current generation, like some Irish jigs that fit the Minor Pentatonic flute. I'll just have to add those to my to-do list. :-)
2006.04.22 - Made cosmetic improvement to the format of the songs. Also retested the songbook with the latest web browsers of Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Opera. I'll have to search out a Mac to test with Safari.
2006.04.21 - Added Crown Him with Many Crowns to the diatonic songbook. This was another piece that Julia performed last Easter.
More flute illustrations have been added to the right-hand sidebar. Every few minutes a different one will appear.
2006.04.17 - Expanded Other songbooks found on the web to include a catalog of nearly 200 melodies that can be found else where on the web.
Transposed He is Lord from the diatonic flute to the more common, contemporary native American flute. The TAB looks complicated, but the fingering is pretty straight forward.
2006.04.16 - We visited Julia's mom this weekend in East Texas and attended a Sunrise Easter Service, where Julia performed a number of pieces on flute. The late Dr. Richard Payne loved to hear hymns on flute, and would have appreciated Julia's version of He is Lord on a Toubat (diatonic) flute. I would of included more of Julia's medley of hymns in the songbooks, but most of them are copyrighted pieces, so I'm avoiding the licensing fees or becoming crossed with any music lawyers.
In adding this last song to the songbook, I discovered a bug in the software that draws the songbooks. So I've revised my code to better handle notes on the 'B' line of the staff, that is the line where the notes could point up or down. My logic for determining the direction of the note was incomplete, and didn't handle cases where we have consecutive B's. For the musically picky, I'm now doing it better.
I've also started to expand the alternative fingerings for the diatonic flutes, and will add some additional makers, shortly.
2006.04.04 - Few more flutes and flute makers supported by the songbook. Also added a few more links.
2006.04.03 - Added Julia's version of Amazing Grace to the songbook. Her solution to avoid the troublesome half-hole note is to substitute a melodic phrase, which makes for a sweet version of Amazing Grace.
2006.04.02 - Extended the master song catalog to include 8 more song books. The index now contains over 900 songs for Native American Flute. Also added some 2nd editions on some older books and corrected some links to where you can purchase these books.
2006.03.29 - Thanks again to Dan Perra, who keeps contributing songs; we have America the Beautiful in the songbook. On minor keyed flutes, it does take some half-holing, which is not something every body likes to do. On diatonic flutes, it plays a bit easier; so I've also taken the liberty and put a copy in the diatonic (Toubat) songbook. Also I've added a third version, that doesn't include the grace notes that Dan arranged. As Dan explains, he doesn't have to hold those long notes as long and can catch his breath their. The grace notes or pickup notes thrown in for flair. As previous visitors have probably noticed, I like to include variations in the songbook to give players alternatives, which can be educational.
2006.03.28 - This site is composed of 117 web pages, and growing. Some of these are not visited as often as others. To better promote the useful corners of the site that are not visited as much, I took to reorganizing the songbook and its related content to better promote the less visited pages. These changes will also facilitate some new content that is in the works, such as linking to other web sources for melodies. I've also reworked all the links on the site for a number of reasons: 1) reorganizing broke a lot of the links, 2) reworked the coloring of the links to emphasize the pages not yet visited, 3) retested all the external links, fixing some, retiring others, and making sure they are all colored green and pop-up a new browser.
Besides the reorganization, the catalog of published songs has been upgraded to include the cover art for these songs books, which should be helpful when you go shopping for these books. I have about 8 more songs books to add shortly.
2006.01.30 - I revised up a number of the essays tonight, as I work on a piece for the INAFA Voice of the Wind. I hint that there is a plains flute older than Catlin's flute.
2006.01.29 - By request, Julia arranged How Great Thou Art for Native American Flute. The range of notes in the original piece exceeded the typical range of the flute. So a couple of notes needed to be nudged to fit the best of flutes.
2005.12.11 - Songbook: Beautiful Dreamer was contributed by Julia. I've repeatedly received request for it, but the range of notes exceeds what is possible with most contemporary Native American Flutes. But Julia was not deterred by previous failed attempts and found that she could adjust just two notes, the highest and lowest, to fit the melody within the range of her flutes that support an octave and a major third. Between the high notes and the cross fingering, this can be a challenging piece to play.
2005.12.07 - Songbook: Scotland the Brave was contributed by Dan Perra. It is a traditional Scottish melody and has become one of the unofficial anthems of the Scotts. This melody is commonly heard on bagpipes. A friend on another flute can play the part of a bagpipe drone, basically they play the same key of flute, and drone with the bottom finger hole open. Even better, if the drone flute is an octave below the flute that plays the melody. Thanks again to Dan.
2005.12.03 - Songbook: Firm Bound In Brotherhood, the official song of the Order of the Arrow, an honor society of Boy Scouts of America. Thanks to Dan Perra for contributing another piece to the songbook.
2005.12.02 - Songbook: Suo Gan, a beautiful Welsh lullaby that some may know from the movie "Empire of the Sun", or from Charlotte Church's PBS performance at Albert Hall.
2005.12.01 - I've been busy for the last nine months, and it has reminded me of an old project management saying "It doesn't matter how many women you put on the job, it still takes nine months to deliver a baby." Much of my free time has been occupied away from my home in Austin with the preparation and finally with the move of my wife to Texas and the kids (young adults) to Arizona. Also during this time my travels have taken me as far west as New Zealand and as far east as Finland, and many placed between. But my reasons for so much travel is coming to an end and I'll be home more. So with more free time, I'm hoping to start publishing more items on Flutetree. And I've turned up all sorts of interesting things in the research that I've been able to fit in the cracks of my busy schedule of the last few months.
While checking on the health of this website, I discovered the songbook has had over 100,000 browser hits since its introduction. It appears this little community service project has become a popular destination in the flute community. And it is nice hearing you all. Your emails are encouraging.
Speaking of emails, Dan Perra just contributed a more elaborate version of Scout Vespers, which is also the melody toO' Christmas Tree andO' Tannenbaum. Thanks Dan, it is just in time for Christmas.
2005.03.10 - New essay: 'The Warble'. Actually, its started out as an email answering someone's questions a while back, then became a short essay on one of the discussion boards. Last April, I created a rough draft for Flutetree. Last night, I rediscovered it and decided to finish it.
2005.03.09 - Songbook: Song of Hope, by Mary Munarin.
2005.03.08 - Songbook: Lonesome in the Rain, by Mary Munarin.
2005.03.05 - Songbook: Lullaby for Little Bear, by Mary Munarin. This is the first of a number of original pieces that Mary will be sharing on Flutetree.
2005.03.03 Thanks to a little detective work from Scott Scheiman, I was able to fix an bug in the songbook. If someone visited the site asflutetree.com, and later visited the site aswww.flutetree.com, they would be unable to change songbook settings, such as flute makers.
2005.02.27 - Songbook: Another scouting song, Canoe Song, arranged by Greg (Akaluga) Jameson.
2005.02.06 - Songbook: Scout Vespers arranged by Greg (Akaluga) Jameson.
2005.02.05 - Expanded 'Early written accounts of the native flutes' with five more quotes that span Spanish explorers mapping the coast of California to the early settlements along the east coast.
2005.01.09 - New background artwork. For visitors with 800x600 screens, they will see a flute to the right of the screen. With 1024x768 screens, a text description of the flute will be visible. With wider screens, the flute tree will be seen. Eventually, the flute image will change daily, and represent a wide variety of NAF.
2005.01.08 - Added to the Songbook: The Sunrise Call. Last year, I tracked down Carlos Troyer's version of what many of us know asZuni Sunrise. I carted my laptop and flatbed scanner up to the library so I could get a digital copy of this hundred year old songbook. This arrangement is much longer than the contemporary recordings that I've heard.
2005.01.07 - Julia and I talked about Doc Payne tonight, how he was a bright light in our lives. Its been 6 months since he passed from this existence.
2005.01.06 - Added to 'Early written accounts of the native flutes' is Garcilaso de la Vega's quote about the courting flute of early Peru (1602).
2004.12.28 - Included a quote from Pedro Fages (1775) in the essay 'Early written accounts of the native flutes'. Who writes briefly of flute players in what today is known as California.
2004.11.24 - Included quotes from Trowbridge (1824) and Raudot (1709) in the essay 'Early written accounts of the native flutes'.
2004.08.16 - The songbook now supports wider computer screens with a 'widescreen' link that expands the song to take advantage of the extra width.
The last three months have been an incredibly busy. With what free time that I’ve had, I've been on the road with my wife, sharing many adventures, playing flutes for weddings, friends, and family. In June, we spent a week in Montana at the “Renaissance of the Native American Flute Workshop” with a great group of folks. Last month, Dr. Richard Payne, the great collector and advocate of the Native American flute, transitioned to the other side of life. This was a difficult time for Julia and me. Our wedding was a year ago this last weekend, which was performed within Doc’s living room with his many flutes as our witness. He will be dearly missed. This weekend we celebrated our anniversary with special friends from the flute trail: Butch, Laura, Maurice, and Nancy.
2004.05.18 - Fixed a new bug in the songbook. Something I introduced with the recent fix for Internet Explorer 5.0. I recently finished reading a book of captivity stories. They were interesting, but didn't supply any new tidbits on the plains flute. While at the library, I did find an old mention that rim-blown (Hopi/Anasazi style) flutes had been played at Acoma. The last time I visited sky city, I asked about flutes, but nobody acknowledge that there was a flute tradition there.
This last month has been quite busy for me, so I've slowed down a bit on putting new things up on this website. But a number of projects continue in the background.
2004.04.20 - I've been busy tracking down some more early flute leads. From this research, I've added 3 more accounts to Early written accounts of the native flutes. Also fixed a problem with Amazing Grace in the new diatonic songbook. I'm also working on more material for this songbook. I've sort of have been distracted from finishing up the Glossary, but I should get back to in shortly. Also I'm halfway done with writing an essay on the mostly forgotten flute 'warble'. I'm also playing with recording songs. At some point, I'll be able to include recordings with the songbook, which has been a popular request.
2004.04.04 - Expanded the links section.
2004.04.01 - Although minor Pentatonic is quite popular today with the makers of the contemporary Native American flutes, it appears that this was different prior to the 1980's. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to play a number of these older flutes. Many had a fair approximation of the diatonic scale. Out of respect for this earlier generation of flute makers, I've started a diatonic songbook that extends the capabilities of the original songbook on flutetree.
Flutetree continues to grow. Some 245 images and 90 web pages have been constructed since November. To provide other ways of find this content, I've created a Sitemap that catalogs most of the pages available on Flutetree. In addition to this, I've continued to make some progress on the flute glossary. This week, I've worked on the many names that describe flute parts, and which ones were borrowed from the tradition of making pipe organs, recorders, and tin whistles. Part of this effort was researching the definition of 'fipple' and how it has evolved since the 1800's.
2004.03.23 - Corrected and extended the master song catalog to include the Flutetree Songbook melodies. The master song catalog indexes over 500 melodies that have been transcribed to Nakai Tablature, making TAB the most popular musical notation for the contemporary NAF.
2004.03.22 - Mark Rosenbaum contributed an embellished version of "First Steps". This is a good example of how grace notes are
added to an existing melody to personalize it. Many players just write down their melodies
without grace notes, and let those embellishments appear spontaneously as they play. We have
included both versions of "First Steps" to show one of the ways it is done.
2004.03.17 - Expanded the links section and the flute makers supported in the songbook. Because of an internal typo on these web pages, the search engines where not indexing them correctly. So I fixed and uploaded 82 web pages tonight.
2004.03.10 - Added Swing and Turn, Jubilee. to the songbook. It's a traditional song from Kentucky that fits the basic fingering of the NAF.
2004.03.08 - Through some collaboration with Mark Rosenbaum, I added support for musical triplets to the songbook. Mark was also the original inspiration for including "Hava Nagila" in the songbook. This morning, Mark sent me his version of "Hava Nagila" and tonight I got it working with triplets. While I was at it, I fixed some mistakes in my variations of "Hava Nagila". Many thanks to Mark's encouragement for half-holing. Also today, Mark contributed "First Steps" which is simple little melody that uses just the basic scale, and requires no half-holing. If you are new to flute playing, its a good one to start with. Also using triplets, I provided yet another version of "Amazing Grace" that I had learned a few years back. This weekend, I made some progress on the future glossary while the wife had to work. This list of words grows, as do the number of illustrations required. I'll probably release it in installments.
2004.03.04 - Besides working on the future glossary, I've performed a bit of administrivia to add hidden keywords to these web pages to help anyone who is using a search engine to find this site and its content. Over the last 4 months, this site has grown to include 27 songs plus additional 4 variations, 49 other web pages outside of the songbook, and 207 images used to support it all.
2004.03.03 - The songbook under went some maintenance, to clean up some layout issues. Footnotes and additional verses are handled in a more standard way, so they should no long obscure the flute illustration on the right hand side of the screen. This illustration will eventually become 'The flute of the day'. Also fixed today: if you turn off lyrics, the additional verses will not be displayed at the bottom. Otherwise, work continues on the new glossary.
2004.02.29 - The wife and I had fun this weekend going through songbooks. She pointed out "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" was in the range of the flute, and I pointed out "Yellow Rose of Texas" would be a good song for the heritage festival which we are to performing in east Texas. After working on them both, they are now in songbook.
2004.02.28 - Added "Hava Nagila" to the songbook, which was inspired by Mark Rosenbaum, who proved that it could be done! I originally transposed "Hava Nagila" to NAF some 6 weeks ago, but neither me nor my talented wife could play it, because of all the half-hole notes. This weekend I arranged a second version for those adverse to half-holing, otherwise known as "Half-Hole Sissies" by some un-named "Half-Holer" individual. :-)
2004.02.27 - Made some minor revisions to the slide ruler that is found in the appendix of the songbook. It is a one page tool that aids in transposing sheet music to Tab and finger guides. One other change is made to the songbook---for clarity and giving credit where it is due---Nakai was added to the drop down list of fingerings by flute makers. Currently, I'm working on a glossary of terms common in the NAF community. This should be my next installment on Flutetree.
2004.02.19 - After looking through all the back issues of "Voice of the Wind", I've indexed their songs, and added them to the song catalog. I also spent an hour at the graduate library tonight, chasing down a couple of more leads---found a reference to cane flutes/whistles used by the Osage in the 1840s.
2004.02.16 - I had yet another request for 'Danny Boy', which is a song based upon an older melody, Londonderry Air. By popular demand and With a little bit of work, it is now included in the songbook. Some compromises were made to fit it within the range of the NAF. Thanks to Julia for suggesting how to handle the troublesome passage.
2004.02.10 - Started a links section that connects to other sources on the web.
2004.02.09 - Added a new essay: Early written accounts of the native flutes.
2004.02.01 - Songbook: Moonlight Serenade by Tony Sawyer.
2004.01.30 - On one of the discussion groups that I read, someone asked for "The Star of the County Down". Using the ABC tune finder, I found quite a few versions of the Irish traditional. Because the internal notation of the songbook is similar to the ABC notation, it took just a few minutes to transfer them into the songbook. Thanks to Angel, I've correct a few of my spelling errors. Otherwise, the last 10 days have been very fruitful in tracking down more mentions of flutes in the 1750-1850 era. I'm currently compiling them together so I can share them with everyone.
2004.01.23 - Revised two essays on the plains flute: Earliest plains flute and Anatomy of the plains flute to include the words of Rev. Alfred Longley Riggs who described flutes of the Santee Sioux in 1869.
2004.01.20 - The songbook now supports printing blank finger guides for creating exercises that teach tablature. First, provide the student with a copy of the primary and extended scale that includes the finger guides filled out. Then navigate to a song, select blank finger guides, and print out the melody. Like standardized exams, a students can use a No.2 pencil to fill in the finger holes that should be closed for each note. It's a quick way to get newbies and musicians to understand the relationship of tablature and fingering. It has been surprising to find trained musicians that have a problem with fixed relationship between a note and its fingering in tablature. John Sarantos recommended this kind of exercise to me, after he had great success with it in his teaching of tablature.
2004.01.19 - Revised two essays on the plains flute: Earliest plains flute and Anatomy of the plains flute. Attempted to clarify the difference between plains flute and other styles of Native American flutes and whistles. Also added the 'What's new on Flutetree', to aid return visitors in finding what is new or has changed recently.
2004.01.18 - Songbook: Lubbock Lullaby by Peter Phippen
2004.01.17 - The rendering engine can now notate slurs, that will be used in 'Lubbock Lullaby'. Actually, the rendering engine is constantly being revised to support more special cases as new songs are transcribed. Not all songs that I and others transcribe electronically are placed in the songbook. I've avoided publishing anything that I know is copyrighted and I do not have written permission from the original author. For example, 'Little Drummer Boy' is a modern carol with confusing authorship. 'Across the Universe' by the Beatles is very accessible on the flute, but I can't afford the royalties to put it in the songbook.
2004.01.14 - Songbook: Hinei Mah Tov, an Israeli folk song that was recommended at the last flute circle that I attended. Another Jewish song is in the works. It's neat to see the blending of heritages with the flute.
2003.01.13 - Some problems with the new design were not discovered until they were pushed out onto the web. A day later, I was correcting all the new bugs introduced.
2003.01.12 - Since new years, reworked every web page to support a new standard look and navigation. This included complete reorganization, which may break some bookmarks. Hopefully, the new organization will support efforts way into the future. The historic essays on the nature of the flutes were revised in language and pictures.
2003.12.22 - Added some supplemental material to the songbook for transposing music to NAF, such as a Musical slide ruler and some exercises that you can download and print out.
2003.12.19 - 5 more melodies were added to the songbook. Some were contributed by others. Mike Foster arranged What child is this. Julia Gatliff contributed her version of O Come Emmanuel. And John Sarantos provided our first original composition, Midnight Snow.
2003.12.15 - Spent a several nights compiling a list of melodies that have been paper published, and where they may be published. I believe in supporting their efforts.
2003.12.08 - More work on extending the rendering engine that draws the music, and making it accessible through an entry page. I still need to write the documentation on the notation.
2003.12.01 - The songbook has doubled in size to 10 Melodies. My new years resolution is to add something new to Flutetree every week.