ZALO/JP-PUBLICATIONS --- Catalogue for Native American Flute
Determining and assigning GRADE LEVELS
As with any other new idea, performing contemporary music on the Native flute brings with it a new course of study, one that will explore the flute’s new technical demands. Mr. Pellerite wishes to assist the flutist in this total involvement musically and technically; therefore, he has graded each individual publication. To learn the music is to learn additional techniques in playing the Native flute.
Over-all, to assign a grade level to a musical composition for an ethnic instrument such as the Native American flute is, at best, somewhat subjective. However, all of our published compositions have enjoyed public performances by Mr. Pellerite, and many of these which he has recorded may be heard on his CD’s.
As editor of these works, he has made an attempt to evaluate the compositions, giving each an assigned grade level by way of a descriptive set of defining phrase elements. As a guide, this will assist the performers to correlate their technical proficiency on the instrument with the particular level.
Grade 1, will identify compositions that are structured within the flute’s pentatonic scale. They are readily playable, assuming the basic fingerings have been learned.
Grade 2, represents a gradual use of diatonic elements, that have been added to the composition’s predominant pentatonic mode. This alters the flute’s technical boundaries and will demand that the fingerings for the diatonic scale be learned. Eventually, the simple harmonic structures of a piece may progress into polytonality, even to include flavorful chromaticisms. For these compositions, he has assigned Grade 3, and higher.
Articulated phrases that demand coordination of the fingers with the tonguing will also necessitate a higher number for a composition, as would passages in a piece that involves complexity in fingerings. In this case, two or more grades may be given to a work consisting of several movements. This is brought on by the fact that less intricate phrase elements are evidenced for one movement at the same time that additional technicalities are apparent for another. The same applies for parts of a movement.
Without a doubt, the facile execution of diatonic and chromatic elements in the Native flute’s scale can occur only with proper use of fingerings. Comparable difficulties when encountered on a modern woodwind instrument probably would be assisted by the function of the embouchure. Therefore, the musician is already aware that patience and dedication for an organized and a well-disciplined daily practice routine, is vital in the pursuit of all instrumental proficiency. In this way, the Native flute’s capacities are expandable, and its natural beauty enhanced. This brings new life to its musical expression, with notable rewards and lasting pleasures to the performer.
Note: The appropriate numbers, as they apply to the compositions are placed with the titles
1. - A predominantly pentatonic structure throughout, with few diatonic elements; simple meters; interpretation of sections can be somewhat free to simulate melodic freedom and an improvisatory character; numerous traditional characteristics of Indian music [pitch glides, and appoggiaturas(fillips)] added to the musical phrases become part of the interpretation, and to a degree are found in all of our compositions; use of vibrato/non-vibrato may be introduced to the musical interpretation.
2. - The pentatonic flavor is retained, and some mild diatonics commingle with a few chromatic elements; traditional characteristics of Indian styles, as in (Gr. 1), have been added to the contemporary compositional form; moderately technical passages occur and may include articulations; some indicated use of vibrato/non-vibrato serves to create greater contrast in the romantic-styled elements.
3. - Use of chromaticisms are more prominent; some polytonalities are evident in the harmonic structure; a few more technical details in the phrases will demand dexterity [for fingering combinations]; traditional Indian styles of interpretive character, as in (Gr. 1) have been added; use of vibrato/non-vibrato treatment is quite important.
4. - Some rapid passages; whole-tone intervals; traditional characteristics of Indian styles, as in (Gr. 1); important consideration must be given to rhythmic elements for phrasing; use of vibrato/non-vibrato becomes vital to the character of the composition; (changing meters), or compound meters are prominent.
5. - Imposing and demanding articulated phrases; greater need to coordinate complex fingerings; interpretation of the piece(s) dependent upon execution of intricate rhythms; use of vibrato/non-vibrato becomes vital to the character of the composition; traditional characteristics of Indian styles, as in (Gr. 1); these movements, or pieces, are considered to be the most challenging.
The numbers assigned to each piece are shown preceding the title.