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I am new to music theory and am just starting out on a six-hole Native American cedar flute. I do not have a concrete knowledge of reading musical notation, so I was wondering if Two Steps From Hell's "Flight of The Silverbird" could potentially be played on it, given the sheet music below.

Thank you very much in advance! enter image description here

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    I'm very sceptical about the music - all the unnecessary natural signs - seems it was written by someone ignorant about music, so I couldn't trust it. And - what key is your flute, that's important to the question. – Tim Feb 6 at 7:21
  • @Tim Although the piano part is suspect, and the accidentals very odd, the flute part shown does match this recording: youtube.com/watch?v=n-Dh3ftkRAs – Aaron Feb 6 at 7:30
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Based on the excerpt presented, yes, the song can be played, but not as written. Some of the notes in the version of "Flight" presented in the question are too high for the flute's range (the high D and E). However, transposing down a perfect fourth would put all of the notes within the range of the flute (first line F# to B above the staff).

This assumes that no pitches later in the song (as given in the question) are below the middle-line B or higher than the above-the-staff E. Should the song's range extend outside those boundaries, then it will have notes either too high or too low to be playable, even with transposition.

The website flutopedia.org has a PDF with fingering charts for a variety of Native American flutes, including different tunings for six-hole flutes (pentatonic and diatonic). What the charts show is that most flutes cannot play pitches higher than the B above the treble staff. The exception is the "Anasazi" tuned flute, which can play some, but not all higher pitches. In any case, none of the flutes can play the high D and E required in the chart shown.

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If your flute is pentatonic you can play it. Here's a correct notation.

If your flute is not tuned in G you can play it in the key your flute is tuned in. Just any key. You have only to find out the root tone by playing the pentatonic scale la-do-re-mi-so-la. But you need 2 lower tones (la-so-mi)

enter image description here

(Ignore the transposition of the 2nd section: measures 18 ff)

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  • thank you! My flute is in the key of "A," and reading its instructions I have found both a pentatonic scale, as well as a variety of chromatic scales that have 14 notes and go up quite high - more than one of these can hit the high "D" that Aaron mentioned above, so I'm wondering if it could be played using one of them? I would attach a picture but I don't know how to do that in a comment xD. – CJL Feb 7 at 16:31
  • The easiest way will be transposing the song 2 semitones up. This will be no problem with musescore. – Albrecht Hügli Feb 7 at 22:53
  • Excellent advice, thank you! I have heard a little about the program, but was not aware it had that kind of functionality. – CJL Feb 8 at 5:53

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