For my A Level Music recital one of my pieces is Fly Me To The Moon, as sung by Frank Sinatra, for jazz flute. There is only one "fall-off" in the piece, on an Ab in the middle register. Regarding the notes that should be played for this and the use of the embouchure to get a "falling" sound, how should this be played?

Here's a picture of the notation where the fall-off is on the last Ab:

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2 Answers 2


Hold the last Ab until the 'and' of I, then, while quickly reducing the aperture of your embouchure to reduce the volume of the sound produced, press the keys down chromatically. It must be done very quickly to avoid the audience hearing each separate note of the fall. This should create a downward glissando effect that fades into nothing (make sure not to land hard at the bottom, just fade away).

Source: Complete Jazz Flute Book by William Bay


Here's an excerpt taken from Complete Jazz Flute Book by William Bay:

Play the written note for about one-half of its value, then quickly "Slide" down chromatically. The chromatic notes should not sound individually, and there should not be any particular pitch in evidence at the end of the [fall-off]!

So the correct way to play seems to be a chromatic descent with diminuendo to nothing. To get the diminuendo it is necessary to reduce the aperture of the embouchure and perhaps also achieve some pitch bend to emphasise the "falling" sound.

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