Flageolet - Special playing styles - Philipp Dangas


Description of the playing technique flageolet

Every tone that sounds is a combination of its fundamental tone and its overtones. In other words, a sound made up of individual vibrations. The overtones are responsible for the timbre of the sound. Pure sine tones sound without overtones.

As a special effect, the frog could also be played, which would result in a rougher sound. Pizzicato is also possible to a limited extent in this context, but is only rarely used. Result: an isolated, silvery, flute-like, matte sound. Natural harmonics cannot be played with vibrato, artificial ones can be played with or without vibrato .

Reason for the sound produced by the flageolet

On stringed instruments, the overtones without the fundamental can be made audible individually by touching the string at certain vibration nodes while playing. An overtone is isolated before its fundamental on an open or fretted string. This is done by touching the corresponding vibrating node with a finger of the left hand. The right hand usually produces the sound by stroking, usually with the top or middle third of the slur.

Flageolet as part of the „symphonic world music“

The use of flageolet tones means, on the one hand, the possibility of creating a sound effect (which can stand on its own independently of the rest of the instrumentation) and, on the other hand, using flageolet tones like a "normal" filling voice.

Key data on the special flageolet type

„natural flageolet“ or „artificial flageolet“
Isolation of an overtone from its fundamental. On an open or fretted string by touching a vibration node. This is done with a finger of the left hand.
whistling, flute-like, dull sound.
Either a square notehead or a small circle ° above the note is used.

Downloads for the flageolet - score by Gustav Mahler

Sound file for the score
"1st Symphonie 1st Movement"
Download size: 770 kilobytes
PDF file for the score
"1st Symphonie 1st Movement"
Download–size: 60.4 Kilobytes

Note on the score with an example on the flageolet

A graphic with an extract from the score follows. Excerpt from the “1. Symphony I movement - bars 1-10". Composition by Gustav Mahler. An example of the flageolet. The graphic can also be enlarged. It is Link-Sensitive [Clickable].