Kujala, W. - The Flutist's Vade Mecum

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TITLE: The Flutist's Vade Mecum
COMPOSER: Walfrid Kujala
PUBLISHER: Progress Press
ED/ARR: n/a

A few words from WALFRID KUJALA about his Vade Mecum: 

The Flutist's Vade Mecum, SECOND EDITION, is a greatly expanded, all-encompassing approach to the study and perfection of scale, arpeggio, trill and finger technique. As the author explains in the introduction of this hardbound 135-page volume, "This book is intended not just for the initial learning of scales and arpeggios but for permanent and ongoing improvement of this material through diligent review. Each section is supplied with advice regarding the most appropriate practice methods (10 pages of explanatory text). Think of this Vade Mecum ("Go with me" in Latin) as a steady companion, always available for review and renewal."

In addition to the opening 18-page core section devoted to basic major, minor, whole-tone and chromatic scales, major and minor broken 3rds (including their inversions), the four triads, and diminished and dominant seventh chords, the Vade Mecum also highlights the following topics:

  • Regular coverage of the extremes of the flute range (low B, C, C# and altissimo B, C, C#, and D).
  • Expanded vocabulary of scales, including modal, pentatonic, octatonic, blues and Hungarian minor (17 pages).
  • Specific instruction on the use of atternate and "facilitating" fingerings.
  • Explicit notation of wide-ranging articulations and dynamics in the "Basic Scales and Arpeggios" section.
  • The use of five and seven-note groups, and odd meters.
  • Broken 4ths, 5ths and 6ths and their inversions, and chromatic broken 3rds (8 pages).
  • All triads and 7th chords presented in regular, inverted and broken form (4 pages).
  • Learning to make accurate rhythmic changes through "composed" accelerandos and ritardandos of scales (4 pages).
  • Trill exercises featuring a "measured" trill approach (3 pages).
  • NEW: Extended interval exercises for "attaining defter fingers and a more supple embouchure" (15 pages).
  • NEW: "La Scala Kujala", 10 pages of scale phrases excerpted from solo works, and organized into ongoing patterns.
  • Chromatic expanding interval studies (5 pages).
  • Chromatic scales in quintuplets and septuplets (4 pages).
  • Alternating minor and major intervals built on chromatic sequences of 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths and 7ths (5 pages).
  • Excerpts from Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Poulenc, Prokofiev and Ravel, with speciai fingerings (4 pages).
  • NEW: Short etudes based on chord progressions from various orchestral passages, with complete chord analysis (10 pages).
  • Broken chromatic minor and major 3rds.
  • 4-note and 5-note scale "tops".

The first edition appeared in 1995 in soft cover 9 x 12. The new edition is expanded (44 pages longer!), hard cover, 10 x 13 smythe sewn pages so that it will rest on the stand in open position without stress on the spine of the book. This more durable format is truly designed for the concept ofVade Mecum ("Go with me"), intended to maintain structural integrity for the span of one's flute playing career.

"A refreshing skeptic to the dogmatic proponents of 'one note, one fingering', Kujala enjoys, as I do, devising alternate fingerings for quality, smoothness, intonation, and, I suspect, for fun... Above all, Kujala is a scientist of the flute, a thorough researcher, an experimenter, and a tolerant author who is not obsessed with certitudes, either his own or those of prior generations."
-Michel Debost, reviewing the 1st edition in Flute Talk, Feb. 1996