Cheek inflation and vowel posture techniques for the flutist: The exploration of a Kincaid vision of resonance made through analogies to vocal pedagogy
Walker, Kerry Elizabeth
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Upon exploring the pedagogical literature for the flute and interviewing students of the flutists Kincaid and Mariano, it is clear that they represent a technique of flute playing distinct from others. This contemporary style favors flexibility and production of differing tone colors by tongue placement. The technique is also noted for its usage of cheek inflation. This exploration of Kincaid's tonal concept is the first in-depth study of flute tonal resonance through analogies made to vocal pedagogy. The interdependent maneuvers of the articulators which shape the vocal tract (the lips, teeth, gums, tongue, jaw, palate, the larynx, and the side walls of the pharynx) are detailed with discussions of resonance placement and throat tuning. Vowel postures and cheek inflation are applied to flute playing techniques such as developing range, obtaining a variety of tone colors, and securing all the registers of flute technique. Continuing the exploration of vocal techniques, a comparison is made of regional European vocal schools and the effects language has on the flutist's tone and articulation. The application of singers' inhalation technique and how it contributes to resonance and breathing of the flutist is demonstrated. Appendix A discusses the ramifications of the above pedagogical techniques for particular antiquated fallacies, putting some of these treasured traditions to rest. Appendix B provides exercises to aid the student in developing a flexible, resonating tone.