Last updated: 4-10-01

go to lesson-1e (4-10-01)
Directions and explanations
Lesson 1d

First, if you have been experiencing any difficulty playing the .wav files within this lesson, go   HERE   for a better understanding of the process required to play these files.

Lets review some of what's been covered in the lesson. If you've followed along through the entire lesson, please note that I've updated the discussion of the music theory involved in the creation of the Minor Pentatonic Scale  HERE. You may want to go there and have a look, and then use your browser's "back" button to return to here.

Take a look at the graphic  below and notice that I've displayed the same image as in the previous portion of the lesson except without the staff containing the standard musical notation. Some of you may decide that this is the way you may wish to create a record of your musical compositions, while others may decide to learn the standard musical notation as well, and include that with their NAF tablature. Although both decisions are fine, those that also choose to learn the standard musical notation and include it with their compositions can share their music with a much wider audience. Later in the lessons I'll offer a sound file which is a recording of the NAF along with another one of my instruments such as the classical guitar, piano, sax, orchestral (silver) flute, or even an african style drum known as a djembe. To share such a composition with others, I'll include both the NAF tablature and standard musical notation. If I include the african drum in the piece, I'll also include the special tablature for that instrument.

Some of you may remember in the beginning of the lesson that I said  "... study will be of the second movement of the piece, which is known as "Largo". This may have been a little confusing since I didn't offer an explanation at the time. It may appear as though the piece actually has two names. The use of the word Largo, is actually a reference to the style in which the section of the piece is to be played. Largo means the same thing as "very slow and broad". In the process of rearranging it for the NAF, the style in which it is played is no longer Largo. In Dvorak's piece, this is a section of that piece that is to be played in a Largo style. I'll discuss more about this and other definitions later in the lesson.

When creating your tablature, it's best to give as much information as possible about what type of instrument the tablature is for. In the example here, I've designated it as NAF and 5-hole. There are many styles of flutes so it is best to specify NAF in this case. Also there are variations in the hole pattern, so it's best to indicate the number of holes the flute has. Another thing that I've only touched on, is the fact that not all NAF flutes are tuned to the same type of scale. The most commonly used scale for the 5-hole NAF is the Minor Pentatonic scale. That was discussed extensively in lesson_1c  HERE. You may want to go there and review for a better understanding. Due to the complexity of the issue, I've also created a new pictorial  HERE. to better explain how the scale relates to your flute tuned to the Minor Pentatonic scale However, there are others, so it's also a good idea to indicate that in the tablature. Of course it's also important to indicate which key the piece is to be played in. Although the tablature as shown with no other music notation staff can be played in any key, it's useful information to the user. There should always be an indication of the key when there is another musical notation staff containing notes on the same page, since both instruments need to be played in the same key. It should never be assumed that the NAF player has the ability to read the key signature that is always present on standard music notation staff, anymore than it should be assumed that the player can know the timing of the piece by the type of notes on the standard music notation staff.

Those of you who have seen other versions of tablature may have noticed that the forms currently available don't supply the user with all of the information needed to perform the piece as it was intended. That is why I attempt to (and encourage you to) include as much information as possible within the tablature. It can be more than just a little frustrating to see tablature presented as a pictorial of flutes depicting the notes by the applicable holes being shown as covered or uncovered, with no information concerning how long to hold each note, or the required ornamentation (such as ripple, stacatto, etc) required to play the piece as it was intended. Some of the current forms of tablature for the NAF includes the normal musical notes above the NAF flute tablature. However, a player who knows nothing about musicl notes or their timing, hasn't a clue what kind of timing to give to each note displayed by the fingering patterns within the NAF tablature. Those who know how to read the normal musical notation above the NAF tablature, probably wouldn't need the tablature in the first place.

The use of vibrato isn't something that needs to be indicated in the tablature. However I will be adding the symbols for that later in the lesson. Although vibrato is often left to the descretion of the player, it is nice to have a means to indicate within the tablature, certain places where the use of vibato would greatly enhance the playing of the piece, since vibato has a very strong influence on the performance of a particular piece designed for this style of instrument. I suggest that everyone playing the NAF should practice vibrato until they can do it with ease. When I first began to play wind instruments, I thought that I had to be born with a special ability in order to create the vibrato. I thought it required a special type of vocal chords or something, since I would see the throat of a singer vibate which is something I was certainly unable to do. I would marvel at singers, and musicians that could perform such a feat with ease. It required a lot of research on my part before I was convinced that I could learn to do it just as well as anyone else, and I have. So don't get discouraged if it doesn't come to you right away. Like anything, it takes practice. The practice is worth it, since the use of vibrato will greatly enhance your playing of this style of instrument.

First two measures of Largo (from Symphony No. 9) arrangement
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Playing a .wav file

Please note that whenever you click on the link to play a .wav file within this lesson, that it will take a while for the file to be transferred to your computer. If using certain browsers, a separate little window will open that will just sit there for a while looking like nothing is happening. However the data is actually being transferred to your computer in the background and will eventually start to play. Patience is required, especially for the larger files which could take 5 minutes or longer to transfer. The smaller ones usually do so in a couple of minutes depending on the speed of your modem. Other browsers will ask you if you want to save the file to your computer. If you answer yes, it will be transferred, and then you can click on the file and it will play in your computer's media player.

If your browser displays a little window to play the .wav file, you can still save the file to your computer's hard-disk for playing later. To do that, all you have to do is right-click within the window that has the playing controls. If in Windows, a drop-down menu will appear with an option to save the file. Use the normal file saving process common to this type of Windows menu.
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