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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTo most flutists, Paul Taffanel is known for his Method and as the "Father" of the French school of flute playing. Considering the import of this title, little research has been done on him. It is the goal of this researcher to present a more complete picture of Taffanel than has previously been seen. To understand the significance of some of the things Taffanel did, it is necessary to know what study at the Paris Conservatoire was like. Lessons were given in classes in which all levels of playing were represented. There was no individual study, and until 1945, there was only one flute class. The number in the class was usually 12, and entry into it was by competitive audition. These auditions were held every October, and the Concours (public exam) was held each July. Requirements for the Concours included a set piece for each instrument (called Morceau de Concours) and a piece of accompanied sightreading. The jury was chaired by the Director of the Conservatoire, with both internal and external jurors. Taffanel sat in on at least two of these juries before he became professor of flute at the Conservatoire. The awards given were First or Second Prize or First or Second Certificate of Merit. A prize means playing against a certain standard, not competition between individual candidates. As a result, more than one First Prize could be awarded, or it could be withheld altogether. A First Prize was really necessary for a successful musical career. In Paris, there were many theatre and concert orchestras. There were also salons in which to play chamber music, but the best positions available were in the Paris Opéra and Opéra- Comique. These were government subsidised and had full -time employment and state pension on retirement. There was also the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire which gave annual Sunday concerts between November and April. Membership into this orchestra was by election. The most successful flutist therefore was one who had gained a First Prize and held positions at the Paris Opera and Société des Concerts.
Degree ProgramGraduate College