Finding your own speed: how flutists find music groups in which they like to play
This study examines how classical flutists who are predominantly avocational musicians find ensembles to play in that meet their personal goals for musical achievement and congeniality. Using data from observation and interviews in the Seattle area from 1992 to 1996, this study describes how flutists adapt to the musical characteristics of the flute, schedule get-togethers, become ensemble members, stay in or leave ensembles and use or avoid political actions in the process of finding their own speed in ensembles. Some, not all, flutists also find repertoire and lead and perform in ensembles. Social interactions, making aesthetic choices and playing flute are not equally important in all parts of finding one's own speed in an ensemble. The relative importance of social and musical interactions differs especially between large and small ensembles. Avocational flutists playing classical Western art music in ensembles find their own speed in ensembles by first choosing such artistic and social goals as playing fast or challenging repertoire and meeting new people when they start and join groups. Flutists negotiate artistic and social consensus when they perform, find and develop repertoire, and adapt to the musical characteristics of the flute. Ensemble experience, repertoire preferences, nerves, material resources and prioritization of work, family, religion and education influence how flutists find their own speed in an ensemble.
- Music