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The Flute in Scotland from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century

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Elizabeth C. Ford

It is a generally accepted truth that the flute was unknown in Scotland prior to 1725, and that it was played exclusively by wealthy men. Upon examination, these beliefs are demonstrably false. This book explores the role of the flute in Scottish musical life, primarily in the long eighteenth century, including players, repertoire, manuscripts, and instruments. Evidence for ladies having played the flute is also examined, as are possible connections between flute playing and bagpipe playing. Reasons for the flute’s disappearance from the pantheon of Scottish instruments are considered, and interviews with contemporary flute players in Scotland depict flute playing in contemporary Scotland. This work fills a major gap in knowledge of Scottish musical life and flute history.

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About the author

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Elizabeth C. Ford’s doctoral thesis (University of Glasgow, 2016) won the National Flute Association’s Graduate Research Award. She was the 2018−19 Daiches−Manning Memorial Fellow in 18th-century Scottish Studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. She has also had fellowships from the Handel Institute, and will take up the Abi Rosenthal Visiting Fellowship in Music at the Bodleian Library in 2019, as well as the Martha Goldsby Arnold Fellowship at the Riemenschneider Bach Institute.

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