This chapter provides an overview of the historical evolution of the flute in western culture. In its long history, the flute has been used to express the intimate relationship with the mind and its derangement. The flute is one of the most ancient musical instruments and has been widely used in the different musical cultures around the world. During Romanticism the flute reached its greatest success, with several composers writing musical pieces for it. In the twentieth century, the flute proved its great versatility and established itself as one of the protagonists of the modern orchestra, being increasingly used also in new musical genres. Flutists are deeply involved in the generation of the sound, which emanates from within their bodies, contributing to the fascination of this instrument. The potential for virtuosity and wide range of the flute was employed to musically represent to express madness and hallucinations, particularly during Romanticism. Furthermore, throughout centuries, the flute was traditionally used to mark the time during military marches, creating a sense of belonging and coordinated movements in a large group of people. The tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin reflects this ability and shows how, according to the popular imagination, the sound of the flute was able to influence the mind and the behavior of animals and humans alike, exerting a sort of “mind control.” Music can affect the functioning of our brain, leading to emotional and motor reactions. With its fascinating and long-lasting history, the sound of the flute – an instrument so akin to the human voice – continues to exert a deep influence on the human brain.

Flute and Mind / L. Lorusso, F. Brigo, A. Franchini, A. Porro (NEUROCULTURAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING). - In: The Musical Neurons / [a cura di] B. Colombo. - Cham : Springer Nature, 2022. - ISBN 9783031081316. - pp. 137-145 [10.1007/978-3-031-08132-3_10]

Flute and Mind

A. Franchini
Penultimo
;
A. Porro
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the historical evolution of the flute in western culture. In its long history, the flute has been used to express the intimate relationship with the mind and its derangement. The flute is one of the most ancient musical instruments and has been widely used in the different musical cultures around the world. During Romanticism the flute reached its greatest success, with several composers writing musical pieces for it. In the twentieth century, the flute proved its great versatility and established itself as one of the protagonists of the modern orchestra, being increasingly used also in new musical genres. Flutists are deeply involved in the generation of the sound, which emanates from within their bodies, contributing to the fascination of this instrument. The potential for virtuosity and wide range of the flute was employed to musically represent to express madness and hallucinations, particularly during Romanticism. Furthermore, throughout centuries, the flute was traditionally used to mark the time during military marches, creating a sense of belonging and coordinated movements in a large group of people. The tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin reflects this ability and shows how, according to the popular imagination, the sound of the flute was able to influence the mind and the behavior of animals and humans alike, exerting a sort of “mind control.” Music can affect the functioning of our brain, leading to emotional and motor reactions. With its fascinating and long-lasting history, the sound of the flute – an instrument so akin to the human voice – continues to exert a deep influence on the human brain.
Flute; Mind; Music; Sound
Settore MED/02 - Storia della Medicina
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/938888
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