ABOUT / CIRCULAR BREATHING

 

Circular breathing is a technique of playing wind instruments that allows to sustain the sound for a long time. It requires drawing air quickly in through the nose whilst simultaneously pushing the air collected in your mouth into the instrument. Although the technique boasts a history of several hundred years, the first mentions of its application in classical music come from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Natural breathing is a necessary element of playing any wind instrument. Physiological aspects aside, it serves the separation of individual music phrases. The skill of circular breathing gives an instrumentalist more extensive phrase building opportunities and is useful in an array of works of all periods and styles. The technique is increasingly often applied in contemporary music as composers write pieces that require circular breathing. 

Natalia Jarząbek’s skilful use of the circular breathing technique combined with the teaching experience and profound knowledge of Barbara Świątek-Żelazna let the authors design a coherent methodology whose efficiency is corroborated by the experience that the authors gained during the lessons, workshops, masterclasses, and lectures they conducted.

 

A characteristic feature of the method described is the fact that it does not require the flutist to change embouchure while circular breathing. This book also presents the history of the technique, methods of circulating while playing the flute, and a collection of examples from music literature. It also describes various contexts of permanent breath, and advantages that result from working on the development of that skill. The selection of examples is only a suggestion to be adjusted to individual needs and potential. Infinity CD, a musical recapitulation of the ideas contained in the book, is an integral part of the work. The use of circular breathing is an artistic value of the pieces recorded on the CD. 

The presented positioning of the tongue, throat, lips, and cheeks is adapted to the player’s individual embouchure. The starting point for working on the material this book comprises is the correct drawing of breath, and correct functioning of all the elements necessary for proper production of sound. 

Skilful application of the circular breathing technique should be treated and developed as an element of the instrumentalist’s performing skills. The lodestar of the learning process should be the conviction that the musical phrase is of paramount value.