I am glad to write, at the request of the author, a foreword for this little book on the flute. The flute is not only one of the most distinctive instruments of India’s musical genius but it is one of the most universal instruments in the world and this book will help us to understand some of the reasons for that universality. In India, it is closely associated with one of the most popular gods of the Hindu pantheon, but long before that it was associated with the ubiquitous shepherd, perhaps the most ancient of all occupations. Many a time have I listened to the watcher by the flocks at night or in the late afternoon as he played the simple melodies on his homely flute. The flute is so homely, so suited to the genius of a homely people like the Indians. No doubt the flutist in these days is not content with the homely melodies of the boys in the fields, but still these are wedded to the flute and always we shall think of them together. A simple, inexpensive piece of bamboo and a little practice together with some native art, and the heart is ravished by the simple beauty of the music. This what gives the flute such a charm to us all and makes us eager to know all that we can about it.
This little book, written by one who is a fine flutist himself, will help many to understand some of the mysteries of this simple and beautiful instrument and I can heartily commend it to all readers, whether they play the flute or not.
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