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Classical Flute Repertoire, Performers, and Instruments: A Resource Guide

This research guide provides an overview of resources available in the Library of Congress Music Division specific to research and performance within the Western classical flute tradition.


Claude Laurent, creator. Flute in C, view of flute in case (DCM 0378). 1813. Dayton C. Miller Collection. Library of Congress Music Division.

The Library of Congress Music Division holds a vast amount of materials relevant to the interests of flutists and researchers of Western classical flutes, flute repertoire, flute pedagogy, and historical flutists. Rich resources including manuscripts of flute repertoire, letters of flutists, rare editions of scores, and modern publications appeal to performers and historians.

Music manuscripts central to Western classical flute solo and chamber music repertoire are gems of these holdings. Manuscripts include scores in the hands of composers and copyists. The Music Division acquires such items through gifts, purchases, and commissioning funds. Music manuscripts are individually cataloged as well as part of larger special collections. Holograph scores - manuscripts in the hands of the composers - include pieces such as Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Flute and Piano; Albert Roussel's Trio, op. 40 for flute, viola, and cello; and Maurice Ravel's Chansons madécasses for mezzo-soprano or baritone, flute/piccolo, cello, and piano.

The Dayton C. Miller Collection comprises a core portion of the Music Division's flute holdings. This collection includes rare print editions of flute repertoire from solo to chamber literature, many of which are only available copies in the United States. Rare scores purchased by the Music Division from antiquarian dealers also augment these holdings. The Dayton C. Miller Collection also includes over 1,700 instruments in the flute family that may be explored through photographs in the digital Dayton C. Miller Collection, including President James Madison's crystal flute made by Claude Laurent and a flute made by Johann Joachim Quantz for King Frederick II. Additional online content including concert videos, lectures, web archives, rare treatises, and scans of flute iconography are also available.

Special collections are available to patrons interested in Western classical flutists and flute repertoire. The Music Division holds special collections of flutists, such as the Samuel Baron Collection; flute organizations, such as the National Flute Association, Inc. Archives; and ensembles like the Bach Aria Group Collection. The Music Division is also the repository for special collections whose creators composed seminal works in 20th-century flute music including the George Crumb Papers, Aaron Copland Collection, and Milton Babbitt Music Sketches.

This online research guide also highlights publications of interest to flutists and flute researchers, including biographies and autobiographies of flutists, flute repertoire bibliographies, thematic catalogs of works by flutist-composers, and flute journals of worldwide flute organizations.

About the Performing Arts Reading Room

The Performing Arts Reading Room is the access point for the collections in the custody of the Music Division at the Library of Congress. Numbering approximately 20.5 million items and spanning more than 1000 years of Western music history and practice, these holdings include the classified music and book collections, music and literary manuscripts, iconography, microforms, periodicals, musical instruments, published and unpublished copyright deposits, and close to 500 special collections in music, theater, and dance.