Flute music spans many centuries with a diverse and rich repertoire.
Being one of the oldest of the wind instruments, the flute has works available from the beginnings of traditional western music.
Even for the player selecting a first flute solo, the flutist has a rich heritage of repertoire to select from.
Music for the flute is available from the Baroque era, with pieces by J.S. Bach, Telemann, Vivaldi, and Handel.
The Classical period is highlighted by the two concerti by W.A. Mozart, in D Major and in G Major.
During the Romantic era, the flute was somewhat neglected by the major composers of the time--Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner--in favor of the piano and string instruments. The clarinet was the wind instrument of choice.
Squeezed in between the Romantics and the emerging Contemporary artists was the Impressionist movement. This originated in France, but Spanish, American, and other composers fit this description as well.
The flute seems well suited for Impressionist music, but there are not a lot of offerings for solo flute. Why? Perhaps because the flute was a favorite for symphonic solos and chamber pieces.
At the dawn of the 20th century, the improvements in the construction of the instrument made the flute more popular with composers and we enter the Golden Age of flute repertoire--now!
Composers of the stature of Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein have written for the flute.
The contemporary composer isn't limited to one style, either. We see neoclassical sonatas by Prokofief and lovely French pieces by Poulenc. The avant garde abounds in flute literature as well.
Works for flute with piano accompaniment are the most typical offerings, but solo flute literature is very popular as well.
Sometimes less well known pieces for flute are not readily accessible, but are wonderful additions to the flute repertoire. Many are self-published by flutists who are also composers. Try this site for flute publishers.
A great way to expand your flute repertoire is with free flute sheet music.
Flute duets are a lot of fun to play, too, and greatly expands your playing ability and repertoire. By playing with someone else, you must match pitches, have excellent rhythmic skills, and blend your dynamic levels. Duets are a great learning tool!
Come to my flute repertoire class and learn the flute repertoire!