e-ISSN: 2625-378X
p-ISSN: 2701-2689


Some Observations on Flute Playing in Malaysia

Chai Yem Voon

ASIAN-EUROPEAN MUSIC RESEARCH JOURNAL 6 (2020)     pp: 60-80     2020-12-04
Some Observations on Flute Playing in Malaysia

Stichworte/keywords: Flute playing, Malaysia, Performance practice, Personalities

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Voon, C.Y. (2020). Some Observations on Flute Playing in Malaysia. ASIAN-EUROPEAN MUSIC RESEARCH JOURNAL, 6 , 60-80. doi:10.30819/aemr.6-5
doi = {10.30819/aemr.6-5},
url = {},
year = 2020,
publisher = {Logos Verlag Berlin},
volume = {6},
pages = {60-80},
author = {Chai Yem Voon},
title = {Some Observations on Flute Playing in Malaysia},

Surviving in an environment that seems to be not encouraging music performances for entertainment or for mental contemplation, Malaysian musicians have to strive very hard in order to earn a living. The situation gets worse when it comes to a particular group of musicians who have no choice but share the similar job opportunities. Apparently, the market is not offering enough opportunities for flautists compared to pianists and string instrument players. This eventually leads to a very competitive situation in both the performing and teaching scene. The time frame of this observation reaches back to the time between 2011 and 2016, a cut in cultural market matters caused by the last general election. By and large, watching pure instrumental performances is yet a new controversy for local audiences. This is the major reason stopping potential sponsors to support local arts though musicians have no way to showcase their passion for music without funding. The situation is more frustrating when focussing on flute performance alone as there is no commonly organised major flute event in Kuala Lumpur. For instance, "The Flute Festival in Malaysia" in 2007 was the first and only flute festival so far, in Malaysia. It was organized by the Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur (JFKL) together with The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac), the Embassy of Japan and the Flute Festival in Malaysia Organizing Committee. The flute festival opened the eyes and ears of the local flute lovers by giving flute masterclasses, bringing in different kinds of flute brands and models for free trials on the spot and having a flute orchestra to perform. It consisted of 60 professional and amateur musicians from Malaysia, Japan and other countries, who came hoping to inspire each other and to purely enjoy flute music. Not to forget the famous saxophone ensemble from Japan, the “Mi-bemol Saxophone Ensemble” that gave a marvellous performance which was greatly inspiring Malaysian audiences of wind instruments. However, this also shows that flute performances alone might not get to stand resolutely in the local market.
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