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Musical interpretation is first and foremost a question of shaping a melody or the melodic line of a setting. Music, like any language, follows its own set of rules and a sufficient knowledge and familiarity with musical 'grammar' is therefore an essential prerequisite of any convincing interpretation.The internationally renowned performer and teacher Peter-Lukas Graf explains in great detail the parameters that have to be taken into account for a successful interpretation: rhythm, metre, agogics, articulation, phrasing, ornamentation and implied polyphony, etc. Numerous examples from the flute repertoire of the 17th-20th century serve as models from which he derives the 'rules' appropriate for an interpretation in keeping with each period. • These rules are not intended to be dogmatic but instead should stimulate the players to form their own opinion. About 'rules' • Preface • Golden rules for the interpreter • The structure and analysis of melody • Notes on the execution of ornamentation in the 17th and 18th centuries • Ornamentation in the 19th and 20th centuries • Phrasing • Rhythm • Accents • Dynamics • Tempo • Metre • Flexibility of rhythm/rubato • Shaping the musical phrase • Conclusion • Bibliography • Index • Musical examples