My journey in the orchestral world and teaching ultimately has led to writing and publishing 2 primary series of books: Orchestral Excerpt Practice Books, and the Exploring Sound: Tone Development Through Orchestral Repertoire. The excerpt practice books develop both alternative and traditional ways to prepare excerpts, and the tone development books explore transcribed and transposed melodic passages from the orchestral repertoire. Additional projects include the Excerpt Duos series, featuring excerpts with flute accompaniment, and other flute duo and ensemble arrangements, focusing mainly on Mozart’s works. I am also enthusiastically arranging great repertoire originally for strings and piano, both to expand our recital repertoire and for my own personal musical development. A selection of these publications is shown below. For a full list of digital publications, please visit the store page. Print versions of many titles are available from the retailers linked at the bottom of the page.
The Orchestral Excerpt Practice Book Series is devoted to developing the flutist's technique of excerpts preparation through the practice of brief studies directly related to the excerpt.
Eroica is one of the hardest excerpts. Find the most effective ways to master it, along with tips on every detail. It’s certain to help you win the next audition.
Exercises related to one of the most daunting excerpts on any audition: William Tell. Plus history, ideas on phrasing, tone, and extended practice. This book will help you break bad habits and tired routines.
Everything you need to know about Leonore 3. This volume features extensive exercises specifically focused on all three audition passages from this most commonly requested, most challenging audition piece.
Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony is one of the most frequently performed in the world. Most orchestras will feature it on their audition lists, so you must be an expert at these flute excerpts. This book will inspire creativity, and give you direction in your practice.
Anytime an orchestra plays Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis, the evening becomes a flute spotlight moment. This elaborate solo masterpiece is one of the most daunting of all flute excerpts, combining technical virtuosity with ultimate tonal and musical challenges. The book explores every facet of this audition favorite.
The Exploring Sound Series is devoted to the flutist's development of artistic tone and phrasing through the playing of melodic passages from great orchestral works.
Explore the great melodies from Brahms 4th symphony, including the flute solo, in every key. Challenging, and a great tone exercise.
Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto probably has the best melodies of any piano concerto. Explore all of them in this book, with playing tips and transposition in all keys. This volume is the ultimate tone learning tool.
Melodies from Brahms 1 represent some of the finest, most iconic, and challenging passages in the orchestral repertoire. Play extended sections, or focus on the classic wind solos, including the great flute solo in all keys.
For sheer melodic beauty, Scheherazade is practically unmatched in the orchestral repertoire. Practicing these extraordinary and classic passages will take your tone to the next level, in a most enjoyable way.
Flute and Piano Arrangements
"With Mark Sparks’ new Excerpt and Tone Development series, we get the insight
of a great artist sharing with us the leads to intense musical expression while mastering the technical
challenges of the orchestral repertoire.
Mark Sparks shows us how much fun it can be to spin around ideas to practice orchestral repertoire, and develop musical expression in the form of an in-depth journey inside major works.
A wonderful collection of books by Mark Sparks, sharing his fantastic experience as a top player, while giving technical solutions and expressive advice, as well as setting these orchestral masterworks in their music-historical context. What an enriching experience!"
-Emmanuel Pahud, International Soloist
Solo Flute, Berlin Philharmonic
"Mark Sparks has taken the study of
orchestral excerpts to a new,
more artistic and creative place.
Not merely about playing 8 bars of music perfectly,
you are immersed in the whole orchestral work, with musical and historical context for the excerpt, along with exercises that seek to improve everything about you as a flutist and musician"
International Soloist and Conductor
Professor of Flute,