Topic: Double Tonguing
I do consider double tonguing a necessity for bassoon playing although I realize that several very fine bassoonists have an exception speed for their single tongue.
Others also consider it a necessity for oboe playing. At the IDRS conference in Ball State we heard a wonderful lecture by Jim Ryon on the subject. I think that that masterclass was recorded so it should eventually be available on our website.
I have a fairly fast single tongue (up four strokes at mm. 138) but even then I want to have the capacity to tongue more quickly. I mostly use what I call "combination tonguing," that is, a combination of double and single. Double tonguing is usually represented as TKTK, single often as TTTT, or DDDD. What I call combination tonguing is TKTT or TTTK. I find that this tonguing pattern, while a bit more difficult to master at first, much more flexible and closer sounding to single tonguing than the full double tongue. Bernard Garfield is credited with inventing this form of tonguing and wrote about it in his article:
Garfield, Bernard. “The Bassoonist’s Nightmare.” Woodwind World 2 (March 1958): 11.
I don't have enough time to answer in greater detail right now, but a few more of my thoughts are contained in this article:
Oboists might want to start reading about Goossen's support of double tonguing in his book on pages 78-81:
Goossens, Leon and Roxburgh, Edwin. Oboe. New York: Schirmer Books, 1977.
I should also note that early method books for woodwind playing (as early as the mid 1500s!) advocate double tonguing. Quantz mentions its use in the Baroque period for double reeds as well as flute:
Quantz, Johann Joachim. Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen (Berlin: Johann Friedrich Voss, 1752). Trans. by Edward R. Reilly. On Playing the Flute. New York: Schirmer Books, 1966.
There is a lot of good information out there, we just need to gain access to it!
Professor Bassoon, Towson University
Former President, IDRS
Former Principal Bassoon Hong Kong Philharmonic, Wheeling Symphony