Topic: 20th Century Performance Techniques

Has anyone performed Child's Play by David Ward-Steinman?  I have a student working on the piece and we have a few questions.

page 11 - any suggestions for the low F# below our lowest Bb?
page 12 - what does the solid line between the Eb-F, Ab to Ab, and Ab to D signify?
page 18 - what does the arrow mean at the beginning of the last stave?

Thank you so much for any assistance you can provide!
Carol Lowe


Re: 20th Century Performance Techniques

I don't know the piece sorry - but a few ideas - is this for oboe or bassoon?

The solid lines between pitches often indicate glissandi - can be achieved partly by sliding fingers off holes progressively - if however there are keys involved you may have to settle for a chromatic run or a combination of the two. To achieve a note below the normal range may be achieved by choking the note downwards by playing on the very tip of the reed till the vibrations are affected by the actual lip interference. Otherwise inserting a long piece of hose of appropriate diameter may produce the note you require. On a bassoon a 1.2 m vacuum cleaner pipe will get you down to about low G. Whereas a toilet paper inner cardboard roll will only play low A.

As for the arrow - which way does it point? Could it mean octave up or down, or accelerate or decelerate? I am surprised no "key" is given by the composer / publisher.

There is a book of avant garde techniques for woodwind which composers often refer to, which has fingerings for multiphonics and microtones, chords etc - it may offer some ideas - again someone else (Yoshi?) may be able to provide the details.


Neville Forsythe
Christchurch New Zealand
Bassoonist / Teacher / Conductor

Re: 20th Century Performance Techniques

The book Neville is referring to for bassoon is Il fagotto : altre techniche : nuove fonti di espressione musicale (The bassoon : other techniques : new sources of musical expression) By Sergio Penazzi.  It's out of print but you can usually find it in University libraries.  I would have no idea what the analogous oboe book is.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds