Topic: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

Hi folks,

I need some easy music for my beginning and second year bassoonists to play for Solo and Ensemble.  Simple meter, key, and a limited range is preferred.  It would nice if the music was accompanied, but isn't necessary.  If anyone has suggestions, I would appreciate it.

Thank you!
Heather

Re: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

I have used the book "Classic Festival Solos" published by Belwin Mills with good success.  Also seems to me there was a website or two with recommendations for solo literature for beginning bassoonists.  Will try to track it down.

Bryan Cavitt
Bassoonist, Elkhart (IN) County Symphony Orchestra; Bassoon Dad

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Re: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

Check out Gordon Jacob's "Four Sketches."  published by June Emerson.  Well written character pieces that ascend only to Eb above the staff.

Happy Bassooning!

Jon Beebe

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Re: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

Galliard's six sonatas are great pieces for beginning bassoonists. Paul Hindemith's Bassoon Sonata is another good piece. Julius Weissenborn's opus nine is ideal for neophytes. You can find sheet music and recordings of all these pieces by doing a search on Forrests Music's Web site.

"It's not my job to give you the pulse! It's your job to figure it out!"
-An Allegedly Professional Conductor

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Re: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

Where you are finding 1st and 2nd year students that can play Galliard & Hindemith?  Both of those are on Indiana's State Qualifying solo list?  The first and second year students that I teach can barely play "Hall of the Mountain King" up to speed.  I had one advanced 2nd year student that played "Sorcerer's Apprentice" but he was the exception.

Bryan Cavitt
Bassoonist, Elkhart (IN) County Symphony Orchestra; Bassoon Dad

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Re: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

I guess it depends when one started playing bassoon. "Back in the day" (ca. late 50's, early 60's) one usually started with Weissenborn and by the second year one began making reeds, Milde Studies, and the Mozart... granted, the latter was seldom given justice. (I'm referring to when I started bassoon at the age of 13, and this regimen existed for all us taking lessons)

Heather and Bryan, I seem to remember there were some pretty nice arrangements for solo bassoon (with piano,usually) in collections edited by Sol Schoenbach or Archie Camden, both being quite accessible to a second year student.

David Bell
Alexandria, VA

David Bell
Alexandria, VA
amateur bassoon and contra bassoon

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Re: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

This seems like the beginning of an interesting thread.  I started bassoon at age 11 and didn't get out of Weissenborn until my senior year of high school.  Was not taught reedmaking until college.  My lessons were 30 minutes long and consisted of Weissenborn, Oubradous scale studies, and a solo work.  Didn't get to standard repertoire until I was 15 or 16.  Never saw the Mozart concerto until college. 

I started bassoon in the late 60's and started college in the mid 70's.  As a teacher, I do not get the opportunity to teach students more than 30 minutes a lesson and only those with a piano background progress fast enough to be able to do standard repertoire in high school.  Also, no one in any school system in this area starts on bassoon.  My son was the last to do so in our local system, and only because he was already 6'0" by the time he was 11.  Everyone else starts on either flute or clarinet (I had one that was a euphonium player a couple of years back).  Directors are loathe to start students on instruments that they themselves are not comfortable teaching (summer programs) and since the school system doesn't pay for private lessons, I don't get to see them until they are already in middle school, if then.

It's amazing how our music education has changed in the former "Band Instrument Capital of the World".

Bryan Cavitt
Bassoonist, Elkhart (IN) County Symphony Orchestra; Bassoon Dad

p.s. And don't get me started on the emphasis of Marching Band over Concert Band!

Last edited by Bryan Cavitt (2009-01-17 12:08:46)

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Re: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

Bryan Cavitt wrote:

Where you are finding 1st and 2nd year students that can play Galliard & Hindemith?

It depends on the student. I was just suggesting a range of pieces that I use (the Weissenborn I recommended is very easy.) After two years of private lessons, almost all of my students can play a slow movement from the Galliard sonatas, if not more. Hindemith is a little more advanced, but accessible for especially talented students. Generally, after my students begin working on the advanced Weissenborn studies they are usually ready for Galliard. All of my students are in high school and have experience playing other instruments, so maybe they have an advantage over others.

"It's not my job to give you the pulse! It's your job to figure it out!"
-An Allegedly Professional Conductor

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Re: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

Getting back to Heather's original question, you may want to look at my collections (Winning Contest Solos, Program Solos on Familiar Tunes) for Blooming Bassoonists, published by Spratt Music, sold by Gail Warnaar at doublereedshop.com. I wrote these because I had the same problem finding music for my students. Needed something easy but not too short.
Louise Hillery

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Re: Need Easy Rep for Beginning Bassoonists

Starting from earliest stages "The Young Bassoonist" by S Lawton (3 vols) has accompanied pieces which support the solo line well. It is a mix of folk songs & hymn tunes with an English flavour but progresses to 2 octaves C - c by the middle of the first book and extends from low  C to upper F (2 1/2 octaves) by the end of the same book.

First Book of Solos by Hilling & Bergman

Jacob's Four Sketches also provide a range, the first, "A Peaceful Piece" being slow & relatively straightforward. The third L Apres midi d'un Dinosar is fun and does not require any finesse - something beginners find appropriate smile

There are also short pieces by Marcello, Merci & Corelli that may work and Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" (the middle section replaced by a theme from his Petite Symphony).

Some Weissenborn studies from his "Method" make good short unaccompanied selections.

Hindemith would only extend to the first movement but is possibly more complex in key & range than you seem to indicate as appropriate to you students' needs. Similarly Galliard may  also provide single movements but the range is normally 2 1/2 octaves or more.

I will also forward you a web-link by private email (to a commercial site which has gradings on many of the pieces in the catalogue).

Anyone else wishing the same info please request by private email to me.

Neville

Neville Forsythe
Christchurch New Zealand
Bassoonist / Teacher / Conductor