Topic: A bassoon query: How fast are your scales?
Hello bassoon world! (Oboists, feel free to chime in as well)
As a university professor, part of my job is to set guidelines for our students who are required to take a performance exam at the end of their sophomore year in order to advance into upper level applied lessons. At this point in their study, there is (in theory) no distinction in playing ability between music education, performance, business or media majors, so it is important to think about minimum standards across the board.
As many of you know, it is difficult to explain to other woodwind performers (sax, clarinet, flute), why we simply cannot play scales as fast as they can. Sure, some scales are pretty easy (F major), but some have physical limitations (C# minor) which are quite difficult. Understand, we are not talking about the knowledge of the scale, but just the limitations of our instrument in regards to the speed at which we can play over the full range of the bassoon at the sophomore level of study.
So here is my question: Do any of you out there have set parameters (rhythm/tempo/range) that are expected of your university bassoonists? If you are currently a university student, what is expected of you in regards to scales?
Here are my current guidelines:
Sophomores (at the end of the 4th semester of applied lessons) are expected to perform by memory all major and 3 forms of minor scales.
Students begin on the tonic pitch, but must play over the full diatonic range of the instrument: Low Bb (Bb1) to "Rite of Spring" C (C5) for every scale
Scale speed is in eighth notes with a range of 105-120 for the quarter. The arpeggio of each scale is expected in quarter note triplets.
Understand, these are minimum requirements to encompass every scale.
I would very much like your input, so I may take a consensus to a meeting next week to show what other universities are doing. This will help to decide if current standards need to be adjusted.
Thanks, and I certainly look forward to reading the replies!
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