Sunday, January 4, 2015

Double Reed Resources for Composers

Below is a short bibliography, a list of links, and a list of standard repertoire to familiarize yourself with as you begin to write for the double reed family. Many extended techniques are possible. Be aware of the clef preferences for bassoonists who play at different levels (i.e. college students and professionals prefer to read the upper range in tenor clef).


New Sounds for Woodwind (2nd Ed.) by Bruno Bartolozzi
Library call #: MT339B29 1982, Published by Oxford University Press
Contains descriptions of how to produce tones with monophonic possibilities, multiphonic possibilities, combinations of the above, and fingering diagrams. It is a general guide, with fingerings for all the woodwind instruments.

Oboe, by Goosens
Library call#: MT360G66, Published by MacMillen Publishing
Contains history of the oboe up to 1800, including bass oboe and Heckelphone. Also discusses technique, including contemporary music technique.

Index of Oboe Music, by Wayne Wilkins
Published by Music Register (1976)
Contains a bibliography of oboe music arranged alphabetically within genre and includes methods, solo and chamber music and books of interest.

Contemporary Solo Literature for the Bassoon: An Analysis of Representative Compositions and a Survey of Compositions Suitable for the College Student, by Richard Dean Scott. Library call#: ML128.B26 S360 1971b, Published by University of Illinois
Contains an annotated repertoire list of contemporary solo music of published works from 1945 to 1971.

Double Reed and Composition Websites:

This is a small list to get you started. My apologies to composer friends and colleagues who have not yet been added to the list. Please let me know if you'd like me to add you.

International Double Reed Society
Must be an IDRS member to have full access to the site (the journal is available on-line to members), but a great deal of the site is available to non-members.

Trevco Music
My favorite purveyor of sheet music for double reeds. They offer a vast catalogue of the music that is in print for bassoon, oboe, English horn, double reed ensemble and small ensembles that include double reed instruments.

Ken Watson
Composer and arranger for double reed instruments. Member of the Washington Double Reed Quartet.

Mike Curtis
Composer who writes wonderful arrangements of klezmer, jazz and tango music for double reeds and chamber ensembles.

Thomas Dempster
Composer and bassoonist who has written several great pieces for bassoon and bassoon in chamber ensemble.

When you write for double reeds, you should find a professional player to ask questions of and to review your manuscript. Clef choices, technique demands (even simple things like slurring from particular notes), extended techniques (such as the use of just the keys for percussive effect), and tendencies of the instruments are not always obvious. To get in touch with a local bassoonist or oboist, seek out regional double reed societies, professional double reed players in your area (through local symphonies, woodwind quintets, and wind ensembles) and area universities that have music departments or schools of music. The double-reed world is small. If you connect with one person, they can likely get you in touch with many more.

Standard Bassoon Repertoire in Chronological Order:

1.     Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto in e RV484
2.     Georg Philipp Telemann Sonata in f minor  (1728)
3.     W.A. Mozart Concerto K191 for bassoon and orchestra (1774)
4.     François Devienne Quartet Op. 73 (1798)
5.     Carl Maria von Weber Concerto in F  (1811)
6.     Johann Nepomuk Hummel Grand Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra (1816)
7.     Camille Saint-Saëns Sonata Op. 168 for bassoon and piano (1921)
8.     Heitor Villa-Lobos Ciranda das sete notas for bassoon and string orchestra (1933)
9.     Paul Hindemith Sonata for bassoon and piano (1939)
10.  Jean Francaix Divertissement for bassoon and string orchestra (1942)
11.  Alvin Etler Sonata for bassoon and piano (1952)
12.  Wilson Osborne Rhapsody for Bassoon (1952)
13.  Alexandre Tansman Sonatine for bassoon and piano (1952)
14.  André Jolivet Concerto for bassoon, harp, piano and string orchestra (1954)
15.  John Williams The Five Sacred Trees , a concerto for bassoon and orchestra (1995)

Standard Oboe Repertoire in No Particular Order:

1.     Schumann: Three Romances
2.     Handel: Sonata No. 1
3.     Labate: Pastorale
4.     Corelli-Barbirolli: Concerto
5.     Barlow: Winters Passed
6.     Clerisse: Fantasie
7.     Handel: Concerto in Bb
8.     Loeillet: Sonata in G
9.     Nielson:Romance and Humoreske
10.  Handel:Sonata No. II
11.  Guihaud:First Concerto
12.  Valentine:Sonata No. 8
13.  Godard:Legende Pastorale
14.  Donizetti:Sonata in F
15. Albinoni:Sonata in a
16.  Telemann:Concerto in f
17. Berio Sequenza