Jump to content

The Ghost Chase for Solo Bassoon


Recommended Posts

The Bassoon has to be my favorite out of all the woodwind instruments. It doesn't have the nasal quality of the oboe, despite being a double reed. It has a more mellow tone than the oboe, but also quite a vocal tone. That is one of many similarities between the Bassoon and the Cello. The range is also similar to that of the cello, as is how the timbre changes with register. The Cello and the Bassoon both project more at the same dynamic in their tenor register than in their bass register. And like the Cello, the Bassoon gets a lot of solo writing. Though I do notice a more equal distribution of solo lines amongst woodwinds than strings of similar range and especially when compared to brass solos where most of them are either for high register horn or they are trumpet solos, definitely in the treble clef.

I wrote this piece for a challenge to compose for a particular instrument. I wrote it to evoke a ghost chasing after a person and just how scary it seems to the person being chased. I don't own a bassoon myself, so I have no idea how difficult the fortissimo to pianissimo change is or how difficult the 32nd note scales are. I used the low register to evoke the ghost and I contrasted that with the tenor register evoking the person being chased and scared. To add further to that "I'm scared" feeling, I have sudden forte dynamics in the tenor register and later, sudden pianissimo dynamics in the low register.

What do you think of this short piece I wrote for Solo Bassoon?

MP3
0:00
0:00
PDF
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, caters said:

I have no idea how difficult the fortissimo to pianissimo change is or how difficult the 32nd note scales are.

The dificulty of performing fortissimo to pianissimo changes will all depend on how sudden do you need it to be. If it is sudden, it might be quite hard, especially in one of the extreme registers, be it high or low. If it's gradual, there is not going to be a problem about that. The scales will also be fine.

As for the composition, I'd say it's ok but it's greatly harmed due to the amount of up-and-down scales and repetition patterns "thrown" into the score without much care. I know you have chosen these because you like them and that a good player will probably make it sound very musical, but usually and imho, in this case, it will sound like "filling" for the actually melodical ideas you have going on.

Also, I'd recomend trying to subvert the strict rhythms you have going on, as you often have very "square", measure-following motifs and themes. It would make everything flow a little nicer.

Try listening to Poulenc and Ravel, as they often have some very intriguing ideas that might help you in those areas.

I think this servers for a lot of your other compositions as well.

But besides that, I think it fits the purpose you mentioned well, and it is entertaining to listen.

Cheers 🙂

Edited by Jean Szulc
typo
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jean Szulc said:

Also, I'd recomend [sic] trying to subvert the strict rhythms you have going on, as you often have very "square", measure-following motifs and themes. It would make everything flow a little nicer.

That's definitely part of it. I also get the sense you're hearing an accompaniment part that doesn't exist and expecting the audience will hear one too in some way. Lots of rhythmic pauses and scalar motion that serve only to prolong, which isn't bad, but would kill for some embedded phrase models. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

That's definitely part of it. I also get the sense you're hearing an accompaniment part that doesn't exist and expecting the audience will hear one too in some way. Lots of rhythmic pauses and scalar motion that serve only to prolong, which isn't bad, but would kill for some embedded phrase models. 

 

Well the pauses aren't actually to prolong the piece, so much as to provide points for the bassoonist to catch his/her breath. There may be some very extensive solo writing without rests, but every player has his/her limit. And the bassoon takes a lot of air due to the size and the fact that it is a double reed instrument. While only 50% of the breath goes into producing notes on the flute, there is less breath required per note for a flutist than a bassoonist.

And the scalar motion is partly because when I think of a person running in musical terms, I think of fast scales and partly because scalar motion is generally easier than constantly leaping up a third or higher for any instrument, but especially for woodwinds and brass. I mean, the way that woodwind instruments are built, the keys basically amount to a scale in at least 1 octave(A ninth in the case of the flute, probably closer to 2 octaves for the bassoon) +/- register keys to change octave(Oboes have a register key, flutes don't) + trill keys.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, caters said:

Well the pauses aren't actually to prolong the piece, so much as to provide points for the bassoonist to catch his/her breath.

I meant a theoretical Schenkerian "prolong", not a temporal prolong. Scales have a tendency to do this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...