This website is an ongoing collection of recordings of bassoon excerpts, played by some of the greatest orchestras in the world. It is also a meeting-place, where the broader community of bassoonists can learn from one another’s comments on each set of recordings. Bassoonexcerpts.info is a resource for comparative and historical study of great bassoon parts from the standard orchestral literature, as heard through the interpretation and execution of some of the best musicians of the last fifty years.
Visit the website at bassoonexcerpts.info.
The Weissenborn Method is still the most-used bassoon method today. However, this method dates from 1887! We have learned something about music education and bassoon pedagogy since then. My doctoral dissertation, “Beginning Bassoon Instruction: A Curriculum Based in Part on the Teachings of Shinichi Suzuki,” combines a modern pedagogical philosophy with sound instructional materials taken from the canon of great Western musical works, in a beginning method for bassoon.
Tenoroons, also known as quint- or quart- bassoons, are commonly used in Germany to teach small students to play the bassoon. I used these instruments as part of a grant funded by the University of Colorado at Boulder, and found that the switch to full-sized bassoon is virtually painless! If these smaller instruments were introduced into the US educational system, as I hope, bassoon students would be better, sooner. Read my article about it here.
Building Ears is an interactive computer program that uses a novel approach to ear training. The program was accepted for a poster session at the 2007 Association for Technology in Music Instruction conference. It has also been presented in workshop and demonstration sessions at the Allan McMurray Wind Conductors’ Symposium.
The Bassoon Reed
The bassoon reed is the most variable part of the bassoonists’ setup. My research has focused on improving both quality and consistency of the reed, focusing on two areas:
* The physical characteristics of the cane itself, and ways to manipulate these characteristics
* The efficacy of current methods of testing for thickness, hardness, and contour of the reed blade.
Finishing the bassoon reed well is one of the first steps toward consistency. Not much has been written on the subject. Download my article here, as published in the Journal of the International Double Reed Society: Schwalje, Adam. “Have A Heart: One Bassoonist’s Method for Finishing Bassoon Reed Tips.” The Double Reed 28, no. 2 (2005): 130-133.