In the bassoon world, each note has its own alternate fingering. I, like many bassoonists, have my own set that constantly changes every time I make a new reed, meet a new bassoonist or have to play on a new instrument. More and more these days, though, the palate of alternate fingerings has narrowed down with "cookie-cutter" made bassoons constructed out of recycled trash bags (exact down to the last millimeter!). But, in regards to bassoons that are made of wood, alternate fingerings are a must in the professional world and should be introduced to all students as soon as he can be judge "competent."
I use alternate fingerings primarily on notes that are extended for more than 3/4 of a second long or when I need technical advantage. Although the "technical advantage" fingerings usually sound out of tune or tone, they help me play passages that are almost ridiculously impossible using "normal" fingerings i.e. The Marriage of Figaro. In the past I have also had to use alternate fingerings because of the excessive clanking produced from a student-line feltless bassoon!
Many of us have discovered that some alternate fingerings or trills require a different embouchure. While learning how to play the famous solo from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, my teacher told me about going to the Popkin Bassoon Camp and hearing about playing through the side of the reed to make the high notes play better. Later, while playing the Mozart Concerto, I have had to drop my jaw almost completely out of alignment to play the trill for the Ab-Bb trill near the end. All in all, the performer must realize the embouchure also plays an important part in playing alternate fingerings or trills.
Unfortunately, finding what works for you (kinda like when making reeds) may take decades of playing to learn. Until then, I will suggest talking to other bassoonists, exploring other teachers or performers, experimenting for yourself, reading the throngs of books available on the subject and visiting various web sites.
Vivaldi was the first to really use the bassoon to its potential, writing over 38 concerti for it, as well as numerous other works. Beethoven and Mozart also wrote incredibly lyric parts for the bassoon, validating it as an important instrument in the woodwind family.
It is a staple in television cartoons especially the old Loony Tunes shows, and still can be heard on almost every major cartoon program anywhere. (Robot cartoons generally excluded). It is well known for it's character building qualities, which can be easily heard in The Sorcerer's apprentice and Peter and the Wolf.
This comic aspect does not however, limit the instrument to that stifling genre. In fact, the bassoon has been elevated over time to a special solo status, and employed when the solo needs to have great depth and meaning. A few famous examples include Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Shostakovitch's Ninth Symphony, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony.
Canons melodieux ou
VI. Sonates en Duo a:
These are REAL fun to play...its funny how they all seem to work out in the end! You can print them out an play them with your teacher or friends.
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