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Orchestral Etudes: Repertoire-Specific Exercises for Double Bass

Description: In this project, frequently required double bass orchestral audition excerpts as well as their individual technical difficulties are identified. A survey of professional double bass players and teachers currently and formerly employed by major orchestras, universities, and conservatories have participated to validate the importance of four of the most frequently required orchestral excerpts: Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Mvt. 4, and Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 3; Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben; and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Mvt. 1. The survey respondents identified the primary and secondary technical concerns of each of the four excerpts. I have created technical studies, or etudes, that specifically address these difficulties and help fill a literary gap within the existing pedagogical resources for the double bass.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Unzicker, Jack Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interpretation and Execution of Chords on the Double Bass from Select Movements of the Bach Cello Suites

Description: The Bach Cello Suites have become widely transcribed and studied on the double bass. They have also become essential teaching material as most US orchestra auditions demand solo Bach for bass auditions. Transcribing the chords in Bach Cello Suites presents many difficulties on the bass because of the different tuning of our instrument (cello in 5ths; double bass in 4ths). There is no unified solution to all the problems presented in chord playing at this time. The purpose of this project, therefore is to give bass players solutions to the problems by looking at historical interpretation of chords, technical execution of the chords on cello and bass, tonal and resonance considerations and fingering solutions. The chords chosen represent the most common and most difficult to transcribe to the double bass from the Cello Suites.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Chen, Der Shiuan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Prokofiev Beckons the Double Bass Into the Modern Age: a Pedagogical Study of the Op 39 Quintet

Description: Until Serge Prokofiev’s 1924 ballet score Trapèze, the double bass occupied a background or at best a doubling role in almost all composers’ use of the instrument. Technical challenge was limited in these pieces, because composers did not see the instrument’s potential in a chamber music environment. As luthiers developed the instrument, the technical ability of players grew, and composers began writing more challenging music for the instrument. As one of the first major composers to see the double bass in a new light, Prokofiev wrote challenging music for the instrument. This paper illuminates the alluring pedagogical aspects of Prokofiev's Quintet in G Minor, Op. 39 and provides recommendations for accomplishing some difficult passages with ease.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Jones, Kathryn E.
Partner: UNT Libraries