#14 Shepherds Hey from Blue Moon Bassoon Songbook
#13 Oh Danny Boy from Blue Moon Bassoon Songbook
- Dynamics are the relative volume at which we play our music
- To play loud without going sharp, relax your lips or use a wider vowel
- To play soft without going flat, firm your corners, use lips to cushion (not close) the reed, and use a small stream of very fast air
- Default dynamics = get louder as notes go higher, get softer as they get lower
- This adds contrast and shape to music that might not otherwise have dynamics marked
- Use your judgement to decide if this works for your phrasing
- Dynamics "tell the story" of the piece and convey our ideas and emotions! They also:
- Enhance the music and highlight phrasing
- Define the form of the piece
- Help us balance with others
Articulation & Style
- Articulations dictate how we begin and end our notes.
- Slur: notes are connected without tonguing, unaccented initial tongue, final note held full value
- Staccato: "separated" leave space between the notes. A round, bouncy style is typically preferred.
- Accent: accented initial tongue, note held full value for shorter notes, but often separated for longer notes like bell tones. Use a stronger tongue and faster air to start the note.
- Tenuto: "held" unaccented initial tongue, note held full value.
- Marcato: "marked" heavily accented initial tongue, shorter than an accent.
- Style is determined by the markings on the page and also the history and context of the piece.
Using Vibrato in Music
- Vibrato is used frequently by bassoonists to:
- Draw attention to special notes or phrases
- Enhance tone quality and sometimes intonation
- Help with blending and smoothing note transitions
- Strengthen dynamics and phrasing
- The best times to use vibrato are longer notes, connected phrases, and solos
- Low notes = warmer, slower vibrato
- High notes = faster, more intense vibrato
- Remember to use your air to create pulses and keep the note centered
- What are “default dynamics”?
- What is the difference between articulations and dynamics?
- How do long tones help us improve our playing?
- How is performing music like acting in a play?