The Instrumentarium – Episode 2 – Bass Oboe Bombardment

Matt and I take a dive into the world of octave oboes, the Bass Oboe, Heckelphone, and Lupophone.  We look at the history of each, how they differ, and how best to write for them.

Show Notes

From Bandestration:

Wolf’s Lupophone

Heckel’s Heckelphone

Mönnig’s Bass Oboe

Loreé’s Bass Oboe

Bret playing a Bass Oboe

The Instrumentarium – Episode 1 – Ramblings on the Alto Clarinet

The first episode of the new podcast from – The Instrumentarium.

Episode 1 – Ramblings on the Alto Clarinet

Matt and I discuss various aspects of the Alto Clarinet from nomenclature, to history, to construction, to brands, to random off-shoots that follow from those discussions.

Enjoy.  More to come soon.

Show Notes:

From Bandestration

Mark Wolbers’ Article on the Alto Clarinet

Grainger’s Article on Band Orchestration

A Graph of Clarinet Bores

Clarinet Bore graph

Lament for Alto Clarinet and Strings (Newton)


Song for Solo Bassoon

This is a miniature work written to be used with my own Bassoon students.  My students were clamoring for lyrical, sad piece, but I could find none that was appropriate for younger students to play.  So, in the end, I composed this short piece that is easily accessible to second and third year players.

I have also arranged the work for Bass Clarinet, Alto Clarinet, and Baritone Saxophone.

All arrangements are available on Sheet Music Plus.

Forest Scenes for Tenor Bassoon and Three Marimbas

For several years, I became one of the biggest advocates for the use of the Tenor Bassoon or Tenoroon.  I even went so far as to purchase one sight unseen from Guntram Wolf.  To this effect, I began a series of compositions for the Tenor Bassoon.

For the life of me, I cannot remember what the circumstances were that led to composition of this quartet for Tenor Bassoon and three five-octave Marimbas.  At the time, it was my most adventurous piece, and is still one of my only works to employ extended techniques (there are a few multiphonics in the Tenor Bassoon part).  The work is extremely challenging for all four players.

In order to make the work more accessible, I have also included an alternative part for Bassoon.

The work can be purchased here.


Sextet for Sarrusophones

During my undergrad studies, one of my main areas of interest was the sarrusophone.  My university had one, and I became its curator.  Fast forward a few years to 2006 and my interest is still there.  During my most prolific span, I wrote a short work for six sarrusophones (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass, and E-flat Contrabass).  To my knowledge, it is the first work for such an ensemble since Gounod wrote his Chorale et Musette in 1856.  My work is in the style of a quasi-Hindemith march.

In lieu of actually performing the work on sarrusophones as intended, the work can also be performed on like-sized saxophones or on a mixture of saxophones and sarrusophones.

Buy the sheet music here.

Help Support Bandestration!

Since 2013, I’ve been running as a service to all band composers and aspiring band composers.  I’ve never asked for anything save information.  Now, I ask you to take the time to support this project and some exciting things I have in store for the future by supporting me on Patreon.  I plan on creating some exciting new content in the future.  Plans include:

  1. A three-volume text on band orchestration.  Volume 3 will only be available to Patreon supporters.
  2. A new podcast, The Instrumentarium, where I, along with my co-host Matthew Banks, will discuss various instruments of the wind band as well as news, updates, and anything else we can think of.
  3. New band compositions.

I’ve got several rewards listed now with more to come in the future.

Click here to find out how you can support Bandestration through Patreon.