Sunday, June 1, 2008

Saxophone Repertoire Wiki

So I have a friend who plays Tuba, and my wife plays Flute, are there any pieces that were written for this combination with Saxophone? Normally one would turn to a Google search, or if you have a copy handy, the Comprehensive Guide to Saxophone Repertoire (formerly known as 150/125 years of Music for Saxophone). Such printed resources are obsolete as soon as they are published and their "comprehensive" nature is in doubt with the number of pieces being written by lesser known composers world-wide.

Enter the Internet.

With more people turning to Wikipedia than Encyclopedia Britannica, or Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians for their first search could a Wiki be the answer to a world of ever expanding repertoire? Bernard Savoie at thinks so, and has set up the Saxophone New Works Wiki. Right now he has 104 composers with info pages, and 1019 pieces entered. There are some pretty big holes; with Paul Creston, Bernhard Heiden, Alexander Glazunov, Eugene Bozza, and more missing it's far from comprehensive. We have only ourselves to blame for this state and I encourage everyone to head over and see if there is anything you can add to this listing. This is really the only way there could be a true cataloging of every work every written for saxophone. Now go Wiki!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Teaching Slap

When I was at Indiana University, I made it a goal one year to finally figure out how to flutter tongue, and another year how to circular breath. This summer I'm going to finally get my slap tongue up to par with the rest of the Jungle playing cool kids. I've run across these two resources and they've really helped me get pointed in the right direction. Not that I can't slap at all, it's just not that super-picky, ultra fast kind required on many of the newest saxophone works. The first one to check out is this video from the Ellipsos Quartet, and then for something to put on your stand print out this PDF from saxophonist Erik Rönmark.

UPDATE: It took about 3 or 4 months but using the techniques in video and PDF, I am now slapping successfully.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reed Knives are for Sissies

I've always been taught that shaving down the back end of the Vamp of a reed will increase the response of low notes. Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Richard Booth has experimented with drilling a hole in the back of a reed and says it's great. I actually saw a commercial reed that had a hole like this drilled in it, unfortunately the name escapes me, it was very old and of questionable quality. To be honest I really don't have any problems with the low end popping out so I think any benefit would be outweighed by a loss of tone on the high end. Even so it always interesting to see what people do to mod their set ups.

Photo -

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What's this all about?

This is something I've been wanting to do for quite a while now and its going to happen this time! The plan for this Blog isn't entirely set in stone, for now expect to see anything that fascinates me in the world of Saxophone. The stories you will find here will be of interest to anyone who loves Saxophone and is interested in learning everything they can about the instrument. Please comment on the posts as they come up, I'm really interested to know what you think!

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