A few weeks ago, I attended the first Let’s Talk Bassoon event, hosted by the Council of Canadian Bassoonists. Christopher Millard presented an outstanding masterclass on the concept of transposition and how we could utilize it to have a deeper understanding of the intricacies of how we prepare orchestral excerpts. Participants discussed how after practicing these transposed excerpts for a few days, they noticed that the original excerpt was more comfortable to perform.
This is a grossly simplified explanation of this masterclass; however, I was utterly fascinated with the idea and began working on the excerpts provided. After seeing a notable improvement myself, I decided to extend this practice to a solo work I was preparing: the Grand Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra by J. N. Hummel.
Below are the exercises I created based on the first movement. As one would assume, many of these exercises are technically challenging. My goal was to present some of the more difficult sections and transpose them to make them more demanding than the original. I decided to only extend to a whole step above and below, as I found this to be the most beneficial.
I hope you enjoy these exercises!