Characteristics of the School of British Bassoon Music of the Early and Mid-Twentieth Century, with Analysis of Representative Works
AuthorVan Klompenberg, Martin J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPrior to 1851, music in Great Britain was influenced by the music of Germany, in particular by that of Johannes Brahms. This began to change, in part, because of the Great Exhibition of 1851, a forum held showing the best in raw materials, industrial design and new inventions, as well as the fine arts. This inspired new interest in English music and art. More importantly, this event led to the formation of the Royal College of Music, which opened in May of 1883. From this school an outpouring of distinctly English composers flowed, most of whom studied with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. Among these were William Hurlstone, Thomas Dunhill, Gordon Jacob, and Ralph Vaughan Williams, each of whom wrote a piece for bassoon solo, bassoon and piano, or bassoon and orchestra. Jacob's student, Malcolm Arnold, added a solo bassoon composition of his own. These works are bound not only in their origin but in several common compositional traits. These traits include the use of quantities of phrasing within each section of a piece's form, melodies that strongly indicate a tonic key and use little rhythmic variation, the use of the bassoon's lowest range as the indicator of transitional material, and the change of role between the bassoon and the accompanimental voice in secondary themes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College