Small things (Day 333/365)

After breathlessly knocking out “Dance” in one day, a view that ignores the thinking and the two days of false starts, I didn’t get anything committed to paper today.

I did get a poster for the All-Campus Chorus done for next weekend. Those have to go out today or tomorrow.

Otherwise, it was a quieter day. I have had a request for a piece for piano, saxophone, and trombone, of all things, and I’ve been mulling solutions over in my head. I haven’t come up with anything, or rather, I’ve mulled over different attacks on the problem and haven’t decided which one to take.

One idea I’ve had is to open with the piano just arpeggiating all over the place. Never one to to reinvent the wheel if I don’t have to, I popped over to the library to see if I could find a score to Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto and just steal that passage (or at least see how it’s done.)

They didn’t have that score, but as I was wandering the M stacks, I passed through the section of books about specific instruments, and lo, there was A new history of the double bass, by Paul Brun. Had to have it.

It’s actually very wittily written. How can you not love a book whose author, after quoting Weber on the necessity of simplifying cello parts for the basses, footnotes it with “Weber apparently omitted to mention the useful little ruse of feigning a coughing fit so as to produce a diversion during a difficult passage!”? Or whose section headings include things like “An Instrument that does not inspire Trust” or “A Fisticuffs Lesson”? or has a recurring section heading called “The German Exception”?

At any rate, I know a little more about the instrument now than I did when I wrote my first piece for it. Yesterday. I’d know a lot more if I actually read the whole thing.

(FYI, I handed the piece over to Stephen, and good soul that he is, he immediately turned it over to the bassists. I haven’t heard any reviews yet.)

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