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All Keys & None: 10 Melodic Warm-Ups - BSN

Composer: Sheen, Graham

Publisher: Emerson Editions (England)

Edition: 62505


All Keys & None: 10 Melodic Warm-Ups
for bassoon
by Graham Sheen (b. 1952) - English bassoonist, composer, and pedagogue

A collection of ten solo pieces or studies, designed to tackle the techniques and challenges of playing within a melodic warm-up.

At first glance the subtitle of the present volume might seem a strange choice, comprising, as it does, ten complete solo pieces or studies. I have always been interested in the physical and mental challenges of preparing to play and I decided that these principles might best be set out in melodic form within a complete movement. Indeed, the task of writing All Keys and None has convinced me that effective warming-up is more to do with the coordination of the required techniques of playing rather than, say, finger dexterity or tonal control alone.
The pieces themselves are born of real musical situations. You will, perhaps, recognise the occasional echo of a bassoon classic or an orchestral excerpt. Often the musical influences of my colleagues and students were the starting points; the demands, for instance, of rendering dotted or complex rhythms correctly or the fine variations needed in articulation and note length. It will not be difficult to detect some of my own musical obsessions. I normally indicate staccato where I mean it, for example. Nevertheless, these pieces are ultimately intended to be music and, as such, I hope they might occasionally be performed.
I have deliberately omitted any metronome marks and only two pieces (6 and 10) have definite tempo indications. The main challenge is to coordinate the many facets of technique and musicianship so that practising these pieces at a variety of tempi, and possibly not always in their entirety, will be beneficial; quality above quantity.
  -- Graham Sheen