Woodwinds – Keep a Tight Hold on That Auxiliary!

Let’s say that you’re second oboist for a mid-sized orchestra. You play a lot of cor anglais parts as a result. On one new work, you’re piping away at some very good writing for second oboe – clean, well-supported, and easy to […]

Tuba, Contrabassoon, and Bass Clarinet – Character and Differences

Orchestrators should know the difference between tuba, contrabassoon, and bass clarinet timbre, and score according to each instrument’s strength and character. This is the kind of tip I love sharing – a comparative look at instruments of similar range and utility, but quite different tone and technique – followed by an excerpt of a favorite …

Bass Clarinet – Most Flexible Auxiliary Wind

Never underestimate the usefulness of the bass clarinet: perhaps the most flexible of all auxiliary winds. If I were told that my small orchestra commission allowed for only one dedicated auxiliary player, I would probably choose the bass clarinet every time. Why? Well, if we look at the most commonly used auxiliaries of the other …