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Bessy's Beginner Bass Quartets

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The Beginner Bass Series series

Recital Music publish music for every level of double bassist and in the past few years have concentrated on music for the younger player. This new and exciting series includes works with simple, accessible technical and musical challenges for beginners and progressing bassists. Piano accompaniments are supportive and written with the bass teacher in mind, creating a new repertoire which is ideal for concert and educational use.

Bessy's Beginner Bass Quartets is also available as a PDF file. Please contact doublebass@tiscali.co.uk or solodoublebass@gmail.com for more details.

David Heyes writes: "Composing for the beginner bass ensemble is a great challenge to a composer and, fortunately, my experience as a professional double bassist and teacher helped with many aspects of both pieces. My plan is to compose six Bessy Bass Quartets in total, two for beginners, two for progressing bassists and two for the intermediate quartet. The two beginner quartets are primarily in 1st position, with a few easy harmonics in 4th position, and a number of playing techniques were introduced, such as col legno, sul ponticello, Bartok pizz. and bass percussion, to create interest and contrasts.
The low tessitura of the beginner bass quartet has the potential to be muddy and unfocused but, with careful editing and writing, the textures can be open and bright offering exciting challenges for the performers alongside music which is enjoyable for audiences. I tried to make each part interesting and Bass 4 only plays open strings alongside bass percussion. Both pieces will work as a quartet or with massed forces and it was also interesting to create versions for double bass trio.

1) Bessy's Big Day out is lively and fun with a limited number of notes and rhythms suitable for young bassists. The addition of harmonics in 4th position creates height and bass 4 grounds the piece with pizzicato open strings, bass percussion using a chopstick, ending with a strong Bartok pizz. note to bring the piece to a successful conclusion. The melodic interest is passed between basses 1 and 3 but each player is an important part of the team.

2) Bessy's Highland Fling uses the 'Scotch snap' throughout, alongside bagpipe effects, producing a piece which is Scottish from beginning to end. There is a strong forward momentum, with the repetition of themes and rhythms, and the addition of bass percussion from Bass 4 adds character and drive. More challenging than 'Bessy's Big Day Out', this is a fun and energetic piece which would make an ideal final item in any concert."

May Halyburton, the founder and driving force behind the Bessy Bass empire, has written an exciting story for each quartet which can be read out before each piece is played.

May Hayburton writes: "Bessy Bass is a young double bass from Scotland who loves to travel and have adventures with other instrument family and friends. As the central character in the “Around the World with Bessy” series of children’s books with music, Bessy learns a little about the language, culture and of course, the music of each destination she visits, as well as the importance of friendship, kindness and inclusion. Through her stories, Bessy aims to sow the seed of curiosity about the wonderful world of music in the minds of her young readers, with the hope that they might even be inspired to find their musical instrument. Bessy was overwhelmed when the wonderful double bassist and composer, David Heyes offered to write a suite of beginner double bass quartets for her! David suggested the idea of accompanying each piece with a short “Bessy” story and so began our exciting collaboration."

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Cat No. RM1117
Supplier Code RM1117
Price £11.00
ComposerDavid Heyes
CategoryDouble Bass Quartet
PublisherRecital Music
SeriesBeginner Bass Series
Difficulty level1 - 3
Weight 130 grams
Published 30th September 2020
Availability 3 in stock
See also...
RM1118  Bessy's Beginner Bass Trios (DOUBLE BASS TRIO)
RM1122  Bessy Sings... at Halloween (DOUBLE BASS & PIANO)