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David Heyes

Bass Clef Quartets for Beginners (arranged by David Heyes)

Bass Clef Quartets for Beginners (arranged by David Heyes)

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About the Quartets

Bass Clef Quartets for Beginners includes four short, fun, and engaging quartets that are aimed at the progressing or intermediate double bass quartet. Each part has been carefully graded for a specific ability level, and each piece can be performed successfully with four players or larger forces.

Bass 4 remains in first position throughout; bass 3 uses 1st and 2nd positions only; bass 2 plays no higher than third position or octave harmonics; and bass 1 plays the highest, venturing into 4th and 5th positions alongside the octave G and D harmonics.

Table of Contents

1. All the Fun of the Fair (David Heyes) was written for Mark Osborn and the 2013 Oklahoma Bass Bash. Players should imagine the enjoyment and elegance of a fairground carousel as the waltz melody is passed from player to player. The music is light-hearted and fun, and the piece ends quietly as the ride comes to a halt before beginning all over again.

2. A Walk in the Park (Gustav Láska) is based on a short piece for double bass and piano. The accompaniment should be rhythmic and crisp alongside a strong melody line that is passed from player to player. The piece is short and lively, and each repeat can be played more than once, also using a range of dynamics to maintain interest, variety, and character.

3. Old French Song (Peter Tchaikovsky) is taken from Children's Album Op.39, a book of piano pieces for young people. A number of simple harmonics have been included to add 'height' to the piece, leaving space for the beautiful and sonorous melody to be played by basses 2,3, and 4. Bass 1 plays an accompanying role throughout. Old French Song also exists in an arrangement for double bass sextet.

4. Gentil Bataillon (Vittorio Monti) is originally for 2 mandolins and piano, and only the opening section has been arranged for beginner double bass quartet. The music is bright, lively, and energetic, with strong forward momentum from beginning to end. The extreme dynamic range will allow bassists to explore the different possibilities of the ensemble, and the piece ends with four gentle and understated pizzicato notes. Gentil Bataillon also exists in a version for a double bass octet.

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