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David Heyes

Teppo Hauta-aho: Typically Teppo Book 1 for unaccompanied double bass

Teppo Hauta-aho: Typically Teppo Book 1 for unaccompanied double bass

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About the Composition

Typically Teppo 1 brings together a collection of four exciting and inventive solo pieces for the intermediate bassist. Each piece explores a different soundscape, primarily in bass clef and in the orchestral register, and employs arco, pizzicato, col legno, tremolando, and sul ponticello alongside a few effective and evocative harmonics in the lower positions.

These pieces were written with specific young players in mind and are a successful combination of jazz, classical and contemporary styles. Impressive writing for both educational and concert use, the composer explores a wide range of evocative and atmospheric textures and timbres but always with the musical line to the fore. Great music for the progressing bassist.

Table of Contents

Eric’s Ballad was completed on 20 December 1994 as a Christmas present for Eric Francett who had won the Under-16 category of the 1st Finnish Double Bass Competition a few months earlier. Eric comes from Lapland (Inari) and the letters of his name are used as the basis for the opening themes, with similarities to Erkon Elegia, also for unaccompanied double bass.

Almost a Serious Joke was composed in 2001 for Alexander Forbes and was premiered on 14 March 2002 in Chichester at the University of West Sussex by James Adolpho. The notes of the theme are taken from Alex’s name and reflect his amazing personality - serious one minute and joking the next. Almost a Serious Joke is in a loose variation form.

Jack’s Jam is dedicated to ‘Jazz’ Jack Judd and all young bassists, and was composed in 2001. It was premiered on 6 April 2002 at Bass-Fest (Berkshire, UK) by the composer and is a study in pizzicato ornamentation. The music has a jazzy and rhythmic swing and is in a relaxed binary form with an added coda. The middle section has scope for improvisation (ad lib.).

Pieni BassoFantasia (A Little Bass Fantasy)

demonstrates what can be achieved in the orchestral register of the instrument, using traditional notation and effects. This is 'classic' Hauta-aho territory combining pizzicato and arco techniques, double stops and glissandi, alongside col legno, sul ponticello and tremolando, and is a useful introduction for any bassist starting to venture into approachable contemporary music. This a wonderful opportunity to develop contemporary musical and technical skills in the orchestral range of the double bass and has been popular with students who have passed Grade 8 but are not quite ready for Bottesini.

About the Composer

Teppo Hauta-aho (1941-2021) was the most prolific composer in the history of the double bass and has composed for every ability level, from the beginner to the virtuoso. His music is evocative and atmospheric, shaped by jazz and contemporary styles, and the influence of the dramatic and bleak landscapes and vistas of his native Finland are captured throughout his engaging and accessible music.

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