About the Author


I have recently joined the faculty of the University of St. Thomas in downtown Houston as Instructor of Bassoon. We have VERY substantial scholarships available for interested bassoon students. Both U.S. citizens and international students are encouraged to apply!

University of St. Thomas Music Department



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Welcome to The Orchestral Bassoon, a digital resource for bassoonists that focuses on the history, performance, and pedagogy of the instrument's most prominent orchestral excerpts. This site is the final research project for my Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, and the culmination of three years of intensive research and design.

The included written content contains all the expected sections found in a standard dissertation document, so for new users I recommend checking out the Introduction and Methodology sections first. The Learn section contains overviews of the Pedagogy discussions, Harmonic Analyses, Fingering Charts and Autograph Facsimile Scores, while the Recordings section is an easy way to browse and discover recordings that feature French and early bassoons, as well as recordings conducted by the composers themselves. Finally, discussions focusing on various fundamental aspects of bassoon playing can be found in the Fundamentals section.

This site is optimized for and best viewed with Mozilla's Firefox, with the next-best choices being Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome (in that order). The Adobe Flash Player is also required.

Make sure to "Like" The Orchestral Bassoon on Facebook and follow @OrchBassoon on Twitter for all the latest updates, and please send any questions or comments to orchestralbassoon@gmail.com (you can also use the Contact form to the left).


Using Orbitzoom

All of the facsimile scores on the website are also viewable using OrbitZoom, a picture viewer that allows panning and zooming. It provides an excellent and intuitive way to examine these facsimiles in closer detail, however the controls may be somewhat confusing for new users. I have outlined the basics of controlling the OrbitZoom viewer below.

  • Single click to enter ZOOM mode (do not hold button)
  • Move the cursor away from the point you clicked on (in any direction) to zoom in
  • Move the cursor towards the point you clicked on to zoom out
  • Double click to zoom all the way out
  • Click, hold, and drag the cursor to PAN across the picture
  • Move cursor all the way to either side of your browser window to bring up the arrow to click on to the next page (for scores with multiple pages)
  • Fit the page to your browser window by double clicking or hitting the F key
  • Hit the A key to see the page at actual size

Note: OrbitZoom does NOT work with Microsoft's Internet Explorer. I recommend using Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.


iOS and Mobile Devices

The Orchestral Bassoon works great on mobile devices, especially iPads and other tablets. In essence, the site provides an entire library of bassoon excerpts without the hassle of carrying around stacks of sheet music (as long as there is an available wi-fi connection, of course). Note: Squarespace currently does not automatically adjust images for retina displays, so I suggest that new iPad users click through to the full-screen bassoon parts and scores for the highest resolution view.

Update: Audio for all the Main Excerpts are now playable on iOS and other mobile devices.