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Thread: French Basson Fingerings

  1. #1
    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    Default French Basson Fingerings

    Hello nice people!

    I'd like to discuss here fingerings for the French basson. (The German bassoon might overwhelm the French one, so a separate thread seems more prudent).

    My sources up to now are
    • Maurice Allard: Tablature, trilles, gammes diatoniques et chromatiques
    • Pierre Ganzoinnat: Préambule, initiation au basson

    I'm looking for
    • Fingerings above the F
    • Other fingerings for all notes, as my instrument has no fourth register key at left thumb

    Be it as web addresses, book titles, documents... The very helpful
    ignores the French system altogether.

    ==========

    To start the discussion, I propose variants not given in my books. Some may be useful on a more complete instrument too. Click the images for full size.

    BassonFing_DEF.png

    Pink keys are not available on my instrument. Cross noteheads follow the Obukhov notation.

    D demands the fourth register key in my books. Emission is unstable using the third key. But this improves if I push the third register key partly, which opens the cover but doesn't close the piano hole.

    E isn't bad, but 1L half-closed stabilizes it, so it can be better lipped down, like the D.

    F is unstable and very flat with usual fingerings, but half-closing 1L stabilizes it too. It is then easier to raise, by the known 3R optional position, by adding LT (not in my books), and by lipping up.

    BassonFing_BbBC.png

    Bb is more stable with 1L half-closed, like lower notes. Easier to lip down. Especially if adding LT, 4R can be freed then, which eases some slurs.

    B is more stable with 1L half-closed, like lower notes. Easier to lip down.

    C is more stable if the second register key is added to the third. Easier to articulate and to lip down.

    This .zip file can be opened by 7zip, IZArc and other archivers.
    MSPaint and others can edit the contained png to draw your own proposals.

    Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    Today I tried the fingerings proposed there
    http://www.idrs.org/resources/BSNFING/FINGNOTF.HTM
    but none worked better on my instrument than what Maurice Allard recommends.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    More French bassoon fingerings:

    E is less sharp without 4L, and 1L half-closed stabilizes it in that case too.

    C# is more stable if the second register key is added to the third, like for C. Useful in more difficult cases, like double détaché.

    BassonFing_CsharpE.png

    Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

  4. #4
    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    I train high notes on the French bassoon using Ravel's Boléro presently, and my fingerings help tremendously. Two registers keys opened for Db and C, and half-opened 1L for Bb and A, make articulation easy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    Finally, I found a fingering for the D on my old French bassoon. Very stable, intonation like C and E, doesn't need the third register key nor the 1L trill keys I lack. It even slurs nicely with the A for the Rite of the spring. Neither Allard nor Ganzoinat had a working fingering. Did you hear my victory cry?

    BassonFing_D.png

    I ignore very precisely how useful this fingering can be on more recent French bassoons.

    Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

  6. #6
    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    Medium F# sounds really harsh on my instrument with the standard fingering. My fingering is as mellow as G but is almost as sharp as A. Legato E-F# demands much practice.

    D is even stabler if adding 1R to my precedent fingering. The intonation resembles more the C (and less the E).

    BassonFing_FSharpMellowDStabler.png

    Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy
    In Brittany, it rains only on idiots.
    You just write French exactly like you spell it. Very simple!
    In the Navy, one must salute everything that moves and paint the rest.
    I wish so dearly Mozart were still alive! And his music already dead.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    This D fingering adding 2R isn't sharp and is almost as stable.

    BassonFing_DNotSharp.png

    Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy
    In Brittany, it rains only on idiots.
    You just write French exactly like you spell it. Very simple!
    In the Navy, one must salute everything that moves and paint the rest.
    I wish so dearly Mozart were still alive! And his music already dead.

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