Representative Works from the Italian, French, and American Schools of Double Bass Playing

Each successive stage in the double bass’s history required the instrument to adapt to shifting musical aesthetics and technical demands. As a result, arrays of interesting (and sometimes disparate) approaches have emerged in the form of schools, intellectual traditions governed by playing concepts, and national aesthetics. The emergence of each of these various schools contributed to the history and development of the instrument, yet scholarship on the matter is exiguous. By studying and understanding different schools, one becomes aware that generations of pedagogues contributed to the foundation of modern-day mastery. Furthermore, an appreciation of contextual aesthetics and innovations brought forth by these intellectual traditions can inform modern renditions of pieces from these distinct schools. This dissertation focuses on three schools: the first international school created by the Italians, the lost significance of the French school, and the evolution of the American school. Music associated with each school was featured in three recital programs. The first two recitals were performed in the Smith Lecture Hall, and the third in the Ulrich Recital Hall, all at the University of Maryland. A re-recording of George Onslow’s String Quintet No.26 in c minor, Op.67 from the second recital took place on April 4, 2016. Recordings of all three recitals can be found in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).
NOTICE: Recordings accompanying this record are available only to University of Maryland College Park faculty, staff, and students and cannot be reproduced, copied, distributed or performed publicly by any means without prior permission of the copyright holder.