Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
The saxophone has a long history with transcriptions and arrangements, which augment the saxophone’s repertoire and provide an historical context through which saxophonists may experience music that predates the invention of their instrument. Transcriptions, particularly those from the baroque period, provide excellent pedagogical material for inexperienced students whose educational needs would perhaps not be best served by more contemporary music. The various transcriptions of baroque music contributed by Marcel Mule and Sigurd Raschèr continue to be valuable additions to the repertoire, serving students’ pedagogical needs by providing appealing, accessible, and suitably challenging music. However, these transcriptions provide only a minimum of attention to issues of style and historical performance practice. This study provides a starting point for an historical approach to performing baroque music on the saxophone by focusing specifically on baroque performance practice as it applies to selected solo sonatas by Handel. Initially addressing general baroque style, this approach then presents several specific stylistic traits as they can be applied to a Handel transcription for saxophone. This monograph provides a realistic means for saxophonists to benefit more from baroque transcriptions. The application of basic elements of baroque performance practice to saxophone transcriptions can provide a different and valuable experience of core musical elements such as 1) tension and release, as expressed, for example, in the baroque style of “leaning” in an appoggiatura, or through the concept of speaking rather than singing and the resulting shorter phrases; 2) the understanding of the structure of a melody as realized by creating a skeleton and then composing or improvising one’s own ornamentation; and 3) a new understanding of the expressive devices available to performers as realized through a sparing use of vibrato, for example, or the use of beat hierarchy. There is enormous musical value in the study of past performance practices and saxophonists only stand to benefit from understanding these concepts as they apply to the transcriptions in our repertoire.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Griffiths, Amy, "An approach to performing Handel sonatas on the saxophone" (2010). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 3501.