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An Annotated Bibliography of Canadian Music for Oboe, OboedAmore, English horn and Bass Oboe found in the
Canadian Music Centre
By Dr. Sarah HamiltonFredonia, New York
INTRODUCTIONI have written this annotated bibliography to
address my own desire to learn about Canadianoboe, oboe damore, English horn and bass oboemusic (represented by Canadian oboe musichereafter), and to put my discoveries into aformat that will be easily accessible and usableby students, teachers and performers. It is myhope that this resource will contribute to theincreased performance of Canadian oboe musicby all levels of oboe players.
I have limited this bibliography to music thatis currently catalogued in the Canadian MusicCentre (CMC). I have chosen to make thislimitation because the music in the CMC is easilyobtainable. It can be borrowed free, includingthe cost of shipping to any destination. Theinstrumentation has been limited to works forsolo oboe, oboe damore, English horn and bassoboe; these instruments with keyboard, in duetsand trios, with tape, and as soloists withorchestra, if there is a piano reduction of theorchestral part. There are fifty-five works that fitthese limitations and were catalogued as of April1996. Works accepted by the library after thisdate have not been included in this bibliography.I have been able to hear all of thesecompositions either by recording or by areading, except for Mirrors by Bengt Hambraeus.All of the compositions discussed can beborrowed from the CMC, and may also beavailable from the Association for the Creation ofNew Music Projects (ACNMP), the CMC also sellsmusic, both published and unpublished.
While researching for this bibliography, Iquickly realized that there is a tremendousamount of Canadian oboe music not found in theCMCs collection. There are works written bycomposers who are not associates of the CMC,and works by associate composers that havenot been submitted to the CMC collection. Also,there is a great deal of music that does not fitthe instrumentation limitations of thisdocument, specifically pieces for solo oboe withorchestra for which there is no piano reductionextant. To address this issue, I will include a listof these other Canadian oboe works in a laterarticle. It is likely that the CMC would be able to
help obtain these pieces, because they have thecomposers addresses on file. With threeexceptions, the composers discussed in thisbibliography are still alive as of this writing, so itis also possible to obtain music by contactingthem directly.
Each annotated entry includes a difficultyranking and stylistic category. In the works inthis document there is a great deal of variety inboth these areas, particularly considering thatthe dates of composition span only 50 years.The factual information in each annotated entry,including date and place of composition,premiere, dedication and program notes, wasfound primarily in folders that the CMC keepsfor each of its associate composers. Thesefolders contain programs of performances,magazine articles, reviews, biographies, worklists and phtotographs. The CMC also publishesthe Directory of Associate Composers whichincludes a biography and work list for eachcomposer. This is a good resource forbiographical information, as is The Encyclopediaof Music in Canada.
FORMAT OF THE ANNOTATIONSBlank spaces indicate information that is not
applicable, or is not available.Composer: includes the dates of the composersbirth and death.Title: includes title in English and French whereapplicable.Date & place of composition: includes allavailable information. If several different datesof composition have been found, the date fromthe Canadian Music Centre (CMC) catalogue islisted. Occasionally, the CMC has used thecomposers copyright date, and not the datelisted on the music.Instrumentation: includes alternate instrument-ation.Duration: is approximate. It has beendetermined either from what the composerwrote on the music or in a works lists, what islisted on the recording, or by a reading of thework. If several very different timings werefound, the timing of a recording was givenpreference, then that of the CMC catalogue. The
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timings are usually rounded to the nearestquarter of a minute.Dedication: includes quotes from the music andother sources (which use quotation marks), orinformation gleaned from program notes orworks lists.Commission: see directly above.Publisher/ISBN: is listed as Ms if manuscript.Otherwise the publisher and copyright date arelisted. Occasionally the piece has beenpublished by the composer.Recording(s): includes records and compactdisks only.Movements: lists titles of movements.Range: is as written. C4 is:
therefore C6 is:
B3 would be:
therefore B5 is:
Difficulty: ve: very easy, e: easy, m: moderate,md: moderately difficult, d: difficult, vd: verydifficult. See below for a more detaileddescription of levels.Stylistic characteristics: categories include:tonal, atonal, and electronic/atmospheric, withthe subcategory of ethnic influence. See belowfor a more detailed description of each category.Program notes: are generally included only if theyare written by the composer. If the authorship is indoubt, this is noted. Some program notes werefound undated, and unrelated to a specific concertin the composers biographical file at the CanadianMusic Centre.Comments: includes other information about thepiece, the dedicatee, and the performer on therecording or the premiere.Abbreviations:ACNMP: Association for the Creation of New MusicProjectsACWC: Association of Canadian Women ComposersCC: Canada CouncilCMC: Canadian Music CentreN-LAC: Newfoundland-Labrador Arts CouncilOAC: Ontario Arts Councilob: oboeob dam: oboe damoreEh: English hornbass ob: bass oboepicc: piccolo
fl: flutecl: clarinetbsn: bassoonsop sax: soprano saxophonehrn: horntr: trumpetperc: percussionstr: string orchestraorch: orchestrahrp: harpvln: violinvla: violapno: pianoorg: organmm: measuremov: movementAddresses: ON: Ontario QC: QubecGeneral oboe family terms:third octave: refers to notes E6 and abovehigh register: refers to notes A5 to Eb6middle register: refers to notes A4 to G#5low register: refers to notes G#4 and lowerDifficulty Rating System for this BibliographyVery Easy: range from D4 to G5; few leaps over afifth; frequent rests; few dynamic markings;most complex subdivision is eighth-note;maximum tempo: beat = mm 100; simple duple,triple, and quadruple time signatures only; keysignature does not exceed two flats or sharps.Easy: range from C4-G5; few leaps over anoctave; some rests; some dynamic changes; notmuch continuous tonguing; most complexsubdivision not to exceed sixteenth-notes;maximum tempo: beat = mm120; simple andcompound meters; key signature does notexceed three flats or sharps, and may use someaccidentals.Moderate: range from Bb3 - Eb6; leaps over anoctave; moderate endurance requirements; mayhave sudden dynamic changes; may have fast ormoderately long tonguing passages; subdi-visions do not exceed thirty-second notes;maximum tempo: beat = mm132; meter and keychanges possible; key signature does not exceedfour flats or sharps and/or may use frequentaccidentals.Moderately difficult: range from Bb3 - F6; leapssmaller than two octaves; extended endurancerequired; may have sudden, extreme dynamicchanges; may have extensive fast tonguing;thirty-second note subdivisions possible; fewtempo limitations; complex meters possible; nokey limitations; may incorporate extendedtechniques, e.g. quarter-tones, multiphonics;may include graphic notation.Difficult: range from Bb3 - G6; leaps exceed twooctaves; extensive endurance may be required;tempo, technique and dynamics are notconsiderations; may include multiple metersand complex rhythms; may incorporate manyextended techniques: see previous level, andincluding flutter and double tonguing.
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Very Difficult: no limitations in range, tempo,technique or extended technique, dynamics,tonguing, flexibility, meter, rhythm or range;often an absence of melodic or rhythmicpatterns in technical passages.
The difficulty section of the annotationcontains information about the oboe part, theninformation about the piano or tape part ifapplicable, and any notational difficulties. Thedifficulty level is assigned to the oboe part only.Occasionally, a piece has been labeled at acertain level of difficulty, even though somecharacteristic, usually the range, extends to thenext higher level. When this choice has beenmade, it is because the notes out of range arefew, and easily approached and departed, andthe rest of the piece fits into the lower level.Most of the surveyed pieces do not have keysignatures. This same rating system has beenused for works for oboe damore and Englishhorn, while taking into consideration theincreased difficulty of these instruments,particularly with regards to high register andfast passages.
STYLISTIC CHARACTERISTICSThe works in this bibliography have been
divided into three major style categories.Various authors works were investigated thatdiscussed style, particularly in relationship toCanadian music, and used specific terms suchas impressionism, expressionism, neo-romanticism, etc. These include: A TeachersGuide to Canadian Music by Ted Dawson,1 TheMusic of Canada by Timothy J. Mcgee,2 andCanadian Music for Trumpet: an AnnotatedBibliography by Jeffrey Anderson.3 The decisionwas made that the more general terms tonal,atonal and electronic/atmospheric would beused. This decision was made partially becausethe compositions were all written within the lastfifty years and so many traditional stylisticlabels do not apply, and a