Double Bass Excerpts for Contemporary Ensembles

This work stems from the desire to share with the wider double bass community this set of Double Bass Excerpts for Contemporary Ensembles.

Double Bass Excerpts for Contemporary Ensembles


The role of the double bass in contemporary and orchestral ensembles frequently encounters technical demands that extend far beyond traditional practices.

While students of the double bass acquire their highest professional competences through the study of excerpts from the classical and romantic repertoires, the excerpts from the contemporary repertoire set out here represent a truly quantic leap in comparison to the traditional instrument techniques.

The author, a specialist on the subject, provides a selection of fourteen exemplary excerpts. In a systematic approach, he shares his long experience in the preparation and execution of these works. Additional reflections put forward information on the position of the double bass in the String Quintets of Contemporary Ensembles, the multiple specific tasks, in addition to the traditional, that double bassists have to deal with: scordatura, amplification, artificial harmonics, bow techniques and effects, pizzicato, notation, alongside many others.

The present portfolio shall assist in disseminating the language of contemporary music and strengthening the establishment of the new parameters essential to the acquisition of contemporary instrument techniques.

Hence, the current work represents a long awaited update on the contemporary orchestral and ensemble literature.

Finally, this raises the question of up to what point is the creation of a new literature necessary to appropriately preparing future double bassists for the enormous demands of the contemporary repertoire, which has already, at least partially, become a reality and a regular presence in the programs of concert halls and cycles.

Florian Pertzborn