Category Archives: Music

Stars and Stripes Forever and Ever

I made this double bass part for John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” to help out the Berkeley Youth Orchestra’s bass section. Could come in handy for young bass players who might be having a bit of trouble transposing tuba parts. Since this is a common piece of music that often winds up on student bassist’s stands, I’m making this freely available:

The Stars and Stripes Forever by sanbeiji

The Chaconne Obsession

I don’t even play violin and I am obsessed with this piece of music. I wonder if it would work on double bass?

I have sought this piece out every chance I could get, ever since hearing Alexander Barantschik of the San Francisco Symphony perform it at a private event many years back. This is the most enigmatic and heartwrenching thing Bach ever wrote.

The Chaconne is the last movement from Bach’s Violin Partita No. in D Minor. The story is that Bach wrote this in memory of his wife who had recently passed away, and whether this is true or not you can hear a fair amount of sorrow, longing, and pain in this music – qualities Bach is not typically known for.

More about this work from an interview with Arnold Stenhardt on NPR.

The Fons

Excellent performance by Renaud Garcia-Fons for the NPR Tiny Desk Concert series:

For my students and for students of the double bass from anywhere who might be reading, pay attention to the left hand – how he is holding the bow. Very flexible, relaxed, agile. Also note the right hand and arm position – how it is angled for the most part at 90º to the neck of the bass, and the hand and wrist is never over-extended. Enjoy!

On Contributing

If you’d like an idea of what I had to put up with every Friday in college:

This is the most important moment right now, which is: We – are about contribution. That’s what our job is. It’s not about impressing people. It’s not about getting the next job. It’s about contributing something. Everyone was clear that you contributed passion to the people in this room, right? Did you do it better than the next violinist? Or did he do it better than another pianist? I don’t know; I don’t care! Because in contribution, there is no better. And that’s all. And what happens is the faces light up.

And that is all…