Volume 16, October 2022
A Technical Guidance for the Dragonetti Concerto In A Major By Édouard Nanny and Beyond

by Irmak Sabuncu

1. Introduction

The Dragonetti A Major concerto1 was originally written by Édouard Nanny, one of the most prominent bassists of the French Contrabass School2. An examination of the structure of Dragonetti's concertos and É. Nanny's technical approaches in his well-known double bass methods will provide clarity to this fact. Thus, this concerto is the subject of this article and my doctoral thesis. Moreover, it is considered a milestone of double bass literature for students primarily due to its technical methods.

One of the biggest challenges for students and teachers while studying a new piece is defining the technical problems and determining an appropriate work plan. Therefore, this article is written to serve as a pedagogical pathway to preparing and performing the first and second movements of the Dragonetti Concerto in A Major for Double Bass and Orchestra, which is based on my recently published doctoral thesis, "A Technical Preparation Guide for the Dragonetti Concerto in A Major for Double Bass and Orchestra by Édouard Nanny."

The technical challenges are listed as "Bow Stroke Types and Their Practice Suggestions in the Piece," "Thumb Position," "Harmonics," and "Intonation and Shifting." Each title is exemplified with a selected passage from the concerto, followed by explanations of technical difficulties, suggestions for solutions, exercises, and etudes.

The problems and suggestions I address in this paper are based on my teaching experiences at the Mersin University State Conservatory in Turkey and the University of North Texas. It is also influenced by my observations of the pedagogical approaches of Professor Duncan McTier, Bozo Paradzik, and Jeff Bradetich with whom I have had the privilege to study.