The main books which I have referenced throughout this research all contain invaluable exercises. However when students make the move to repertoire, there seems to be a big jump between simple exercises or nursery rhymes to repertoire which includes altissimo.  I wanted to create working etudes that referenced traditional repertoire that act as a stepping stone to performing those pieces. If these studies are practised, half of the work will have already been done towards performing the altissimo passages in the repertoire.

I chose to create six different etudes each referencing a different work. To choose the repertoire to use I looked at university suggested pieces and also pieces that I had come across in my studies. I also tried to concentrate on pieces that were composed for the saxophone rather than transcriptions. These pieces were:

-          Lars - Erik Larsson : Concerto

-          Ingolf Dahl : Concerto

-          Robert Muczynski : Sonata

-          David Maslanka : Sonata for alto saxophone

-          Piet Swerts - Klonos  

-          Takashi Yoshimatsu – Fuzzy Bird Sonata

I started by choosing the altissimo sections and rhythmic patterns that I would use in the studies and I decided that for some studies I would manipulate the time signature as a way of making the chosen passages less recognisable. For each study there is a short background on the piece, composer and where possible their thoughts on altissimo. There are also suggestions about how to approach each study.

Having an accompanying sound clip of each study links in with the idea of voicing and would help the user to hear how each study sounds while being beneficial for my own technical development. Next to this I have included the details of CDs where the selected piece can be found, some of the recordings have been made by respondents of my questionnaire. Having the audio of the original music accompany the study makes it possible to see how they work together.

Click on the front cover of the book to explore the studies.