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35 publications in this series

The Beginner Bass Series series

Recital Music publish music for every level of double bassist and in the past few years have concentrated on music for the younger player. This new and exciting series includes works with simple, accessible technical and musical challenges for beginners and progressing bassists. Piano accompaniments are supportive and written with the bass teacher in mind, creating a new repertoire which is ideal for concert and educational use.

Composed in July 2009, these five short movements are aimed at the good beginner bassist (Grade 4/5). American composer-bassist Armand Russell, has produced a wealth of music for double bass - from one to twelve players - and this new suite was written to provide interesting and accessible music for the young bassist. Composed in a tonal and approachable style, there is still sufficient harmonic 'spice' to create new and exciting study or concert material. Supportive and creative accompaniments add to the success of the suite. Ideal for the adventurous student and teacher who are looking for something to challenge and still enjoy!

No.1 Rugged has been selected for inclusion in the new Foundation Certificate Examination from Trinity-Guildhall.

Chopping (No.3) has been selected for Level 4 by MTB Exams (

"Armand Russell continues to contribute to the double bassists' repertoire. Composed in 2009, Challenges for double bass and piano was written with beginning-level double bassists in mind. The work consists of five short movements: Rugged, Smooth, Chopping, Floating and Climbing. A variety of time signatures, key signatures, tempi and articulations conjure the various characters of the titles. Russell's style is tonal and clear cut. His phrasing is lyrical and balanced.

A common problem with works for young bassists and piano is that the young bassists' limited register can easily be overpowered by accompaniments that would otherwise work for middle and upper-register instruments. Russell side-steps these problems by using sparse voicings and complimentary rhythms in the piano accompaniment. The work is about six minutes long. The highest note is D, a fifth above the open G string. Challenges would be great first bass-and piano experience for a young bassist." [Matt Hare / Bass World, ISB]

Armand Russell was born in Seattle, Washington in 1932. He received the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Washington, with a major in music composition, and a Doctorate in music composition from the Eastman School of Music. He studied double bass with Leslie Martin, who played in the Seattle Symphony and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and at the Eastman School of Music with Oscar Zimmerman. His composition studies were with John Verrall and George McKay at the University of Washington, and with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson at the Eastman School.

Professionally, Armand Russell played double bass in many orchestras including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Tour Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic and Civic Orchestras, and Honolulu Symphony. For five years he taught as a visiting Professor at the Eastman School of Music. From 1961 to 1994 he taught at the University of Hawaii Music Department and retired as Professor emeritus in 1994. While at the University of Hawaii he taught music theory, composition and double bass and also served as Chair of the Music Department for seven years.

Armand Russell has composed many works for double bass and also percussion, including solos, chamber music and concertos. Some of his most frequently performed works include Chaconne (Db/Pno), Buffo Set (Db/Pno), Harlequin Concerto (Db/Orch), Pas de Deux (Cl/Perc), Percussion Suite, Theme & Fantasia (Concert Band) and Suite Concertante (Tuba/Wind Quintet). He has also composed several works for choirs in recent years and has continued to write for the double bass alongside a growing body of chamber music and transcriptions.

Armand Russell's compositional style is confident and direct with a clarity of line and texture always to the fore. A modern, yet lyrical and accessible style, has created works which communicate equally to performers and audiences alike and he has made, and continues to make, a unique and valuable contribution to the double bass litereature throughout a long and successful career.

Recital Music is planning a celebration of Armand Russell's music at Bass-Fest in 2012 to celebrate the composers 80th birthday.


  • Chopping
  • Climbing
  • Floating
  • Rugged
  • Smooth

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Cat No. RM417
Price £8.50
ComposerArmand Russell
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
SeriesBeginner Bass Series
Difficulty level3 - 4
ISMN 979-0-57045-417-4
EAN-13 9790570454174
Weight 82 grams
Published 15th August 2009
Availability 5 in stock
See also...
RM301  4 Easy Pieces
RM554  Teppo's Ten 'plus Two'