These duets are written with the first year saxophone player in mind, although the collection can be effective for use with intermediate players as well. (This collection is written for any two saxophones of matching key. 2 Altos, 2 Tenors, Alto + Bari, Tenor + Soprano, etc.) The collection will work as a great compliment to any beginning band or saxophone method book, as it introduces and reinforces basic concepts throughout. Unlike many progressive duet books this book does not get too hard too fast, yet exposes young players to a lot of essential concepts and musical variety.
For maximum accessibility, many of the duets are 8 to 16 bars long, written with half-notes and quarter-notes in parallel 3rds, predictable harmony, and very modest range (eventually expanding down to low D-natural and up to C above the staff). There is only very sparse use of dotted rhythms and triplets, and no pick-ups, 8th-note up-beats, or 16th notes.
However, this collection is unique in that is also features less-familiar accidentals, contrary motion (which tends to challenge young ears), independent rhythm and counterpoint, major and minor, modal and whole-tone compositions, less-familiar time signatures, (3/4, 3/8, and 5/4, especially), and even an introduction to the circle of 4ths.
A majority of the duets come without tempo, style, or articulation markings to allow students and teachers the freedom to mix it up as much as possible or as necessary based on skill level. (Beginners are encouraged to play at a slow, steady tempo with a very big sound for all duets unless otherwise marked or directed by their teacher.) Many duets are presented more than once to offer additional challenges or in order to make comparisons between major and minor, or different keys and time signatures.
These can be used as bite-sized confidence builders for first-year saxophone players, sight-reading and intonation studies for intermediate players, or as very basic material for the introduction of transposition, ornamentation, or piccolo. Excellent for the studio teacher and a great, easy resource for busy band directors with ambitious beginners.