The Saxophone Music of Karl Heinrich David

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lawrence Gwozdz

Advisor Department



Serious interest in the saxophone as a viable means of artistic expression took on a slow but noticeable increase during the 1930s and 1940s. This movement was motivated in part by a handful of individual performers who offered programs largely consisting of transcriptions. Among them were the leading proponents of the instrument in Europe, Sigurd Rascher and Marcel Mule. Their early campaigns for new music included demonstrations of the saxophone's capabilities through live performances and personal encounters with composers. One composer, Karl Heinrich David (1884-1951), responded to such experiences with three new works for the saxophone, which, for all intents and purposes, have lain dormant in the archives of the University of Bern, because of the limited number of competent soloists active at the time. David's compositions for saxophone include his Quartett für Violine, Altsaxophon, Violoncello und Klavier (1934), Quartett für Violine, Altsaxophon, Violoncello und Klavier (1946), and the Concert pour saxophone solo et orchestre à cordes (1947).