The story behind Recital Music

This publisher has been connecting double bassists with great musical selections for decades.

With David Heyes · United Kingdom

Recital Music was founded in 1986 with the aim of publishing a wide range of double bass music for every age and ability level, original works and transcriptions, and including piano accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tuning whenever possible.

Recital Music founder David Heyes

Over the past 37 years, most of our publications have been single titles, but with our recent decision to move away from printed editions to PDF downloads only, it has been possible to rethink our publishing strategy and what will work best for Recital Music but also for our loyal customers around the world.

Downloads have enabled us to bundle a number of similar ability pieces together, to everyone’s benefit, and over the past year a number of projects have been launched which have proved popular with bassists around the world. 

Overall, each fits into one of four main categories:

Recital Music titles have been used at double bass events across the globe.

Bass Clef

The Bass Clef series, as the title suggests, features music that remains in bass clef, with each piece usually aimed at beginners or progressing bassists of all ages. This series can be broken down even further into Bass Clef Unaccompanied Solos, Bass Clef Solos for double bass & piano, Bass Clef Duets, Bass Clef Trios, and Bass Clef Quartets. Each publication includes multiple works, some original for the double bass alongside transcriptions, but all carefully graded with the student, teacher and amateur bassist in mind.

Bass Clef Unaccompanied Solos is available in two volumes and features a wealth of accessible music for unaccompanied double bass from the 18th century to the present day. Some of the composers may be less familiar than others, but all the pieces have been successfully performed and taught over many years, and a wide range of technical challenges offer something for all ability levels.

Bass Clef Solos includes two volumes and is for double bass and piano. Here is a nice and developing collection of original works and transcriptions from the 18th to 20th century, each combining musical and technical challenges in equal measure with supportive and colorful accompaniments, which add to the charm of the series.

Bass Clef Duets for 2 double basses has three publications featuring 38 duets, two volumes edited by David Heyes and one by the legendary Bert Turetzky. These are ideal for concert use, as sight-reading practice, or simply as fun repertoire to play with friends. None outstay their welcome and are ideal reaching repertoire to develop ensemble and soloist/accompanist skills throughout the orchestral register of the double bass

Bass Clef Trios and Bass Clef Quartets each have one volume to date featuring a wealth of musical styles for a range of ability levels and are suitable for both study and concert use.

Recital Music titles come in a wide variety of skill levels.


Celebrations is a series of nine volumes of music for unaccompanied double bass. Each volume is dedicated to a living contemporary composer. Many of the pieces were commissioned by David Heyes for a series of projects, including Syrinx (2018), to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Claude Debussy, A Turetzky Tribute (2018) to celebrate the 85th birthday of the legendary and iconic American contemporary bassist Bert Turetzky and Da Vinci 500 (2019) which marked the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, amongst many others.

Each volume is full of music of great energy and boundless invention, demonstrating the myriad possibilities of the unaccompanied double bass throughout its entire register. These are primarily aimed at more advanced bassists and celebrate the amazing array of living composers writing for the double bass today. Recital Music supports many composers who write for the double bass and this series is one which is worth a second or even third glance because there are treasures included aplenty!


Heritage encompasses the Heritage Series, Miniatures, and The Bohemian Bass, primarily featuring music from bassist-composers from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Heritage Series only has one volume to date, including music by Karel Trautsch, Ludvig Hegner, and Édouard Nanny, all significant player-composers in their own countries, all writing a number of works for the double bass.

Miniatures brings together shorter salon pieces from the past, mostly by player-composers with each exuding charm and elegance from a bygone age. They are mostly aimed at the progressing bassist with a range of accessible musical and technical challenges, and none outstaying their welcome.

The Bohemian Bass series only has one volume, but this will eventually build into a significant series that will celebrate the bassist-composers from the Prague School of Double Bass. Much of their music is long out of print or forgotten, and some pieces will be brought into print for the first time. Watch this space!

Recital Music titles being performed at the 2019 International Society of Bassists Convention


Transcriptions have always been an important part of Recital Music’s catalog, and moving to a digital format has allowed us to create books of favorite pieces from the standard solo repertoire, which have been popular with bassists everywhere. Book 1 (Burgmüller, Glinka, Rossini, Sullivan, Tartini) is aimed at the intermediate, and all the pieces are used as exam repertoire by various UK examination boards. Books 2 and 3 are aimed at the advanced bassist, and all include accompaniments for both solo and orchestral tuning.

Recital Music created one of the largest catalogs of printed double bass music in the world and we are now aiming to build the largest digital collection with music aimed at bassists of all ages and abilities. It has been an exciting 37 years, and we look forward to the next 37.

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