For many avid readers, like myself, you are familiar with the dedication page found in books. These few lines in the early pages of a book allows the author a chance to give a bit of credit to those people who inspired them. Usually, the dedication is to a family member, friend or at times a bit cheeky, like one of my personal favorites from the author of Austenland, Shannon Hale:

“For Collin Firth. You’re a really great guy, but I’m married so I think we should just be friends.”

Artists find inspiration everywhere and Allan Blank was no different. Drawing on what has been typically associated with the book world, composers also take time to dedicate their works to those people who encouraged them to create. Allan Blank dedicated many pieces, a few examples are “for Victoria Parr, for Pat, and for Margot”. One of the most complete dedications that I have come across thus far is “for Bruce Hammel Three Bagatelles for solo bassoon”. Along with the music score, Blank included a page explaining why he wrote the piece.

Allan Blank’s dedication page to Dr. Bruce Mammel for Three Bagatelles for Solo Bassoon.

Above: “THREE BAGATELLES FOR SOLO BASSOON was written for my colleague Dr. Bruce Hammel for a trip to China in the spring of 1992. The American premier was at Washington & Lee University, by Dr. Hammel, as a part of The Society for Composers Annual Conference-Region III, on September 25, 1992. Both humor and expressiveness are combined in this work which should show off the instrument in some of its most characteristic colors.”

No matter what part Dr. Hammel played in the creation of the Three Bagatelles, Allan Blank decided to include a credit for inspiring the wonderful work.

Perhaps this writer should dedicate this blog as well… For Rosco, your doggy cuteness is a constant inspiration…Perhaps not!