Alvin Etler (1913 - 1973) was an American composer and oboist, who abandoned a promising orchestral career in order to focus on composition. The Sonata for Bassoon and Piano was written in 1951 while he was a professor at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is dedicated to the bassoonist Emil Hebert, and scored in four movements: Moderately Slow - Fast - Slow - Fast. It is a twentieth century work, which remains tonal without being overly reliant on traditional key structure. Influences of Hindemith, Bartok, and Copland can all be found, especially in the second movement.