BISSELL, KEITH

SUITE FOR BRASS QUINTET

Instrumentation: 2 Trumpets in B-flat, Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba

Source: CMC-T

Duration: 8'

Level: Medium-Difficult (Difficult First Trumpet)

Status: Score and Parts

Date: 1977

Ranges

Trumpet I in B-flat: d' - c'''

Trumpet 2 in B-flat: b - f#''

Horn in F: a - f''

Trombone: (E)G - g '

Tuba: E - c#'

This melodious, four-movement suite typifies much of Bissell's Cebrauschmusik, revealing both a sensitivity to harmonic nuance and a sure touch for expressive, cantabile melodic lines. With the first movement marked Moderato, the second Brightly, the third Andante, and the fourth With Spirit, the principal contrast between movements is largely one of tempo, a simple approach to structure that also marks the development of each movement as a complete entity.

Technical Challenges

With the exception of the technically difficult first trumpet part, this suite is well-suited to the capabilities of advanced intermediate students at the grade ten or eleven level. Second trumpet, horn, and trombone ranges are of moderate difficulty, while the smooth cantabile melodic lines minimize the challenges associated with the difficult E-c#' tuba range. Soft dynamics require a fair degree of low register technique and tone colour control in both the trombone and tuba parts. Changing accidentals and the first movement's chromatic triplets require dexterity throughout the ensemble. The fast eighth-note and rhythmic patterns in the trombone part may require an f-attachment. In the second movement, a refined piano, mezzo-forte, and forte legato technique is required. Ascending third, fourth, and fifth slurs can require a fair degree of embouchure flexibility, particularly where consecutive slurs span an octave range. Other articulation challenges include the marcato half-note flourishes in the fourth movement, the staccato quarters at the end of the fourth movement, the forte-piano and mixed syncopated patterns at the close of the first movement, and the detached, repeated-pitch sixteenth patterns at the beginning of the first movement. The sixteenths must be very light, soft, and carefully shaped with a subtle lengthening of the sixteenth-note duration to support the direction of the underlying tuba melody. There are few rests, but provided slight pauses are taken between movements, advanced intermediate students should find the Suite within their capabilities. The first trumpet part is significantly more difficult than the lower parts, because of its d'-c''' range. Passages lying completely above g'' require considerable stamina and tone control, particularly where soft dynamics and accented flourishes or repeated-pitch sixteenth-note accompaniment patterns are encountered. A strong senior high school performer should not find the part excessively demanding, as such challenges are infrequent and the rolling melodic lines generally sit comfortably on the instrument.

Musical Challenges

With the exception of its rich modal harmonies, changing metres, and triplet rhythms, the Suite is written in a traditional or conservative idiom that will not prove too demanding for intermediate performers. Structure in all four movements is a product of contrasting tempi, mildly contrasting melodies, and melodic repetition. The broad cantabile melodies are straightforward in both intervallic structure (primarily based on seconds, thirds, and fourths, with some fifths, sixths, and occasional sevenths) and sense of line. Marked dynamic nuances (p-f) support the natural rising and falling melodic contours which are organized for the most part into clearly marked four-, two-plus-two-, and four-plus-four-bar phrases. At the beginning of the third movement, overlapping short units are strung together over a sustained twelve-bar pedal requiring staggered breathing. The layered triplet and sixteenth-note patterns in the first movement are the most difficult rhythms. With the exception of the occasional tied patterns, the rhythmic vocabulary of the last three movements is quite elementary. Changing metres in the second and fourth movements (4/4, 5/4, 3/4, 2/4, 2/2, 3/2) are mildly challenging, especially where tempo changes are involved. Tempo interpretation should not be difficult, as suggested metronome markings clarify the Italian tempo terms. Stylistic interpretation should not be difficult either, as the movements and sections within movements contrast primarily in terms of tempo. The sombre modal harmonies and mildy exotic modal modulations in the third movement require a fairly introspective tone. The fourth movement should be gayer and rhythmically more lilting than the earlier three movements.

Ensemble Challenges

Featuring mildly contrapuntal and homorhythmic chorale-like textures, the Suite is an excellent composition for developing an integrated and balanced warm brass sound. Cascading sixteenth-note and off-beat accompaniment patterns must be very light, rhythmically precise, and carefully matched in terms of articulations and initial attacks. In the first and third movements, subtle bell-tone attacks will ensure that each melodic entrance in the staggered passages is audible, regardless of its tessitura or position within the overall ensemble sound. These passages and the overlapping conversational passages in the third movement also pose minor fluency and phrasing challenges. Other phrasing challenges include the co-ordination of unified ensemble cadential progressions and the shaping of accompaniment and pedal figures to support melodic direction. The principal rhythmic challenges include changing metres, tempo changes, cadential tempo modifications, and layered triplet and sixteenth-note patterns. The smooth, flowing legato lines cannot interfere with rhythmic accuracy, especially where two or more voices are moving homorhythmically. Intonation may be of concern where the first trumpet plays in a high register for long periods of time, in extended soft sections, and in sections featuring unstable modal harmonic progressions where there is no strong bass support.

Pedagogical Value

Although the first trumpet part is more demanding than the other ensemble parts, this composition is well-suited to the capabilities and needs of student performers. Its principal value lies in its broad cantabile melodic lines which can be effectively used to develop both an awareness of melodic line and a warm brass tone. The rich modal harmonies also provide an opportunity for the students to respond to and explore expressive harmonic nuances. Other applications might include the introduction of changing metres, developing a familiarity with modal harmonies, perfecting a smooth legato articulation style, and developing soloistic independence.

 

CODE, JAMES

GROSS FUGUE

Instrumentation: Horn in F (Trombone), Trombone (Tuba), Tuba

Source: Composer

Duration: 2'

Level: Medium

Status: Score and Parts

Date: Unknown

Ranges

Horn in F: a - e''

Trombone: G - b-flat

Tuba: B, - d

 

Based on the "lewdest F tonalis" (sic), Gross Fugue is a rustic and somewhat heathen fugue for low brass trio. Mood and style are established by low register modal harmonies and dark, chromatic dissonances. Articulations also play a role, particularly in the last section where the unrefined heathen quality is heightened by a sixteenth-note variant of the fugue subject and low register tuba sforzandi.

Technical Challenges

Posing few technical demands, this work is well within the abilities of young intermediate students. Advanced beginners may also find it approachable. Ranges are quite limited in span, but low register accents and fortississimo dynamics present range, projection, and articulation challenges. Slightly detached legato articulations prevail with some small interval slurs and staccato eighths at cadences. At a moderate tempo (quarter = ca. 66), the characteristic quarter- and eighth-note rhythmic patterns pose few dexterity challenges. However, second position accidental differentiation, irregular accidentals (C-flat, B-double-flat), and difficult-to-hear seventh position approaches present some rather demanding trombone passages. The eighth-sixteenth patterns in the horn part after bar 44 require some third valve facility. While low register accents and dynamics require supple embouchures, the trombone and horn parts require little flexibility. The tuba part is slightly more challenging in this regard, featuring awkward seventh leaps at all major cadences and two descending fourth, eighth-note sequences. Only 63 bars in length with rests in all parts, endurance challenges are minimal. There is the possibility of stress in some of the moderately long horn phrases in the middle episode and in the accented tuba section near the end. Should a trombone replace the horn, some fluency with the tenor clef would be required.

Musical Challenges

The unique structure of this three-subject fugue involves two extended episodes and three expositions, the last of which is also episodal and recapitulatory in nature. The dissonant modal progressions are a result of the polyphonic textures, and feature chromaticism and frequent modal shifts. The harsh dissonance of minor ninth cadential figures and seventh suspensions are particularly challenging at this level, and account for much of the Fugue's overall musical impetus and effect. All the themes, despite their distinct identities, are derivatives of the "f lewdest" (sic) modal first subject and its extension. Chromatic nuances and occasional fourth, fifth, and seventh melodic leaps should not prove too difficult, but younger horn players may experience some problems placing and hearing the pitches. Snatch breaths are sometimes required where thematic extension results in six-, eight-, and ten-bar phrases. Sixteenth-note rhythms, ties across the barline, and expressive cadential ritardandi pose minor rhythmic challenges in an otherwise elementary 2/4 temporal context. The large dynamic range (fff-ppp), while clearly marked, is one of the most difficult musical challenges, especially when taken within the context of the other generally moderately easy technical and musical challenges.

Ensemble Challenges

While the fugue subject must assume precedence throughout the composition, great care must be taken to ensure that the other two parts are also audible. The low tessitura of some sections may prove difficult to project, particularly in the horn part. The nature of the instrumentation and the instrumental ranges will ensure a characteristic lower brass sound, but matching tone colours as much as possible will improve the blend. The closeness of the low register harmonies will undoubtedly result in a "muddy" sound, unless intonation is flawless. However, given the title of the piece, a mildly crude sound may not necessarily be a bad thing. As in any fugue, some rhythmic and phrasing independence are required, but patterns are mainly eighth against quarter with occasional ties.

Pedagogical Value

Although the instrumentation is unusual, young intermediate performers should find this work both enjoyable and instructive. The limited technical demands provide ample opportunity to work on musical challenges and concepts. The elaborate fugal structure is good study material for exploring augmentation, diminution, and thematic extension. The polyphonic textures and dissonant modal harmonies will require work on intonation and phrasing. The composition is also good for developing a full low register tone, an extended dynamic range, and a slightly detached legato technique.

 

GEORGE, GRAHAM

MUSIC ON THE AB FACTOR

Instrumentation: 2 Trumpets in B-flat, Horn in F (Trombone), Trombone

Source: Composer

Duration: 1' 15 ''

Level: Medium-Difficult (Difficult First Trumpet)

Status: Score only

Date: 1969

Ranges

Trumpet 1 in Bb: C#' - b''

Trumpet 2 in Bb: b - f#''(g#'')

Horn in F: a - e''(g#'')

Trombone: F# - f'

One of five Academic Flourishes written for Queen's University convocation ceremonies, Music on the AB Factor was composed for Andre Bieler's reception of an honourary doctorate degree in Law. It is built on the reiteration of the two pitches "a" and "b", a musical realization of the "AB factor" phrase used to decribe Bieler's importance to Canadian art. Like the other Academic Flourishes, the style is a mildly twentieth-century English one, characterized by neo-baroque imitative textures, and modal and quartal harmonies.

Technical Challenges

The first trumpet C#'-b'' range makes this a technically challenging work for the lead trumpeter. The second trumpet and horn encounter occasional g'' and approaches to high register tones by intervals of a fifth and sixth; however, ranges in the lower three voices are generally of moderate difficulty and within the capabilities of advanced intermediate or less experienced senior high school performers. Dexterity challenges are limited to the B section's scalar sixteenth-note figures and the cadential a-b trills (concert pitch) in the Introduction and Coda. Changing accidentals (specifically concert bb, b, c, c#, f, f#, g, and g#) also require care, particularly in the trombone part. The fugal theme at Letter A presents the most significant flexibility challenges. High register scoring makes such passages in the first trumpet part especially difficult. Awkward eighth-note register changes create challenges in the trombone part. Decisive staccato articulations are required in the fugal sections. Double dotted quarter- and sixteenth-note staccato figures will require care to prevent clipping of the long note, especially where the figure is in a high register or involves a large melodic leap. Other articulation markings are sparse, but the repeated a-b patterns in the Introduction and Coda suggest a firm marcato style. A smooth legato style works well on the flowing patterns of the middle 4 section. High register and extended staccato passages in the first trumpet part will prove fatiguing even for senior high school students. The lower three parts do not require the same strength and stamina. A trombone may substitute for the horn, but the resulting moderately high tessitura will require a strong performer.

Musical Challenges

Music on the AB Factor is cast in a sectional Introduction ABA' Coda design, built on the reiteration, transposition, extension, decoration, and rhythmic/metric variation of the a-b motive. Stretti, third position seventh chords, quartal harmonies, and a rising melodic line in the extension of the theme account for much of the vigour and energy of the fugal A sections. Scalar and quasi-arpeggiated melodic constructions, and mixed modal and quartal harmonies account for the flowing quality of the B section. Rhythmic challenges are for the most part isolated in the triplet patterns of the Introduction and Coda, but the rallentando at the start of the second A section, and the off-beat entrances in the B section will also prove mildly challenging for intermediate level performers. In both the A and B sections, melodic extension results in long driving phrases typical of the Baroque era. The two-bar motivic organization of these phrases permits snatch breaths, but maintaining energy and direction will require a sensitivity to the underlying rhythmic (including stretto) and harmonic tensions. Fermate and grand pauses at the end of each section must be earefully shaped with dynamic crescendi so that momentum is not lost. Dynamic nuances can also be used to good avail within each section.

Ensemble Challenges

The unison/octave rhythmic crescendi of the Introduetion and Coda require impeccable intonation, ensemble blend, and rhythmic precision. Octave cadential trills and fermate require similar care. In the A sections, staccato articulations must be consistent throughout the ensemble. The tendency to rush will need to be continuously checked as the stretti gather momentum. Melodic fragmentation in the flowing B section poses significant fluency challenges and necessitates careful matching of both articulations and tone colours. The latter may prove quite challenging given the different tessituras of the four ensemble voices. Changing major and minor scale and chord degrees present some significant intonation ehallenges. Although all the above ehallenges are crucial, the most important ensemble challenge is a musical one, feeling the dynamic energy and projecting it through the sectional divisions.

Pedagogical Value

Although repetitions of the a-b structural motive can be monotonous, Music on the AB Factor can be quite effective in both performance and educational settings. Advanced grade ten and eleven intermediate performers with good range and tone colour abilities, but little ensemble experience, will find the simple homorhythmic and imitative textures useful for working on ensemble integration. The limited articulation, tempo, and dynamic markings will also encourage the ensemble to use its collective musical judgement and respond to the Flourish's rhythmic impetus and changing melodic styles. Other teaching applications might include staccato articulations, triplet rhythms, and 4/2 and 3/2 metres.

 

HEALEY, DEREK

DIVISIONS

Instrumentation: 2 Trumpets in Bb, Horn in F, Trombone (Baritone)

Source: CMC-T

Duration: 7'

Level: Medium

Status: Score and Parts

Date: 1963

Ranges

Trumpet I in Bb: d' - g''

Trumpet 2 in Bb: c' - d''

Horn in F: c' - e''

Trombone: A - d'

Divided into eight contrasting sections, Divisions is a melodious, harmonically modern theme and variations. It is built on an andante theme in which motivic repetition, augmentation, and diminution figure prominently. The seven variations become increasingly distant from the original theme and include in order: a Pastorale, a Marcia, an Aria, a Waltz, a Scherzo, a Chorale with recitatives, and a spirited Finale.

Technical Challenges

Posing few technical challenges, this work is well within the abilities of young intermediate students. Second trumpet, horn, and trombone ranges are very limited in span, but low register dynamic, staccato, accent, and projection challenges can be difficult. A tongued b'-g'' leap and occasional slurred e''-g'' figures complicate an otherwise effectively manipulated, comfortable first trumpet range. Triplet eighth- and dotted eighth-sixteenth-note rhythms in the Allegro and Allegro Vivo variations (Marcia, Scherzo, Finale) result in moderately difficult trumpet, horn, and tuba dexterity ratings. With elementary whole- and quarter-note rhythms prevailing, accurate second and third position differentiation is the only dexterity challenge of note in the trombone part. The second-seventh combinations in the Marcia should not be a problem, as the composer provides an option for a fourth position octave substitution. Frequent tongued and slurred fourth, fifth, and sixth leaps require a fair degree of embouchure flexibility, but with the exception of isolated trumpet and horn leaps, all such figures lie in comfortable playing ranges. Articulations vary according to the style of each variation, and consequently performers must be proficient in a variety of staccato, marcato, legato, and detached styles. There must be a clear distinction between the crisp staccato of the Marcia and the light, playful staccato of both the Scherzo and the Finale. The detached sostenuto style of the opening thematic statement is similarly quite distinct from the very smooth legato style of the Chorale. The two-note slurred patterns in the Finale and Waltz are quite playful. Tenuto markings in the Waltz are used to imply a light rhythmic or melodic emphasis, while staccato markings in the solo recitatives imply a slightly detached style. A heavy staccato style is used in the trombone recitative. Between the Aria and the Waltz, a slight break will be required to prepare the straight mutes in the lower three parts. Muted e', d', and c' pitches in the second trumpet and horn parts will need to be carefully controlled. Although the sustained adagio and lento passages of the Aria and Chorale may pose some very minor endurance challenges, changing styles, adequate rests, and effective melodic writing prevent stamina from being an important prerequisite.

Musical Challenges

With contrasting melodic styles and tempi being the basis of each variation, Divisions' most significant musical challenge rests in the interpretation of each variation's style (Pastorale, March, Aria, Waltz, Scherzo, Chorale, etc.) in terms of articulations, rhythmic feel, tempo, and melodic timbre. The harmonic vocabulary is also challenging, characterized at one time or another by appoggiatura dissonances, modal harmonies, fifth sonorities, stagnant plagal progressions, modern harmonic extensions, and colourful modulations. The Bartokian exploitation of two vibrant sonorities (b-flat -C#- f; c-e-g-b) in the Aria is particularly challenging, although the sense of an F tonal centre is never completely lost. Despite some modal inflections, chromatic nuances, and modified sixth, seventh, and octave leaps, melodic intervallic structures are generally easy to hear. The simple two- and four-bar phrases of the original theme are combined and extended in various ways throughout the variations. In the later variations, where the melodies bear little audible resemblance to the original theme, and where overlapping imitative textures are featured, phrase lengths become irregular. All irregularities, however, are clearly marked. Except for cadential rallentandi and ritardandi, tempo and metre are consistent within each section. Rhythms in the thematic statement, Waltz, Scherzo, and Finale are relatively elementary, occasional ties, syncopations, and one hemiola figure (Waltz) being the only exceptions. In the last section of the 6/4 Pastorale, there must be a distinction between the prevailing three-plus-three metric groupings (i.e.|dotted-half + dotted-half) and the contrasting two-plus-two-plus-two groupings (i.e., half + half + half). The triplet eighths and dotted-eighth + sixteenth melodic patterns of the Marcia must be similarly distinct. The lento melodic patterns in the trumpet part are the only challenges of note in the Aria. Rhythmic challenges in the Chorale recitatives include the triplet eighths and dotted-eighth + thirty-second + thirty-second patterns. The composer allows the option of improvisation in these recitatives, and as much as possible, students should be encouraged to make their own contributions.

Ensemble Challenges

Balance of melody and accompaniment parts is an important consideration in each variation, but if dynamics are carefully observed, the only difficult sections will be the weakly scored modal cadences. Blend is difficult to achieve on long-tone cadential progressions, on staccato accompaniment patterns, and on merging and overlapping melodic motives. In terms of rhythmic co-ordination, care will be required on the hemiola figure in the Waltz and on the accompaniment patterns involving a quarter- or eighth-rest. Tempo changes between variations will require considerable rehearsal, as will the non-metric Chorale recitatives. Cadential ritardandi and rallentandi can also be challenging for less advanced students, as the moving or lead voice frequently changes mid-way through the progression. The transitions between the Chorale sections and the recitatives must be fluent, as must the movement of melodic ideas from voice to voice. Since phrasing is clearly marked in all parts, phrasing challenges are minimal. There must, however, be some awareness of an intent that extends beyond the short groupings, particularly in the Pastorale and Aria. If the performers have had little experience with modern harmonies, intonation will likely be a concern throughout. Passages of special concern include the muted section of the Waltz, the intense dissonance of the Aria, and the weakly scored modal cadences.

Pedagogical Value

Despite its modern harmonies, intermediate performers should find Divisions both enjoyable and instructive. Technical challenges are quite limited, and musical challenges demand active creative and interpretative involvement. The recitatives in the Chorale provide an excellent opportunity to introduce improvisation. Performers can begin by varying the written solos using some of the melodic and rhythmic techniques exploited in the composition's variations, and then move progressively towards more original efforts. Divisions will also encourage the development of a large articulation and timbre vocabulary that is sensitive to musical style.

 

NICHOLSON, GORDON G.

PASTORALE

Instrumentation: Trumpet in B-flat, Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba (Bass Trombone)

Source: CMC-T

Duration: 3'30"

Level: Medium

Status: Score and Parts

Date: 1969

Ranges

Trumpet in Bb: f#' - g#

Horn in F: g#' - f#''(g'')

Trombone: g - f# '

Tuba: G- c'

Rolling melodic lines, and relaxed quartal and simple bi-tonal harmonic progressions effectively capture the peaceful atmosphere of the rural scene depicted in this elegant Pastorale.

Technical Challenges

Of moderate technical difficulty, Pastorale is well-suited to the abilities of intermediate level students. Ranges are relatively limited and of moderate difficulty. The only notable exceptions are the c' tuba figures, the isolated g'' horn figures, the delicate f#'' and g#'' trumpet entrances, and the long trombone phrases Iying above c'. Andantino eighth- and quarter-note rhythms pose no significant dexterity challenges, although changing accidentals require third valve proficiency and secure second, third, and fifth positions. Scalar, low register sixteenths in the tuba part will require rehearsal for a clear distinct sound. Wellwritten, rounded melodic lines minimize the flexibility challenges associated with the ascending and descending melodic fourths and sixths. However, given the soft dynamics and smooth legato articulations, trumpet and horn approaches to f'' and g" by an interval of a fourth may be quite challenging. Legato articulations should be consistent in both pianissimo and fortissimo dynamic contexts. Accent and tenuto markings must be carefully interpreted within their cadential contexts as subtle musical and rhythmic nuances, not as distinct articulation changes. Although this composition is quite short, rests are infrequent, and consequently, less experienced intermediate performers may find the broad legato lines and high register trombone phrases fatiguing.

Musical Challenges

Essentially a chorale prelude, this Pastorale is a melodic and harmonic extension of its opening cantabile theme. Potent melodic appoggiaturas, and quartal and simple bi-tonal progressions play a significant role in this extension, but its direction is largely a product of a graduated dynamic crescendo and dramatic accelerando. Third and fourth melodic intervals present no significant challenges. Despite regular phrases of moderate length, the broad melodic lines are musically challenging, requiring considerable dynamic shaping and sustained intensity. Solo anacrusis figures and overlapping cadences pose additional phrasing challenges. Ties, dotted rhythms, sixteenth-note tuba patterns, and changing 4/4, 3/4, and 2/4 metres are minor rhythmic challenges in an otherwise simple temporal context. The pastoral style suggests an andantino tempo, but specific markings are not provided at the beginning, or where the accelerando leads to the climax. Crescendi and decrescendi (pp-ff) matching the rounded melodic contours are the only other expressive challenges.

Ensemble Challenges

This composition's mildly contrapuntal chorale textures and broad melodic lines require careful balancing, perfect intonation, and a well-blended, warm brass tone at both pianissimo and fortissimo dynamic levels. Phrases must be smoothly connected, particularly where solo eighth-note anacrusis figures of varying lengths are involved. Rounded phrase contours must be consistent throughout the quartet with carefully graduated dynamic shadings. A strong bass line and effective orchestration minimize the intonation challenges arising from the quartal and bi-tonal progressions, but special care should be exercised on the extended crescendi and decrescendi so that the general ensemble pitch does not wander.

Pedagogical Value

An appealing and expressive composition with limited technical demands, Pastorale would be an excellent work for intermediate performers with little ensemble experience. The broad cantabile melodies and simple contrapuntal textures are useful for developing ensemble balance and blend, and for working on intonation and phrasing. Rehearsal could similarly enhance the development of a wide dynamic range and a smooth legato articulation style. Other applications might include the introduction of changing metres, and quartal and bi-tonal harmonies.

 

RIDGWAY, ALAN

SOLILOQUY

Instrumentation: Solo Trombone, 2 Fluegelhorns, Horn in F

Source: Composer

Duration: 3 ' 15 "

Level: Medium (Easy-Medium Ensemble, Medium Solo Trombone)

Status: Score and Parts

Date: 1978

Ranges

Fluegelhorn 1 in C: b-flat - e-flat''(c")

Fluegelhorn 2 in C: e-flat' - c''

Horn in F: c' - c"

Trombone: g - b-flat'

Soliloquy is a monothematic jazz ballad for solo trombone and trio. Warm harmonic progressions and relaxed jazz syncopations result in a conversational and introspective tone.

Technical Challenges

The limited technical demands of this short composition may be divided into two categories: the easy to moderately difficult challenges of the ensemble parts, and the moderately difficult to difficult challenges of the solo trombone part. The second fluegelhorn and horn ranges are very easy. The first fluegelhorn range is more demanding, but extends beyond c" on only one occasion. Flexibility challenges are similarly inconsequential, limited to isolated fourth and fifth middle register lip slurs. The infrequent ensemble eighth + sixteenth + sixteenth and sixteenth note patterns ( quarter = 76) require some valve dexterity for speed, but awkward combinations are minimal. Jazz articulation syllables may be helpful in realizing scme of the moderately difficult mixed staccato and marcato patterns in the three accompaniment parts. The smooth legato style of the solo trombone part requires impeccable slide and tongue co-ordination. Scoop entrances must be carefully interpreted within this context. Tone control, endurance, and flexibility are significant concerns in the solo trombone part, especially where approaches to f' and g' involve intervals of a fifth or sixth, and where the tessitura is consistently high. Less advanced trombonists will find it difficult to sustain a warm mellow tone throughout the length of the composition. Both the fluegelhorn instrumentation and trombone tenor clef notation will be limiting factors when the composition is undertaken by less advanced performers.

Musical Challenges

Soliloquy is a repetitive, monothematic composition brought to life through colourful accompaniment patterns and a rhythmically energetic Interlude (based on a rhythmic variant of the theme) that precedes the final thematic repetition. The theme's intervallic structure is quite simple, but its introspective character requires a sensitivity to the underlying harmonic progressions and syncopated rhythmic nuances. In B-flat major throughout, the harmonic vocabulary is typical of much popular show music, featuring a variety of seventh chords in colourful, yet subdued, progressions. Dissonant melodic ninths and thirteenths are characteristic and do much to sustain forward momentum. The theme's regular four-plusfour-bar phrases may usually be further subdivided into complementary two-bar motivic groupings. On occasion, three-plus-one groupings are encountered. The relaxed syncopations in both the melody and the accompaniment voices are quite challenging. Difficult sixteenth-note patterns in the Interlude are complicated by ties and contrapuntal textures. More advanced trombone soloists might consider varying the melody on each repetition and experimenting with subtle tempo modifications or melodic liberties. Subtle dynamic shadings within phrases can greatly enhance the expressive impact of the melody, while ensemble dynamic contrasts and graduations between repetitions can support the harmonic momentum.

Ensemble Challenges

Intermediate ensembles will encounter few significant ensemble challenges. Moving accompaniment parts must be projected and shaped to give direction to sustained melodic tones. The moving sixteenth-note patterns that pass from voice to voice similarly must be brought out. Subtle marcato attacks will ensure that each entrance in the staggered passages is clearly audible. The staggered passages also require rhythmic precision, as do the accompaniment patterns and the cadences. The ensemble must be further prepared to respond to any expressive rhythmic liberties taken by the soloist. If articulations are carefully matched in the accompaniment parts, a smooth, mellow brass blend should not be difficult to achieve, especially given the horn and fluegelhorn instrumentation. The close position harmonies and limited ranges pose few intonation challenges, though the melodic orientation of the trombone part and the bass orientation of the horn part may pose some conceptual challenges on the more unstable harmonic progressions. Inexperienced performers will also find it difficult to play the fluegelhorn parts consistently in tune.

Pedagogical Value

This ballad provides an opportunity to feature a strong intermediate trombonist and to introduce the fluegelhorn to intermediate trumpeters. The popular idiom and ensemble parts are well-suited to the interests and abilities of relatively advanced students at the grade six, seven, and eight levels. The ballad style permits much expressive freedom in the trombone part. Soliloquy is also useful for teaching syncopated rhythms and mixed articulations.

 

RIDGWAY, ALAN

THREE'S COMPANY

Instrumentation: Trumpet in Bb, Horn in F, Trombone

Source: Composer

Duration: 2'40''

Level: Medium

Status: Score and Parts

Date: 1983

Ranges

Three's Company is a spirited dixieland chart that contrasts a lyrical trombone theme with energetic melodic and rhythmic riffs. Chromatic nuances and backside syncopations add colour and account for much of the chart's vigour.

Technical Challenges

The limited technical demands of this composition make it well-suited to less advanced intermediate performers. Ranges are of moderate difficulty with judicial and thoughtful use of upper and lower range extremes in all but the low horn passages. Eighth-note valve combinations are for the most part relatively simple, but occasional 1-2,2-3,1-3,0 and 0,1-23,1-2 combinations will prove demanding at the half = 88 tempo. Sixth position f will smooth out the bass line where rapid movement between f and c is required. A secure fifth position is also required. Moderate tessituras minimize the flexibility challenges associated with the fourth, fifth, and descending sixth, eighth-note melodic leaps. Notable exceptions are the marcato d''-g'' and slurred f''-a' trumpet patterns, the slurred c'-f and f-c' horn patterns, and the octave c-c' trombone patterns. In many respects, the mixed articulation patterns present Three's Company's most significant technical challenges. Jazz articulation syllables may aid the interpretation of rhythmic patterns. The muted trumpet and trombone figures require considerable mute facility and a clear aural image of the "do-it" combined tlmbre and articulation colour. Sixth to first position glissandi are the only other special effects. While this relatively short composition is in no way strenuous or fatiguing, there are no rests beyond the melodic quarter rest and eighth rest patterns.

Musical Challenges

Three's Company's jazz idiom accounts for its principal melodic, phrasing, rhythmic, and harmonic challenges. It is cast in a simple da capo ABA form in which the B section features a Iyrical trombone theme and development of the A section's melodic and rhythmic riffs. In both sections, these riffs must be phrased to create regular four-bar phrases. Short rests must be felt as integral melodic components, not as melodic breaks or interruptions. In all instances, the colourful harmonic progressions enhance the sense of phrasing. The F and Bb major tonalities are brought to life through a variety of implied seventh chords and chromatically altered triads. Jazz voicings, and syncopated melodic and harmonic rhythms accentuate the punch of many of these progressions. Interpretation of the jazz/swing feel and other idiomatic nuances is the most significant rhythmic challenge. Crescendi, decrescendi, and block dynamic contrasts can be effectively used to colour otherwise melodically repetitious passages.

Ensemble Challenges

Of moderate difficulty, this composition's ensemble challenges are very much a product of its jazz idiom and mildly independent melody and accompaniment textures. If any sense of melody and accompaniment integration is to be achieved, articulations and rhythmic feel must be consistently interpreted throughout the ensemble. This is especially important where homorhythmic accompaniment parts are sparse and involve entrances on the backside of the beat. Correct articulation and rhythmic interpretation within the jazz idiom also affects balance, particularly in passages involving staggered eighth-note patterns and sustained ensemble tones. The movement of motives from voice to voice must be fluent and smooth, giving the impression of a single melodic line. Solo anacrusis patterns must be played with conviction if momentum is not to be lost between phrases. Intonation will be poor on the isolated ensemble staccato and marcato eighth-note patterns if tone quality is sacrificed for short durations and accented attacks. Special care is required on the unison and octave muted figures.

Pedagogical Value

Three's Company provides fine training for young intermediate performers in jazz/swing rhythmic interpretation, jazz articulations, phrasing, and ensemble integration.

 

SURDIN, MORRIS

HERITAGE III (Ukraine)

Instrumentation: 2 Trumpets in B-flat, Horn in F, Trombone (f-attachment)

Source: CMC-T

Duration: 9'

Level: Medium-Difficult

Status: Score and Parts

Date: 1979

Ranges

Trumpet I in B-flat: c' - b''

Trumpet 2 in B-flat: b - f#"

Horn in F: g - g''

Trombone: Bb, - g '

Exploring the musical folklore of the Ukrainian people who migrated to Canada at the turn of the century, this composition is one of a series of suites considering Canada's cultural heritage. The first movement is a song about a guitar-like instrument called the Bandura. The other three movements are based on folksongs by Zaremba, Nightingale's Song, Willow Tree Song, and Cherry Tree Song. Like the other works in the Heritage series, each movement is a simple theme and variations.

Technical Challenges

Although this composition is of moderate technical difficulty, first trumpet, horn, and trombone ranges require advanced intermediate students. The first trumpet part generally lies in a comfortable f'-g" range, but octave b'-b'' glissandi and exposed melodic leaps of a fifth and sixth pose significant high register tone and flexibility challenges. Low register trombone B-flat,-F passages necessitate both an f-attachment and a fully developed low register tone. Sixteenth-note scalar approaches minimize the difficulty of the g'' horn patterns. The second trumpet range will not prove challenging for advanced intermediate performers. Provided performers are fluent in concert C major, d minor, and D major scales, sixteenth-note scalar and triadic upper brass figures (first, second, and fourth movements) should not be too challenging. Basic detached, staccato, marcato, and legato tonguing skills are required. Soft dynamics affect the difficulty of the smooth legato articulations in the second movement, and the delicate staccato accompaniment patterns throughout the suite. Staccato patterns are occasionally difficult to control in the second trumpet and horn parts because of low register scoring. Loud dynamics, tempo, and rhythmic context complicate the mixed sixteenth-note patterns in the fourth movement. Endurance is a significant concern in the first trumpet part. Two-, four-, and eight-bar rests provide adequate resting opportunities in the other parts, as long as slight pauses are taken between movements. Trumpet and trombone cup mutes are required in the second movement. Experimenting with mutes in some of the other variations will add colour and highlight melodic and rhythmic contrasts.

Musical Challenges

The tonal, rhythmic, metric, articulation, and melodic variational techniques used in this suite are a paradigm of simplicity. This simplicity is largely a product of the folk melodies on which the variations are based. Ranges rarely exceed a sixth and contours are gently rounded, featuring simple scalar and triadic melodic structures. The supporting harmonic vocabulary is equally simple, being in effect a realization of the implied melodic tonic, subdominant, and dominant progressions. In some of the more daring variations, the vocabulary is expanded to include chromatic passing chords, secondary dominant chords, and pedals. The simple folk melodies also account for the regular four- and four-plus-four-bar phrases, some of which may be subdivided into complementary two-bar groupings. The temporal vocabulary is varied. Metres include 3/4, 4/4, 2/4, cut time, 3/8, 3/2, and 6/8. The 3/8 metre of the Allegretto variation in the first movement must be felt in one with a clearly articulated strong-weak-weak pulse. Challenging rhythmic patterns include the changing on- and off-beat accompaniment patterns, the patterns beginning with a sixteenth-rest, the syncopations resulting from tied note values , and the triplet quarters. The most difficult patterns occur in the closing variation of the fourth movement where the upper two voices are imitated a half-beat later by the lower two voices. A familiarity with Italian stylistic and tempo terms such as ritmo, allegro, animato, pesante, andantino, cantabile, and expressivo will help ensure the correct interpretation of the spirit and style of each variation. Dynamic contrasts between variations (p-f) are similarly important.

Ensemble Challenges

Given that the principal melodic interest is usually found in the first or first and second trumpet parts, the simple melody and accompaniment textures should not present any significant balance challenges. The one exception is the off-set syncopated variation closing the fourth movement where the two lower parts must match the weight and dynamic brilliance of the trumpets. Where two voices move homorhythmically, articulations and timbres must be carefully matched, the rhythms consistently and accurately realized, the harmonies carefully tuned, and the parts equally weighted. The repeated-pitch sixteenth-note patterns in the Ritmo variation of the fourth movement will prove particularly demanding in this regard. The strong bass line and straightforward harmonic progressions should minimize intonation problems. Accompaniment parts must be shaped to match and support the melodic lines, especially where they prepare melodic entrances. Antiphonal one- and two-bar upper/lower brass patterns also pose ensemble phrasing challenges. Tempo changes between sections will likely need rehearsal, as will the interlocking on- and off-beat accompaniment patterns.

Pedagogical Value

Although the variational techniques are not innovative, Heritage III is an effective introduction to Canada's Ukrainian cultural heritage. Exploring the variational techniques used by the composer can demonstrate how tempo, metre, rhythm, and articulations affect style and mood. The varied melodic styles can also develop basic detached, staccato, marcato, and legato tonguing skills.

 

TERSTEEG, HUBERT

ACADIAN FROLICS

Instrumentation: 2 Trumpets in B-flat, Horn in F (Trombone), Trombone (Euphonium)

Source: Composer

Duration: 5'

Level: Medium

Status: Score

Date: Unknown

Ranges

Trumpet 1 in B-flat: c' - g''

Trumpet 2 in B-flat: c' - e-flat''

Horn in F: b - e"

Trombone: B-flat - d'

The mischievous "Un canadien errant" introduces this playful medley of Acadian folksongs. It's ABCDBDE sectional structure highlights a pastoral Waltz and an energetic Hoe Down, two folksongs which together effectively capture the flavour of the Acadian lifestyle. Other featured folksongs include "Meunier tu dors" and the capricious "Oh, mon beau chateau".

Technical Challenges

The medley's limited technical demands are well-suited to the abilities of intermediate students. Repeated g'' marcato articulations and one g-g'' leap are the only significant range challenges in the first trumpet part. Second trumpet, horn, and trombone ranges are within the capabilities of advanced beginning students. Upper register notes are infrequent and almost exclusively approached by step. Changing key signatures and fast tempi (allegro con brio, presto) pose some moderately difficult eighth and eighth-sixteenth dexterity challenges. Chromatic passing notes in slower temporal contexts are the only awkward patterns. Piano and pianissimo ascending fourth and fifth lip slurs in all four parts require support and embouchure flexibility. Isolated first trumpet tongued b-flat'-f'' and g'-g'' leaps will also be a problem for less developed embouchures. Articulations vary with the style of the specific folksong, but are consistent within each section. The Introduction and Waltz are characterized by tied quarter and eighth note patterns, with accented or sforzando cadences. Mixed patterns also mark the Hoe Down sections, whereas "Meunier tu dors" calls for a smooth legato style. The second trumpet; horn, and trombone repeated-pitch staccato patterns in "Oh, mon beau chateau" will necessitate double-tonguing if the presto tempo is strictly observed. Fast tempi, adequate rests, and effective melodic and accompaniment scoring in terms of range result in few, if any, endurance challenges. However, the higher tessitura of the coda will require some stamina, especially in the first trumpet part.

Musical Challenges

Acadian Frolics' sectional structure contrasts rollicking folk melodies and subdued cantabile themes distinct in both tempo and metre. Interchanging major and minor modal scale degrees, and chromatic modulating chords add a rustic flavour to the otherwise straightforward tonal harmonic progressions. The 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 rhythmic patterns are quite elementary, based on standard eighth-, quarter-, and half-note combinations. Young intermediate students will likely experience some difficulties in the 3/4 Waltz sections where the accompaniment patterns are complicated by the quick tempo (stylistically best felt in one). The folk idiom presents few phrasing challenges, but some simple interpretation may be required where imitative textures, repeated-pitch accompaniment patterns, and anacrusis quarter-notes are featured. Dynamic shadings will enhance the sense of phrase and line, particularly in the slower cantabile sections. Other dynamic challenges include the pp to ff dynamic range and the subito contrasts between sections and melodic repetitions.

Ensemble Challenges

Although of moderate difficulty, tempo and metre ehanges will require considerable rehearsal, espeeially when moving to and from the 3/4 Waltz sections. Mood and style changes must similarly be immediate and consistent throughout the ensemble. The simple and carefully orchestrated melody and accompaniment textures pose few balance and blend challenges. The accompanying trumpet rhythmic patterns in "Meunier tu dors" must be very light and well-blended, particurarly on initial attacks. The staccato rhythms in the Hoe Down sections must also be precise and light throughout the ensemble. In the imitative passages, matching of note lengths, articulations, and phrase contours requires much attention to detail. Careful listening is required to co-ordinate cadential allargandi and fermate. Intonation ehallenges are minimal, but eare should be taken not to overblow the Hoe Down seetions or to lose support in the soft and sustained slow seetions.

Pedagogical Value

With eaeh of the quartet members featured as a soloist, this is an excellent composition for younger intermediate students. It is a good study in contrasting melodic styles, articulations, dynamics, and tempi. The relatively simple technical and musical idiom provides ample opportunity to develop a sense of ensemble, especially in terms of tempo changes, balance, blend, and phrasing.

 

TERSTEEG, HUBERT

SUITE FOR BRASS QUARTET AND TIMPANIES

Instrumentation: 2 Trumpets in B-flat, Horn in F (Trombone), Trombone, 2 Timpani (Movements 1,3: B-flat, f; 2,4: B-flat, e-flat)

Source: Composer

Duration: 8'

Level: Medium

Status: Score and Parts

Date: 1974

Ranges

Trumpet 1 in B-flat: f' - g''

Trumpet 2 in B-flat: g - e''

Horn in F: b-flat - d''

Trombone: A - c# '

 

This four-movement suite opens with a lively Fanfare featuring colourful chromatic harmonies and alternating 4/4 and 3/4 metres. The second movement is a subdued Chorale, while the third movement is a playful Scherzo. The last movement, a brilliant March built on duple and triplet eighth-note rhythms, returns to the alternating metres of the first movement, giving a sense of an integrated and cohesive whole.

Technical Challenges

Throughout this composition, articulation contrasts demand a fair degree of musical sensibility. Accents range from an energetic punch to a light rhythmic and melodic emphasis. Staccato styles range from crisp fanfare patterns to light accompaniment patterns. Soft dynamics and mutes make the Chorale's detached legato articulations technically difficult. The first movement's sixteenth-note fanfare patterns (quarter = 156) necessitate double-tonguing or rapid single-tonguing, both of which may be beyond intermediate level performers. The trombone patterns are particularly difficult, as the chromatic movement demands exceptional slide and tongue co-ordination. Other dexterity challenges include the vivo eighth-note patterns in the first movement and the allegro (quarter = 126) triplet figures in the fourth movement. Rapid stick alternation is required in both the opening and closing movements on the timpani sixteenth-note patterns, but movement between drums is limited to slower rhythmic contexts. The first trumpet's range will be moderately challenging for an intermediate performer, but the ranges of the other three voices are within the capabilities of less advanced performers. Flexibility challenges are limited to the occasional c''-g'' and d''- g'' leaps in the first trumpet part. Although the sustained second movement presents some endurance challenges, effective manipulation of the specified ranges, changing styles, and adequate rests in the other three movements make this composition suitable for intermediate level students.

Musical Challenges

Each movement is cast in a simple sectional form where the middle contrasting section is developmental in nature. Recurring metric structures, thematic allusions, and staggered textures link all four movements together. Melodic themes, characterized by simple intervallic patterns with some chromatic nuances, are challenging only in terms of their contrasting styles and characters. The fragmentation of melodic ideas in the Scherzo introduces an element of timbre and poses minor phrasing challenges. Staggered entrances, broad cantabile lines (Chorale), and antiphonal eight-bar phrases (Fanfare) are the other phrasing challenges of note. In developmental passages, the tonal harmonic idiom is characterized by chromatic modulations, and diminished seventh and major seventh chords. The more relaxed quality of the cantabile and dolce sections may be attributed to their characteristic mixture of tertian and quartal harmonies. Rhythmic challenges vary from movement to movement. In the first and fourth movements, homorhythmic figures, changing rhythmic patterns, and alternating 3/4 and 4/4 metres are difficult. On occasion, changing accent patterns result in simple polymetric effects (6/8 in quartet; 3/4 in timpani). The quick Waltz tempo (con brio, dotted half = 66) is the principal rhythmic challenge in the Scherzo. The Chorale features elementary eighth- and quarter-note rhythms only. Stylistic contrasts and articulation interpretation are the principal expressive challenges, but dynamics also play an important role.

Ensemble Challenges

Despite the moderately simple musical idiom, ensemble challenges are demanding for intermediate level performers. The homorhythmic Fanfare and March patterns require impeccable balance, blend, and intonation. Chromatic sixteenths in the trombone part must be projected through the brilliant repeated-pitch patterns of the three upper voices. Antiphonal brass and timpani dialogue needs to be balanced so that the quartet and timpani sonorities compare in weight. Staggered imitative textures require not only careful balancing and fluency, but also matched articulations and phrase contours. A warm, homogenized blend in the second movement demands consistent and carefully co-ordinated detached legato articulations. A strong timpani bass line minimizes potential intonation challenges, but diminished seventh chords and chromatic progressions will likely need careful tuning. Care should also be taken to ensure that accented shot notes do not distort intonation or blend. Other ensemble challenges include tempo changes between movements and sections within movements, fermate, and the dramatic accelerando closing the work.

Pedagogical Value

Although melodic development is cliched, this composition is excellent for developing an articulation vocabulary sensitive to musical style. It provides fine training in rhythms, alternating 4/4 and 3/4 metres, varied accent patterns, and simple polymetric textures, chromatic patterns, double-tonguing, sectional forms, and thematic contrasts. Concentrated rehearsal will develop a fully integrated brass quartet in all facets of technique, blend, balance, rhythm, and intonation. The Suite also provides an opportunity to give a percussionist musical experience that moves beyond the simple accompaniment parts of many band pieces at this level.

 

CROSS-REFERENCED COMPOSITIONS

APPLEBAUM, LOUIS

QUEEN'S FANFARE AND ANTHEM

Instrumentation: 2 Trumpets in B-flat, Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba Source: CMC-T

Duration: 1'30''

Level: Difficult (Difficult Fanfare, Medium Anthem)

Status: Score and Parts

Date: 1973

The Fanfare really requires high school performers, but intermediate ensembles having little ensemble experience and a strong first trumpeter will find the Anthem alone accessible and worthy of study. For further detail see p. 35.

FORSYTH, MALCOLM

HO-YO TO HOYT

Instrumentation: 2 Trumpets in C, Trombone

Source: CMC-T (Composer)

Duration: 45''

Level: Difficult

Status: Score Only

Date: 1978

Although the C trumpet instrumentation, high trombone alto tessitura, and multipletonguing articulations suggest senior high school performers, the other technical and musical challenges are well within the capabilities of intermediate students. For further detail see P. 59.

 

KULESHA, GARY

DIVERTIMENTO FOR BRASS QUARTET (QUINTET)

Instrumentation: Trumpet in B-flat, Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba

(2 Trumpets in B-flat, Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba)

Source: CMC-T

Duration: 6 ' 10''

Level: Difficult

Status: Parts Only

Date: 1977

Although range and associated dynamic, articulation, and endurance challenges suggest high school performers, technical challenges are not excessively difficult, and musical challenges are well within the abilities of intermediate performers. Consequently, advanced intermediate performers with some previous ensemble experience may find this work worthwhile to study and perform. For further detail see p. 75.

SURDIN, MORRIS

HERITAGE II (British Isles)

Instrumentation: Trumpet in Bb, Horn in F, Trombone, Bass Trombone (Tuba)

Source: CMC-T

Duration: 7 ' 30 ''

Level: Difficult

Status: Score and Parts

Date: 1978

Range and endurance challenges in the first two movements make this suite of English folksongs a technically difficult work. However, the last two movements are well-suited to the needs and capabilites of advanced intermediate students, and could easily be performed in isolation, as each movement is an independent theme and variations. For further detail see p. 89.

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