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maestrowick

Boanerges for Tuba/Euph Ensemble

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I stumbled across this piece I wrote some time ago for Velvet Brown's studio.  I can expand it...eventually :grin:

Mark 3:17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”)

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"General arranging rules: For intervals that go below the second line Bb, intervals of a 3rd or smaller are to be avoided. Options can be - not doubling chord tones, or thirds; or simply leaving out the 5th of the chord in some instances."
Very fast writing in the beginning and subsequent sections... possible, but definitely pushing it...
Great slow section! You're really good at those, I've been seeing. 
I'm not sure I agree with your crossed voices you have in your euph's a lot, especially when some are held notes and some are moving passages. Maybe that'll just be a balancing issue, but it'll sound quite awkward at some times.
Interesting work; cheers!

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I have to disagree with a couple of things here:

On 1/12/2017 at 10:01 AM, Monarcheon said:

Very fast writing in the beginning and subsequent sections... possible, but definitely pushing it...

Not really. This is well within the capability of a good tuba and euphonium players. Circus marches from the turn of the 20th Century have more demanding parts, especially for euphonium. See The Melody Shop, The Circus Bee, Entry of the Gladiators (when played at circus tempo), Barnum and Bailey's Favorite, etc.

On 1/12/2017 at 10:01 AM, Monarcheon said:

I'm not sure I agree with your crossed voices you have in your euph's a lot, especially when some are held notes and some are moving passages. Maybe that'll just be a balancing issue, but it'll sound quite awkward at some times.

Crossed voices are nearly unavoidable in writing for low brass ensemble. The compass of the instruments involved is such that the bass clef will inevitably get crowded with more than a two voices. The physical nature of brass playing precludes keeping some voices above the staff for a protracted period to create more open spacing. Therefore, it's not a matter of if the composer crosses voices, but how well they do it. Most of the time, the voice crossings are pretty clean. They're either two different lines with distinct identities or a single active line moving through a static chord.

That said, the voice crossing at m. 17, beat 3 does sound awkward to me with the B-natural and B-flat colliding. In fact, to my ear, the B-natural in that figure is a trouble maker all the way through m. 23, because it's either colliding directly with a B-flat or causing a cross relation with one. Even in the contemporary idiom, it was jumping out at me.

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@Monarcheon, I totally get that these are the basic rules. Just offering a different perspective as a low brass player who has played a lot of tuba choir lit over the years. That said, certainly hope you wouldn't get a lower grade if you break the rules in an intelligent, defensible fashion.

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Hi. Thanks for uploading the score, too. I love to see it while listening.

I have no idea about writing for brass, but I think it must be quite difficult to do it for an ensemble like this one, where the instruments share the register.

To me it sounds very nice and I don't care about the rules. I mean, we should know the rules, and then they can be broken. Why not? I don't understand... OK, the result can be bad, but not necsessarily. I had a teacher who told me (when I completed the courses on Harmony): "Now forget all the rules and write music".

 

Greetings!

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On 2/8/2017 at 2:02 AM, Adrian Quince said:

 

That said, the voice crossing at m. 17, beat 3 does sound awkward to me with the B-natural and B-flat colliding. In fact, to my ear, the B-natural in that figure is a trouble maker all the way through m. 23, because it's either colliding directly with a B-flat or causing a cross relation with one. Even in the contemporary idiom, it was jumping out at me.

 

Man, thanks for that note.  I know you wrote that some years ago but I have rewritten and expanded that tune and I wanted to make sure I caught everything.

Thanks for catching that!!!!  The piece is even crazier now! :) 

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On 2/8/2017 at 2:02 AM, Adrian Quince said:

Crossed voices are nearly unavoidable in writing for low brass ensemble. The compass of the instruments involved is such that the bass clef will inevitably get crowded with more than a two voices. The physical nature of brass playing precludes keeping some voices above the staff for a protracted period to create more open spacing. Therefore, it's not a matter of if the composer crosses voices, but how well they do it. Most of the time, the voice crossings are pretty clean. They're either two different lines with distinct identities or a single active line moving through a static chord.

 

 

Can I quote you on that? WELL SAID!

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11 hours ago, maestrowick said:

Can I quote you on that? WELL SAID!

 

Hahaha I suppose my mindset is the problem when you're stuck composing for younger groups for most of your career. 
Also when voice crossings actively hurt your grade in school lol

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On 12/29/2019 at 3:14 PM, Monarcheon said:

Hahaha I suppose my mindset is the problem when you're stuck composing for younger groups for most of your career. 
Also when voice crossings actively hurt your grade in school lol

 

 

I have updated this piece! I'll post soon!

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