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I've been reading about Wagner tubas and I've been wondering how I can determine whether I want to use it in a composition. I know the purpose of the instrument is to bridge a gap between the timbre of conical and cylindrical brass, but listening to demonstrations has left me wondering why I couldn't just use a tenor tuba or regular horn in F in its stead. Some composers such as Wagner (obviously), Respighi and Holst seem to favor it for certain solos, but to me, it doesn't have much of a notably unique sound. In fact I've heard that Wagner tubas and tenor tubas are essentially one and the same, except that one has valves whereas the other has pistons. Has anybody scored for this instrument, and how do you compare it to various other brass instruments that sound similar to it? In other words, why favor this one over another, or have it as an extra in the orchestra?
Watching the SBS1 TV doco1 on Franco Zeffirelli yesterday made me think about the comparisons and contrasts between the life of a writer, a composer, and that of a producer and director. Of course, I became especially interested in how his creative activity was similar or different from mine. Each writer, each producer and director, each music composer has a different story, a different way to look at their creativity and the creative process. Zeffirelli will soon be 90 and I will soon be 70; he was an entre deux guerres baby and I was a war baby; he has achieved fame and wealth; I am an unknown, financially comfortable but far from wealthy. My wife would call us poor. -Ron Price with thanks to 1”Franco Zeffirelli,” SBS1, 2:30-3:30 p.m., 5 February 2011. Comparisons are odious,1 but inevitable in life, and more inevitable for some of us as we journey life’s path….Your mother died when you were 6 & mine when I was 33; you went for the theatre in your 20s and I went for university & a teaching career……..You went for Catholicism and I went for the Baha’i Faith!* Homosexuality seemed to be in your bones while the heat of sex turned me into heterosexuality—and both of us kept our sexual-style all our lives…By the 1990s and 2000s you were getting knighted and receiving so many honours and I was retiring from decades of work as a teacher…..... I wish you well, Franco, in your remaining years on the mortal coil that remain with Jesus in the very depths of your spirit as Baha’u’llah is in mine: two men, one spirit.2 1 Comparisons are odious, Proverbs 141; comparisons are odorous, Much Ado About Nothing, act 3, sc. 5; Sir John Fortescue (c. 1394-1476), comparisons are odious. De Laudibus Leg. Angliæ. Chap. xix. 2 Franco Zeffirelli, Wikipedia, 6 February 2011 Ron Price 6 February 2011 Updated for: Young Composers Music Forum on: 19/4/'12
I understand this topic may be asking something vague (I'm not asking anything specific yet I am looking for something specific), so please do feel free to add whatever musical knowledge you have to it. It's very simple I think, to grasp these short snippets, but I find these two to be rather intelligent and enjoyable to listen to, if I could only extract more influence from something of their length. I would love to get some more ideas as to similarities or possible influences. I'd much appreciate your help and like for you to listen. These two pieces are pretty mainstream as far as classical music, but I regard here really only the specific passing of notes within the specified time frame. The first (1:42-1:48) is the quick passing of the french horn/trombone and accompaniment beginning at 1:42 and finishing only several seconds later, its unfortunately so short The same theme is introduced and modeled similiarly only some bars before it, played on the flutes, though the horns definitely give an interesting feel. I would really simply just love to hear more in this style and know what this 'repetitive, rhythmic, joyous, perhaps jolly' component may have been influenced by. I may already have weak ideas, but the purpose is for you to hopefully show me something I don't know about. It could be obvious. The second (0:11-0:23) faintly resembles the compositional intelligence of the first, except it is more melodically drawn and developed with less 'effect', the melody that begins after 0:11 and stops at 0:23, Many of you probably know it In some sense it does feel like a melody of simple introductory chance, though there is a certain intelligent purposefulness to the melody and harmony, in of course its simplicity, that seems supernatural or elite to me, In both sudden cases, which I'm sure is a common feature of musical subjectivity. (Let me remind myself of a similar horn sound from the first, in this soundtrack that is not so within the 'pop' harmony at 3:14 , a track of which interestingly the first clip I posted has a similar rhythmic feel to, in the guitar-to-strings hay dance of sorts at the beginning of the third clip: 0:21, which I quite enjoy. Feel free to comment on these segments too.. Not directly related but gives some notion.)Please feel free to comment here at any rate of similar discussion, or any ideas about just one of these. Thanks for reading/listening to my simple pleasures.