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  1. Staff of Car Talk

    OK, this is WAY off the tuba-euphonium topic, but a person needs to laugh now and then. If you ever listen to the NPR show Car Talk and heard the end credits, you may have already gotten a chuckle from the clever names they come up with for their staff. A few examples are:

    Dyslexic Rock and Roll Music Critic: Roland Rock

    Elvis Impersonator: Amal Shookup

    Emergency Preparedness Director: Ron Lykell

    Creative Director: Drew A. Blank

  2. Aaron Tindall Website Now Online

    There is a new tuba/euphonium site online now, made for the tuba and euphonium artist Aaron Tindall. Aaron is currently a Doctoral student in Tuba Performance at Indiana University. His site is early in its evolution, but there is already some great content in the audio section. Here is a list of the MP3 files available for playing:

    John Stevens: Salve Venere, Salve Marte for Solo Tuba (tuba)Steven Daverson: Mangled Snarl [World Premiere, RNCM Commission] (euphonium)Martin Ellerby: ...
  3. Music Appreciation 101, part 7: The Valve Trombone

    I have always been fascinated with the valve trombone. My first instrument was cornet, then I changed to euphonium. It was several years later that I learned to play trombone. Obviously, learning to change pitch with the slide instead of valves was a challenge. The slide certainly gives one access to some nice effects, but it is darned hard to play a chromatic scale! Well, eventually I toughed it out and learned how to play trombone.

    During the All State festival one year we went ...
  4. Music Appreciation 101, part 6: A Glass Euphonium?

    Readers of this blog certainly have a clear idea what a euphonium is. Granted there is some confusion about the difference between euphonium and baritone, but our conceptions are pretty much in the same neighborhood.

    However, there is an instrument that predates the baritone/euphonium by about 50-100 years. It was invented by Ernst Chladni and consisted of glass tubes of different lengths. It operated on the same principal that causes crystal glasses to ring when someone rubs ...
  5. Knowing When to Breathe and When Not To Breathe

    Wind players must always deal with the issue of breathing. Actually, all musicians must breathe in order to stay alive, but for wind players and singers our breathing must be fit around the music. This is fairly easy in many solos in quite difficult in others.

    A common tendency with low brass players is to take too many breaths because we are trained to take in air whenever we have the chance. While this is good practice, one has to be careful not to disrupt the musical flow while ...
  6. New Tuba CD Review: Nick Etheridge, Once Clear Call

    Nick Etheridge

    One Clear Call - New Music with Tuba

    This album is part of a larger project by the gifted tubist Nick Etheridge to record a variety of music that features tuba. He is not limiting himself to the usual concerto-type, sonata-type, or variations-types of compositions, but rather is using creative arrangements and compositions to create many different moods and textures. On this recording the instrumentation uses mixed ensembles including (on different tracks) ...
  7. Music Appreciation 101, part 5: Brass without Valves

    As I look over the euphonium discussion topics on my forum I see a lot of talk about valve action and valve oil. But in the early days of brass instruments, this was not a problem because the first brass instruments had no valves. I'm leaving trombone out of this discussion because I think most readers are very familiar with the instrument already.

    Early French horns were made with no valves, for example. They usually had various crooks (like our tuning slides) that could be used ...
  8. Dynamics within the Dynamics

    Many players I hear don't seem to be very concerned with really observing the dynamics written on their music. Sections marked p are usually played somewhat softer and those marked f are played louder, but the range is not large and the in-between dynamics are not well defined. And when they encounter a ff or pp they don't seem to make a full effort. I nag my students about it and myself as well - it's all too easy to get lazy if we aren't careful.

    But let's make the challenge ...
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