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  1. 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) ...
  2. 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 ...
  3. 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 ...
  4. Music Appreciation 101, part 5: the Double-Bell Euphonium

    The double-bell euphonium was an interesting invention. It is rumored that it was created so that euphonium players could choose between the large, soloist euphonium sound or a smaller, more trombone-like sound. Here is a photo of a double-bell euphonium:

    The horn has one additional valve. In the photo above, the main horn is a 4-valve euphonium. The 5th valve is used only to divert the air to the small bell when desired. Both bells can not be played at the same time. Other models ...
  5. Researching a Performance

    One of the best ways for students to learn how to play well is by listening to great artists perform. Unfortunately, many students seem to listen only to euphonium recordings in preparing some pieces. In the case of music from another medium, such as voice, strings, piano, etc. it can be instructive (and even inspiring) to hear artists outside the warm fuzzy world of the euphonium.

    A terrific piece to prepare is Schubert Serenade D. 957, No. 4, which is also called Standchen. ...
  6. Army Conference - More Photos

    One thing about The United States Army Band's Tuba-Euphonium Conference: you get to see a lot of friends! This year was no exception, plus I got to see some business associates as well.

    This was my first chance to meet face-to-face with Bryan Doughty, one of the owners of Cimarron Music (the company that publishes all my music and books). But, being in a daze apparently, I did not get a photo! Take my word for it - he looks nice and smiles a lot.

    I was a little ...
  7. Trigger Maintenance

    A great option available on a few top euphonium brands is the tuning slide trigger. No euphonium will ever be made that is perfectly in tune. The modern crop is pretty good, but there are still notes that need adjustment. Fortunately, most of the adjustment needed is to bring the note's pitch down, which a trigger can solve.

    Some trumpets/cornets use pivoted triggers instead of a simple pull ring. These are fairly simple because the trigger is pushed very close to the slide it ...
  8. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference, 2008 - Thoughts

    Most readers of this blog probably already know about the annual Tuba-Euphonium Conference held on Ft. Meyer by the United States Army Band ("Pershing's Own"). The event charges no admission, so the only costs are travel, meals, and lodging. Each year they have some great guest artists, master classes, large ensemble concert(s), as well as recitals by military musicians and college teachers.

    One interesting event is the open reading session. Anyone at the conference with a tuba ...
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