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Thread: Performance mutes

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Sturgis, South Dakota
    Posts
    758
    My thinking on mutes for euphoniums (and tubas for that matter) for actual performances - They suck! All of them. I don't plan on sticking a mute in my euphonium for any performance. I think it is silly for any composer to write in a muted part for a euphonium or tuba. Call me radical or whatever, I see no purpose whatsoever in muting a euphonium or tuba.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone, Edwards T396-A Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YSL-891Z Jazz Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  2. #12
    Yeah, sticking a mute in a euphonium (or tuba) is like putting ketchup on ice cream.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  3. #13
    eh, the right repertoire where the composer knows what they are doing muted euphonium can be really effective. I can think of several recent brass band test pieces where euphonium mutes, especially cup and bucket mutes are used to really excellent effect to get amazing textures and timbres you just couldn't achieve any other way.

    with regards to straight mutes, the metal ones like the wick are good if you need a metallic sounding mute. I like the trumcor for most things. the peter gane is excellent too but I think the trumcor has a little nicer sound.
    --
    Barry

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,877
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    eh, the right repertoire where the composer knows what they are doing muted euphonium can be really effective. I can think of several recent brass band test pieces where euphonium mutes, especially cup and bucket mutes are used to really excellent effect to get amazing textures and timbres you just couldn't achieve any other way.
    I can imagine this, but haven't actually heard it myself. The few times I've heard pieces with muted tuba sounded contrived -- not to mention the whole project of getting the mute into the tuba and then getting it out again without banging it on the tuba, a nearby tuba, a chair, the floor, etc. At least a euphonium mute is easier to handle.

    Perhaps the proper approach to the use of a tuba mute should be a more military one -- like a crew-served mortar.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  5. #15
    This is a good example, the orchestration is really genius. The section starting at around 8 minutes in is especially good.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oogAGbVuYW4
    --
    Barry

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Sturgis, South Dakota
    Posts
    758
    Well, I suppose if you like the sound and the effect. I just never have liked muting a euphonium or a tuba. Gary is quite right with the tuba. Our last orchestra concert called for a muted tuba in one part for about 2 seconds. Hardly worth the effort, and the guy playing tuba had a terrible time getting the mute in and out. Just to play a couple notes that he could have just as easily played softly without a mute. He could have really used a "mute installer" to help him as Gary suggested. Mutes just don't do anything for me. I listened to the piece, Barry, and while I admit there are many different sounds, I just don't go for them. I know this is probably just me, but I can't warm up to a mute in a euphonium.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone, Edwards T396-A Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YSL-891Z Jazz Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  7. Check out wallace mutes. They are my favorite by far!

  8. To go with gmerrill's comment about drilling the mute is the cork. Adjusting the thickness of the cork is essential to balancing tone and tuning, and is a trial-and-error exercise that could take several tries to get the player's preference locked in.

    Another purpose of a mute: When you have multiple euphs in community band, but no bassoon: have one player use a mute to cover the bassoon part when it is not doubling other low woodwinds or brass.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,877
    Quote Originally Posted by iiipopes View Post

    Another purpose of a mute: When you have multiple euphs in community band, but no bassoon: have one player use a mute to cover the bassoon part when it is not doubling other low woodwinds or brass.
    Yeah, I've done that with a mute in the bass trombone. Whether it's reasonable depends a lot on the nature of the bassoon passage, of course.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

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