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Topic: Elegy for Concert Band

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  1. #1

    Elegy for Concert Band

    About a month ago I had the pleasure of hearing some wonderful music at St. John's Cathedral here in Milwaukee. One of the pieces was a beautiful organ work called Elegy by G.T. Thalben-Ball. I kept thinking how nice Elegy would sound transcribed for concert band. By the next day I had ordered the music and over the past few weeks I have worked on the transcription.

    Elegy is about 4 1/2 minutes long and would not be a difficult piece to perform. I've included links to the music and to a PDF of the score for those who would like to follow along. Enjoy.

    Gary A.

    https://www.box.com/s/6squ432i466i7zpua690

    https://www.box.com/s/0bqnhm8iy3f3zhigk7y5
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  2. #2

    Re: Elegy for Concert Band

    Oh my goodness, Gary. What a magnificently lovely piece of music this is!

    The notes might not seem difficult, but pulling off a great performance here is more difficult than it may seem. That's why I'd bill this as a grade 2 or so, saying that it's accessible to bands with considerably more experience.

    At about a grade 2, you might consider judiciously adding some cues--maybe baritone sax cues for the bass clarinet in spots, alto saxophone and tenor saxophone for the horn parts. I said "judiciously" here.

    The divided euphonium part might be a detraction to publication because smaller bands might not have that. I'd take a close look at this and perhaps rescore it for one euphonium part. That said, some bands certainly do have more than one euphonium player. Same with the cues--I suggest adding cues because bands weak in the horns and bass clarinet areas, and other spots, would welcome cued parts.

    Also, I realize you're creating a mood here, and a lovely one at that. But you might consider adding a snare drum and bass drum part. It appears now that the piece is scored for three percussionists. That's fine, but what does a band director do with the three or four others during rehearsals?

    In any case, this is really a lovely piece, and I do like the arrangement and rendering. And speaking of rendering, is this Finale/Sibelius? Aria? Sonar or other DAW?

    Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  3. #3

    Re: Elegy for Concert Band

    Hey - It's Gary Aubry! Super to see you here, Gary - Especially since you've brought this wonderful music with you.

    It is such a stirring, beautifully written piece. It's easy to see why you were so taken with it when you heard it at the concert recently. I find your arrangement to be simply sublime. AND thank you for posting the score. Now that I'm getting more into notation, I'm very interested in seeing people's work. I hope more people follow suit and start posting scores when they have them to go with their music posts.

    I know your life is crazy upside busy, so really appreciate your visit to the Forum, Gary.

    Thanks again for the really nice music.

    Randy

  4. #4

    Re: Elegy for Concert Band

    Quote Originally Posted by gogreen1 View Post
    Oh my goodness, Gary. What a magnificently lovely piece of music this is!

    The notes might not seem difficult, but pulling off a great performance here is more difficult than it may seem. That's why I'd bill this as a grade 2 or so, saying that it's accessible to bands with considerably more experience.

    At about a grade 2, you might consider judiciously adding some cues--maybe baritone sax cues for the bass clarinet in spots, alto saxophone and tenor saxophone for the horn parts. I said "judiciously" here.

    The divided euphonium part might be a detraction to publication because smaller bands might not have that. I'd take a close look at this and perhaps rescore it for one euphonium part. That said, some bands certainly do have more than one euphonium player. Same with the cues--I suggest adding cues because bands weak in the horns and bass clarinet areas, and other spots, would welcome cued parts.

    Also, I realize you're creating a mood here, and a lovely one at that. But you might consider adding a snare drum and bass drum part. It appears now that the piece is scored for three percussionists. That's fine, but what does a band director do with the three or four others during rehearsals?

    In any case, this is really a lovely piece, and I do like the arrangement and rendering. And speaking of rendering, is this Finale/Sibelius? Aria? Sonar or other DAW?

    Art
    I'm finally getting back to responding to your wonderful suggestions, Art. This really helps me to focus on what needs to be fine tuned. I definitely agree this would fit as a grade 2. Yes, it does sound easy, but some bands may not have either the experience or the sufficient players. At the same time I like to challenge players, to go beyond what they think they can do. That said, doubling some of the instruments judiciously in cues like Bass Clarinet in the Bari Sax is an excellent suggestion. The Alto Clarinet and the English Horn especially are already doubled in other instruments. As for the Euphonium/Baritone part, that's actually the 1st and 2nd trombone parts. I'll have to look to see what other parts I could double off of and, at the same time, give the Euphonium/Baritone part a chance to stand out.

    Yes, I was trying to create a mood which was why I chose the percussion parts I did. The Timpani seemed to fit perfectly as well as the Cymbals and Glockenspiel. But I agree there should be more for the rest of the percussionists. I'm not sure about a snare, but I had thought of the bass drum. I had also thought of adding triangle and/or chimes. I will finally have some time on Monday to look this score over and make some changes.

    As for the rendering, this was done in Finale 2012. I didn't have the time to render it in Sonar X2 Producer, much as I wanted to. I find I just don't have the time and energy during the week to work on music like I once did. If you are curious you can PM me and I'll be glad to explain. This score took longer than it normally would for me as I'd spend 15 minutes here, 10 minutes here, over the course of a month. I love doing transcribing and is one of favorite things to do. I've gotten a lot of my inspiration from listening to band transcriptions from my professor college James Curnow, as well as listening to the technique used in Morten Lauridsen's transcription of Magnum Mysterium and Eric Whitaker's Lux Aurumque. Incredible works. I don't know if I will ever be able to match their expertise, but I will continue to strive for that same kind of creativity.

    Thank you again, Art, for all your excellent suggestions. It really helps me a lot. I'm so glad you enjoyed this piece. Take care.

    Gary
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  5. #5

    Re: Elegy for Concert Band

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hey - It's Gary Aubry! Super to see you here, Gary - Especially since you've brought this wonderful music with you.

    It is such a stirring, beautifully written piece. It's easy to see why you were so taken with it when you heard it at the concert recently. I find your arrangement to be simply sublime. AND thank you for posting the score. Now that I'm getting more into notation, I'm very interested in seeing people's work. I hope more people follow suit and start posting scores when they have them to go with their music posts.

    I know your life is crazy upside busy, so really appreciate your visit to the Forum, Gary.

    Thanks again for the really nice music.

    Randy
    Hey my friend Randy!

    So glad you enjoyed this piece. It sure was wonderful transcribing it. Even Karen was totally surprised when I told her what I was going to do. She gets such a kick out of listening to music I create in my "man cave" (as she calls it!). She is so much an inspiration for me and I don't mind telling her that. From your comments I am glad to see I got across what I wanted, a "stirring, beautifully written piece" and "simply sublime." When I heard the original organ piece something about it just sounded like the perfect piece for concert band. I was really surprised it had never been transcribed before.

    By the way, this was rendered in Finale. Just didn't have the time to render it in Sonar, but I hope to after I've made the changes Art suggested. It's always nice to have another band person here to make such useful suggestions as he did. And your kind words mean so much to me, Randy. I always look forward to what you have to say. I'm glad to see the score is a big help for you. By the way, this piece was so much easier than the Hanson stuff. Way easier!

    Yes, life is kind of crazy right now. Hopefully, after I go through the medical procedure I need in August I will be on the road to having a "close to" normal life.

    Take care, my friend.

    Gary
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  6. #6

    Re: Elegy for Concert Band

    Gary: Concerning alto clarinet and English horn, I probably would not include these instruments in a grade 2 piece. That said, if you do include at least one of them, make it the English horn, but definitely cue it. If the euphonium staff divides for euphonium and trombone, I'd make two staffs--one for trombone and one for euphonium. Grade 2 music will be played mostly by kids, so one instrument per staff is best. Art
    Arthur J. Michaels
    https://www.facebook.com/composerarthurjmichaels

    Finale 2000 through Finales 25.4 (currently using Finale 25.4)
    Garritan COMB2, GPO4, GPO5, Audacity 2.1.3
    Core i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, Windows 10 Home Premium x64
    Dell 2408 WFP, 1920x1200
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    M-Audio AV-40 monitors

  7. #7

    Re: Elegy for Concert Band

    Quote Originally Posted by gogreen1 View Post
    Gary: Concerning alto clarinet and English horn, I probably would not include these instruments in a grade 2 piece. That said, if you do include at least one of them, make it the English horn, but definitely cue it. If the euphonium staff divides for euphonium and trombone, I'd make two staffs--one for trombone and one for euphonium. Grade 2 music will be played mostly by kids, so one instrument per staff is best. Art
    Great advice!
    ~Rodney

  8. #8

    Re: Elegy for Concert Band

    Quote Originally Posted by gogreen1 View Post
    Gary: Concerning alto clarinet and English horn, I probably would not include these instruments in a grade 2 piece. That said, if you do include at least one of them, make it the English horn, but definitely cue it. If the euphonium staff divides for euphonium and trombone, I'd make two staffs--one for trombone and one for euphonium. Grade 2 music will be played mostly by kids, so one instrument per staff is best. Art
    Sound advice, Art! Thanks!
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  9. #9

    Re: Elegy for Concert Band

    There's a wonderful balanced sound throughout the whole piece. I love the chord progression and overall tone.

    That would be a big hit in a concert setting and the score looks great. Seeing a lot more scores popping up in the listening room than ever before, it's great to see. (I'll have one myself soon).
    Website:
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  10. #10

    Re: Elegy for Concert Band

    What a lovely piece! Thanks for posting the score, as well. I come from a British brass band background, and know very little about the concert band lineup. It was educational for me to see how you scored the music.

    Thanks again
    Owen
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    My website: www.tunespace.net

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