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Topic: First Suite For Band

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Penfield (Rochester), NY

    First Suite For Band

    I am reposting this four movement composition for concert band/wind ensemble. In part because I have made some significant improvements in the use of GPO/JABB in the rendering of the Finale 2006 score. And because some forum members have wanted to hear other works for band that I have written.

    I will list a few of the improvements made since the original posting of my work some months ago by Gary Garritan. And I can't wait to try this all over again with the Concert Band library!!!!

    1. Using the Instrument List, create a new, unique Instrument name and Channel number for each staff line. That way a unique instance of an each GPO/JABB instrument can be created for each staff, giving better overall clarity and control.

    2. Position the instruments spatially (left to right) with the Pan column of the Instrument List as they would be placed in an actual live performance. This has the combined benefit of adding realism with spatial location of the sound sources. It also provides more clearly speaking instruments than with the default of all at the center setting.

    3. I created separate staff lines for snare drum, cymbal, bass drum. I also created a struck percussion instrument staff for use by glock, xylophone, tubular bells, etc. This allowed much better control over each staff separately and gave more clarity than when I used the Basic Orch Percussion instrument. I used accent and marcatta marking to give the percussion instruments more snap and presence when needed. Before doing that some of the instruments were barely audiable or didn't speak clearly.

    4. Use the GPO French Horn 2 written in the Bass Cleff for the Baritone/Euphonium parts instead of the Tuba. It speaks clearer and sounds more like the real thing to my ears.

    5. Use the JABB Bass TBone Open for the Bass Trombone instead of the GPO Bass Trombone. I found the GPO bass trombones to be to raspy for my taste (sorry Gary G).

    6. Use the JABB for the saxophone parts not found in GPO. I use the Tenor Sax 2 as it is the least jazzy sounding of the tenors for my concert band tastes. Alto Sax 1 and 2 are fine as well as Bari 1.

    7. I like to use the Human Playback setting of Standard or Classical for most band music.

    Below are the program notes and links to the mp3 files for each movement of the Suite.





    Notes on “First Suite For Band”

    First Suite For Band is a four movement work based on three tone poem-like movements and a summation finale. The first three movements each express feelings that are invoked by the theme of the subject title. These subjects are stated musically within each movement and again in the successive movements, both directly as well as inter-twined within the subject theme. The Finale brings all of the subject themes together into an energetic conclusion.

    I. The Dawn: The sun rises majestically over the horizon, casting its brilliant glow onto an awaking world. A rush of movement confirms this as creatures, great and small, stir to a new day of life. Even the plants turn towards the warming sunlight as if in a lifting of arms in praise to the Creator of Life.


    II. Simple Love: The feeling of love can be shared between two people in ways as simple as exchanging glances, hugs and speaking kind words. The theme is a simple one, basic, almost folk ballad-like. And yet it grows rich and mellow, glowing, stated first as a solo and then in duet, interchanging parts and then in chorus as together the couple walk off holding hands.


    III. The Storm: This movement is divided into three distinct sections. Each project an image before, during and after the ensuing chaos.
    * Summer Day
    Imagine a southern summer day, sweltering hot, scorching to the point that even the leaves on the trees cry out for relief. A sad spiritual is heard in the distance, grows to a crescendo and then fads again as dark clouds gather on the horizon.
    * The Storm
    A fanfare heralds the approaching storm, moving in its relentless might, with the only certainty being its violent uncertainty. Underlying rhythm and theme move in unsteady relationship to one another. Lightening flashes, thunder roars and the fury of the storm is here. For an odd moment a whimsical melody breaks through the din only to be beaten down again by the driving wind and rain. The storm eventually runs its course, moving on as dispassionately as it arrived.
    * Aftermath
    All of nature breaths a sigh of relief and offers a prayer of thanksgiving for the life giving water that remains behind. The opening theme is restated under the choral theme as the music reaches its conclusion.


    IV. Finale: A rousing fanfare provides the opening from which follows the themes and variations from the three preceding movements. A lively entrance ensues. A dance begins, oddly enough, with a statement out of the depths of the storm. It develops into in the form of a tarantella underlying at first the basic theme of Simple Love presented in half time and then again in a grand and jubilant chorus. The fanfare is restated and the work reaches an exciting conclusion.


  2. #2

    Re: First Suite For Band

    Well worth reposting, Gary!

    Very significant strides in improving the rendering --
    and the blow-by-blow description of what you did
    is most useful and interesting.


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