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Topic: trombone versus euphonium ?

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  1. #1

    trombone versus euphonium ?

    Hi, I have a question about arranging concerning trombone versus tenortuba ( euphonium)
    Both belong in the tenor voice. But what's the difference between them. They both have the same range. Are they usual unisono ? If not, is the tromb. placed beneath the tuba, or vice versa ?

  2. #2

    Re: trombone versus euphonium ?

    Quote Originally Posted by koella
    Hi, I have a question about arranging concerning trombone versus tenortuba ( euphonium)
    Both belong in the tenor voice. But what's the difference between them. They both have the same range. Are they usual unisono ? If not, is the tromb. placed beneath the tuba, or vice versa ?
    Hi...I am the resident euphonium "expert" here...the euphonium is NOT a standard member of the orchestra...and when it does appear in the orchestra, it is featured prominently...think MARS or DON JUAN or BYDLO (oft played on tenor tuba though that's not the best choice). A typical orchestra has two tenor trombones and a bass trombone. One of the trombone players usually doubles euphonium or a specialist is brought in, or they let the tuba player play it (mistake!)

    In the brass band, the principal euphonium is second in importance only to the solo cornet. It is the main carrier of tenor/baritone melody. Trombones are the only cylinder instruments in the brass band so are often used for punctuation or timbral respite from all the conical sound.

    In wind bands, the euphonium is the "cello of the band," again a melodic instrument and the principal brass tenor/baritone melody voice. Unfortunately, a lot of composers use it only as a reinforcement of the tubas up an octave.Please do NOT do that if you write for wind ensemble; I know you won't

    There are two principal differences between trombone and euphonium that composers and arrangers should keep in mind:

    1. EUPH IS CONICAL, TROMBONE IS CYLINDRICAL--that's why the euph has that mellow sound and the trombones are piercing. Euph can blend well with horns (indeed, I play the horn parts on euph in my brass quintet) and can blend well with woodwinds if needed. But it isn't good at aggresive "punctuation." Trombones are more cutting in their tone and have a much more forceful sound then the euph. The bass trombone is the most pungent wind instrument in terms of sheer decibel power, so write with caution for bass trombone. They blend best with other brass in the wind band.

    2. VALVES vs. SLIDE: While somewhat obvious, it has some other implications, namely in production of legato. Euph can do virtuoso speed passages that trombone can't and has a wonderful legato. Trombone legato is a bit more difficult to produce; indeed, it is a quasi-legato accomplished by very quick--almost imperceptible--stoppage of the air by the tongue as the slide moves--this gives legato instead of gliss or portamento.
    Many trombone players think they can just pick up a euphonium and play it using proper fingerings; the dead giveaway of a trombone player is the inability to produce true legato on the euph. Likewise, on those fortunately rare occasions when I play trombone, I have too much gliss between notes.

    SO: If you have lots of small notes and/or a legato, singing melody or general CANTABILE playing, choose the euphonium. If you need noble, strident, punctuating, forceful playing, choose trombones.

    But remember that euphonium is 99+% a BAND instrument, for better or for worse.

    Hope this helps; sorry I didn't see it sooner!
    Jim
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  3. #3

    Re: trombone versus euphonium ?

    Snorlax pretty much said it all. I just wanted to add that this shouldn't discourage you from never ever ever using trombones in a lyrical, legato part. When they are featured in this fasion, they often have a sound that is smooth but still somewhat brassy. A great example of this is the trombone soli part in Chorale and Shaker Dance. This is more of a concert band feature, but it is sometimes used in orchestral pieces. Also, in Jupiter trombones and euphoniums double on the main melody at times, so you can listen to that if you want to see when they would double.

  4. #4

    Re: trombone versus euphonium ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cransworth
    Snorlax pretty much said it all. I just wanted to add that this shouldn't discourage you from never ever ever using trombones in a lyrical, legato part. When they are featured in this fasion, they often have a sound that is smooth but still somewhat brassy. A great example of this is the trombone soli part in Chorale and Shaker Dance. This is more of a concert band feature, but it is sometimes used in orchestral pieces. Also, in Jupiter trombones and euphoniums double on the main melody at times, so you can listen to that if you want to see when they would double.
    Of course I agree, but I gotta give the euph a little push . So few people even know what a euphonium is...I always jump at the chance to advocate it!

    Jim
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  5. #5

    Re: trombone versus euphonium ?

    I also have something to add. Don't assume Euphonium and Baritone are the same thing!!! They are not. Like the trombone, a baritone is a cylindrical instrument, even though it has a more mellow tone to it. So many composers and arrangers write parts for Baritone which would be better suited for euphonium, and vice versa. In the Brass Band, Drum Corps, and sometimes the concert band world, the two instruments are seperated, but more often than not they are considered the same thing.

    Please never do this, for the love of all euphyness.
    Anthony Abruscato

    "There are only two types of music: Love Songs and Pirate Music"

    HP Pavillion dv6171cl w/ Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, 2 GB Ram, 250 GB 5200 RPM HD + an external 300 GB HD. GPO, JABB, CAMB, Sibelius 5.1, Finale 2008a, and a demo copy of FL studio.

  6. #6
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    Re: trombone versus euphonium ?

    The above replies emphasise to me the remaining gap in the GPO academy, which is notes on how to write for concert band and wind ensembles. There are few more attractive sounds than that of a wind band playing sweet music in the open air on a summer's day.

  7. #7

    Re: trombone versus euphonium ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dermod
    The above replies emphasise to me the remaining gap in the GPO academy, which is notes on how to write for concert band and wind ensembles. There are few more attractive sounds than that of a wind band playing sweet music in the open air on a summer's day.
    I agree wholeheartedly - and band and wind ensemble is so much more as well!

    Snorlax nailed it for you, and I'll add my little bit:

    The best experience for this sort of orchestration problem is live experience with live ensembles. Join or audit a community band group or call the local high school / college to see if you could sit in the back during some rehearsals - making notes of what instrument does what sound that grabs you.

    I might suggest a critical viewing and listening to the movie "Brassed Off." Although recordings and movies only go so far. Experience in how these instruments behave in live performance is the best experience. You might be amazed at how many community groups are in your area.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

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