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Thread: Trombone part playability

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    Default Trombone part playability

    I suspect that only professional trombonists would be able to cope with this part - would it be easier if the 4 bars of 32nd notes (bars 49-52) were shared among two players to assist with breathing - a bar each perhaps?

    Any ideas? Thanks.

    Tempo: crotchet = circa 76 bpm.



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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    32nd notes per beat at this rapid tempo? Even if the part was divided up it’s still expecting a lot. Why this passage for trombones when it doesn’t look idiomatic for the instrument? 76 bpm seems fast for a phrase such as this on a slide instrument.

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Nov-16-2019 at 14:03.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    32nd notes per beat at this rapid tempo? Even if the part was divided it’s still expecting a lot. Why this passage for trombones when it doesn’t look idiomatic for the instrument?

    Thanks - it's during a busy section so alternatives are a little difficult. It might work better for French Horn...

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Janx, this is not really appropriate for trombones. As Larkenfield says, it is not orchestrally idiomatic in a standard way for a trombone section and it would also need to be divided up between anything that could play it for practical reasons as you suggest unless strings are allocated. I would suggest dividing it between 2 bassoons and perhaps doubling with violas if it is an orchestral setting, or perhaps bassoons and clarinets in some combination. I can't really be specific as I don't know the context, is it meant to be foreground or background and what is the rest of the scoring?
    Depending on what plays it, one way to divide (and a simpler practical one from the players pov) would be to give 2 beats to each player with an overlapping demisemiq at the end of each run. Although violas could play the whole lot, it might be a good idea for better ensemble to likewise split it between them and cellos if resources are available, again with overlaps.

    French horns don't really feel appropriate neither but they could possibly handle it between them if they are top, top players, the horn is not as responsive to fast music as say trumpets because of the mouthpiece and bore. Take it up an octave onto trumpets (divided again) and it would dazzle.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Nov-16-2019 at 14:41.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Janx, this is not really appropriate for trombones. As Larkenfield says, it is not orchestrally idiomatic in a standard way for a trombone section and it would also need to be divided up between anything that could play it for practical reasons as you suggest unless strings are allocated. I would suggest dividing it between 2 bassoons and perhaps doubling with violas if it is an orchestral setting, or perhaps bassoons and clarinets in some combination. I can't really be specific as I don't know the context, is it meant to be foreground or background and what is the rest of the scoring?
    Depending on what plays it, one way to divide (and a simpler practical one from the players pov) would be to give 2 beats to each player with an overlapping demisemiq at the end of each run. Although violas could play the whole lot, it might be a good idea for better ensemble to likewise split it between them and cellos if resources are available, again with overlaps.

    French horns don't really feel appropriate neither but they could possibly handle it between them if they are top, top players, the horn is not as responsive to fast music as say trumpets because of the mouthpiece and bore. Take it up an octave onto trumpets (divided again) and it would dazzle.
    Thanks - all good suggestions mikeh375.

    The piece is orchestral but all the instruments you suggest are already busy. I think a possible solution would be to have the two trumpets play it (albeit with bottom note lift because of range).

    They do repeat the phrase up an octave immediately afterwards anyway.

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    Janx, instinct tells me you should should re-score. You didn't say what sort of part it was though so I can't be of any help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Janx, instinct tells me you should should re-score. You didn't say what sort of part it was though so I can't be of any help.
    Sorry - it's a background part. The piece is for full orchestra 2,2,2,2,4,2,3,0,timp(3perc.),strings.

    The violas play the same line as the part in question.
    Last edited by janxharris; Nov-16-2019 at 15:08.

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    Then I'd advise a re-score using less brilliant instruments, trumpets might detract. Best bet are the clarinets, bassoons and violas in some guise/combination at that octave. Make sure the texture is thin enough for the runs to be heard though.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Nov-16-2019 at 15:09.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Then I'd advise a re-score using less brilliant instruments, trumpets might detract. Best bet are the clarinets, bassoons and violas in some guise/combination at that octave. Make sure the texture is thin enough for the runs to be heard though.
    As it is a loud section then the trumpet's brightness might be required.

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    bassoons, celli, viola, bass clarinet, clarinet....for trombones or horns it will come out as a smeary mess...

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