Tritone

Unleash The Magic Brass Quartet. A little taste of magic.

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Here is a little taste of a project I have been working during Christmas break and it is finally well almost finally done just need to add a few defining points with crescendos, staccatos, and volume markings. So enjoy this little taste magic as the song will be released on my channel in a day or so. Oh and please leave your responses on how it sounds. Thanks and Enjoy 

 

Video is in the link.

 

https://twitter.com/TritoneTrumpet/status/690413734922194944

 

Trumpet

French Horn/Mellophone

Trombone

Tuba

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As a tuba and trombone player, this is super cool and the sample video sounds good! I'll definitely check it out when you post the whole video! 

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(edited)

The Trumpet and french horn parts sound great. However, the trumpet part is really high during this whole section; is it that high the whole piece? If so, no one's going to want to play it. Same thing with the trombone, except the opposite; it's all really low. You should take advantage of the higher range of the trombone; after all, you already have the tuba as a bass voice and that doesn't need doubled.

 

There are a few instances where note spelling is an issue. For example, on the last measure of the first page, you have an Eb going to a C#. I would write that as either Eb to Db or as D# to C#. See, the interval is a whole step, but when the player sees a third, they're going to expect it to be a minor or major third, not diminished. I'm not sure if this makes sense to you, but trust me, it needs to be one of the two examples.

 

Also, I don't think you have the right key signature; it seems to be in C# minor, at least this section does. However, since C# minor's not the easiest key to play, I might would transpose it up to D minor, and adjust the accidentals to match.

 

Finally, the tuba part (and trombone for the first section) is really boring. Try to think of a better rhythm for the tuba to play than straight quarter notes; throw some dots in there to mix it up.

 

In conclusion. It sounds cool now and is kinda fun to listen to. However, it could be better, and with a little creativeness on the bass parts, can be made to sound pretty dang cool.

 

EDIT: I just wanted to mention that your french horn writing's not too shabby here. It's got good range, with only a few high notes, and shouldn't tire out the player too much.

 

And I just thought of one more thing to mention. You need to give the players places to breathe so that they don't choose a space to breathe and end up breathing at the wrong time; incorporate breathing spots into what you're writing. You can do this by imagining you're playing the part and trying to figure out where you need to breathe. PROTIP: Tuba takes a LOT more air than the other instruments.

Edited by Bass Concerto

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The Trumpet and french horn parts sound great. However, the trumpet part is really high during this whole section; is it that high the whole piece? If so, no one's going to want to play it. Same thing with the trombone, except the opposite; it's all really low. You should take advantage of the higher range of the trombone; after all, you already have the tuba as a bass voice and that doesn't need doubled.

 

There are a few instances where note spelling is an issue. For example, on the last measure of the first page, you have an Eb going to a C#. I would write that as either Eb to Db or as D# to C#. See, the interval is a whole step, but when the player sees a third, they're going to expect it to be a minor or major third, not diminished. I'm not sure if this makes sense to you, but trust me, it needs to be one of the two examples.

 

Also, I don't think you have the right key signature; it seems to be in C# minor, at least this section does. However, since C# minor's not the easiest key to play, I might would transpose it up to D minor, and adjust the accidentals to match.

 

Finally, the tuba part (and trombone for the first section) is really boring. Try to think of a better rhythm for the tuba to play than straight quarter notes; throw some dots in there to mix it up.

 

In conclusion. It sounds cool now and is kinda fun to listen to. However, it could be better, and with a little creativeness on the bass parts, can be made to sound pretty dang cool.

 

EDIT: I just wanted to mention that your french horn writing's not too shabby here. It's got good range, with only a few high notes, and shouldn't tire out the player too much.

 

And I just thought of one more thing to mention. You need to give the players places to breathe so that they don't choose a space to breathe and end up breathing at the wrong time; incorporate breathing spots into what you're writing. You can do this by imagining you're playing the part and trying to figure out where you need to breathe. PROTIP: Tuba takes a LOT more air than the other instruments.

Thanks for the critiquing. The trumpet part is not that high throughout the entire song and  it is that high near the end for Twilights voice and even then I am going to drop it down an octave and put an optional 8va there, as for the trombone part it is low near the end because from what it sounds in the music that is what it calls for, but I can change it. Now for the tuba I am trying to match the quartet up with the song as much as I can and it's not all that boring, but as I said before I can change it.

 

Key is one of the things I always have trouble with so thanks for the help on that and I am currently going through the song changing it to match up. 

 

Once again Thanks for the critiquing and I am currently going through the song right now adding breath marks raising/lowering pitches and what not and will give an update sometime tomorrow. 

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I am trying to match the quartet up with the song

 

That's your biggest problem right there. See, since you're doing an arrangement of a pre-existing song, yes, it needs to be based off of it, but you're free to add your own embellishments. It's kinda like when a band covers your favorite song. If it's exactly the same as the previous version, it's not worth listening to.

 

Really stupid example: Compare

to

 

They're obviously the same song, but Steam Powered Girrafe changes their version up in texture, lyrics (slightly) and style to make it their own. Yes, you're making it a brass quartet instead of the woodwind scoring it was designed for, but it needs to change further away from the original to make it your own.

 

As for helping you with key signatures, here are a few tips that can help you.

 

1: Find the first and/or last chord of the section you're trying to figure out the key of. In this case, it's a Db, but it's open (no 3rd), so we don't know if it's major or minor.

 

2: Find all the notes you can and see if you can make a scale out of them. In this case, there's A, Db, E, Eb, F#, Ab, C#, and C. Now, that's quite the hodgepodge of notes (and part of that is because you're doing strange things with accidentals, which I mentioned before), so let's combine the enharmonics and organize this a bit, in sharps because why not? Choose one, and if it doesn't work, choose the other. I'm starting with sharps because there's an E natural, so anything with flats is unlikely since E's the second flat. So, there's C, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A. Well, scales usually start with a major second, so we need to play around with the order until we find the right one. So: C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A, C. That's a C# harmonic minor scale. Let's try other things, just so nothing gets left out. D#, E—oops, half step. Moving on. E, F#, G#, A, C, C#, D#. That's almost an E major scale, and since C# minor is the relative minor of E, that reinforces our earlier observation. Next, there's F#, G#, A, C, C#, D#. Almost an F# minor scale, but the C throws it off. Next: G#, A—half step. Next: A, C—minor third, not a second. So, C# minor's the only real possibility here.

 

DISCLAIMER—IN MORE COMPLEX MUSIC, 2 IS NOT A GOOD OPTION.

 

3: Do you know what a cadence is? If you do, skip this paragraph. If not, read on. Cadences are a huge part of what marks sections of music; they're when the key is most firmly established. There are four types of cadences, with a few subsets. First: Authentic Cadence. It's a V-I motion. For example, a G chord going to a C chord (since G is the fifth note in the scale, the G chord is the V chord in the key of C.). Next: Plagal Cadence. That's a IV-I motion; that is, F to C. Next: Half Cadence: Anything (usually ii or IV)-V motion; that is, any phrase ending on a G chord in the key of C. Finally, Deceptive Cadence: V-vi; that is, G to a minor in the key of C.

 

So why are cadences so helpful? Well, if you look for cadences, you can figure out what key that section of the piece is in. In your example, the last two measures of the piece are an authentic cadence; a V-i motion ending on a Db chord—Ab is the fifth note in the Ab scale. Therefore, the section is in the key of Db.

 

As for whether it's major or minor? Well, the last chord REALLY should have an E somewhere to establish that. But, since we don't have that, we can look through the rest of the piece. There are three notes that change from C# major to C# minor (I'm switching to C# here because Db minor doesn't exist; no one wants to play in 8 flats.): E# to E natural, A# to A natural, and B# to B natural. Note that the B# and A# don't always change, but the E# does. So we can look through the song and look for any Es and see if they're sharp or natural. Or, rather, look for any Fs to see if it's major, or any Es to see if it's minor. There are lots of Es and not a single F, so it's definitely in C# minor.

 

When all else fails, though, use your ear. You can usually figure out if it's major or minor ;)

 

If you wanna keep talking music, feel free to add me as a friend and I'll do my best to guide you via private messaging.

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