POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba Bookmark and Share

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favorite horn to play or listen to in a Quintet

5/4 contrabass
9
9%
4/4 contrabass
26
27%
3/4 contrabass
16
17%
Small bass tuba
12
13%
Large bass tuba
33
34%
 
Total votes : 96

POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby 58mark » Fri May 12, 2017 2:21 pm

I grew up listening to the canadian brass, so for me an ideal quintet tuba has always been a very small CC. I'm starting to enjoy the sound of an Eb tuba with quintet but it has to be small one with some bite to the sound. I don't like big round tones out of a quintet horn. I think they overwhelmed the other instruments and don't blend well.
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby windshieldbug » Fri May 12, 2017 2:27 pm

Certainly depends on the other instruments used.
With my orchestral brass quintet I use my Marian slant-rotor.
We played large venues and everyone used their large bore orchestral horns.
For smaller spaces/players I used my 184 CC.

Obviously it depends on the spaces and players. :D
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby bort » Fri May 12, 2017 2:41 pm

It depends, but in general, large bass or small contrabass. Not like those are really any different!
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby bloke » Fri May 12, 2017 2:54 pm

honest answer:

- acrobatic parts: F tuba (large...?? small...?? eye-of-beholder issues are involved, here.)
- renaissance ensemble transcriptions, and some pieces written for the American Brass Quintet: cimbasso
- ceremonies: C tuba. I'd use a 4/4 if I had one (which I will in the future), but I only have a 5/4 right now.
- pieces that stay in the low range (playing really fast stuff) for a while, or are in really crappy keys for F tuba: C tuba
....ex's: I use a C tuba whenever someone asks me to play the Arnold Brass Quintet. I ~sometimes~ use a C tuba when someone asks me to play the Empire Brass arrangements of some of the "West Side Story" tunes...depending on which tunes.

Tonight, I'm hired out to play a ceremony, so it will be the C. Brass quintets are hired to play at ceremonies as substitutes for wind bands...so I use a large-belled instrument ( :arrow: for special applications) in a brass quintet for the reason that you state that you avoid using a large-belled (19" bell comp Eb, yes?) instrument in a brass quintet.

I don't (yet) read music notes and play Eb tuba effortlessly enough to consider using one in an ensemble that bases it's performance on reading music. So far, there's been no motivation ($$$$) to increase my Eb tuba note-reading skills to the next (subconscious) level.

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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby 58mark » Fri May 12, 2017 3:22 pm

Here's the basis for my question. Yesterday my son graduated college (!!!!) and there was a quintet (hired top shelf pros, not college kids) playing the ceremony. Great group with a great tuba player (friend of mine, member here)

I couldn't see the group, only hear them, but the tuba sound was so thick it was out of balance with the other players. I don't think he was overplaying, it's just the horn had so much body that it sounded like a tuba feature every time the group played. That horn had a ton of carry, and I was on the other side of the arena from them.

I asked him through a Facebook message what horn he was playing, and he said it was a yamaha 631 Eb, which isn't too large, but has a very round sound.

That's what go me thinking of Canadian Brass and the small CC with that has less broad essential to the tone, but more of a punchy bite. It may not sound great by itself, but it might be the best blend for the rest of the ensemble

I've never used my tiny Eb with a quintet, but I'm going to try it soon
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby 58mark » Fri May 12, 2017 3:25 pm

Here's the venue
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby THE TUBA » Fri May 12, 2017 4:10 pm

Depends on the lit, the gig, and the player. I can think of great examples of pretty much all sizes of horns working in the quintet setting. There are even several examples of big 6/4 CC horns working really well when played by great players.
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby bloke » Fri May 12, 2017 4:40 pm

My specific-to-tonight answer just changed:

I'm playing a doctoral hooding tonight, and commencement exercises (same university) tomorrow afternoon.

Because of my boat gig (which ends at noon), I only have 1-3/4 hours to get to the out-of-town university, and inside the arena down to the arena floor (with all the streets on the campus being "parking lots")...

...so I'm taking my John Packer F tuba tonight (a fine instrument, but less expensive), because one of the other members of the quintet has offered to take it from me tonight and schlep it to the commencement tomorrow - so I can park MANY blocks away (hopefully, where traffic is moving) and fast-walk myself to the arena tomorrow, sans tuba.

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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby opus37 » Fri May 12, 2017 5:54 pm

I play in two brass quintets with my Kanstul 66. I use a Sellmansberger Imperial mouthpiece with gives me just enough brightness to balance the group. The venues are most commonly reasonably large church sanctuaries. This is what works for me.
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby Mark E. Chachich » Fri May 12, 2017 10:52 pm

Long ago when I played tuba and string bass for most of my income I used my MW 32 CC for quintets. I like the 4/4 contrabass tuba for quintets.

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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby Bob Kolada » Fri May 12, 2017 11:24 pm

I'd choose a small, gutsy bass tuba as my default with a 4/4 Bb and something cylindrical as backups.
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby KiltieTuba » Fri May 12, 2017 11:36 pm

What - no option for a 6/4? I've used it!
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby PaulMaybery » Fri May 12, 2017 11:56 pm

It does depend on the sound to which the quintet subscribes. Canadian vs Empire is a classic dichotomy. Empire's desire was to keep the orchestral brass timbre and not scale things down to a smaller chamber sound. The Canadian's chose a lighter lyrical sound. Philip Jones Quintet featured John Fletcher on a Besson Eb (large bell). I heard the PJ group on many occasions over a 15 year period and spent 10 weeks one summer hanging with them in the UK. Big sound and a huge dynamic range from PP to FF. Back in the old days, Harvey used his smallish Conn CC with the early NYBQ and Toby followed up with the Mirafone 184. But yet Bob Nagel was one of the loudest trumpet players on the planet. So even though NYBQ was relatively lyrical, it was not a diminunative sound.You would realize that when you were 10 feet away. I heard the Chicago Brass 5tet with Gene using a pretty large CC Hirsbrunner (not the CSO York) on the Malcolm Arnold and the balance was fine. Both Torchinsky and Bill Bell used their King CCs in quintets and the balance was fine. Bear in mind that this was back in the 50s and 60s when these quintets were simply orchestral brass players in a small ensemble setting. They listened and balanced and projected their signature sounds. But while Fletcher did play a huge Holton 6/4 CC, and 5/4 CC Rudi, when in the PJBE he always played on the Eb Besson, but with a huge sound.
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby edsel585960 » Sat May 13, 2017 12:55 am

I just use the old standby. Olds 99. Nice sound and not too large.
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby bloke » Sat May 13, 2017 8:59 am

yeah...so (again) this was not my first-choice instrument for this gig (doctoral hooding, last night), but since (today) I'm "flying low" (Valentine 1 clipped to the visor) back to this same (Ole Miss) campus (after my Saturday boat gig at the foot of Beale St. in Memphis), the trombone player is being SUPER-nice, and is carrying the tuba (for me) to the commencement venue.

Because I BARELY have time to get there, I'm parking off-campus and riding my bike into the campus to the arena (as the entire campus will be a virtual parking lot, as once commencement will have just ended, and the one we're playing for will soon be starting...)

...and I don't want to shoulder my trombone friend with responsibility for anything more expensive than my John Packer F...

...so - sometimes - there ~are~ extramusical reasons for choosing an instrument to play in a quintet. :|

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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby Steve Marcus » Sat May 13, 2017 12:42 pm

PaulMaybery wrote:I heard the Chicago Brass 5tet with Gene using a pretty large CC Hirsbrunner (not the CSO York) on the Malcolm Arnold and the balance was fine.


I heard the same quintet play John Stevens' Seasons, and Gene did use the CSO York (well, consider who the driver is...) in a venue much smaller than Orchestra Hall.

I've usually played my 4/4 Nirschl CC, but I've been toying with playing my 983 with quintets.

Think of those gigs where you might have Robert King arrangements with abundant ledger lines below the staff coupled with other pieces with Trombone II parts (no tuba part per se) that should be lighter in texture and certainly in pitch. Never mind current serious compositions for quintet which almost always call for a light bass tuba sound.

Does anyone bring more than one horn to a quintet gig?
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby barry grrr-ero » Sat May 13, 2017 1:31 pm

None. I think brass quintets sound like c__p regardless of what tuba is being used. I won't do them any more unless the pay is good. Dealing with unmusical trumpet players and horn players whose sound gets lost in a muddle someplace, just isn't worth it. Personally, I don't think brass ensembles sound good until you have at least seven voices - preferably 9.
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby Z-Tuba Dude » Sat May 13, 2017 2:05 pm

58mark wrote: ...I couldn't see the group, only hear them, but the tuba sound was so thick it was out of balance with the other players. I don't think he was overplaying, it's just the horn had so much body that it sounded like a tuba feature every time the group played.

Something that you might consider are the acoustics of the "hall". It could just be that is was a bass-boomy environment.
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby windshieldbug » Sat May 13, 2017 2:28 pm

Steve Marcus wrote:Does anyone bring more than one horn to a quintet gig?


I would take my F also if the tessetura called for it, certainly.
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Re: POLL: personal preference for brass quintet tuba

Postby bloke » Sat May 13, 2017 4:25 pm

... so though all of my posts in this thread have been off topic, the bicycle worked! It's funny how cops will force golf carts and cars and everything else to wait in line, but they will not stop bicycles. I made it to the venue with plenty of time to spare, even though I had to get off of the highway one exit too far, because the correct exit was hopelessly blocked with carloads of parents and grandparents.
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