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Tuba and Harp

Postby EMC » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:23 am

Anything out there for tuba and harp that you guys know of? I have a good friend who happens to be a harpist and I'm curious how the timbres would sound together.
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby imperialbari » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:06 am

Now proofed:

If you can control the tuba intonation, so it fits the harp. And if you can avoid the tuba overpowering the harp. Then this constellation should be no more problematic than the one of tuba and piano.

Some composers use the combination of an instrument with the ability to control dynamics after the attack and of an instrument, where the attacl defines the sound, very efficiently.

When I during my college years took a course in sound sculpting, one of the surprising experiences was, that if the human ear does not hear the attack of a sustained sound, then it becomes nearly impossible telling, which instrument is playing. The experiment was done by recording a sound and then cut off the attack. With one sound played the guesses during the very long note centered on bassoon or on a low string instrument. When the musician ended up with playing a few attacked notes, it was revealed that the sound producing instrument was a trombone.

Debussy in one piece lets flute and harp play a unison line, which sounds like a singing harp.

One of my LP’s with Barenboim playing two Mozart concertos drove me very curious in one place. It sounded like the piano used vibrato on a long mid-low note. I of course knew that was impossible, so I had to get access to the score. The answer was that the piano ended a phrase on a short note. One of the bassoons started a long note of the same pitch at the exact same beat, so that the piano attack masked the bassoon attack totally.

Of course unison playing cannot be the only element in your planned for duo, but one starting point might be about simply playing a harp piece with a clearly defined bass line and whatever melody and harmony in the upper register. The tuba then should double the harps bass line in unison or an octave below.

Another approach might be3trio sonatas for organ with the harp playing the two upper staves and the tuba playing the bottom stave either in the 8’ register or in the 16’ foot register. May take octave shuffling at sight, if you play a contrabass tuba.

A third approach would be searching for vocal bass solos with harp accompaniment. Or with a piano accompaniment written so that it is immediately accessible for the harp.
Some German songs for Tiefe Stimme may be useable loco or 8-bassa. If the latter, the harp may have to take some bass notes down an octave to get chord inversions right.

My own editions, available for free, of duets by Mozart, Beethoven, and Weyse would be immediately accessible for your duo, but the harpist might find him-/herself underemployed by playing single line music. Alternatively the harp could play both lines with you doubling the lower one.

And the main point of this rant is:

You more or less have to build your own repertory. That has been done by many non-standard duos before, so just get at it.

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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby Ace » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:23 pm

Try this:

https://youtu.be/aobF9WToPEk?t=45

I feel tubas and harps are not meant for one another. Also, I've never been particularly impressed with tubas as solo instruments. Flame away.

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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby Mark » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:04 pm

Ryan Schultz, who occasionally posts here, made a recording several years ago with the harpist from the Seattle Symphony for an album by the harpist. It was The Swan by Saint-Saëns. Ryan played the cello part and the harpist played the piano accompaniment. It sounded very good. (I'm sorry, I don't remember the harpist's name.)
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby imperialbari » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:46 pm

Ace wrote:Try this:

https://youtu.be/aobF9WToPEk?t=45" target="_blank" target="_blank

I feel tubas and harps are not meant for one another. Also, I've never been particularly impressed with tubas as solo instruments. Flame away.

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Despite well played by both also an illustration of the potential balance problems.
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby geomiklas » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:33 pm

Jim Self on tuba with the late Ron Kalina on the Harp

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/kalinaself" target="_blank" target="_blank

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Harmonica and Tuba -- straight-ahead jazz
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby ivblumen » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:55 pm

I think it works. Have a look at this:

[youtube]DaL8Zeb2gQY[/youtube]

https://youtu.be/DaL8Zeb2gQY" target="_blank" target="_blank
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby tubajazzo » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:39 am

Andreas Hofmeir has made a recording on CD. There are original compositions from J. Duda and adaptations of other works
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BhOSqUUMIA" target="_blank

have fun
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby imperialbari » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:09 am

Yes, very musical and in good balance. More samples, with some German speaking claiming this constellation being unique worldwide, which I am no so sure about:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TS42gM4WEZE

I like the harp tuning much better than the tuba intonation, though.

Good arrangements.
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby Ace » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:28 pm

tubajazzo wrote:Andreas Hofmeir has made a recording on CD. There are original compositions from J. Duda and adaptations of other works
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BhOSqUUMIA" target="_blank" target="_blank

have fun
Gerd


As much as I admire and respect anyone's command of his/her instrument, I think the passage below illustrates why music is sometimes sacrificed for technical display.

https://youtu.be/-BhOSqUUMIA?t=398

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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby EMC » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:18 am

Thanks for all the info guys! I definitely like the album Andreas Hofmeir made and I do agree that it's probably a difficult venture to delve into, but that's also what attracts me to it. Challenging the status quo of tuba is a big part of my what drives me as a player.
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby imperialbari » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:27 am

You sound ambitious, which is great. I am more conservative. A common ground would be pieces, which at the same time will let you get a feel for the format and which are liked by a traditional classical audience.

Titles coming to my mind:

Ave Maria by Gounod & Bach

Ave Maria and Der Tod und das Mädchen, both by Schubert. His Erlkönig is very difficult, but might work also.

César Franck’s Panis Angelicus

Some of the baritone and bass arias from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby EMC » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:22 pm

imperialbari wrote:You sound ambitious, which is great. I am more conservative. A common ground would be pieces, which at the same time will let you get a feel for the format and which are liked by a traditional classical audience.

Titles coming to my mind:

Ave Maria by Gounod & Bach

Ave Maria and Der Tod und das Mädchen, both by Schubert. His Erlkönig is very difficult, but might work also.

César Franck’s Panis Angelicus

Some of the baritone and bass arias from Mozart’s Die Zaube rflöte.

I definitely like proving people who say tubas can't do this and that wrong, and I love playing transcriptions of older pieces by Brahms and Rachmaninoff and exploring the how these pieces can work on Tuba. I think Ave Maria is a great idea for this type of duet I'll have to look.up those other pieces to see what they sound like, thanks for the ideas. I'm going to get with my friend soon and see what he thinks about this
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby imperialbari » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:51 pm

I have edited wind, brass, and string parts for solos and duos, where the piano score may be downloaded from IMSLP, because I saw no reason to re-engrave the piano parts.

One such project is about Meditation from Thaïs by Massenet. Just took a look at the piano score again:

https://imslp.nl/imglnks/usimg/b/b9/IMSLP04323-Thais_Meditation_for_Violin_and_Piano.pdf

It looks very well suited for harp, even if an agile pedal-foot is called, because of the many modulations.

The solo part is tough, rangewise, for both bass tuba and for contrabass tuba.

If you PM me an email address, I will invite you my download project, which is for free.

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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby ZIMETMUS » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:13 am

Check out this piece called "Zoom" by Howard Buss written for bass trombone or Tuba with harp.
http://www.hickeys.com/products/sku087148.php
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqMy46E7jlk
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby MikeMilnarik » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:59 am

Contact composer Sanae Kanda through her website http://www.sanaekanda.com She has a great piece called Eastern Wind that she originally wrote for tuba and harp, but has adapted for tuba and piano. Maybe she can get you the tuba and harp version. Cool piece! We recorded the piano version for an upcoming album called Distant Friend (music of Sanae Kanda).

GOOD LUCK!

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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby eupher61 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:48 am

Things like Telleman sonatas, or Galliard or Marcello, or others of that era and style, work well with harp. They should be playable off the piano score. Maybe a bassoon for the continuo but quite possibly not needed. Harps can be loud!
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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby imperialbari » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:46 pm

eupher61 wrote:Things like Telleman sonatas, or Galliard or Marcello, or others of that era and style, work well with harp. They should be playable off the piano score. Maybe a bassoon for the continuo but quite possibly not needed. Harps can be loud!


The potential problem with playing thorough bass music on a contrabass tuba is that the melody goes below the bass line, which may cause wrong chord inversions and may mask bass line cadential formulas.

Same problem may happen with music from other eras. A contrabass tubist loved a Rossini tenor aria and took it down 2 octaves, without changing the accompaniment. Bad choice, as Rossini wrote very reconizable bass lines for his his allegro music in common or in cut time. Much like the bass line of last part of Mozart’s Zauberflöte overture. With the original tenor solo line becoming the lowest line then the bass line became an inner voice. Aside of being muddy the music lost its identity.

The full pedal harp has a range down to the lowest piano C, which is the same *** the open pedal note of the CC tuba, so it will be able to solve most of the problems mentioned above, if the harp player uses a split reading modus, where the piano right hand notes are played loco, while the bass line is taken down an octave.

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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby EMC » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:47 am

MikeMilnarik wrote:Contact composer Sanae Kanda through her website http://www.sanaekanda.com She has a great piece called Eastern Wind that she originally wrote for tuba and harp, but has adapted for tuba and piano. Maybe she can get you the tuba and harp version. Cool piece! We recorded the piano version for an upcoming album called Distant Friend (music of Sanae Kanda).

GOOD LUCK!
I will definitely do that! Thanks for the info !

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Re: Tuba and Harp

Postby EMC » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:48 am

MikeMilnarik wrote:Contact composer Sanae Kanda through her website http://www.sanaekanda.com She has a great piece called Eastern Wind that she originally wrote for tuba and harp, but has adapted for tuba and piano. Maybe she can get you the tuba and harp version. Cool piece! We recorded the piano version for an upcoming album called Distant Friend (music of Sanae Kanda).

GOOD LUCK!

Mike Milnarik



Sorry didn't mean to write inside your quote, but yes I'll definitely shoot her an email and check it out :)
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