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Why do Euphonium players use so much dang vibrato?

Postby TubaIsAwesome » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:00 am

Why is it that Euphonium players use so much vibrato. Is it just to cover up bad intonation?

I asked one of my friends, and his answer was "because the Euphonium is the "cello" of the band." Yeah right... :roll:

Just once, I would love to hear a Euph solo with a big, beautiful, non-vibratic sound.

I happen to march drum corp (the blue coats), and none of our Euphs use any vibrato on the field, and it sounds amazing!!! I think many of the "professional" Euphonium players could learn a lot from watching some DCI.

Thoughts?
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Postby the elephant » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:09 am

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Postby bloke » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:25 am

Why do Euphonium players use so much dang vibrato?


Is this a riddle...??

OK then, I'll give it a shot:


"to avoid sounding like an airy French horn with excessive valve noise"...??
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Postby djwesp » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:36 am

I don't know, but I bet the french are involved somehow.


They are the root of a lot of things. :P
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Postby TubaIsAwesome » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:43 am

Here's another thought I had: Do euphonium players practice long tones w/ or w/out vibrato?

Also, do you think many of them use tons of vibrato to fit in with other euphonium players?
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Postby TubaIsAwesome » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:47 am

Another thing: If Euphoniums are the "cello" of the band, are the trumpets the "violins" of the band? If so, why don't they use as much vibrato or more?

I think it would be much better for the Euphoniums to be the "Euphoniums" of the band. Then they wouldn't have to use as much vibrato.
Last edited by TubaIsAwesome on Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bloke » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:48 am

TubaIsAwesome wrote:Here's another thought I had: Do euphonium players practice long tones w/ or w/out vibrato?

Also, do you think many of them use tons of vibrato to fit in with other euphonium players?


I-I-I-I-I-I w-w-w-w-w-won-d-d-d-der i-i-i-i-if -i-i-i-it ha-ha-ha-has a-a-a-a re-re-si-si-du-du-al-al e-e-ef-f-f-fect i-i-in o-o-o-o-th-th-ther a-a-a-as-pe-pe-pects o-o-o-o-of th-th-th-their li-li-li-lives ?-?-?
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Postby TubaIsAwesome » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:51 am

bloke wrote:
TubaIsAwesome wrote:Here's another thought I had: Do euphonium players practice long tones w/ or w/out vibrato?

Also, do you think many of them use tons of vibrato to fit in with other euphonium players?


I-I-I-I-I-I w-w-w-w-w-won-d-d-d-der i-i-i-i-if -i-i-i-it ha-ha-ha-has a-a-a-a re-re-si-si-du-du-al-al e-e-ef-f-f-fect i-i-in o-o-o-o-th-th-ther a-a-a-as-pe-pe-pects o-o-o-o-of th-th-th-their li-li-li-lives ?-?-?


Come again? I think your keyboard may be broken.
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Postby Captain Sousie » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:56 am

I think it gives them world class sound. But only if they play marching baritones.

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Postby LoyalTubist » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:57 am

I always thought the clarinets were the violins of the band. When a band has a concertmaster/concertmistress, he/she is usually a clarinetist. To answer your question, it's historical. Most of the euphonium solos I have accompanied and I listen to are those old "air and variation" things from about 100 years ago. They don't work if you play them straight. Even when I played them on tuba (I played one for each of my scholastic recitals as an undergraduate and one for one of my graduate recitals), I tried to exaggerate the vibrato (using the "Bill Bell" method with the jaw).

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Postby sc_curtis » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:25 am

LoyalTubist wrote:I always thought the clarinets were the violins of the band. When a band has a concertmaster/concertmistress, he/she is usually a clarinetist.


I follow your logic, but its dead wrong. Woodwinds are automatically disqualified, just because they're woodwinds. Clarinets are not brass instruments, therefore must be classified as "other."

Trumpets are the violins (well, at least the ego fits), horns are the violas (intonation, duh!), and so on.
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Postby the elephant » Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:01 am

I believe that Paris Hilton said that she thought that euphonium vibrato was hot.
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Postby ZNC Dandy » Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:02 am

I'm not sure how troll-like this post is :roll: ...but it is a topic I have a slight interest in. I personally do not like the sound of the euphonium, especially a compensating euphonium. I much prefer a tenor tuba or German Style Oval baritone. I find them to be much more clear and resonant.
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Postby The Impaler » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:17 pm

Lately I think my euphonium would sound best when thrown from the top of a building.....

I wonder if the wind resistance created while in flight would create a vibrato-like sound? I hope not, that way at least it would sound good once on the way to its demise.....

Euphonium players use vibrato. That's what we do. Get used to it. It's called "having another tool in the tool box." You can never have enough expressive tools to make music with. Try it, you might like it.
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Postby Rick Denney » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:09 pm

The Impaler wrote:Euphonium players use vibrato. That's what we do. Get used to it. It's called "having another tool in the tool box." You can never have enough expressive tools to make music with. Try it, you might like it.


Hmmm. In section playing?

I go down to the garage, and see that it is filled with tools. That air hamer over there is wondrously useful--about once a year. When I need it, nothing else will do. I'm glad I have it. But I can surely do some destruction with it.

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Postby Chuck(G) » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:24 pm

Many wind instruments face this issue.

My flutist wife knows not to pile on vibrato in anything other than a solo passage. If you've ever heard a flute choir with all members using vibrato, you are well acquainted with the feeling of seasickness.

Even the British brass banders aren't using nearly as much vibrato as they used 30 years ago--and it's a good thing, even if they do have to pay closer attention to their tuning now.

Maybe what is more unnerving in flutists is the exaggerated body movement (sway and dip with the rhythm) some employ. Jimmy Galway of all people, laid into one of the prima donnas at the last masterclass for swooshing and swaying while she played.

Thank heavens euphonium players don't do that (much).

:P
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Postby The Impaler » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:51 pm

Rick Denney wrote:
The Impaler wrote:Euphonium players use vibrato. That's what we do. Get used to it. It's called "having another tool in the tool box." You can never have enough expressive tools to make music with. Try it, you might like it.


Hmmm. In section playing?


Short answer, no. As with most things, moderation is usually most appropriate. There have been, however, occasions where I have used vibrato in the section. Not often, but sometimes.....

Since adding a tuba to my stable four years ago, I have really begun to appreciate the use of vibrato on euphonium. Judiciously (sp?), of course.

I'm having a flashback right now to an old LP that I once heard of the Boston Symphony playing Weber's Overture to Oberon where the principal hornist used an overly-ample portion of vibrato on the opening solo, and on an instrument which has now all but completely dropped it from its arsenal. I guess Koussevitsky liked it......

As far as that air hammer goes, you're right, it can do a lot of destruction when used. But, listening to the great euphoniumists who are doing so much playing and recording nowadays, I think the standard for vibrato usage (most especially in the solo avenue) is pretty well set. And I think it's a good example to follow.....
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Re: Why do Euphonium players use so much dang vibrato?

Postby windshieldbug » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:52 pm

TubaIsAwesome wrote:Why is it that Euphonium players use so much vibrato?


Because they can.

They don't if playing the tenor tuba part in an orchestra. Why do singers use so much vibrato? Why did OJ Simpson write "If I Did It"? :shock:
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Re: Why do Euphonium players use so much dang vibrato?

Postby Wyvern » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:48 pm

TubaIsAwesome wrote:Why is it that Euphonium players use so much vibrato.

Tradition! That has become the accepted and expected sound.

Now did I not hear somewhere that Holst marked the part in the Planets "Tenor Tuba", rather than "Euphonium" because he did not want the normal vibrato?
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Postby Dennis K. » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:14 pm

I happen to march drum corp (the blue coats), and none of our Euphs use any vibrato on the field, and it sounds amazing!!! I think many of the "professional" Euphonium players could learn a lot from watching some DCI.


When I think "professional Euphonium," I think Brian Bowman, Angie Hunter, The Presdent's own, numerous solists from numerous Army Band Tuba/Euph conferences. In short, The best in the world.

When I think Drum corps, I think of playing long-tones, while doing windsprints, with an overweight, underbalanced piece of chrome bolted to my face with as much pressure as possible, short of bleeding. And, really great music rearranged to be playable by limited instruments and players that are great at drum corps playing. And, truly wonderful percussion parts that I am sure the orignal composers would just love.

Ah, such an improvement over the original compsers.


You are right, Tubaisawesome, the real pros should all join senior corps this summer and learn something from you, who obviously knows everything.

I'm sure all that pressure and a perfectly straight tone will get them much farther in their careers. Perhaps they will learn proper breath support in corps, too, as they apparently don't have it, according to you. OooooHHHH! Maybe they'll put down their compensating Wilsons and switch to a G Baritone Chrome-plated bugle!!!! Such a superior instrument!!!

Hey Tubaisawesome, why don't you put together a list of senior corps for all the pro's on this list, so we can learn something?
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