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Re: Using CC as Eb in Brass Band

Postby tclements » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:14 am

In my brass band (Mission Peak Brass Band) I have 3 CCs and one F. As long as the sound is right and the right notes come out the bell, I don't think it really matters what key tuba you are playing. There might be requirements if one was to enter competitions, however.
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Re: Using CC as Eb in Brass Band

Postby kathott » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:26 pm

Please don’t tinker with the BB line-up of 2 x Eb & 2 x BBb. The composers/arrangers thought things through back when.....There is a sound difference, and more important a delivery difference when one starts to substitute. Just exchange viola for the 2nd violin in a quartet and watch the world collapse. These kinds of substitutions - trumpets for cornets, F horns for tenor horns, euphonium for baritone, and a mess in the bass section - all serve to undermine a traditional sound. Don’t “make do” with the wrong equipment. Yes, there are discreet changes afoot in the U.K., a few in the thousands of bands, but those players have well established sounds in their ears. K.
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Re: Using CC as Eb in Brass Band

Postby jr2262euph » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:47 pm

Amen to that. You're exactly right kathott.
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Re: Using CC as Eb in Brass Band

Postby LibraryMark » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:40 pm

kathott wrote:Please don’t tinker with the BB line-up of 2 x Eb & 2 x BBb. The composers/arrangers thought things through back when.....There is a sound difference, and more important a delivery difference when one starts to substitute. Just exchange viola for the 2nd violin in a quartet and watch the world collapse. These kinds of substitutions - trumpets for cornets, F horns for tenor horns, euphonium for baritone, and a mess in the bass section - all serve to undermine a traditional sound. Don’t “make do” with the wrong equipment. Yes, there are discreet changes afoot in the U.K., a few in the thousands of bands, but those players have well established sounds in their ears. K.


If they don't have the proper equipment, they should stay home? People should be able to "tinker" as much as they like. As a person who has composed and arranged, I would rather my work be played by whatever a person has on hand. Making it a requirement that you have the perfect instrument for a part is a recipe for the extinction of brass bands.
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Re: Using CC as Eb in Brass Band

Postby MaryAnn » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:56 pm

Maybe a brass brand in Britain needs the exact instruments, but amateur BBs in the US have to take what they can get to play the part. CC on either part, if the notes are hit, is way better than nobody on the part. At least that's what the local conductor finds to be true.
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Re: Using CC as Eb in Brass Band

Postby GC » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:11 pm

The sound depends on the individuals. (It also depends on the equipment if some of the horns are very difficult to play in tune or with a blended sound, but that's pretty much only in the negative.) I've heard groups with 2 BBb's and 2 Eb's that just don't sound that good because the players aren't that good. I've heard groups with one tuba in each key, 2 CC's and 2 F's, 2 CC's and 2 Eb's, CC's and BBb's reading Eb parts because the players are just learning to read treble clef or can't read it at all, and F or Eb players on both parts. And of course, you have groups with 2, 3, 5, 6 or more players in every possible combination because they're what's available.

If the players are good enough, the mixed sections or 1-step-off sections can sound absolutely great. Sounding perfect? That's unlikely with any section of any instrument. If what you have isn't the "ideal", play with who you have and what you have. After all, how many bands can afford a matched set of really good tubas in the "proper" keys? Would a matched set of inferior BBb and Eb tubas be an improvement just because of their keys?
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Re: Using CC as Eb in Brass Band

Postby GC » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:19 pm

Somewhat related to the topic, how many British bands depend on the players to buy their own instruments, and how many provide instruments? How common is it for the providing bands to get instruments through corporate or civic sponsorship vs groups that have to raise funds?
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Re: Using CC as Eb in Brass Band

Postby ken k » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:24 pm

if you have a small CC like a Yamaha 621 (?) or a Miraphone 184, that would be fine.
I think the Eb parts should be played on smaller horns than the BBb parts.
I know it is not the traditional set up but I think it would work.
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