Thursday, May 17, 2018

Early Years - getting the right sound

When we started publishing, we were also teaching wind instruments. We agreed that the most important thing for our students to get right at the beginning was the sound.

'It doesn't matter how fast and fancy you can play - if your  sound isn't good, people won't invite you to play more than once!' we told them.
The trouble with putting beginners into a wind band is that they are playing in a LOUD environment, and the quality of their sound gets little attention. This is why we created the Schools Wind Series.
Emerson Edition No.2, the first of the series, was a simple Bach Sarabande, arranged to our recipe by Lamont Kennaway. The instrumentation reflected what was generally available in schools at the time: plenty of flutes and clarinets, and an oboe and bassoon if you were lucky. The occasional horn was a bonus.
Although the piece is short there are plenty of opportunities to learn how to listen to each other, match phrasing, allow another instrument to be heard above one's own, and give attention to accents, dynamics and all the other good musical grammar that is often drowned out in a wind band. Careful rehearsal, with different pairs of instruments matching their tone and phrasing - then coming together with the whole group - holds the pupils' interest. They find it more rewarding than just galloping through a sequence of loud, jolly stuff.
The sound made by our groups of students was a balanced chamber music sound. Some of them are still making a beautiful sound - in the music profession.

Schools Wind Series

E2     Bach/Kennaway - Sarabande (2fl. ob. 3cl. bn.) Grade 3/4
E47   Bach/Emerson - Three Sarabandes (2fl. ob. 3cl. bn.) Grade 3/4
E172 Geoffrey Emerson arr. - Christmas Pieces (2fl. ob. 3cl. bn. hn.) Grade 3/4
E7    Ronald Hanmer - Suite for Seven (2fl. ob. 3cl. bn.) Grade 3/4
E52  Ronald Hanmer - Serenade for Seven (2fl. ob. 3cl. bn.) Grade 3/4
E22  Thomas Lowe - Suite of Dances (2fl. ob. 3cl. bn. 2hn.) Grade 5
E23  Schubert/Emerson - Scherzo & Trio in F (2fl. ob. 3cl. (2cl. hn.) bn.) Grade 3/4
E61  Schubert/Emerson - Scherzo & Trio in g minor (2fl. ob. 3cl. bn) Grade 3/4
E24  Whitlock/Emerson - Folk Tune (2fl. ob. 3cl. bn. hn.) Grade 3/4

Find them on the Advanced Search - Series Title - SCHOOLS WIND SERIES

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