A little sop question

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by hellraiser, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Hi everyone. I've moved from playing solo cornet to soprano lately. It's a different game on Soprano and one thing I've noticed is that there's always more rests on the Soprano part (thankfully!). This seems to be the case for the vast majority of parts- is this something arrangers keep in mind? I mean, is this a genuine requirement when arranging or are they just being sympathetic? ;-)
  2. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    Try playing your solo cornet part on the sop (without transposing, just paly the same notes), or alternatively, the Barber of Seville, and then you'll find the answer :)

    Seriously though, the Sop player needs the rest! You can't paly for as long as on Bb. The best players can, but the majority can't. And also, the Sop simply isn't needed as much. When you've got a low/mid-range passage, the Sop can't play but all the others can.
  3. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Certainly every sop player I've ever spoken to (including myself in my more drunken moments :D ) have all said that playing Sop is more about learning when NOT to play in pieces :D, basically grab as much rest as you can cause you geenrally need it (unless your really first rate). Some composers are quite sympathetic to this, the same alas cannot be said for arrangers :D, especially when arranging from miltary band where the sop seems to instantly get all the piccallo (or however you spell it) and woodwind stuff (try playing Dambusters at the end of a 2 hour concert :( ). :D

    anyway best of luck and welcome to the brotherhood! :D
  4. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Agreed, you really appreciate those rests when they come round!!!
  5. EflatTenor

    EflatTenor New Member

    Yes, it is something arrangers and composers keep in mind. When I arranged a piece for the first time I transcribed the solocornet-part for the sop (when it hadn't a sop-part). First thing I learned was not to that - this is a genuine requirement of arranging/composing (and I think the reason is being sympathetic). The other cornets will do the hard working and when there are very important high notes, the sop will play.
  6. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

  7. Di

    Di Active Member

  8. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    I think there's more to it than the physical strictures imposed on a Sop Player.

    The sop is the one instrument that can brighten the tone of a piece signficiantly, just by ending phrases in the olympian octave. This is one of the unique elements that defines the brass band sound.

    Similarly, use of the extra octave at the other end, when writing for Bb Bass needs to be sympathetic - if the extra octave is routinely used, the effect of it when it actually should make a difference can be lost.

  9. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Linking in with another thread that I've started, would you agree with me that therefore the extra rests a Soprano player gets are justified and therefore should not be seen as an opportunity by conductors to pass tricky (but not high) solo cornet parts to the sop player?

    I've only ever seen a sop player play solo cornet part in pieces where principal cornet has a very high bit in a solo/cadenza e.g. Paganinni, Contest music

    Probably the craziest example I've seen is asking the rep player to play crucial sop parts, and I'm talking about high notes, at the areas, when no sop was available.

    I'm of the opinion that the Sop has a different sound and therefore it would be a mis-use to ask to fill in tutti cornet parts when the Sop player should be resting.
  10. anGel oF mUsiC

    anGel oF mUsiC New Member

    one of the bands i play with has no regular sop player, so i often play the queued parts on solo cornet where necessary, and my conductor has actually said that when i do those parts i actually sound like a sop on my Bb cornet

    but on the other hand, i sometimes found it boring when i was playing sop, although they need the rest, but they dont do as much as solo cornets do
  11. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Point 1 - agreed! Except under very exceptional circumstances... there are rather more Bb cornets remember ;)

    Point 2 - been there done that - before I was handed the sop :sup

    Point 3 - spot on. The whole point of the sop is either to add colour, or be used as a soloist within a piece. My pet hate is playing in octaves with the solo cornets for pieces on end :( Its often alot of hard work for little return.
  12. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

  13. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    A sop player I knew many moons back reckoned sop should only play when they're heard, and be heard when they play...

    (The only man I ever met who could get through 20 Capstan and a 1/2 bottle of whisky during a rehearsal... :eek: )
  14. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    I thought the people at Sibelius at least LOOKED at submissions before making them available. Obviously not!!!!!

    How many have you sold????? :confused:
  15. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    They check that they meet the submission criteria, i.e. nothing rude, no waste of band width by poor editing (extra blank bars is the usual offender) etc, but the SibMus team state categorically that they make NO critical judgement of any piece submitted.

    I understand you've sold around 2,500 copies of the Four Noble Truths, Philip.

    It'll around 2,500 less that than that. :biggrin: I have, though, donated a copy to a band, on the promise of someone taking a photo of the look on a certain soprano player's face (who is very full of himself) when he sees the part......

    My other compositions are "slightly" more serious that SopC:rolleyes:
  16. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Actually, I feel very honoured.

    Philip Sparke has just publicly reviewed a composition of mine:biggrin:
  17. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Nice to know that:-

    a) They have a sense of humour, or
    b) They haven't got the faintest idea what a soprano cornet is!

    I fear it maybe the latter :rolleyes:

    If you've sold 2,500 less than FNT, then you are into negative-publishing. A lost art!
  18. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    That's soo funny....

    As for sop writing... I bare in mind about resting.... can appreciate it's hard work getting up there for long periods of time.... at the same time I'll make sure it doesn't go the other extreme and doesn't have to little to do... else, you get people complaining about that too.

  19. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    To be serious, while I'm waiting for England to bat, Denis Wright (in Scoring for Brass Band) advises that the sop should not be used just to add volume (ie helping out the solo cts) and suggests it should saved for when it can make a difference.
  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Is the piece for a 'C' Cadet or a more 'C'soned player? :p

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