Grade 6 'Happy Hippo' extinct?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Chris Lee, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Chris Lee

    Chris Lee Guest

    Anybody done ABRMS Grade 6 on the E Flat Bass in the last few years?
    It looks as if the choice of music is non-existent. List A offers the 'Happy Hippo', now out of print. All the other List A pieces are bass clef (and presumably B flat). ABRSM say 'transpose to treble' but surely they are missing the point that transposing to E flat is going to mean a key change, different range on the instrument etc..
    Has anybody on the forum taken grade 6 recently and what did they do about this problem?
    Oh, and does anybody have a copy of the 'Happy Hippo' by Ernest Young in treble I could buy or borrow?

    Thanks, Chris Lee
    Newbie, EEflat bass
     
  2. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    I wonder if it is time for young players at the “bass end” of brass bands to study both treble and bass clefs if they are to progress through the grades? It is a bit worrying that their future careers, if eventually they hope to become professional performers, could be limited if they are unable to cope with the bass clef.

    Or do the higher grades perhaps already demand this versatility? I admit to having limited knowledge on the subject.
     
  3. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    The Happy Hippo lives!

    See here
     
  4. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    Hi Chris
    Reading from Bass Clef on an Eb bass is easy.
    Ask any experienced bass player to help you but basically the fingering for the notes are on the same lines as for treble and you just need to change the key signature and watch out for accidentals.
    PM or email me with your email address and I'll put together something for you to compare.
    Andy
    andy@pdfbrass.com
     
  5. Chris Lee

    Chris Lee Guest

    Hurrah for the Hippo! Thanks Janet!
    Andy - thx for your reasponse - I've emailed you separately.
    eflatbass - thx for your response. Actually I'm quite an old codger late on the scene and squeezing in the grades before I'm too old to blow. ABRSM grade 6 practical requires grade 5 theory so you get to cover transposition and so on a bit, but that's a far cry from reading bass and ttreble fluently. Far as I can see there is no requirement and I guess you are right - there probably should be. What do the rset of you think? Does an E flat bass player need to be able to read bass clef?

    Very Best, Chris
     
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    As was said above, reading from a bass clef copy on an Eb bass is quite straightforward once you get the hang it.

    Whlist you may not need it often in the brass band, the ability to read bass clef does open up a lot more playing opportunities - wind bands, orchestras etc, many of whom are looking out for tuba players, either as full-time members or as occasional deps.
     
  7. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    Chris - I've emailed you a sheet which should help.
    If you don't get it let me know and I'll send it another way.
    Good luck.
    Andy
     
  8. Chris Lee

    Chris Lee Guest

    Presumably just adding 1 flat to move from B flat to E flat? Apart from accidentals that is. Is that right?

    Thanks, Chris
     
  9. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    If it's writen in bass clef that would normally mean it is written at concert pitch, so you read the notes on the lines and spaces as if it were treble clef, and add 3 sharps (or take away 3 flats, whichever makes more sense). ie written F (one flat) becomes treble clef D (2 sharps)
     
  10. Chris Lee

    Chris Lee Guest

    Thx Peter. So if it is bass clef in B flat not C am I right in thinking its the same thing but add one flat?

    Thx, Chris
     
  11. theMouthPiece Visitor Guide

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    Grade 6
    List A
    ABRMS Grade 6
    Happy Hippo
    E Flat Bass
  12. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    Bass Clef parts are normally written at Concert pitch (although some Continental parts aren't - but don't go down that route).
    Normally for EEb you ADD 3 #s or take off 3 bs - have you got my worksheet yet ???
     
  13. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Depends on whether the tuba is a transposing instrument or not ... :evil: :eek:

    [Runs and hides ... ]
     
  14. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    Best not open that one up again... we don't want to hijack Chris' original request for help.
     
  15. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Where's that tongue-in-cheek icon when you need it ...
     
  16. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    But you know that SOMEONE will bite..........
     
  17. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I seem to remember Ray Steadman-Allen being interviewed (possibly in the old SA "Musician" periodical, or something similar) around 30-or-so years back, and him stating that he firmly believed that all instruments from Baritone down in the brass band score should be written in bass clef. It would have been interesting to see what direction things would have taken if he'd got his way and implemented the change in the SA band journals whilst he was in charge of the Music Editorial Dept. ...
     
  18. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    And who could really argue with RSA? I agree that it should have been done a long time ago. My brother, who writes for orchestras, cannot believe that brass band tuba parts are still written in the treble clef.
     
  19. Chris Lee

    Chris Lee Guest

    You bad boys.
    Haven't got anything from you Andrew, did you get my email double checking the address?

    Very Best, Chris
     
  20. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Member

    No Chris I didn't get it - try the link here.
     
  21. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    ABRSM Exams out of date?
    Not surprised in the slightest.
    I normally introduce alternative clefs to my euphonium or tuba/bass students at about Grade 4-5. Like for trombones it is a very useful skill for those instrumentalists to have. If our entire life is to be spent in the brass band world then treble clef is all that will ever be needed (unless you are promoted/demoted to bass trombone), but if a brass player wants to play in groups outside of the brass band world then it will become a necessary part of their life.

    In the same way that transposition is a standard part of the trumpet/horn exam syllabus, it has long been my thought that alternative clefs should be a standard inclusion for the low brass players.
    Interestingly, if you are a bass clef trombonist then you are expected to be able to read tenor clef in your sight reading, but treble clef players are only expected to read treble clef.
    Of course, such "radical" thinking is about 500 years too revolutionary for the ABRSM (and about 100 for Trinity Guildhall), so don't expect to see it any time soon.

    As for the original post - if you are still having problems, PM me, I think I've got a copy of the piece somewhere around here (assuming I haven't already sold it to one of my students)
     
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