Older Repiano and Rep/Flugel parts

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by jobriant, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. jobriant

    jobriant Member

    The Pacific Brass Band of Salinas, California, has come into possession of a number of older Brass Band compositions and arrangements. Some of them have two separate parts for Repiano Cornet and Flugelhorn. Some have a single part for both instruments, which have "Repiano / Flugel" (or words to that effect) at the top, and which clearly indicate which passage are to be played by which instrument.

    And then there are some publications that have a Repiano part but no Flugel part -- and the Repiano part gives no indication of whether it's to be doubled by the Flugel, and no indication of any passages that are to be played by one instrument or the other.

    In this last case, is there a "rule of thumb" or a common practice regarding what the Flugel player does when there's no Flugel part and nothing on the Repiano part to tell us what the Flugel might or should play?

    Thanks in advance for your input and advice!

    Jim O'Briant, Music Director
    The Pacific Brass Band
    Salinas, California, USA
  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, common practice would be for the flugel to simply double the rep part. An MD might exercise some discretion and advise one or other player to leave out certain passages, depending on the context of the scoring; at the same time, many pieces from that era would not have been published with full scores, so these decisions wouldn't necessarily be straightforward ...
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  3. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    This is my experience of what tends to happen - whether it's done for a particular reason or just because those parts are typically associated with one another I'm not sure.
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  4. jobriant

    jobriant Member

    Thank you all for your input!
  5. JayHorn

    JayHorn New Member

    Any particular old gems that you have discovered?
  6. David Broad

    David Broad Member

    The Rep/Flugel part was common in the old days, we have quite a few pre WW2 pieces/ selections/ marches/ Hymn books with Rep/Flugel parts combined. In hot metal printing days it saved a separate part which saved a few percent on the cost of a print run.
    Rep and Flugel parts evolved. Repiano started as front row cornet, as in 3 or 4 playing the tune while 1 player the "Solo Cornet" played the solo parts. This evoluted into 3/4 "Solo Cornets" playing the tune while one "Repiano" played more or less the tune, sometimes a harmony part.
    Flugel parts don't exist in our older pieces. I think they lumped Flugel with Rep to save a part and generally Rep and Flugel sat together in the back row. There is very little solo work for Flugel in this Rep/Flugel period, when they have a double part usually Flugel takes the lower part.. One reason was possibly Solo Horn was given what are now Flugel parts.
    Later developments have made (arguably!) Tenor Horns less capable Solo instruments as their tone has darkened leaving the Flugel as the sweet toned Alto voice, often paired with Solo Horn in modern works and these days often seated next to the Solo Horn. (Now there is scope for argument!)
    Generally I would say for Flugel to double with Rep but there is scope for Rep to drop out on lyrical parts and for Flugel to drop out on "Trumpeting" as that mellow sound can spoil the effect.
    80% of the time in my arrangements Flugel doubles Repiano despite the two parts being printed separately.
  7. jobriant

    jobriant Member

    Quite a few; in fact, too many to list. There are a couple of companies in the UK who are (apparently) buying up the libraries of defunct Brass Bands, or else buying old arrangements that Brass Bands are purging from their libraries, and selling them on eBay. As a fairly new Brass Band, formed in 1991 and located in California, I've taken this opportunity to add some of these older titles to our library. They've included everything from some William Rimmer marches that we didn't already have, to selections from operettas and Broadway musicals from 1900 - 1930, to some old opera overture transcriptions.
  8. jobriant

    jobriant Member

    That's pretty much what we've been doing, so I guess my instincts were correct...
  9. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I’m not a Cornet or a Flugel player but I found the thread interesting anyway. By chance I was chatting to my Band’s Flugel player and we talked briefly about old sheet music. The Flugel and Rep parts are sometimes combined on one copy and it can be a split part on that one copy with the lines marked for each instrument, sometimes they play together (same notes) and sometimes one is silent in favour of the other. That’s rather second hand knowledge and one person’s experience; it’s also subject to the imperfections of my recall and my interpretation but I hope that it helps in some way.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018 at 2:50 PM
  10. jobriant

    jobriant Member

    The issue is that some older parts say only "Repiano" with no mention of Flugel, and (assuming that the Flugel plays from the same part) with no indication of where the Flugel does and does not play.
  11. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Fair enough, refocuses on your core concerns.

    I found theses comments on ‘4 bars rest’ and wonder if they might help:

    The Development of the flugel horn in Brass Bands.

    In the long history of brass bands the flugel horn has been one of the late developers. Because the early instruments had many problems with tuning and leaks, it was the cornet, which was favoured as the soprano brass of the early bands. The flugel was therefore found only in the back row of the cornets, three of them usually, playing off the same parts as repiano, second and third cornets. This arrangement is found in the contesting line-up drawn up under the influence of John Gladney in the 1870s.

    A little later the three flugels were cut down to one, playing alongside the repiano, solo or tutti as required. In recent times some conductors have moved the flugel so that it is alongside the horn section because of the ever increasing use of the instrument as a musical and sonic link between the cornet and horn sections.”

    Articles - The Flugelhorn Ancient & Modern - Stan Lippeat
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  12. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    To bring it back to this a bit... A flippant "who cares?" was my initial thought.

    In truth, it'll be for the occasional piece and often it's not really a life or death problem - odds are these aren't going to be contest items (and often won't even have full scores), the consideration is entirely musical...
    Which means it's really up to the MD whether there's a particular part they'd like that sound added to, whether to give the player a break (tacet) or whether to just copy the rep part as it's likely to be the role that's most familiar.
    I don't see any problem at all with any of these approaches, at the end of the day if it fits in okay and the overall performance is good then I doubt anyone is going to give it so much as a second thought.

    End of the day, it'd be easy to get into an analysis paralysis... We worry so much about what should be when what really matters is what works.
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