Possibly a stupid question re trombone music

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by toby182, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. toby182

    toby182 New Member

    Hi all,
    Well, i'm a bit new to the world of brass banding, especially as a trombonist (I used to play a lot, but on Euphonium). I've got a blow lined up with a local band, and they kindly sent me the piece they are currently working on. I was a bit suprised to find that the part they sent (2nd trombone) is in treble clef. Apologies if this sounds like a complete novice comment, but I have never played in a brass band on trombone. I've done lots of orchestral work so can read tenor and alto clef, and of course bass. But i've never played in treble.

    So, my first question is this - is all trombone music for brass band scored in treble clef?

    2nd question - will this be in concert, or Bb? If in Bb, I can just read as tenor clef, right? (adjusting the key accordingly)

    Thanks in advance of your help!

  2. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    Hi Toby,

    Yes, all BB 2nd Trom parts are in treble clef (Bb). with the very rare exceptions that are quite old coipes of pieces that occasionally turn up with a Tenor clef.

    We are very different to the rest of the musical world. Although to keep it interesting, the Bass Trombonist will be reading Bass Clef in C!!!

    Welcome to tMP and Banding!
  3. euphsrock

    euphsrock Member

    1st and 2nd Trom is always in treble clef Bb.
    Bass Trom should be in bass clef C.
    Tenor clef will work but you have to adjust the key signature. If you read treble euph then you can match slide positions to valve combinations, eg. open valves= 1st position, 2nd valve= 2nd position 1st valve= 3rd position and so on.....

    I remember when I first started brass banding after having grown up playing euph in a wind band and I was very confused by nearly everyone reading treble clef.

  4. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I'll answer your 2nd question - it is treble clef transposing. You are reading in Bb, down the octave in much the same way as a Bass Clarinet.
  5. toby182

    toby182 New Member

    OK, thanks very much for the answers guys. Very helpful!
    Have done quite a lot of tenor clef playing so hopefully this shouldn't be too traumatic. Keeps me on my toes at least!
  6. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    Failing that, take up playing kit! No clef!! :biggrin:
  7. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    As stated, tenor clef works. Add two sharps to the key.. Watch the accidentals, they can be confusing.
  8. toby182

    toby182 New Member

    Thanks again for the responses.
    I'm having a bit of a mental block re the key change though. For example, if I am reading a piece of treble clef music in the key of C, then I read as tenor clef, but in the key of D, right? So if I look at a C natural in treble clef, then this becomes a B flat in tenor/bass. Or, do I read the treble clef music as if it was in D, therefore making a C natural actually a C sharp, and therefore a B natural in tenor/bass??
  9. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    You went the wrong direction, and I am the culprit. If it's Treble clef C, it will be Bass clef (or Tenor) Bb. I didn't realize it but my earlier statement was reversed, or misleading at best. In treble clef, you would read it as tenor, but add two flats to the key. It is not as hard as it may seem.
    Treble C= Bb
    D= C
    E= D etc.

    Sorry to have confused you.
  10. toby182

    toby182 New Member

    Aaaaahh!! That makes sense now!
    No need for apologies, I am very grateful for your help. Its amazing how this exact sort of thing becomes very rusty when you don't play for a few years!
    Thanks again
  11. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    You are so right. It won't take long to get into it. In many ways, after one gets acclimatized to it, it becomes easier in the high range as it's not as necessary to fight the ledger lines.
  12. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    In a similar vein , if I am reading alto clef and wish to transpose it to Bb treble how does one do that . Am I right thinking that third line ( b in treble Bb ) in alto would be played as a c in treble Bb ? And add two sharps / remove two flats on the key signature ?

    Been many moons since I last had to do it and then I used lots of pencil !
  13. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Not quite. The middle line is concert C (D for banders). So, the tenor clef trick doesn't really work. I would wholeheartedly recommend THINKING in concert pitch; that way there is no jiggery pokery with key signatures.

    When looking at the C clef, the middle point is always middle C. It's worth remembering that the clef never moves, it's the lines that move.
  14. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    Thanks Duncan. At times like this I regret not having done more theory lessons !
  15. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Par for the course in my line of work/slavery!
  16. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    We used to use the "Blazevich Clef Studies" for all of this. I am not sure if the book is still in print. It was a pretty comprehensive study. I don't remember if it worked the trombone in treble Bb or C though.
  17. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I used it at college. It was, of course, for trombone reading in C. If it was for trombone reading in Bb, there would only really be one clef if you think about it :biggrin:
  18. Independent Silver Band

    Independent Silver Band Active Member

    Quite true. I used it on trombone, and euphonium both. It has been a while since I have looked at the book
  19. Mujician

    Mujician Member

    If in doubt of the key signature, just look on the bass trombone music, then al the notes are as written in the tenor clef.

    If you ever need to read Eb music (covering a bass or horn part) its exactly the same as bass clef. But you need to add three flats to the key signature.

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