Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by HBB, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Can I just ask.

    For an average to good euph player what's the range?

    Can they get a bottom E (i.e. the 3rd space below the stave).



    Just want everyone's opinions. ;)
  2. ignore me

    ignore me Member

    Using your 4th valve you can get over an octave below that (if i'm thinking of the right E)

    I love playing those baked bean influenced notes!!
  3. Fishsta

    Fishsta Active Member

    Should easily be able to hit every note between Bottom G and the C below it. With some control you can go even lower.
  4. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Thank you. Writing a quartet, and want to make sure it's playable! :D
  5. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    In that case, forget about the bottom E! :) Low G is about as much as you'll get away with, with the next low notes being Bottom C, the notes between Bottom C and Low G tend to 'speak less'
  6. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Even if it's just for a crotchet? I don't want to transpose the whole thing, or the cornet player will shoot me! :oops:
  7. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    mmm, maybe, depends on the rest of your scoring, but off hand I would re-write it (if you can write the euph note up an octave)

    If the bottom E is coming from a descening scale, then you'll get away with it, or if it travels to the bottom E by step, fine, by leap, it might sound uncomfortable.

    Of course it is impossible to tell without seeing the score, but for practicalities, especially in quartet writing a bottom E might seem a little flamboyant! pitty! :wink:
  8. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    If its upper range the Cornet player is going to suffer on, re-write it for Sop! :wink: then get it published before next years quartets!
  9. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Or you could ask the euphs in your band what they're comfortable with?!
    Low E shouldn't be a problem - but it depends on the speed and intervals.
  10. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    True, but I think you'll find in Quartet writing is that common sence will go a long way.

    It might sound a bit like an effect, which may be out of context with the music, maybe.

    Euph players can certainly gt down to a bottom E and lower, but for practicalties in music, either dump it or replace the Euph with an Eb Bass.

    It's very easy to go crazy with writing parts, especially when writing on the computer (bad, bad! ;) ) Sometimes you just need to keep-the-heed and apply a bit of logical thinking!

  11. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    A low E is about the lowest I can get comfortably on Euph, but sometimes it can be difficult to get it to speak.
    IMHO, if the whole Euphonium part is relitavley low leading up to it, then that would be OK as the low note support will be there.

    That's my thoughts from a playing perspective.
  12. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Couldn't agree more, Steven!!! ;)

    IMHO, to make the best out of your composition, take the bottom E out, even a low G is low for a Euph and this should be the lowest practicle note you use.

    Also (an important thing to remember about orchestration!) is that the Tuba (basses) and Euphonium get week at the very point they should be strongest, a higher placed Bb Bass note will sound much stronger and have more penetration that a low one (although the 'beef' of the note makes up for it!) The Euph is a Tuba. It's a tenor tuba!

    I think the best thing for you to do is have real players play it and u'll see what I mean. I think this will be your only way to find out for yourself when dealing with the practicalities of real musicians playing real instruments and the awkward things that can happen.
  13. hunting_high

    hunting_high Member

    Mr McFadyen,

    Didnt you (some time ago on this forum) show us some music you've written for BB that had tutti solocornets playing top Eb's? (And you had some arguments for not leaving that register for the soprano.)

    I mean, (no offence), compared to that a low E for an Euphonium seems like a perfectly allright thing to write.

    IMHO, homocidalbennyboy, its no problem to use that register on the Euph.

    Just my two cents.


    Excuse my english

    (edited spelling, even if I proberbly dint find all the mistakes.) :wink:
  14. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    In the end it comes down to what's comfortable for the player. When I played euph in an A grade band, I complemented my partner because he had a gorgeous upper register, but had toruble controlling the speaking of lower notes, whereas I, coming from tuba, fouund low stuff easy, but struggled to hold higer stuff.

    I would probably want to see the part before making too many harsh judgements....maybe just the section where this low E is, whether the entire passage, phrase, bar, or even group, could go up an octave on the eupho part alone??? It gets done elsewhere enough to show that it's legal and effective.

    Yes a eupho can go that low, but depending on the repertoire the player is used to, the player may be incapable of that note. One of my students plays eupho like an angel, but is currently having trouble playing in the normal solo range of a brass band eupho, because the band method she's made learn from doesn't focus on it. I learned form a similar text, and I found myself thinking that High G (the highest note the enitre series taught) was high!

    consult with your player......best way to do it....
  15. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    I did use top Eb's in the Solo Cornets, yes! BUT,,,,,, it is still reachable by many many cornet players and indeed a top Eb isn't really that high, not unless ur a 3rd Cornet. The argument of the Euph has nothing to do with players getting the notes, but the physics of the instrument does not allow satisfactory production in 99% of cases, as I said if u're gonna go down that low and refuse to change the vocings, then u're better off with an Eb Bass or even a Bass Trombone.

    There is something to be said of the quaility of the player to reach down to bottom E (Satisfactory in the context of a performance) It's a ll very well practicing low low notes in the bandroom on your own, but in performance, things start to go funny.

    I wouln't say I was dead against the bottom E going in, and without the score, one cannot be totally sure, you might get away with it, but my instinct tells me no - especially in quartet writing!!! A bottom G or an F will have some Euph players 'grumbling' around down there in atempt to find the right timbre to produce a satisfactory note.

    Much of it depends on your voice leading, but as I said if your approaching the Bottom E by leap (and it forms the Tonic of the chord) one would be best to write the Bottom E up an octave (other parts permitting and may need changing??)

    But do take it to ur band and get them to run ti, you'll be able to make your own informed decision! :wink:
  16. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    if the quartet is 2 cornets, horn and euph. Then putting the euph part up an octave shouldnt be a prob unless the horn was in bottom register, this is the only way it would affect the balance
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    "hunting_high" makes exactly the point I immediately thought of as I read through this thread. A low E on Euph is absolutely bread-and-butter for some "average-to-good" players. Others do not find it so easy - in other words, HBB must speak to his player about the passage in question...

    I think your range thoughts are being a little skewed by your experience as a Screech Trumpeter, James - as a Euph player, I would be far more confident about producing a resonant low E than a nice-sounding high Eb in practically any situation. Indeed, for a long time, playing with a 2nd section band while growing up, I could produce (nicely) all of the pedals down to a minor 10th below that low E, but not a reliable high Eb. The "Physics of the instrument" are no bar to a low E - the way the individual player blows may be.

  18. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Like I said, if he gets real musicians to play it, he will be able to judge for himself.


    All I'm saying is that Bottom E's are not normal notes for Euphs, or at least not considered for most practical orchestration/instrumentation problem solving. The Euph can get way way low, but so can the cornet, even it's bottom F sharp is hardly ever used. All I'm saying is one must try and apply logical thinking before radical ideas.

    I think we must bear one thing in mind is there is a difference between an instruments capable range and it's workable compass. I'm not disputing an Euph can play a bottom E or not, because it can and much lower, but the real question is what notes work. We must also bear in mind that we cannot leave too much of a gap between the bass note and the next notes above or else a big hole in the sound appears.

    In band writing, the scope for extra low notes in the Euph part is much greater since the other colours and instruments can help fill gaps, etc, however since in quartet writing the Euph is the bass instrument, on must take care not to seperate it from the other 3 instruments.

    On the computer, the Bottom E will sound great, full and rich, but in real life playing, getting down to a bottom E neatly is far more cumbersome. Again if the bottom E is approach by leap, the apparent awkwardness will be amplified, however if approached by step, it will be much neater (but will it be to the detriment to the overall colour of the quartet) mmmmmm??

  19. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Good points and true with regard to scoring, James, although it is a perfectly legitimate effect to separate the bass from the rest in pitch.

    However, I've always considered that the "standard" ranges given for the Euph are an anachronism for the modern instrument - with its super-wide bore, "average-to-good" players can often play in this register with some facility. It takes a good player to make Cornet pedals sound good - it is far less hassle on the Euph. A low E on Euph is only a "radical idea" because of the innate conservatism of established scoring techniques.

  20. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Thank you for all your comments.

    To clarify. The note is an E. I can get that on my cornet! :D It is in a run going down, and most of the other instruments are fairly low anyway. So, it will stand! :D


    Ben 8)