Small Band/Ensemble Suggestions Please

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by TIMBONE, Jan 23, 2007.


    TIMBONE Active Member

    Hello tmp. I know that this subject has been broached before. I am looking at doing some 'reduced' versions of some of my music. I know that there is the "10 Piece" already. Looking around the web, I notice that a "10 piece" varies slightly in instrumentation. Also, if you were looking for music for a 'smaller' band, would you think of 10 piece? I would welcome ideas and suggestions from fellow tMPers about a) What do you think is an ideal combination for a small band/ensemble b) In your opinion/experience, what is the instrumentation of a "10 piece" and c) What style(s) of music would be the most popular.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Tim, my choice would be as follows, and answers (a) and (b) together.

    Enough cornet parts that one can rest at any given time, so three or four. Should be written independtly enough that you can go out with only 3 cornets, or at a squeak two.
    At least one horn.
    Perm three from baritone euphonium and trombone, but I've always liked the sound of a trombone duet, having played for the Fulham Brass Ramblers for years, where there is no baritone.
    One Eb bass.
    Drums, limited to hi hat, snare and miscellaneous banging things.

    As to what, it depends on the prospective audience.

    The Ramblers would be lynched if we didn't play "Tie a yellow ribbon" "Wooden Heart" "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" "Brown Girl in the Ring" Teddy Bears' Picnic" etc. All of these are cut downs from full band versions, with the odd cue thrown in where needed.

    Based on this, and unless it's a very high brow auience, I guess the cheesier the better!
  3. PowerRanger

    PowerRanger Member

    From experience, i found the best configuration:-

    Solo Cornet (1) or Sop
    Solo Cornet (2)
    2nd Cornet
    3rd Cornet
    Eb Horn
    Tenor Trombone
    Bass Trombone
    EEb Bass
    Kit :rolleyes:

    As for music, don't try to educate "Joe public". Anything goes, as long as they know it! (i.e. it's been on the telly!) :wink:
  4. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Basically, I reckon that PJBE/Jim Shepherd's Versatile Brass had it about right:

    4 soprano voices: cornets/trumpets, including sop cornet/pic trumpet and flugel(s) as required

    5 Alto/tenor: horn (Eb or French), 3/4 bones, and bari or euph

    and bass - probably an Eb.

    Obviously, to stay at ten, some players double - cornet and flug/sop, bone/euph (or verse vica) - and percussion is 'as required by the score' ;)...

    (Most fun gigging I've had in recent years was trying to remember if I was playing cornet or flug in the next piece :eek: - and then replacing the teeth when I grabbed the wrong one. Some good and unusual music, too!)

    Grandmothers and eggs time, maybe, but 'higher pitch' players tire more quickly, so if you're adding parts/players, do it top down - 4 hours on bass didn't worry me overmuch, half that on flugel/cornet, I'm dead :redface:

    And style of music? Well, when our wondrous :)wink:) 10-ish part played, it didn't seem to matter - we had an audience as large (maybe larger) than full band, irrespective :confused:
  5. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    Tim, a few of us over in south yorkshire were talking at the weekend about setting up a trombone ensemble, perhaps 6 or 7, two Alto/Tenors, Two Tenors, Two Basses and an extra Tenor/Bass maybe? Not sure if it will ever happen, but if it does I'll let you know, I'm sure we'll need music. I'm not sure how many other ensembles would use it, so probably not very marketable.
  6. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    One problem with the tradtional '10 piece' set is that there are only Eb Bass parts supplied. It would certainly be an advantage to any small ensemble to include both Eb and Bb Bass Parts.


    TIMBONE Active Member

    Thank you very much for your help, much appreciated. This, along with a few other searches and enquiries, has helped me to formulate something for this new project. Good old tMP!!