Tenor horn grade 8 pieces - advice needed!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Glamorgan, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Glamorgan

    Glamorgan New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking to start work on my grade 8 on tenor horn but I currently don't have a teacher so have no guidance on which pieces to choose. I've been recommended 'Variations on a Welsh Theme' for list A but haven't a clue for lists B or C. The options are:

    List B: 1 Eric Ball September Fantasy 2 Derek Bourgeois Allegro giocoso (observing upper line in ossia): 3rd movt from Sonata for Tenor Horn, Op. 304
    3 Robert Collinson Fantasy for Tenor Horn (horn tacet in bb. 88–94)
    4 Alan Fernie Caprice for Eb Horn (observing cadenza)
    5 Hindemith Lebhaft: 2nd movt from Sonata for Alto Horn in Eb (1943)
    6 Newsome The Carousel
    7 Satie Jack in the Box. Classic SH, arr. Green
    8 Otto M. Schwarz Cape Horn (cutting bb. 80–100)
    9 Bram Wiggins Rhapsody for Tenor Horn
    10 Philip Wilby Concert Gallop

    List C: 1 Arban Allegro moderato or Allegro: No. 1 or No. 9 from 14 Studies for Cornet (Boosey & Hawkes) also available in Arban Cornet Method
    2 J. S. Bach, arr. Piper Study No. 5 in D or No. 15 in G: from The Well-Tempered Player
    3 Bergonzi Allegro. No. 50 from 50 Classical Studies for Trumpet
    4 Kreutzer Allegro. No. 44 from 50 Classical Studies for Trumpet
    5 Derek Bourgeois Allegro vivace: No. 6 from Fantasy Pieces for Trumpet
    6 Alwyn Green Study No. 12: P. 36 from Tenor Horn Eurhythmics
    7 Jock McKenzie Krivo Horo or Rock: from Rhythms of Life
    8 Philip Sparke Swiss Mountain Air or Threes, Fives and Sevens: No. 21 or No. 26 from Super Studies for Trumpet, Cornet, Flugel Horn or Tenor Horn

    High notes are not my strong point but I'm ok with relatively fast fingering and more lyrical pieces, I'm not a fan of anything too 'odd' either.

    Any comments/advice would be much appreciated, thanks :)
  2. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I did grade 8 without a regular teacher too (about a million years ago). It was hard going, but it is doable - good luck!

    The three most useful bits of advice I had were:
    1. Get hold of the dots for more pieces than you think you need, make a short list and then play them to someone else to get a 2nd opinion and some feedback before you choose your final list.
    2. Have some lessons! However good you are, and however honest you think you're being with yourself, never underestimate the value of new ears and different opinions.
    3. Make sure you have a decent pianist who's willing and able to play anything you throw at them and put in some rehearsal time with you. The accompaniments for some of those pieces are very very difficult - Vars on Welsh Theme being one of the worst - and the accompaniment can make or break a performance.
  3. Glamorgan

    Glamorgan New Member

    Thanks Accidental, I'll bear those in mind! I was mainly looking for advice on which pieces to try as it's too expensive to go and buy them all so I was looking for some insights on what any of the pieces are like, whether they're high/fast/rhythmical/emotional/traditional/modern, that sort of thing.
    I was planning on learning them as best I could and then finding a teacher for a few lessons leading up to the exam (if I get that far) to tell me all the mistakes I've made and all the little details I've missed :)
  4. DRW

    DRW New Member

    Hi Glamorgan. Have you tried searching online for recordings e.g on YouTube. This may give some insight. You may even find samples of the dots if searching with Google images which may help (although probably only page 1).
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  5. euph77

    euph77 Member

    I don't know the pieces in list B, but Variations (list A) is good. List C: if high notes are not your thing then avoid the Alwyn Green, which reaches top D. Sparke's Threes, Fives and Sevens and the Bourgeois are probably what you might call 'odd' but Sparke's Swiss Mountain Air is a technical exercise in 3/8 which reaches the dizzying heights of top A; well worth a look (along with the rest of the book). The Ernest Piper and Arban should be in your library anyway as exercises to practise regularly (you can buy the 14 studies separately rather than the whole Arban method if money is tight).

    Hope that helps some.
  6. ben16

    ben16 Member

    Surely you know someone with an Arban to look at those two? The studies generally need stamina more than anything.
    Piper book is really really wonderful, you should get it anyway for a lifetime's enjoyment. I think I may have done the D one for mine many years ago.
  7. ben16

    ben16 Member

    Should have mentioned, Arban is out of copyright so I believe the following site is completely legitimate for free download. Those studies are near the end of the 'method'.

  8. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    one advantage of having a lesson or two sooner rather than later would be getting to plunder someone else's library and try some of the music out before you buy anything.....
    its also a lot easier and more productive to learn the right stuff in the first place and keep practicing it than to unlearn the wrong things after they've become habits. Just a thought.

    The youtube suggestion is a great one.
    If high range is an issue then avoid September Fantasy, it starts on an A and gets higher; and I'd go for one of the Arban studies over anything else in list C (and as someone else has already said, the Arban is a good thing to have in your library anyway).
  9. Glamorgan

    Glamorgan New Member

    Thanks guys, your replies have been very helpful :) I do have an Arban but I've got ear problems (hopefully temporary) at the moment and I've been advised not to play so I can't try it out just yet. I'll look in to the Piper book as well, seems like might be a good investment (I'm relatively new to playing brass in case it wasn't obvious).
  10. Glamorgan

    Glamorgan New Member

    Update - I've not been able to find that many of the pieces on YouTube - just September Fantasy, Jack in the Box (on a saxophone) and Concert Gallop, I've tried Spotify as well and no luck there. I'll probably go with the Arban for now and try and find people with copies of the list B pieces to have a nose at :)
  11. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    Sorry, I bet I'm not the only one that's been itching to say this, but your best bet is.....

    Give up the Tenor Horn and learn a real instrument that isn't limited to only playing in Brass bands!

    Widen your opportunities, experience other musical avenues, free your mind and creativity!
  12. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    What an unnecessarily negative post :(

    I know of at least one excellent player who was advised to choose between tenor horn and french horn. Knowing he wouldn't cut through the field as a professional orchestral player, he opted for the instrument he loved playing the most - went on to play with top bands (including Black Dyke) and has had a great career conducting bands too - including being at the helm of a band in the top 25 of the world rankings.
  13. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Looks like you were the only one itching to say that afterall :)
  14. Glamorgan

    Glamorgan New Member

    Thanks for your post Bryan. In terms of widening my opportunities, learning tenor horn is doing exactly that. I already play the flute, violin and piano to grade 8 standard and am currently preparing for my piano DipABRSM. I have played in symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, world music groups, jazz groups, wind orchestras, musical theatre orchestras and pop/rock bands so getting into brass bands is definitely 'experiencing another musical avenue' for me.
  15. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    "pwned", as the kids would say :clap:
  16. DRW

    DRW New Member

    At last I understand that joke..."What do trumpet players use as a contraceptive?.... ;)
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  17. eflatbass

    eflatbass Supporting Member

    New to playing brass, and already doing grade 8 - WOW! Good luck.
  18. Shell

    Shell Member

    The list has changed somewhat this year!!
    I chose Variations on a Welsh Theme and really enjoyed it! The advice regarding a good pianist is very good advice indeed!
    I can scan a copy of the part if you send me your email address. Likewise with the Piper studies though I would agree the book is worth purchasing anyway. Can also do the same with Rhapsody for Tenor Horn-Bram Wiggins, the studies from the 50 Classical Studies book and the Alwyn Green study (which goes up to a top D!).
    You can see a PDF of the part for September Fantasy here: http://www.justmusicuk.com/spweb/details.php?catno=JM43767
    And Carousel: http://www.justmusicuk.com/spweb/details.php?catno=JM43422

    Neither of these are loading for me at the moment. It may just be my own connection but if they don't work for you, I can scan a sample of both pieces as well.

    Let me know!
  19. Glamorgan

    Glamorgan New Member

    Hi Shell, thanks a lot for that post - very helpful! I've already got a copy of Variations on a Welsh Theme and ordered the Piper book a couple of weeks ago - I figured it would be a worthwhile investment. I'd quite like to have a look at the Bram Wiggins piece though, if I PM you my email address would you mind sending it over?
    Apologies for the massive delay in replying as well, I'm moving house in the next couple of days so it's all been a bit mad recently :s
  20. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Can I suggest that you ask the publisher for this. Scanning parts and sending them to others is not the legal way to go about it.

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