When is a solo a solo

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Goodnight Irene, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Goodnight Irene

    Goodnight Irene New Member

    This may sound a stupid question but what in your opinion constitutes a solo?
  2. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hehe, that's like asking how long is a piece of string :)

    I guess it depends on if the piece is actually a solo piece with band accompaniment, or if it is a solo per sé within a section of a larger piece. Both are technically 'solos' I guess...
  3. Ffion Flugel

    Ffion Flugel Member

    So if you have a bit that says "one only" on a solo cornet part, would that constitute a solo, or does the composer just want less sound from the front row?
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    If it says 'only one' rather than 'solo' - then on the face of it personally, I'd interpret that as less sound. Then again - it depends on the music yeah?
  5. Ffion Flugel

    Ffion Flugel Member

    Can't argue with that!
  6. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    When it's not a duet?
  7. jackocorn

    jackocorn Member

    When you have to stand up to play it?
  8. oddbod

    oddbod Member

    When, having stood up to play it, you don't get 16 or more very slow bars rest in the middle, then making one knee go with the off beat to try and look cool, as if you are actually enjoying the (yawn) tutti....

  9. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    In my opinion, the idea of a solo is that it is a bit or whole piece of music for one (or more) person(s) to play with or without accompaniment.

    List of types of solos

    Whole pieces

    One instrument only, no accompaniment. Might have been described as sonata (if grand enough) in the old days
    One instrument with keyboard (or guitar) accompaniment (Also sonata)
    One instrument with orchestral or band accompaniment (sometimes described as concerto)
    A piece for a particular rank of instruments. This kind of piece is often described as a 'feature' but might be considered equivalent to a 'concerto grosso'

    Parts of pieces

    A short section of a piece, specifically marked 'solo'.
    The part of a traditional march where the 'bottom end' get a tune - often referred to as the bass solo.

    Any others I've missed?
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Solos within pieces may not be actually marked as "solo", but it will normally be apparent that a particular instrument is being featured.

    An interesting variation on the idea of solo within pieces can be found in some of the works of Schoenberg and some of his followers, where the score and parts may well highlight which is the main (or subsidiary) theme. This can add to the clarity of a performance, particularly if the music is atonal, when the "theme" might not be immediately identifiable. In the hands of someone like Webern, with his concept of "Klangfarbenmelodie", each instrument may only carry a couple of notes in the formation of the melody.
  11. onebandman

    onebandman New Member

    I don't think it's a stupid question. It's something I've wondered about for a while.
    We were talking about this at band the other night when playing the second movement of 'Carnival'. There is a bit in the second cornet part that is only two bars long and nothing particularly fancy or exposed, and third cornets and some others play as well. But those two bars are marked 'Solo'.
  12. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I'd have though in that instance, where there would normally be two on the part, it means that only one should play.
  13. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    In the orchestral world (which carnival really comes from) solo on a part means something slightly different than in a BB context, so I'd agree with Peter on this one.
  14. sale

    sale Member

    When it says solo at the top of the page and you play the melody on your own without trying to make mistakes!!!!!!
  15. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Prelude and Jubilate, bar before 'A', playing Flugel...

    Not marked 'solo', but everything else suddenly goes quiet :eek:
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  16. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Downland Suite by John Ireland solo: About half the piece involving the lines that are in the faintest way unique yet still accompanied by half the band. ;-)
  17. Ffion Flugel

    Ffion Flugel Member

    That's that "Oh my god, I can't hear anyone else" moment isn't it. I remember that happening to me at a concert when the trombone player who had the same part was off ill. :eek:
  18. sale

    sale Member

    Same thing!
  19. MaxPressure

    MaxPressure Member

    :oops: how about that bit in resurgam..... when you go very red in the face cuz you didnt count right :biggrin:
  20. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    There is a similar solo in Journey Into Freedom ;-)

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