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View Full Version : The flugel is not a real instrument



Rambo Chick
13.07.2011, 03:44
Hi all

The above statement (title of thread) is NOT a representation of my views just to clarify!

My friend works for a music company over here in New Zealand and they come out with the most ridiculous statements and requests from their workers, the above being one of them!

Another quote which still has us flabbergasted/highly amused:

<in the office one morning there was a strong smell of gas>
my friend: "we should call the fire brigade/authorities"
Office manager/owner: "no it's fine get to work, New Zealand gas isn't flammable anyway"

So re the flugel thing; they had a well known performer of these parts come to audition for something and the company said after that they:

"couldn't believe someone would audition on a FLUGEL, because its just a blending instrument, and isn't real, it's a nothing instrument" !!!

outraged I was, Outraged!! :eek: ;)

Slightly tongue in cheek of course!

covkiddownunder
13.07.2011, 04:04
Typical!!! Someone should tell this "musical organisation" to look at just a couple of examples (Mahler 3 and Tippet 3) which confirms that the flugel is a real instrument. (Not bothering to even mention its relevance to brass bands of course, as he probably wouldn't recognise that as a credible musical entity, either...)

worzel
13.07.2011, 10:16
What! He hasn't seen Brassed Off?

MoominDave
13.07.2011, 10:27
This bloke might disagree with them over the gas thing:
http://www.3news.co.nz/Shoddy-workmanship-blamed-for-gas-explosion-/tabid/423/articleID/194118/Default.aspx

Sounds like a right bunch of plonkers!

Vegasbound
13.07.2011, 10:32
It's a doubling instrument for the 3rd or 4th trumpet....

P_S_Price
13.07.2011, 14:20
In SA music it is a colouring instrument; along with - Soppy Rano, 2nd Barredone, Euphalonium, and all Thrombones!

tgfoxley
13.07.2011, 22:38
Hi all

The above statement (title of thread) is NOT a representation of my views just to clarify!

My friend works for a music company over here in New Zealand and they come out with the most ridiculous statements and requests from their workers, the above being one of them!

Another quote which still has us flabbergasted/highly amused:

<in the office one morning there was a strong smell of gas>
my friend: "we should call the fire brigade/authorities"
Office manager/owner: "no it's fine get to work, New Zealand gas isn't flammable anyway"

So re the flugel thing; they had a well known performer of these parts come to audition for something and the company said after that they:

"couldn't believe someone would audition on a FLUGEL, because its just a blending instrument, and isn't real, it's a nothing instrument" !!!

outraged I was, Outraged!! :eek: ;)

Slightly tongue in cheek of course!

What - on the basis that it is an "in-between" instrument?

In that case, the tenor horn and baritone should be wary of these guys! :oops:

Cath Ata
13.07.2011, 22:41
The tenor horn is not a real instrument!

Rambo Chick
14.07.2011, 03:58
This bloke might disagree with them over the gas thing:
http://www.3news.co.nz/Shoddy-workmanship-blamed-for-gas-explosion-/tabid/423/articleID/194118/Default.aspx

Sounds like a right bunch of plonkers!


They certainly are!!

hobgoblin
14.07.2011, 09:08
The flugal provides a nice colour in the band and a bridge between cnts and horns.
That said, it's seriousness as an instrument is undermined by the fact that with few exceptions it is played by failed solo cornet players that have a pleasant sound, but neither the technique, range or endurance to make it on the front row / principle cornet.
In this sense though it is no different to the baritone & perhaps tenor horn - which are played mostly by failed euph /cornet players.
All these instruments in the hands of the very best players are "proper" instruments though - it's just a shame they attract losers.
(As a cr*p bass player I think I can say this!)

Ianroberts
14.07.2011, 11:21
The flugal provides a nice colour in the band and a bridge between cnts and horns.
That said, it's seriousness as an instrument is undermined by the fact that with few exceptions it is played by failed solo cornet players that have a pleasant sound, but neither the technique, range or endurance to make it on the front row / principle cornet.
In this sense though it is no different to the baritone & perhaps tenor horn - which are played mostly by failed euph /cornet players.
All these instruments in the hands of the very best players are "proper" instruments though - it's just a shame they attract losers.
(As a cr*p bass player I think I can say this!)

Time for you to put your tin hat on mate !

CubbRep
14.07.2011, 12:54
I disagree that the Flugel is played by failed cornet/euphonium players.I would like you to say that to some of the top Flugel players in this country.It is a specialist instrument on which you develop your own style unlike a lot cornet players.
I am a cornet player,but still love playing the Flugel and given any opportunity will take it out of its case and play.So.to make a satement like Flugel is played by failed cornet and euph players is a bit drastic.

katieeuph
14.07.2011, 14:24
Time for you to put your tin hat on mate !

Nope, just time for him to crawl back under the bridge he came from (you know, the one the 3 Billy Goats Gruff frequent....):rolleyes:

Rambo Chick
14.07.2011, 23:41
That said, it's seriousness as an instrument is undermined by the fact that with few exceptions it is played by failed solo cornet players that have a pleasant sound, but neither the technique, range or endurance to make it on the front row / principle cornet.

ouch!! FEW exceptions? I'm afraid I have to disagree. Perhaps your experiences have been different. Speaking personally, flugel has been my main instrument on which (without blowing my own trumpet, da dum Cha!) I have technique, endurance (and although it could be improved, range). Flugel was the instrument on which I did my degree and I made it my own, and stood alongside the cornet players in terms of proficiency :)



In this sense though it is no different to the baritone & perhaps tenor horn - which are played mostly by failed euph /cornet players.
All these instruments in the hands of the very best players are "proper" instruments though - it's just a shame they attract losers.
(As a cr*p bass player I think I can say this!)

Losers? - cutting remarks!! Ouchy ouchy!

I think I get that you mean it may attract players who see it as an 'easy' instrument. Sadly, given the parts that are written for flugel, it is invariably less challenging than say solo cornet parts (of course there are exceptions), and a source of frustration for me as a flugel player who would like to see more challenging 'technical' music written for the flugel in brass bands.

That said however,it can be argued that a slow melody played well is just as tricky as high technical fast stuff, especially because there's no room for bluffing!

hobgoblin
15.07.2011, 08:57
A degree in flugal horn - would you like a large fries with that!?

HowarthBrass
15.07.2011, 11:23
A degree in flugal horn - would you like a large fries with that!?

Idiot who can't even spell FLUGEL!!!

Thirteen Ball
15.07.2011, 11:29
The flugal provides a nice colour in the band and a bridge between cnts and horns.
That said, it's seriousness as an instrument is undermined by the fact that with few exceptions it is played by failed solo cornet players that have a pleasant sound, but neither the technique, range or endurance to make it on the front row / principle cornet.

Having heard the very Flugel player who started this thread nail Geodicke's Concert Etude to the back wall of the auditorium, and rip out a top E to finish a blistering performance of 'Children of Sanchez' I'm guessing she ranks in the exceptions, right?

(Oh, PS - it's flugel not flugal. And yes, there should be an umlaut over the 'U' but I can't be bothered chasing down the correct ascii character.)


In this sense though it is no different to the baritone & perhaps tenor horn - which are played mostly by failed euph /cornet players.

I'll let you tell Billy Rushworth he plays an instrument for 'failed cornet players' then. Good luck with that.....

hobgoblin
16.07.2011, 01:38
Sorry for mis-spelling flugal - my mistake.

The tenor horn is a hand-bag of an instrument. It has a usefull role in the middle of the brass band, but outside of this context is less usefull than bagpipes. Most exponents seem to be either ladies of loose virtue, or angry little men with chips on both shoulders.
As an instrument it is at the evolutionary dead end of saxhorn evolution - a sort of musical duck-billed platypus if you will. Still, I don't suppose there is any harm in playing one if you can't get the hang of anything else.

DublinBass
16.07.2011, 04:34
The flugal provides a nice colour in the band and a bridge between cnts and horns

Probably not the best choice of abbreviations ;-)

I think any instrument in a brass band is 1) a solo instrument and 2) every brass band has them, thus they are real instruments...sure cornets and euphs get most of the glory...but there have been some fantastic soprano, flugel, tenor horn, baritone, trombone, Eb bass and Bb bass soloist over the years (and percussion too!!).

fhornjd
16.07.2011, 09:54
A degree in flugal horn - would you like a large fries with that!?

Nothing worse than people who can't spell flugel!

hobgoblin
17.07.2011, 01:30
Nothing worse than people who can't spell flugel!
......apart from famine,war ,cancer -oh, and people who only play the flugal because they are bobbins on the cornet.

Cath Ata
17.07.2011, 15:19
Almost as ridiculous as a degree in euphonium, cornet or Bb Bass though hobgoblin. You would be better off doing golf course management, at least try actually pay golf course managers!

I think all these brass band instrument degrees should be banned, or at least not supported by LEA funds. It's disgusting. What a waste of money. All these people end up doing is teaching at best and something unrelated to music at worst. Why doesn't someone wanting to do a degree in cornet get told that it's a useless subject as there is no such thing a professional cornet player. They would be far better off doing a BEd and actually learning about the job they may actually do in the future.

Although a couple of credits in fast food outlet management may be far far more useful to them and the economy.

That said, apparently there is a secret breed of full time professional euphonium players in our military. That must be where all the best ones have gone!

hobgoblin
17.07.2011, 15:41
I would imagine that once students have to pay 9000 a year in fees (plus living costs) we may see rather fewer baritone btecs and drs of the tenor horn than at present;).

Cath Ata
17.07.2011, 15:44
I can't imagine there are any tenor horn players who manage to earn 9000 a year from playing even with a PHD or DMUS! I suppose they will never have to pay the loan back though so it's effectively a 4 year free booze up!

cshimmon
17.07.2011, 16:07
Surely whether an instrument gets glory or is just a blending intrument is entirely at the hands of composers? It drives me round the twist that 2nd baritone (which I am at the moment) in 99% of modern SA music is treated as useless. The afterthought of the band. we are given nothing to work with at all. But that is no reflection at all of my abilities- you can't ever expect someone to say 'wasn't that baritone player amazing!' though if all they're ever given to play is doubling the basses, and doubling chord notes!!! In much older SA music and *some* non SA music, there is a part actually written for it, but it's as if every piece that goes through our music department before publishing has been sent without with every part BUT 2nd bari and someone's said 'well what notes don't matter? give them those'


Grrr, rant over.

Anyway, I think the comment about flugel players being failed cornet and horn players is unfortunately often true :-( I do realise that there are many many brilliant flugel players out there, but unfortunately in many bands, it is just given to someone who isn't quite good enough somewhere else, without any thought given to the different technique etc that every instrument requires. Such a shame when it can be used so beautifully.

Di B
17.07.2011, 16:14
Flugel is a blending instrument?! Rubbish!

Personally, I have never seen one set foot in my kitchen let alone pick up the blender.

tgfoxley
17.07.2011, 18:24
I can't imagine there are any tenor horn players who manage to earn 9000 a year from playing even with a PHD or DMUS! I suppose they will never have to pay the loan back though so it's effectively a 4 year free booze up!

Free.....apart from the booze..... :confused:

P_S_Price
17.07.2011, 19:04
Surely whether an instrument gets glory or is just a blending intrument is entirely at the hands of composers? It drives me round the twist that 2nd baritone (which I am at the moment) in 99% of modern SA music is treated as useless. The afterthought of the band. we are given nothing to work with at all. But that is no reflection at all of my abilities- you can't ever expect someone to say 'wasn't that baritone player amazing!' though if all they're ever given to play is doubling the basses, and doubling chord notes!!! In much older SA music and *some* non SA music, there is a part actually written for it, but it's as if every piece that goes through our music department before publishing has been sent without with every part BUT 2nd bari and someone's said 'well what notes don't matter? give them those'


Grrr, rant over.

Anyway, I think the comment about flugel players being failed cornet and horn players is unfortunately often true :-( I do realise that there are many many brilliant flugel players out there, but unfortunately in many bands, it is just given to someone who isn't quite good enough somewhere else, without any thought given to the different technique etc that every instrument requires. Such a shame when it can be used so beautifully.


Leizdens None other name - curently on our play list - 2nd Bari - vital in several places.

Problem is many SA bands nowadays dont have enough players to fill all parts. So even where the 2nd Bari is critical - you usually get i queued elsewhere.

nethers
18.07.2011, 05:50
Chuck Mangione? I wish I could get a dozen or so billboard chart entries playing a nothing instrument!

Also, not one of the people I studied with at uni works in McD's... A few are professional players, a few teach practical music, a few teach classroom music, I think one is a music therapist, some others are in musical theatre, some are composing and conducting in some top conservatoires, one is a soon to be architect, some others are now in high management at respectable companies... Surely some people have dropped the ball a bit and aren't doing something musical or otherwise using their potential and skills gained through studying music, but I am sure that the number is comparable to other subjects.

Look at the dropout rate for studying doctors/nurses! And how few are in the profession a few years after graduating! Now that is a subject we should put a stop to.

</sarcasm>

Ah, have missed the trolls :D

cshimmon
18.07.2011, 12:39
Leizdens None other name - curently on our play list - 2nd Bari - vital in several places.

Problem is many SA bands nowadays dont have enough players to fill all parts. So even where the 2nd Bari is critical - you usually get i queued elsewhere.


When was that published?

I'm largely talking about the higher levels of music rather than the things intended for a smaller band. Many of those of course are scored more lightly, but on things intended to have someone on every part- they should give them a decent part to play. What is the point in me being there otherwise?

Thirteen Ball
18.07.2011, 12:58
I can only speak for Secular band repertoire, but you're not alone in your thinking about 2nd baritone players. A lot of them think of themselves as unappreciated doubling instruments - but a lot of the time that's not the case. 2nd baritone carries a lot of suspensions, and often adds the low third into lower band work. OK, the part might not be the most interesting a lot of the time, but a great deal of the time, it's essential to the overall harmony and lends a lot of depth.

Genereally speaking, what I've always told second baritone players is this. It's not so much that you really hear them when they're there.... but you don't half miss them when they're not.

cshimmon
18.07.2011, 13:00
even when those parts are important though, the composers could make some effort to make them interesting to play. I frequently go home from band practice with everyone else saying it was a good practice and me thinking it was bloomin awful and wishing I'd stayed home!

worzel
18.07.2011, 13:24
Sorry for mis-spelling flugal - my mistake.

The tenor horn is a hand-bag of an instrument. It has a usefull role in the middle of the brass band, but outside of this context is less usefull than bagpipes. Most exponents seem to be either ladies of loose virtue, or angry little men with chips on both shoulders.
I agreed with you up to "many horn players are failed cornet players" (although not all, obviously). But chips on both shoulders? After a 20 year break I simply couldn't get the range back on a cornet, and was grateful for the opening on an instrument I could at least make some progress on. I don't bare any grudges for my own inability or lack of practice over the years.


As an instrument it is at the evolutionary dead end of saxhorn evolution - a sort of musical duck-billed platypus if you will. Still, I don't suppose there is any harm in playing one if you can't get the hang of anything else.For people like me, with no delusions of grandeur, who are just grateful for the opportunity to be able to play with a band of some description, the limitations on my future options to play with orchestras or even professionally are probably not due to my choice of instrument.

Anyway, isn't a violin at an evolutionary dead end?

PeterBale
18.07.2011, 15:36
even when those parts are important though, the composers could make some effort to make them interesting to play. I frequently go home from band practice with everyone else saying it was a good practice and me thinking it was bloomin awful and wishing I'd stayed home!

2nd baritone can be a strange part - when I played it, i was actually surprised how often I had the melody, or was doubling the euphonium line.

Unfortunately, any part that you cannot guarantee will be there is going to produce problems - if you want a strange part to play, try 2nd tenor sax in a dance band (usually quite disjointed, popping between all the odd added notes in the harmony)

cshimmon
18.07.2011, 15:52
2nd baritone can be a strange part - when I played it, i was actually surprised how often I had the melody, or was doubling the euphonium line.

Unfortunately, any part that you cannot guarantee will be there is going to produce problems - if you want a strange part to play, try 2nd tenor sax in a dance band (usually quite disjointed, popping between all the odd added notes in the harmony)

We've played a few older pieces recently and they do seem to have nice parts, it's the modern publications I have issue with.

Pyman71
18.07.2011, 20:58
it's the modern publications I have issue with.

Have you played the newish SA classic marches set on A4 sheet? you share your part with 1st bari, 1st & 2nd troms with instructions on who should play what at which particular time (we got the highlighter pens out)

covkiddownunder
19.07.2011, 05:19
It has a usefull role in the middle of the brass band, but outside of this context is less usefull than bagpipes. Most exponents seem to be either ladies of loose virtue, or angry little men with chips on both shoulders.

Errm, you seem to be forgetting:

Clark Terry
Hugh Masekela
Art Farmer
Chuck Mangione
Miles Davis
Freddie Hubbard
Mike Metheny

Shall I go on?

Best to stay silent and let people think you're an uninformed idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt... :clap:

Rambo Chick
19.07.2011, 06:23
A degree in flugal horn - would you like a large fries with that!?

oo yes please! Are you today's server?


My music degree has given me so much musically, intellectually. Opportunities to go overseas, awards, transferrable skills, so much, listing it all is a mammoth task and I am sure other musos will agree. I am all the richer for it. :biggrin:

cshimmon
19.07.2011, 10:20
Have you played the newish SA classic marches set on A4 sheet? you share your part with 1st bari, 1st & 2nd troms with instructions on who should play what at which particular time (we got the highlighter pens out)

No, I'm afraid they wouldn't be much use for us really, they're designed for smaller bands to be able to play pieces they wouldn't otherwise be able to aren't they, but we're a band of 30 with every part but bass trombone covered, so we'd be more likely to play the original version. (unless I'm thinking of the wrong thing of course!)

its_jon
14.08.2011, 14:31
In reply to people stating the Flugel and Tenor horns are blending or background instruments.

A Flugel in the hands of a Jazz Trumpet player is a pure delight to the ears.

The problem is that Arrangers treat the Flugel and Horns as blending instruments.

A Horn Section is stunning when allowed to open up.... its the pants cheesy arrangers though that always play safe.

Same with the Flugel. SO SO often (to make a contrast) the melody will be thrown over to the Flugel to politely echo.

The clue is in the name of both instrument ....'horn' ... At their best when 'singing'

The other thing that gets me annoyed is that 95% of cornet players think they are playing mini Trumpets....and don't even get me started on sop's !

Baritones... are valved Trombones (sort of) and very very useful too ! ...nay awesome with lower end detail and rasp ... as well as the mellow attributes.

Thirteen Ball
14.08.2011, 23:02
oo yes please! Are you today's server?

My music degree has given me so much musically, intellectually. Opportunities to go overseas, awards, transferrable skills, so much, listing it all is a mammoth task and I am sure other musos will agree. I am all the richer for it. :biggrin:

Not to mention a Harry Mortimer Award (Which you haven't mentioned - so I will....)

worzel
15.08.2011, 14:13
The problem is that Arrangers treat the Flugel and Horns as blending instruments.
Well according to our MD I'm actively doing something as a player about that.


The other thing that gets me annoyed is that 95% of cornet players think they are playing mini Trumpets....and don't even get me started on sop's !

Baritones... are valved Trombones (sort of) and very very useful too ! ...nay awesome with lower end detail and rasp ... as well as the mellow attributes.I thought trombones and cornets were both essentially trumpet like in cross section profile while the baritone shared its with the other horns (flugel and tenor).

beccawheeze2
15.08.2011, 15:11
I stopped playing flug to become a back row cornet player, oh how I rue that one! The flugel is a wonderful instrument in the right hands, I lacked the technical ability to realistically continue in this seat, but by gum I had the range and the stamina now sadly lacking on cornet.

flugelbeth
08.02.2012, 11:53
Exactly, I've always go back to flugel, even though I keep being asked to play cornet by my conductor, because the sound's so much richer and everything just SOUNDS better on a flugel!

Daveflug
08.02.2012, 20:53
Exactly, I've always go back to flugel, even though I keep being asked to play cornet by my conductor

Yeah there might be a reason for that

flugelbeth
08.02.2012, 22:32
Yeah there might be a reason for that

Because noone wants to play cornet and the seats have to be filled! haha

AlfaFreak
23.02.2012, 04:33
Typical!!! Someone should tell this "musical organisation" to look at just a couple of examples (Mahler 3 and Tippet 3) which confirms that the flugel is a real instrument. (Not bothering to even mention its relevance to brass bands of course, as he probably wouldn't recognise that as a credible musical entity, either...)

I haven't read all of the posts in between this one and the last but.... off stage Mahler 3 is NOT for the Flugel, the original is for "post horn", quite different to flugel. The use of flugel for this has only become standard due to the limited availablity and cost of acquiring a correct post horn.

Anyway, "The Flugel is REAL"!

cornyandy
23.02.2012, 09:21
I often joke (to myself) that the flugel is the instrument that can't deciede whether it's a horn or a cornet (I play cornet) but that's not meant to be disparraging to anyone I Love the warm rich tone of the flugel when ours plays a solo I also love the depth it can add to an arrangement. If it seems a bit af a jack of all trades, master of none that is down to the arrangements. But it is certainly a reall instrument (I've not yet seen a virtual flugel)

worzel
23.02.2012, 10:23
Personally I think the flugel and the euph are the two most beautiful sounding instruments in the band.

AlfaFreak
23.02.2012, 21:20
Don't get me started on Bagpipes...

cornyandy
23.02.2012, 22:05
Alfa don't start droning on

subtlevib
25.02.2012, 13:33
Hey, remember the tiny niche of music as a whole that we're occupying. Where else do you find tenor horns? baritones? Flugels (assigned it's own, consistent part).