luciano berio - sequenza V for trombone solo


Yesterday my brother gave me this for my birthday.

Looks completely bizarre, but quite good fun!!

Does anyone know it? Has anyone played it? Any tips?

Also it asks for a metal plunger. Are these readily available, and if so where from?

Floor's open to you lot... but you need a chair and a low stand in the middle of it, with a spot light on.... "why? (bemused)"


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sounds very interesting, i'll have to check around...

Don't think i've ever seen a metal plunger (sounds like asking for dents!). Could it be a plunger over a metal mute?


no, definitely a metal plunger.. it asks you to rattle it in the bell at some points (whilst moving your slide in all random directions, and singin down your instrument!!)


Got a few of them anyway. especially after last week, when a horn got wedged in a boot with my tromb in its gig bag.... some people have no consideration for gig bags :x


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...because it's a piece of Music/Theatre. The visual element is as important as the music. It was written by Berio in the 60's for the American virtuoso Stuart Dempster who gave a brilliant performance...

There's also a much later trumpet Sequenza which involves playing into a grand piano to catch the resonances. Great pieces but not many tunes.

The sequenza's are a series of pieces writeen by Berio through out ther last thirty years or so. They are all for solo instruments and are intended to extended the instrument in terms of technique, extended technique, and virtuoso performance.

I believe that this sequenza, as with his sequenza for voice, is based upon a clown that Berio used to live next door to in Italy (called Guzo or something!).

Also Berio died earlier this year... :(




My college dissertation was entitled "The sleeping giant begins to awaken, the recent evolution of the trombone" and I used the Berio Sequenza V as one of my case studies.

It is based on a story about the famous European clown "Grock" (Charles Adrien Wettach) His famous trademark was the speaking of the word "WHY?"

The Berio Sequenza V is seen as one of the first solo theatre pieces written for trombone. I saw Christian Lindberg perform this at a concert in the Royal Scottish Academy. He dressed as a clown and painted his face, it was brilliant. A very difficult piece to pull off and open to several interpretations.

Good luck with it!


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i havn't had any probs with dints with my gib bag - even when i fell off my scooter (with it on my back- euph) was only going slow like! (snow)


sequenza v

The sequenza v is notorious for being one of the most diffucult pieces in the repatoire. My collegue suz who has left a post above has a much better knowlege of the history and probably of the piece as a whole than i have. I studied the piece while at the RCM (although it was for a presentation not a performance) and used the Christian Lindburg recording which is awsome. (as you would expect).

The piece as you know is in two parts. Massive use of multiphonics and theatrical moves makes the piece almost impossible to perform with the music, (its supposed to be memorised anyway) and the plunger is used to tap the bell rhymically while you play and sing. the fact that it is graphically scored also makes it diffucult to initially "break its back".

The guys to talk to if you want a real expert advice on this stuff is The guy at Huddersfireld uni Barry Webb, or of course John Kenny.

While i was in Portugal with the Remix Ensemble, which is a contemporary music ensmeble, i was going to perforn this piece for a recital. I found that unfortunatily the 1 month i had to prepare was no'where near enough to learn it thouroughly. The five years till 2008 may be just enough if i start right now!!!

If you want to be broken gently into this sort of stuff try Basta by Raby or Maybe Doolallynastics by my good friend and gentlemen Brian Lynn. The latter is a belter and the former is more on the contemporary side. Neither is graphically scored which is a distinct bonus for speed learning!!

Hope this is of some help. :) :D
I've performed this in anger (so to speak) whilst at the RCM. IMO I think it is a lot of effort for not much return. Punters would rather listen to something a bit more musical :!: If you want the challenge - go ahead it'll take you a while to learn it. I would suggest that Basta by Folke Rabe is a better piece in this style.

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