Martin Ellerby and Tristan Encounters!

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
Cracking piece isnt it...
So good, that I've decided to write a 3000 word essay on the ANALYSIS of the piece! :shock: Think I'm mad!

I've written off to Studio Music to see if they have some sort of Biography on Mr Ellerby and any info of the piece... but I thought I'd put up a post, just to see if anyone had any bright ideas of anything about the piece or composer that will help me along the way... ;-)
I'd appreciate no point of views though, please!!!

Thank you :D

Dave Payn

Active Member
I am currently looking south west.

Oops. Sorry Naomi. You did say you didn't want any points of view! :)

The Cornet King

Active Member
All i know about the piece is that it was dedicated to Martin Ellerby's good friend Rodney Newton, who is a big fan of Wagner.

Hence the name Tristan Encounters because it uses Wagner's Tristan And Isolde Overture as the basis for the piece.

Also hence the Transfigurations for Brass Band (transfigurations being a word for Variation that Wagner commonly used.)


James McFadyen

New Member
Well Done Naomi, making musical anaylsis of other composers works is a very important aspect of developing your knowlage on composition.

I'm currently writing anaysis essays as part of my application to Goldsmiths!

I commend you, I really do, It's a skill that demand total command of how music is written in every way shape and form and I would love to read ur essay when u've finished it! I'm sure u'll bear reference about 'The Tristan Chord' and I'm quite intriqued as to how you fit this in.

Anyway, well done and good luck! :wink:

James McFadyen

New Member
Naruco said:
ha... ha... :p
yes, I would like no points of views on the piece... please...

Just to stress that little point ;-)

Indeed, Naomi! I think sometimes people forget that Musical Analysis has nothing to do with personal opinions and people are all to happy to put their 'boot' in :wink:


It might not be much help :) , but I seem to remember British Bandsman doing an article about it when it was first written as a test piece. Could try looking there, don't know what use it will be though!

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
:D :D Thanks for the comments so far... :D :D
I did already know a few of the minor things, like who it was dedicated to etc (i do have a borrowed score), and having just done a bit of analysis in uni with German Romanticism I've done about the Tristan Chord etc, which I'm sure will be used in my essay!

I'll give the British Bandsman suggestion a try... I'm lucky enough to know someone who gets them all so hopefully they'll beable to fish out this particular article :) if not, I'll try get in touch with the Bandsman direct and see if they can forward me the certain magazine it was in...

James: Yea, if you're interested in reading my essay when it's done, I'll certainly pass you on a copy...
and yes, some people do forget that saying whether they like the piece or not, will not help with the analysing of the piece... in fact, it would be a whole load of blurb which isn't answering the question :roll: ... no extra marks for that is there! lol...
This is a university assignment, not done by free choice, but the choice of the piece is... most people are doing the simplest pieces to analyse... Tristan is more of a challenge I feel ;-) and yes, looking and analysing other composers pieces, does improve your own writing a lot... I've done this for the last 2/3 years, and my writing is certainly different now to what it used to be when I started out!
I'm always looking at conductors scores trying to make "in-mind" sense of the piece and getting to know deep inside the music...

What would be great to know, is how Martin Ellerby actually wrote the piece... did he actually sit down working out all this stuff (and theres some fantastic writing in it) or was it a sit down at Sibelius job? :lol: ... Well!! You never know!! lol...

What do the "more experienced" people think, about using a recording of a piece to go with the essay...?... I'm not sure whether to put in my essay about comparisons in how different bands and conductors have approached looking at the piece... I have 4 different recordings so far... and then Leyland will be cracking down to doing the piece for the Areas of course... so no doubt I'll be recording the rehearsals leading upto the contest... certainly should get into the mind of Garry Cutt! :lol:

Anyhoo, keep the comments coming! :D
Thanks again! :D

James McFadyen

New Member
If you ask me, most Composers aren't doing enough of this type of stuff, it's a real shame because once you get down to the nitty-gritty of how music is actually put together, you kinda go 'Oh yea - so that's how it's done'.

Sometimes, I do wish, though, that there was some romance involved in composition! :wink:

Actually, on something slightly different, someone asked me recently about if composing is boring?! I don't think anything that involves creation is boring at all - that is why we should take a closer look and appreciate music much more - perhaps, you might have ur analysis published, Naomi - you see these sorts of books all the time, except there's none available for Brass Band works which is a real pitty!

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
oh you're right there James... and if there were more analytical projects that were published (which, I dont know of any for Band) then it will help everyone! :lol: I know it would help me right now! :roll: :lol:

Romance in composition... I like to think there is ;-)

Composition being boring!?!?!?! I wont hear of such a thing! :lol: ... being creative is the most interesting thing there is in music... much more interesting than performance IMHO ;-)

James McFadyen

New Member
Perhaps we could start our own little tMP Publications, where composers each write an analytical essay of their choice, it all gets combined into one book and wallah - the first ever Musical Analysis book of Brass Band music! :lol:
About putting in a cd recording- it might move the essay a bit off topic. If you were writing an essay comparing interpretations of TE then a recording would be a great idea, but in an analysis essay i think its a bit irrelevant. I can imagine its a great piece to write an essay on though, you certainly won't be stuck for things to talk about!
Also you might want to see if anyone else has written about the piece, maybe the composer himself. That way you can cite sources and research more about the piece, adding quotes by other authors is always good, even in an analytical essay...

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
shedophone said:
Also you might want to see if anyone else has written about the piece, maybe the composer himself.

Studio Music are on the case for me with this!
Mr Ellerby is out of the country just now... but when he's back....! :D

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