NEWSLETTER of DAVID E. SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC
VOL 2, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 1, 2000
© 2000 Copyright of David E. Smith Publications
All Rights Reserved. Made in U.S.A.
Table of Contents
The Lone Arrangers's Space
Meet Fred M. Hubbell
Lines of Note
I am gratified at the response we are getting with "Lines and Spaces" now that we have a couple of issues with thousands of copies distributed. The expertise of our writers fosters that and I feel the content of this issue will continue that response.
David E. Smith
Our featured writer this issue has been widely published and we're proud to have him as one of "ours"-- Fred Hubbell. Fred has several meaningful band compositions in our Catalog. "Built On A Rock," I've always felt, will become a classic with time-- it's well constructed, showing good contrast between the open and massive sections. If you want something a bit different in your programming "Hymns On Parade" is just the item. Heavily scored, it will work with any kind of instrumentation supported by a strong martial percussion line. A "test" can be distributed to your audience of challenging them to the number hymns they can identify. These pieces, along with "Hail, The Conquering Hero!", "Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken", and "To God Be The Glory" are other considerations.
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THE LONE ARRANGER'S SPACE
THAT FIRST TIME THROUGH THE NEW ARRANGEMENT
Okay...so you have this new woodwind quartet arrangement in your hands.
Dana F. Everson
You have several students eagerly ready to read it. You pass it out and try it, but somehow it just doesn't meet your expectations. You cleverly mask your disappointment from the students, but later that day you tell your spouse of your discouragement. What went wrong? Was it the arranger's fault?...the students?...are you far more inadequate as a director than you thought?
Don't despair! Consider the following suggestions:
Know your players. Try to choose music that is at the appropriate difficulty level for them as a group. There is just no substitute for trial and error, and the experience of searching through music at conventions, workshops, and music store shelves.
Adjust your expectations. As an arranger I never expect the first reading to sound like the perfect model of my work that I had in my head. This is not an automatic criticism of the performers, rather, an indication of the need to get the interpretation across from writer to performer. All of the music is not on the written page. Try to look the music over ahead of time so that you can anticipate where problems may occur. The younger the player, the more preparation you will need to do in this area.
Mentally play through each part taking note of the probable stumbling points.
2) SIGHTREADING: Two keys...
3) TRY STARTING AT THE END:
- A) MENTALLY scan the music first, looking for the UNUSUAL portions such as key changes, tricky rhythmic patterns, and other technical spots.
- B) EMOTIONALLY scan the music, looking for the INTENT of the writer in terms of expression.
If the player can successfully play the ending, the transitions, and the introduction, he/she will have more confidence during the normal reading of the music as the approach is made to each of these connecting "seams." Try working on those seams even before reading straight through the piece for the first time. Of course this means the leader/teacher should have surveyed the form of the piece prior to rehearsing it so that the potential problem sections or transitions are anticipated.
Someone has said we can be 33% more effective if we have pre-set goals. Hopefully, these simple suggestions will be of some help in setting and reaching those goals.
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A SIGNIFICANT SOURCE OF STRENGTH AWAITS THOSE WHO SILENTLY SEQUESTER THEMSELVES BEFORE HIS HOLINESS. SSSSSHH.
Harlow E. Hopkins
Several years ago a friend and I visited a University in northern Minnesota. It was a Catholic institution with a monastery located on the campus. We attended Evensong each day.
Just a few weeks before our arrival, several young monks had lobbied until they persuaded the older monks that a short period of silence should be included in each evening service. The lobbying finally resulted in what amounted to a slight but significant change. That added minute stretched on and on as we waited before our Creator. Never before had I experienced such silence. It was POWERFUL!
In recent months, I have experienced a similar inclusion of silence at the beginning of a morning worship service. Again, powerful silence.
Not only can it be helpful in public, it is even more helpful, yes essential, to find private, quiet devotional periods. During those moments of seclusion it is not easy to prevent thoughts from creeping in--the day's agenda keeps calling for attention. God's power is needed to prevent the daily from infringing on the eternal.
We know that Christ frequently left the company of others to pray. He felt the need to spend quiet time alone with His Father. If He needed those frequent, secluded prayer-times how much more do I! Scripture instructs--entreats us to wait before the Lord.
Psalms 46:19 instructs us to "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (NIV) Another translation puts it, "Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything."*
William D. Longstaff's words (1882) offer well-considered advice: "Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord. Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word...Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, Like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see...Let Him be thy Guide, and run not before Him, whatever betide...
*The Message. by Eugene H. Peterson, printed with publisher's permission.
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Word Picture for Brass Playing
For me, a helpful word picture for playing brass instruments is a car engine and how it works:
by Phil Norris
The lip is the source of the vibration. It must vibrate smoothly and freely at all dynamics and throughout all registers. We often speak of engine 'performance.' The lip no less is THE performance source for the brass player. It's like a fine reed, a drumhead or a string for other instrumentalists.
- Lip = Engine
- Oral Cavity & Throat = Fuel Line
- Abdominal Muscles = Fuel Pump
- Breath = Fuel
- Tongue = Spark Plug
Therefore, it also requires time and exercise in its development in much the way a singer's vocal cords require development. The lips are the brass player's vocal cords.
For the car engine to function efficiently, adequate and unrestricted fuel flow must be present. The same is true for wind players. Any kink in the fuel line will adversely affect the engine's performance. The fuel must be steady and adequately full for optimum performance. When we kink the fuel line by over-pressurization of breath or by constricting the throat or tensing the tongue, the lip will not perform to its best. On the other hand, when the airflow is full and unrestricted, the lips work efficiently and buzz completely yielding the best results.
The abdominal muscles also need to be fluid, flexible. They should work like a bellows or as they do in normal breathing. When we lock those muscles, as we would in a combat stance or when expelling fecal matter or for women in childbirth, the air becomes pressurized. This excessive amount of pressure does not allow for maximum quantity and flow required for full lip vibration and best resonance of tone. Abdominal muscles should always be dynamic, never locked.
The tongue interacts with the breath to provide the necessary diction for each note. It also allows us to produce notes in rapid succession. I like to think of the tongue NOT as the creator of the note BUT as the dispenser of the note, the launch pad for the note. The tone is created by the air causing the lips to vibrate. A simple but effective approach to tonguing is to think of each note starting with either a HOO or a TOO and ALL notes ending in a vowel (AH, OH, OO, or EE, depending on the register and the quality of tone desired). Rarely, if ever, do we end a note with another "T". Again, it's the AIR that makes the note. The tongue only dispenses the required slice of the full air stream, including the kind of start and end and the length of the note for the desired note.
Types of Brass Instruments
All brass instruments are mainly conical (cone-shaped) or cylindrical. No brass instrument is totally one type or the other. The predominant types and instruments are:
For instance, trumpets are about 60% cylindrical; cornets are about 60% conical. Generally, conical instruments sound mellower; cylindrical instruments sound brighter, though the shape of mouthpiece can alter this basic quality.
- Conical: Cornet, Horn, Baritone, Euphonium, Tuba
- Cylindrical: Trumpet, Trombone
Mouthpieces used for each type should have cups shaped correspondingly:
Should you want a cylindrical instrument to sound darker, then a more conical mouthpiece would be used (and vice versa).
- conical bore--deeper, V-shaped;
- cylindrical -- shallower, U-shaped.
Players' Oral Cavity Shapes which generally match the instrument bore shape TEND to have a more "natural" tone quality for that instrument. Higher oral cavity arches go with conical bores; lower, flatter arches go with cylindrical bores.
Those players whose arch shape and bore shape are in opposition tend to produce a brighter timbre (to the degree of the mismatch). If the quality is brighter than desired, a deeper-cupped mouthpiece can be used.
Transposing & Non-Transposing Brasses
Transposing: All Trumpets except those in C, All Horns (even Horn in C - it sounds an octave below its written notes) and Baritone T.C.
Non-Transposing: C Trumpet: Trombone, Baritone B.C. and Tuba (all keys).
Why this is done is a long story! It's sufficient to say that we have it, we have to live with it, get used to it if you're not already! In the British brass band tradition, including the Salvation Army Band system, all the brass instruments are written in treble clef, including trombone, euphonium and tuba.
In case you were interested or didn't know. From beginning to end: Mouthpiece (into Receiver) - Lead Pipe - Valve Section/Slides - Bell. The very end of the leadpipe near the mouthpiece is called the venturi. There is usually a small gap between the end of the mouthpiece shank and the venturi. The amount of gap is a critical part of the responsiveness or the instrument to what the player produces.
In case you were interested or didn't know. Rim - the part that contacts the lips; a sharper rim gives more control; a more rounded rim is more comfortable; Cup - open bowl beneath the rim; Throat - the small opening at the base of the cup; Backbore - inside part of the long shank (name of the outside part)
For trumpet mouthpieces only, if you pop the cup and shank sides against a tightly outstretched palm, the pitch should be the same on both ends of the mouthpiece. Often, commercially produced mouthpieces have shanks that are too large; thus, the pitch on the shank side is lower. This can be corrected by carefully shortening the shank until the pop pitch matches that of the cup side.
A simple test for the balance of a trumpet mouthpiece is to play an extreme crescendo on second-line G without making a lip adjustment. If the pitch holds true, the mouthpiece is well balanced. If the pitch goes flat or sharp, then there is an imbalance which translates into the player having to make lip adjustments in extremes of volume and range. For example, if the mouthpiece blows flat, the player will have to lip-up the pitch in loud and high passages.
In future columns, I will talk about hand positions, valves, warm-up, tonguing, releases, lip slurs, vibrato, high register playing, and pedal tones. Please stay tuned (pun intended)!
Phil Norris is an Associate Professor of Music at Northwestern College, St. Paul, Minnesota 55113, where he teaches and actively performs on trumpet. Last spring he completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Minnesota. Phil is a former president of the Christian Instrumentalists and Directors Association and continues to compile and edit the CIDA's Sacred List of Instrumental Music.
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Fred M. Hubbell is another arranger whose works can be found in the David E. Smith Publications Catalog.
MEET FRED M. HUBBELL
He is a native of Rockford, Illinois, and began studying clarinet in the fifth grade under the tutelage of his father, Roy M. Hubbell. He credits his early musical development and inspiration to his father and his school band director Allen Elmquist (grades 7 through 12).
Hubbell enrolled at the University of Illinois in September, 1942, and during the second semester requested that his draft board call him up since there was a possibility of being assigned to a Military Police Band. He did indeed receive that assignment and spent his service time playing clarinet, tenor and baritone saxophone in bands of the U.S. Army Sixth Service Command.
Following his service discharge in 1946 he returned to the University of Illinois to complete his bachelor's degree. He taught in the Mount Carroll schools, and from 1956 to his retirement in 1980 in the Park Ridge Elementary Schools. Thereupon he taught for three years at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. His assignment included music theory, woodwinds, arranging and conducting the Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
During summers he taught at various music camps in the Midwest including Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan in 1976. The summers of 1979-81 found him touring with the Blue Lake International Bands and conducting in eight European countries.
Hubbell, at age 75, is less retired than he is re-tread. He suffers from spinal stinosis, a calcification and narrowing of the spinal column that causes any movement to be pain-filled. Surgery to alleviate the pain has been unsuccessful. Each day, relying on prayer, he learns anew to live and move.
In 1988 Fred was elected to the Bandmasters Hall of Fame of the Illinois chapter of Phi Beta Mu, an international band fraternity.
His published works include more than sixty compositions and arrangements for band and orchestra as well as various instrumental solos and ensembles.
In 1984 he moved back to his hometown and presently conducts a Classic Chorale and the Christian Fellowship Band, and continues playing clarinet and saxophone in other community organizations.
Fred and his wife, Corinne, are members of First Evangelical Covenant Church where he has sung in the Chancel Choir and Male Chorus and has served as interim music director several times.
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Selected Books and Materials for the Church and School Orchestra Director (a compilation)
As a graduate assistant in 1976, I was given the responsibility of starting orchestras at Bob Jones Junior High School and Bob Jones Academy. We had only a handful of interested students, no budget, no schedule, no rehearsal room, no stands, no chairs and no instruments! Twenty-three years later these schools each have a string orchestra, a full symphony orchestra and an active string chamber music program, enrolling 125 students in grades seven through twelve. We also have an elementary string orchestra of 60 students.
In the process of building an orchestra program I have tapped many resources for help. The following list includes what for me have become indispensable--books, journals and other materials. I hope this will be of help to all orchestra directors, novices and veterans.
How to Design and Teach a Successful School String and Orchestra Program, Jacquelyn A. Dillon and Casimer B. Kreichbaum, Jr, Kjos West, 4382 Jutland Drive, San Diego, California, 1978.
Though this book is now out of print, it is an excellent manual for the string player or non-string player. Lesson plans are included along with graded music lists and rehearsal techniques. It would be well worth the effort to contact Kjos about the possible purchase of a photocopy.
The String Orchestra Super List, Frederick R. Mayer, editor, Music Educators National Conference, 1993.
This includes a well-researched grading system of string orchestra literature as well as a compendium of directors' favorite literature based on an extensive survey.
Guide to Teaching Strings, 6th Edition, Norman Lamb and Susan Lamb, Cook Brown & Benchmark Publishers, a division of Wm. C. Brown, 1994.
This text provides a wealth of practical teaching techniques, a history of stringed instruments and suggestions for purchasing instru- ments. It also contains graded lists of music and publishers addresses.
String Syllabus, Vol. 1, revised 1997, David A. Littrell, editor, American String Teachers Association available from MENC.
Every college string major should own this reference tool. It is also invaluable for the orchestra director. It lists graded materials for each of the stringed instruments and includes method books, etudes, solo literature and ensemble literature.
Shar Sheet Music Catalog, Shar Products Company, P.O. Box 1411, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
There are many companies that sell sheet music. SHAR has given directors a tool not currently available from other companies. The SHAR Sheet Music Catalog is graded according to the String Syllabus listed above. This is a tremendous help when choosing literature. Hopefully, other com- panies will follow suit.
The Instrumentalist Magazine, The Instrumentalist Company, 200 Northfield Rd., Northfield, IL, 60093
Nearly every issue of this magazine has at least one practical, down-to-earth article of interest, help or inspiration for an orchestra director. It also has a column of new music reviews.
South Carolina String Orchestra Concert Festival List, edited by Jay-Martin Pinner, South Carolina Music Educators Association Orchestra Division, contact Catherine Crowe, President, SCMEA Orchestra Division
Email: Catcrowe@aol. com
There are many fine state lists available, but having worked on this one I know that this list is up-to-date and user-friendly. A committee of outstanding string educators helped compile this list recently to upgrade the South Carolina Concert Festival program.
Luck's Music Library Orchestra Catalog, Luck's Music Library, P.O. Box 71397, Madison Heights, MI 48071
This list along with their list of educational orchestra music is another indispensable tool for choosing orchestra literature. (Kalmus has a similar catalog.)
The Director's Guide to Festival and Contest Music, edited by C. Sidney Berg, Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors' Association available through The Instrumentalist Magazine
Though prices and some titles may be out-of-date there is a wealth of music listed in this volume including literature for Band, Orchestra, solos and ensembles.
American String Teachers Association and the National School Orchestra Association Magazine
Website: www. astaweb. com
These magazines are three of the best sources for keeping up with what is going on in the world of national and international string playing, string teaching and orchestral work.
Jay-Martin Pinner is Head of the String Department and coordinator of the Precollege Orchestra Program at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. He has been a member of the Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra for 28 years, and has appeared with that orchestra as concertmaster, soloist, principal violist, principal bassist and conductor.
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"When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among the people, to make music in the mind and heart." Howard Thurman
Teaching Multiple Percussion Playing to Beginning Students
by Billy Madison
Percussionists are required to play various percussion instruments and it is essential they begin to learn different ones early in their development. Playing only one percussion instrument is a thing of the past. It is important to learn snare drum technique, mallet technique, auxiliary instrument techniques, etc. The concept of multiple percussion is a fun, interesting way to learn all of the above.
I begin teaching multiple percussion playing to first year students usually at the beginning of the second semester. I have students learn the entire piece rhythmically first by playing all of the parts on the snare drum only. (This also allows them to get used to looking at and reading multiple percussion music.)
Next, the students can practice playing the different parts on different areas of the snare drum. Also, since students won't have the appropriate instruments at home they can practice on different books, different areas of a table, etc, etc. (This will help prepare the students to move from one instrument to the next.)
Students and teachers will benefit in a number of ways by learning to play multiple percussion music. They find the music more fun and interesting and will spend more time practicing. As students begin playing band literature they will have already learned to play many of the instruments required. If the percussion section is small or someone is absent students who have been taught multiple percussion tech- niques will usually cover extra parts without having to be told. They will also need little or no instruction on how to cover multiple parts.
Teaching multiple percussion playing is one of the most beneficial things that can be done to develop quality percussion students. Students learn proper technique for many different instruments. They become more motivated and develop self-confidence. Those students who don't learn multiple percussion techniques will soon be at a disadvantage due to the demands being made on today's percussionists. Students who do learn multiple percussion playing are much more likely to be prepared to play whatever parts are assigned to them.
Billy Madison holds the BME (Instrumental Music), the MM (Music Theory and Composition) and the SCCT in music. All three degrees were taken at Arkansas State University. He has studied composition with Jared Spears and Tom O'Connor. Since 1978 Madison has been a percussionist with the Northeast Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and has taught instrumental music in the Arkansas Public Schools for fifteen years. He currently resides in Newport, Arkansas
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There are three basic points of contact in holding the flute.
by Harlow E. Hopkins
In the November issue a general discussion of woodwind instrument hand position was presented.
As was mentioned in Issue 2, the natural, relaxed, curved position of the fingers should be used as much as possible--finger length will determine how much curvature is possible, or necessary. Never should the fingers be curved so much that the player attempts to cover tone holes with the fingertips. The fleshy part of the fingers should be used to cover the tone holes.
Now, let's look at the woodwinds individually.
First, the lip plate, which is placed in the indentation of the jaw.
Second, the left forefinger, which should be placed perpendicularly against the body of the flute in the indentation located between the knuckle and the middle joint and pressed inward. The finger should be bent at a 90-degree angle, which will enable it to depress the C key.
3: The right thumb, which is placed along the side of the instrument or underneath the instrument. The author was taught (and prefers) to place the fleshy part of the thumb (the part opposite the nail) against the sidewall because there is less likelihood that the flute will roll inward and contribute to flatness of pitch.
Thus, the left forefinger pushes inward while the chin and right thumb provide enough counter pressure to keep the flute in place. Caution: there should be only enough inward left forefinger pressure to keep the flute against the chin--pressing too hard will create problems which will be discussed later in relation to embouchure.
The right thumb bears the weight of the instrument. Usually the thumb rest is positioned at the joint closest to the thumbnail, but it really depends on the size of the hand as to where the thumb rest should be placed. In any event, the fingers of the right hand should not be cramped and the fingers curved or arched too much.
The player must be able to "rock" or rotate the left forefinger independently of the other fingers when the left hand is in position to uncover/cover the half-hole. Under no circumstances should the player be permitted to slide the finger from the half-hole to the plate and back. Adequate technique will never result if one attempts to slide the finger.
The holes are a bit farther apart on the oboe than some of the other woodwind instruments and adequate finger length will be essential to success.
The right thumb bears the weight of the instrument, unless a neck strap is used. Even then the right thumb will be needed to keep the instrument away from the body and to provide the proper angle to the body.
The position of the left forefinger is critical to successful playing. It must be placed at a 45-degree angle to the body of the instrument so it can roll upward to depress the A key and be positioned over the G# key for use when needed. This finger must never be lifted from the first hole to the A key--rolling must be the motion used from day one.
The left thumb must also be placed at a 45-degree angle to the body of the instrument with the fleshy part covering the hole and a portion of the thumb positioned over the register key. An upward rolling motion should be used to depress the register key.
The right forefinger must be positioned close to, or if finger length permits, over the lowest of the four trill keys to facilitate depressing it/them when needed. To reach the upper two trill keys one should "reach" with the finger as opposed to rolling or shifting the entire hand upward.
The three "palm" keys provide the saxophonist with the greatest digital challenge. The left forefinger and middle finger receive the assignment of depressing them when needed. The amount of hand shifting/movement should be kept to a minimum.
The neck will bear the brunt of the weight via the neck strap and the right thumb placed in the thumb rest will help to properly position the instrument.
Care must be taken from the very first lesson to impress upon the player the need to let the entire body of the instrument rest on the seat strap. This is true because both thumbs must be free to depress keys and can in no way be used to help support the instrument.
The area between the left thumb and forefinger needs to provide stability but the left hand should never bear any significant amount of instrument weight.
Harlow Hopkins holds a Bachelor's degree from Olivet Nazarene University, a Master's degree from the American Conservatory of Music (Chicago), and a D.Mus. from Indiana University, Bloomington. His teaching career took place at Olivet Nazarene University (Kankakee, Illinois) where he taught 42 years and conducted bands for 39 years. He retired in 1996 and continues to reside in Bourbonnais, Illinois, and teach part time at ONU, play clarinet, co-conduct a New Horizons Band and edit newsletters.
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by Nancy Hester
Applause in the church is to me
It's not that the recipients are
not most deserving
But why clap for the anthem
and leave out the rest?
Let's applaud the scripture, the
sermon, the prayer for starters
How about the prelude, the
postlude, the disciples and
We could shout "bravo" and
offer a standing ovation
If the minister's words fill us all
At times our need to respond
But should worship be viewed
as a public performance?
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LINES OF NOTE
Ven my stick touches the air, you play. Serge Koussevitsky, quoted in Gattey, Peacocks on the Podium, (1982)
Some people tell me that they saw me conduct somewhere. Apparently they listen with their eyes rather than their ears. Leopold Stowkowski, quoted in Jacobson, Reverberations (1975)
I also went...to see and hear Stokowski. I used the word see, for to watch was to add to the drama of the concert. The whole evening was like a great theatrical production. Arthur Bliss, As I Remember (1970)
There was to be no funeral, just the committal, because the deceased had no family or friends left.
The young pastor started early to the cemetery, but soon lost his way. After making several wrong turns, he finally arrived a half-hour late.
The hearse was no where in sight, and the workmen were relaxing under a nearby tree, eating their lunch.
The pastor went to the open grave and found that the vault lid was already in place. He took out his book and read the service.
As he returned to his car, he overheard one of the workman say, "Maybe we'd better tell him that's a septic tank."
As I was driving home from work one day, I stopped to watch a local Little League baseball game that was being played in a park near my home.
As I sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was.
"We're behind 14 to nothing," he answered with a smile. "Really," I said. "I have to say you don't look very discouraged."
"Discouraged?" the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face. "Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet."
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Preach Christ Always
And As A Last Resort
St. Francis of AssisiNew Minister A newly appointed young preacher was contacted by the local funeral director to hold a graveside service at a small country cemetery.
(Of Leonard Bernstein) He uses music as an accompaniment to his conducting. Oscar Levant, Memoirs of an Amnesiac (1965)
BASIC HAND/FINGER POSITION--Part II
Preach Christ Always
And As A Last Resort
St. Francis of AssisiSo far I have examined some basic things about brass sound. Now I want to look at some more specific aspects of brass instruments and playing them.
PRAISE TO GOD--
INNER HEALTH MADE AUDIBLE...
C. S. LEWISBy David E. Smith