Fanfare / Euphonium Tuba Quartet
Creative Vision for the Track:
This will be recorded by a live group at the beginning of March along with two carols for euphonium and tuba quartet. To ensure diverse styles across three short pieces I opted for an opening tuba fanfare of sorts. (One of the other pieces to be recorded is more lush while the other focuses on multiple time signatures and rhythmic devices.)
Clearly heavily influenced by John Williams’ penchant for triplet subdivisions the opening section is a straight ahead statement of a fanfare melody.
The B section is more flowing. I used four-tuplets and other cross rhtyhms to breakup the monotony of the rhythms in the A section.
The piece returns to the A section theme as a canon. It makes it a little more interesting for the tubas (particularly Tuba 2). The filigree in the euphoniums adds a little spice for them, too.
I was encouraged by the ensemble this is written for not to go easy on them. They wanted something that people would hear it and go “I didn’t know tubas could do that!” PRO TIP: Be careful what you ask for!
Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc):
Time signature: 6/8 throughout
Tempo: Dotted Quarter = 132
Generally major triads in the A section. Bridge gets into some 7th and 9th extentions.
Keeping with Williams’ predilection for second inversion chords it opens with a Bb triad in second inversion. It cadences with an Ab triad (2nd inversion) - Fsus4 to F (root position) to Bb (2nd inversion).
That said there is a G7 (b13, #9) lurking in the A section.
Inversions are prominent. (e.g. the bass line C - D - Eb appears more than once. In the more “jazzy” part it is harmonized as a D-7 (F triad over D). As the bridge returns to the A section I use a Bb / D chord (no chordal third in the upper voices per traditional rules for first inversion chords) to foreshadow the fanfare feel yet to come.
Tuba 1 is written very high since the performer will be using an F Tuba. Care was taken to avoid the interval of a second between Tuba 1 and Euphonium 2 for balance / clashing reasons. Without guidance from the performer I doubt I would’ve attempted that register with a BBb tuba.
PRO TIP: Talk with your musicians / performers. I always appreciate it when I’m playing on a studio session when the orchestrator / composer asks for input.
Main Instruments used:
This direct from Finale’s Aria player.