Educational Albums for brass and wind


Programme Note

In the late 1970s and early 80s, I was approached by John and Delia Ridgeon, who had recently started up a new  publishing company specialising in educational music for wind and brass instruments, to write a series of Albums. I duly wrote six single composer Albums, as well as contributing to mixed composer Albums, over a period of 10 years. The titles of the Albums are:

SINGLE COMPOSER ALBUMS

New Horizons for Beginner Brass Ensemble – published 1977

This volume of eighteen short pieces was published in 1977 in response to a request from the publisher for a range of pieces available in a wide choice of instrumentation. Thus, although the pieces are essentially scored for a normal brass quintet (two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba), the pieces can in fact be played by a wide variety of orchestral brass and brass band instruments. I have introduced rhythmic difficulties progressively and in such a manner as to educate the young brass player in the best possible way, through enjoyment. Experience has proven that these concepts are most readily digested when presented to players at an early stage of their development.

I have also attempted to use a number of different musical structures and techniques so as to provide the young player with an experience of certain elements of contemporary music. Thus, Improvisation in the Pentatonic the students are encouraged to develop their creative imagination within an established framework. Other pieces, such as Dance in 5/8 time and Dance in 7/8 time explore asymmetrical rhythms whilst New Sounds explores harmonic clusters. Although the pieces are intended to be used for education purposes, they can also be built into a small concert suite by selecting various contrasting pieces.

20 Supplementary Tunes (for any treble clef brass instrument) – published 1978

This Album of progressive pieces for unaccompanied brass instruments was written at the request of the publisher to be an alternative to the studies used for instrumental music examination purposes; but instead of the usual, rather ‘unmusical’, scales and arpeggios set for such purposes, these simple pieces use interesting melodies and rhythms in a simple but challenging manner. They progress from Grade 1 to Grade 3 and have been used for many years in the syllabuses of UK music examination bodies, particularly those of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.The titles of some of the pieces suggest the nature and intention of the Album: Hungarian Dance, Moto Perpetuo, Tune in 5/4 Time, Pop Song, Habanera and Ragtime and so on.

20 Supplementary Tunes (for any bass clef brass instrument) – published 1978

This Album of progressive pieces for unaccompanied brass instruments was written at the request of the publisher to be an alternative to the studies used for instrumental music examination purposes; but instead of the usual, rather ‘unmusical’, scales and arpeggios set for such purposes, these simple pieces use interesting melodies and rhythms in a simple but challenging manner. They progress from Grade 1 to Grade 3 and have been used for many years in the syllabuses of UK music examination bodies, particularly those of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.The titles of the some of the pieces suggest the nature and intention of the Album: Time Changes, Rhythmic Prelude, Tune in 5/4 Time, A Bit Jazzy, Oriental Tune, and so on.

15 Duets for Intermediate Brass – published 1980

This collection of progressive duets was designed to provide supplementary study for young brass players, and was conceived to combine ensemble experience with an introduction to several 20th century compositional styles.

Ten Miniatures for trumpet and piano – published 1980

This set of ten little pieces for trumpet and piano were written at the request of Brass Wind Publications, who were wanting to publish some progressive educational works for various instruments. The brief was to write a set of pieces starting at Grade 1 and progressing to Grade 4. This I tried to achieve. The titles of the pieces are as follows: Prelude, Ostinato, Gopak, Rhythmic Dance, Lullaby, Minuet, Slightly Slavic, Folk Dance, March Triste and Scherzo

Cameos for trumpet and piano – published 1987

This set of seven pieces for trumpet and piano were written in 1987, as part of a new series of progressive educational pieces by contemporary British composers. With titles such as Serenade, Alla Marcia and Dance Macabre, the music is wide-ranging in its style and mood. These pieces have become very popular with young players and are used regularly in music competitions and examinations.

JOINT COMPOSER ALBUMS

Nine Miniatures for treble clef brass and piano

These educational pieces for various brass instruments were written in 1980. I provided five pieces for the Album, whilst the others were written by John Ridgeon. They are  progressive pieces, from Grade 1 to Grade 3. The titles of my pieces are: Little Minuet, Lullaby, Gavotte, Folk Song, and Habanera and Ragtime.

Up Front for various woodwind instruments and piano

These educational pieces were written in 1992. They are intended as progressively difficult pieces and were written, along with a number of other British contemporary composers, to demonstrate the different characteristics of woodwind instruments, from the rhythmic to the lyrical, giving young players the opportunity to develop an understanding of simple contemporary music. My pieces in the various volumes are: Siciliana (flute), Folk Song Echoes and Summer Evening Serenade (oboe) , Variations on a Lament (clarinet),  Stepping Out towards the Blue Horizon (alto or tenor saxophone), Nostalgic Waltz (bassoon).

Up Front for various brass instruments and piano

These educational pieces were written in 1987. They are intended as progressively difficult pieces and were written, along with a number of other British contemporary composers, to demonstrate the different characteristics of brass instruments, from the rhythmic to the lyrical, giving young players the opportunity to develop an understanding of simple contemporary music. The titles of my pieces in the various volumes are: Dance (trumpet),  Aubade (horn in F), Berceuse (horn in E flat),  Processional (trombone), and  Little Scherzo (tuba).

 

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Work Details

  • Date of Composition: 1977
  • Publisher: Brass Wind Publications
  • Genre:
  • Duration: 30" - 2'
  • Instrumentation: various brass and wind instruments, with and without piano