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Should I avoid B-natural as much as possible even for professional players when composing for the tenor trombone?  Am I correct that B-natural can only be played in 7th position.  I know that B-flat to B-natural is not a good interval.  I assume rapid passages with 7th position would also be ill advised.  Would anyone like to help me understand this better?

Thanks,

Tim

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Which B natural?

Anything rapid in the lower register is likely to be very tricky, but once you're up around C4 there's so many substitutes for every note that avoiding any of them on purpose is quite the exaggeration. These professional trombonists are professional for a reason, aren't they? Any kind of "difficult" transitions is precisely what they endlessly practice.

edit

Actually I pushed it a bit far, there's only two positions for B3, 4th and 7th. Still, a 1st-4th leap isn't a big deal.

I was thinking of B natural one-half step below middle C. So if I understand correctly- the B natural will not be a problem when I write them in my scores. Thank you for addressing my question. It is a huge help!

Let me help you out there Tim. You are thinking all trombones just simply have slides so yes fast rapid passages from 1st (Bb) to 7th (B natural) will be impractical but serious trombone players from school to professional level use an F attachment operated by the left thumb which eliminates awkward changes. In 1st position the trombone with the trigger down is now in F which makes that awkward 7th position now in easy 2nd position. So in short if you are not composing for middle school bands go ahead and write Bb to B natural.

~Rod 
 
Tim Clemmons said:

I was thinking of B natural one-half step below middle C. So if I understand correctly- the B natural will not be a problem when I write them in my scores. Thank you for addressing my question. It is a huge help!

Since we're on the subject of trombones, I've always wondered what is a realistic top note for this instrument? and is it possible to play this instrument relatively quietly above middle c?

Thanks Greg and Rodney!  This will surely make my scoring easier and have a fuller sound when needed. 

TIM

 

I have no problem writing or playing a Bb above middle C and anything above the Eb of middle C is going to be at least a mf.

~Rod

michael diemer said:

Since we're on the subject of trombones, I've always wondered what is a realistic top note for this instrument? and is it possible to play this instrument relatively quietly above middle c?

Michael and Tim,

Here are some scores of mine that feature the trombones that might help. Watch in HD and full screen to see the score clearly. "Hymn" from the requiem "In Remembrance" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBtVRNXOt-s&feature=c4-overview&... 

A very short fanfare called "Fanfare for Performance Seminar" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW_mwtNbkIw&list=UUM5ogaKyZsl6P9...

And "Fanfare for Earth" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vFtKI8uQ_A&list=UUM5ogaKyZsl6P9...

All of these 3 works have been performed live at some point even though I have updated them since then for publishing but hopefully it shows you what the trombone can do.

~Rod
 
Tim Clemmons said:

Thanks Greg and Rodney!  This will surely make my scoring easier and have a fuller sound when needed. 

TIM

 

Rodney,

I am very impressed!  Beautiful!!  Yes, I can see range, dynamics, voicing, and use of the B natural throughout.  Thank you so much for sharing.  This is not only a wonderful reference for brass ensemble, but it's a well-crafted piece of music.  Kudos!

Thanks so much-

TIM

thanks Rodney, and I enjoyed your music, you are very accomplished.

Thanks guys. I am just trying to help.

michael diemer said:

thanks Rodney, and I enjoyed your music, you are very accomplished.

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