Here's a day in my life. So I was asked by a church to arrange "Carol of the Bells" for 2 part choir, handbells, and brass quintet which is 2 trumpets, horn, trombone, and tuba. The tuba player had to bail out due to personal family issues, but they said they did have another trumpet player. So now my solid foundation is not there, and they are offering me another "soprano" voice. So how would you rearrange this to still sound full?

Ignore how this rendering sounds concerning quality. I literally simply did this as a quick mock-up with no editing or regards for a finished sound. The "choir" singing is just a mock-up also, of course.  

https://app.box.com/s/r78g0acyo7idszna8a6h

~Rod

You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –

Replies

  • What program you used for the arrangement? 
    Myself i would imagine your arrangement for some horror movie, would be so great.

  • Gabrielius, all I did was put the notes into Finale with Garritan's hand bells that come with GPO4, CineBrass Core, and the choir was Olympus Micro Choir. I did not do any special editing whatsoever concerning the sound.

    So horror movie, oh I could make this more evil for ya, LOL. Thanks for listening.
  • This reminds me of a medley I did in high school for Music Theory (I was in independent study). I used Carol of the Bells, Good King Wenceslas, and Greensleeves. I used the Carol of the Bells main idea as the underpinning to make Greensleeves sound downright demonic to finish it off, so this sits quite well with me.

    You propose an interesting dilemma here. Can perhaps the trombone take the tuba role and the third trumpet maybe fit in between? I'm not suggesting stretching the players' abilities to the point of annoyance, but that the two instruments could emulate the missing tuba part. You've still got five brass players, so it should be doable.

  • So let me tell you guys and gals what I had to do. I switched the trombone to a bass trombone part. The fullness and the roundness of the bass sound was missing in comparison to a tuba but the notes were still there giving the work a more forward, aggressive tone. Now here is where I had to get creative, I first took the third trumpet and arranged the original trombone part to its lower range. Then, I switched the trumpet to a flugelhorn which in its lower range sounds similar to a trombone, unlike the trumpet it even has true pedal tones that sound like a trombone, but I needed to teach the flugelhorn player to not play "mellow" or "flugel-like." He needed to go against the instrument and even the style of the other players. He needed to play a dynamic louder than everyone else including the horn and play every articulation short and separated even when others where playing more connected. The reason he needed to do this is because both a trumpet and flugelhorn sound muddy and sloppy in their lower ranges. I had him first play with the ensemble with a cup mute on his trumpet forcing himself to be heard. Then, he took that same force and applied it to the opened flugelhorn. So he had the bite of the trumpet sound still in his ear, the power that he needed, and the short articulations for the part to be heard but not muddy up the entire sound.
    ~Rod
  • Rodney,  I love the attitude and your creative efforts to resolve

    your dilemna. This is definitely a key to success.

    And as Beethoven was told in a letter in 1862 signed by the

    entire Vienna orchestra(except the 2nd trombonist) who's aunt

    was related to one of Scarlotti's best friends cousins descendants,

    'You go Bro'.......       gotcha ?   lol   Roger

  • The reason he needed to do this is because both a trumpet and flugelhorn sound muddy and sloppy in their lower ranges.

    Thanks, man. Us trumpet players really like when that gets pointed out.

    Doesn't what I proposed sound a lot like what you ended up doing? I didn't specifically think of flugelhorn, however.

    Good stuff, Rod.

  • Thank you Roger, it took some thinking, but adventually I think I came up with a solution even though it may have not been my first intent on this arrangement, and I gotcha. ;)

    roger stancill said:

    Rodney,  I love the attitude and your creative efforts to resolve

    your dilemna. This is definitely a key to success.

    And as Beethoven was told in a letter in 1862 signed by the

    entire Vienna orchestra(except the 2nd trombonist) who's aunt

    was related to one of Scarlotti's best friends cousins descendants,

    'You go Bro'.......       gotcha ?   lol   Roger

    A Day in the Life of a Composer "Carol of the Bells" Arrangement
    Here's a day in my life. So I was asked by a church to arrange Carol of the Bells for 2 part choir, handbells, and brass quintet which is 2 trumpet…
  • You nailed it Evan with your advice!

    evan said:

    The reason he needed to do this is because both a trumpet and flugelhorn sound muddy and sloppy in their lower ranges.

    Thanks, man. Us trumpet players really like when that gets pointed out.

    Doesn't what I proposed sound a lot like what you ended up doing? I didn't specifically think of flugelhorn, however.

    Good stuff, Rod.

    A Day in the Life of a Composer "Carol of the Bells" Arrangement
    Here's a day in my life. So I was asked by a church to arrange Carol of the Bells for 2 part choir, handbells, and brass quintet which is 2 trumpet…
This reply was deleted.