Category: Brass Band
Published on Friday, 23 April 2010 15:58
Written by Administrator
These arrangements were originally written for a British-style brass band in Medan (the provincial capital of North Sumatra, Indonesia). They therefore reflect both the strengths and weaknesses of the young players in that particular band as well as the peculiarities of the brass band style in general. The original scores are therefore in treble clef, but I have also included bass clef transpositions for euphonium, trombone and tuba players who are more comfortable using the bass clef.
Below is a brief summary of each composition. You should also read the notes on scoring.
This selection, written especially for the Medan Band by Australian composer Noel Jones, includes four well loved traditional Indonesian songs from across the archipelago that are hardly known outside the country. The arrangement was written for brass band, but I have provided a brass ensemble score as well.
O Tano Batak is widely regarded as one of the unofficial “national anthems” of the Batak people of North Sumatra (Indonesia). Like many such songs, it is a folk song about that tells the story of someone who has traveled all over the world but still remembers his homeland. Batak choirs often sing it at cultural festivals. You can download the lyrics of the song in the original Batak language, together with translations into Bahasa Indonesia (the Indonesian national language) and English.
In order to reduce the technical demands on the higher brasses, and thus make the music accessible to players of only average ability, this transcription has been written in concert B flat - a major third below Handel's original. For the same reason, the upper line has also been modified slightly in a couple of places. Apart from that, however, this transcription follows Handel's masterpiece very closely. But conductors should note that the transcription is probably too low for most choirs. Instead, the music is best performed as a standalone work.
By taking advantage of the scoring scheme given, you can play Salute to Medan and O Tano Batak with just four players! Alternatively, enjoy the richer harmonic colour provided by the entire section.
Please note that a sharp distinction is made between the euphonium and the baritone part, something that is rare in concert or wind band music. Since it is an essential part of the harmony, the baritone part is more important than the euphonium part. The latter being little more than a decoration.